Elon Musk: Tesla Autopilot system 'prevented severe injury' in 60mph crash

Elon Musk: Tesla Autopilot system 'prevented severe injury' in 60mph crash

A Tesla Model S sedan was travelling at 60 miles (97 km) per hour when it smashed into a fire truck stopped at a red light about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday night, according to police.

The tech tycoon went on to praise the safety of the Model S, saying that it was "amazing" the driver only broke her ankle in the accident and that "an impact at that speed usually results in severe injury or death". The Tesla's driver suffered a broken right ankle, and the driver of the Unified Fire Authority mechanic truck didn't require treatment, Winkler said.

The driver of a Tesla electric auto had the vehicle's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode engaged when she slammed into the back of a Utah fire truck over the weekend, in the latest crash involving a auto with self-driving features.

On Twitter, co-founder Elon Musk said it was "super messed up" that the incident was garnering public attention, while thousands of accidents involving traditional automobiles "get nearly no coverage".

Tesla boss Elon Musk has told employees the company is undergoing a "thorough reorganisation" as it contends with production problems, senior staff departures and recent crashes involving its electric cars.

The driver, whom police have not named, was taken to a hospital with a broken foot.

"What's actually awesome about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60 m.p.h. and the driver only broke an ankle", he added.

The National Transportation Safety Board has already launched probes of the California and Florida crashes. The 18 year-old driver slammed into a concrete wall, and the vehicle burst into flames, trapping the occupants inside.

Tesla's stock price slipped Monday following another autopilot crash, this time in Utah, which the NTSB said it would investigate alongside its other now open investigation into the fatal crash of a Model X in California in March. The driver in that incident died.

Musk said "the probability of an accident with autopilot is just less", and he insisted the vehicle had functioned exactly as it was created to in the California crash.

Facing increasing problems that have raised concerns about both Tesla's technology and manufacturing operations, CEO Elon Musk has ordered a shake-up of the company's management structure.

Back in March, an Uber in self-driving mode hit and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona.

"As a reminder for drivers of semi-autonomous vehicles, it is the driver's responsibility to stay alert, drive safely, and be in control of the vehicle at all times", Winkler added.

There was light rain falling and roads were wet when the crash occurred, police said in a statement.

A U.S. traffic safety regulator on May 2 contradicted Tesla's claim that the agency had found that its Autopilot technology significantly reduced crashes.

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