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Chinese driver blames Tesla for autopilot crash

A Tesla driver in China who crashed his car while in “autopilot” mode is blaming the automaker for promoting it as “self-driving” when it actually doesn’t have that capability and only takes control of the car in certain conditions, reports Reuters. It’s the company’s first known crash in China and is in the wake of a fatal accident in Florida, which has prompted federal regulatory probes. 

A 33-year-old programer at a tech firm, Luo Zhen, was driving to work and admitted to looking at his phone or in-car navigation when his blue Tesla Model S hit a parked car, scraping both vehicles but resulting in no injuries. “The driver of the Tesla, whose hands were not detected on the steering wheel, did not steer to avoid the parked car and instead scraped against its side,” a Tesla spokeswoman told Reuters.

Luo, who filmed the accident with a dashboard camera and then posted his video and photos on Weibo, blamed Tesla for overselling the auto-pilot function: “They use this immature technology as a sales and promotion tactic…but they don’t take responsibility for the safety of the function,” he said.MB