Electric auto maker Tesla (TSLA) saw its shares drop Monday after a news report blamed a Tesla auto crash in Minnesota on the vehicle's autopilot feature.
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office says David Clark was driving his Tesla Model S sedan with four passengers Saturday evening in Hawick, Minnesota.
The "cruise control" option in Teslas use cameras, radars, and an on-board computers to detect lanes, other vehicles, and objects in the road, steering as needed. CBS 4 reports that Clark was approaching an intersection when he made a decision to engage the Autopilot feature and that is when the vehicle accelerated sending it off the road.
In Gainsville, Florida in May 2016, a driver was killed when his Tesla, going 70 miles per hour, crashed into a semitrailer truck.
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KLAS also reported, citing an unnamed source "close to the story", that a threatening note was left in the office. A Metro Police spokesperson declined to reveal further details, saying the investigation was ongoing.
Palo Alto, California-based Tesla said it's investigating and will cooperate with local authorities. It was the first known crash of a partly autonomous vehicle. If drivers continuously ignore safety warnings now, the auto will disable autopilot until the next time the vehicle is started.
The autopilot feature uses cameras, radar and computers to detect objects and automatically brake if the vehicle is about to hit something.
Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, recently said at the National Governor's Association semi-annual meeting that "Probably in 10 years, more than a half of new vehicle production is electric in the US.I think nearly all cars produced will be autonomous". His SUV was parked in his garage when it unexpectedly crashed into his living room, injuring him and destroying walls.