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Tesla Autopilot Stirs U.S. Alarm as ‘Disaster Waiting to Happen’

Regulators are scrutinizing Tesla’s driver-assistance system more than ever, pointing to a potential crackdown that could alarm investors and consumers. 

A Tesla crashed into a stopped firetruck on I-70 in Putnam County, Indiana, in December 2019.

A Tesla crashed into a stopped firetruck on I-70 in Putnam County, Indiana, in December 2019.

Source: Indiana State Police
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Derrick Monet and his wife, Jenna, were driving on an Indiana interstate in 2019 when their Tesla Model 3 sedan operating on Autopilot crashed into a parked fire truck. Derrick, then 25, sustained spine, neck, shoulder, rib and leg fractures. Jenna, 23, died at the hospital.

The incident was one of a dozen in the last four years in which Teslas using this driver-assistance system collided with first-responder vehicles, raising questions about the safety of technology the world’s most valuable car company considers one of its crown jewels.