Tesla driver says car's Autopilot mode was engaged and she was looking at phone when she crashed into fire engine

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1 NEWS, Associated Press

The driver of a Tesla electric car which crashed into the back of a fire engine on Saturday says she had the vehicle's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode engaged and was looking at her phone when the accident occurred.

A photo released by the South Jordan Police Department shows a traffic collision involving a Tesla Model S sedan with a Fire Department mechanic truck.

A photo released by the South Jordan Police Department shows a traffic collision involving a Tesla Model S sedan with a Fire Department mechanic truck.

Source: Associated Press

The 28-year-old female driver of the car, who is unnamed, told Utah police that the Autopilot system was switched on she was looking at her phone when her vehicle slammed into the fire engine stopped at a red light.

Tesla's Autopilot system is a complex beast that uses radar, cameras with 360-degree visibility and sensors to detect nearby cars and objects. The company says when the system is engaged their cars can automatically change lanes, steer, park and brake to help avoid collisions.

The crash comes as federal safety agencies investigate the performance of Tesla's semi-autonomous driving system.

The NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating at least two other crashes involving Tesla vehicles.

In March, a Tesla Model X SUV crashed on a California highway, killing the driver, and investigators are looking into the performance of the semi-autonomous driving system in that crash.

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