Driver hits police motorcycle, blames Tesla's autopilot system

Posted at 7:40 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 22:43:07-04

 A Tesla driver who rear-ended a motorcycle officer said he was using the luxury car's autopilot function, according to a Phoenix police spokesman.

The crash happened last Tuesday afternoon on the northbound I-17 off-ramp at Utopia Road. 

Phoenix police say both the motorcycle officer and the Tesla came to a stop for a red light, then the Tesla moved forward and struck the police motorcycle.

RELATED: Self-driving Uber vehicle involved in Tempe crash

The officer was able to hop off the motorcycle prior to impact. There were no damages or injuries.

The Tesla driver claimed the auto-drive function was engaged, however, the investigating officer has no way to prove or disprove this, according to Phoenix police.

Tesla's autopilot system is described as several driver-assistance features, which involve more driver control than so-called self-driving vehicles.

Tesla's spokeswoman said the company has not heard from the driver or the police about the incident.