Tesla Driver on Autopilot Smashes Into Cop Cars While Watching Movie

Neither the doctor nor his vehicle noticed the two police cars stopped in front of him.

A driver in North Carolina has been charged after his Tesla smashed into a pair of police cars while he was watching a movie.

Police say Devainder Goli, a doctor from Raleigh who works at Halifax Regional Medical Center, had switched his car to autopilot so he could enjoy a film early Wednesday morning when the accident occurred.

Neither he nor his car noticed the Nash County Sheriff patrol car or the State Highway Patrol car that were stopped on the side of Highway 64, near Spring Hope. He smashed into the former, which pushed that into the latter.

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Luckily, neither officer was injured. They had been attending the scene of an earlier crash just after midnight in that exact spot, which is why their cars had pulled over on the highway.

Goli was charged with viewing a television device while driving, as well as a Move Over violation, per WRAL.

“Thankfully our Deputy and the Trooper were not injured,” Nash Country Sheriff’s Office tweeted. “Please use this as reminder of the NC Move Over Law.”

The State’s Move Over law protects law enforcement and emergency reponders attending the scenes of accidents and crimes along the highways.

It requires motorists to slow down and change lanes if possible if they see emergency vehicles stopped with lights flashing.

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Violations are punishable by a $250 fine; however if it leads to an accident causing damage or injury, the fine doubles and can come with up to 120 days in jail.

Tesla Autopilot is an advanced driver assistance system that offers lane centering, traffic-aware cruise control, self-parking, automatic lane changes and semi-autonomous navigation, as well as the ability to summon the car from a short distance away.

However, the features are designed to combat driver fatigue and negligence; they are not intended to render the vehicle fully autonomous, and require constant driver supervision.

In Connecticut in December, another driver was hit with similar charges after his Tesla rammed a cop car that had stopped to help a stalled car; he had engaged the auto-pilot so he could go tend to his dog in the back seat.

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