MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officials in central Minnesota say five people were hurt Saturday when the autopilot feature on a Tesla electric car suddenly accelerated, causing it to flip into a marsh.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office says the rollover crash happened around 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of 141st Street Northeast and 172nd Avenue Northeast in Irving Township.

Deputies found the 2016 Tesla upside-down.

Behind the wheel was 58-year-old David Clark of Eden Prairie. He was traveling east on 172nd Avenue and approaching the intersection when he engaged the autopilot and the car suddenly accelerated, causing it to shoot off the road and flip over.

The sheriff’s office says Clark and his four passengers suffered minor injuries.

Comments (21)
  1. Uh… Why would he engage the autopilot when approaching an intersection. The Autopilot will – as it is supposed to – accelerate up to the posted speed limit, just like regular cruise control. Also – why didn’t he just hit the brakes? That disengages AP, again – just like regular cruise control.

  2. The driver is changing his story. He blames himself and not Tesla Autopilot which was disengeage. I assume Tesla showed him the log, and he does not want to be charged with perjury.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/tesla-autopilot-idUSL1N1K80VI