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Driver involved in Bedford County Tesla crash cited for driving violations

In Bedford County, a Tesla crashed on July 1. The crash happened on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between Bedford and Breezewood

BEDFORD -- A car known for its self-driving capabilities, made by Tesla, has been in national headlines because of recent crashes.

In Bedford County, a Tesla crashed on July 1.

The crash happened on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between Bedford and Breezewood.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the driver told police the car’s autopilot was on, but now the Bedford County district attorney said he is still facing summary offenses.

“The driver has been charged with careless driving and failure to maintain its lane of travel,” said Bill Higgins, the Bedford County district attorney.

A spokesperson from Tesla said the company has no data to support the driver’s claims.

A Penn State professor said data is usually collected in a computer inside the car to determine if the technology malfunctioned. But because this technology is so new, there are a lot of questions regarding the chain of custody for that information.

“The way to talk to those computers and get the data is often very specific to the manufacturer. In order to do crash reconstruction, you often have to work in partnership with the manufacturer,” said Sean Brennan, an associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Brennan said the airline industry went through this when flying was new. Officials developed a chain of custody for the black box to ensure an impartial investigation.

This new technology could mean new laws.

“This is something for our legislature to consider as well. We need to make sure that if we have these vehicles are on the road, that they are safe,” said Higgins.

6 News contacted the driver of the vehicle, but he did not return our calls.

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