Tesla's autopilot strikes again after driver crashes into fire truck

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Pressure on Tesla (TSLA) shares continued to mount Tuesday as an analyst who had been bullish on the stock slashed his price target on the electric vehicle company due to challenges in ramping up Model 3 production. If Tesla's safety record applied globally, the company said it would result in 900,000 fewer vehicle fatalities every year and that those driving Teslas equipped with autopilot hardware "are 3.7 times less likely to be involved in a fatal accident".

Winkler echoed some of Musk's comments, noting that even though the Tesla was extensively damaged, the driver's injuries were relatively minor.

Mr Musk said the restructuring plans involve flattening the management structure to improve communication, as well as trimming activities not vital to the success of our mission.

Earlier this month, Tesla said its Model 3 production target remains on track, expecting about 5,000 per week in about two months.

However, representatives of the company repeatedly warned the owners of electric Tesla, that when using the autopilot, they should still be careful and watch the road.

"This is false", Musk wrote.

On 2 May a U.S. traffic safety regulator contradicted Tesla's claim that the agency had found that its Autopilot technology significantly reduced crashes. "Eyetracking rejected for being ineffective, not for cost", Musk tweeted.

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In another Twitter message on Monday, Musk said the "probability of fatality is much lower in a Tesla", saying Tesla would begin reporting safety numbers beginning in the second quarter.

The company said in a statement on Monday: Tesla has not yet received any data from the vehicle and thus does not know the facts of what occurred, including whether autopilot was engaged.

News of the crash came as a top Tesla official who had been the main technical contact with USA safety investigators left the company to join rival Waymo.

The accident is another in a series of issues that have plagued the company from Palo Alto, California, including a dust-up with the National Transportation Safety Board over the handling of data related to an investigation into a March 23 fatal accident involving a Tesla Model X in Mountain View, California.

Police are investigating whether a Tesla sedan's semi-autonomous Autopilot feature was engaged when it rear-ended a fire department truck in Utah.

Police in Utah are looking into a collision involving a Tesla electric auto that hit a fire department vehicle over the weekend.

This is not the first time a Tesla has collided with a fire engine while its Autopilot mode was engaged.