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A driver who allegedly hit an aged care worker and then drove off has told a court her Tesla was on autopilot at the time. 

Sakshi Agrawal allegedly ran into an aged care worker trying to get on a tram in Melbourne‘s south-east on Tuesday morning.

The victim, Nicole Lagos, 26, is in a critical condition at The Alfred hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

Ms Agrawal later turned herself into the police after allegedly fleeing the scene. She was arrested and then taken back to the scene in handcuffs. 

Sakshi Agrawal (pictured second right) was taken back to the scene in handcuffs after being arrested

Sakshi Agrawal (pictured second right) was taken back to the scene in handcuffs after being arrested

 Sakshi Agrawal (pictured second right) was taken back to the scene in handcuffs after being arrested

She appeared in Melbourne’s Magistrate Court on Tuesday evening charged with driving causing injury, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to render assistance. 

She told the court she had her model 3 Tesla, which is worth about $68,000, set to ‘autopilot’ when she allegedly hit the pedestrian.

Despite police objecting to it as she could pose a flight risk, Ms Agrawal was granted bail.

The 23-year-old is in the country on a bridging visa and is neither an Australian citizen nor a permanent resident. 

Ms Agrawal, who works as a loading dock manager contracted by Victoria Police, has previously had her driver’s licence suspended, the court heard.  

Ms Agrawal reportedly told Victoria Police she thought she had more time to slow down before the tram stopped.

It is the first time Victoria’s major collision investigators have had to deal with a case involving a Tesla, The Age reported. 

Autopilot is a driver assistance system for Tesla vehicles which allows the car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane. 

The system still requires drivers to be aware of their surroundings and have their hands on the wheel. 

Ms Lagos was trying to board a city-bound tram that was stopped with its doors open on Wattletree Road, Armadale at about 6.30am when she was hit.

Police are pictured at the scene of an alleged hit and run incident in Melbourne on Tuesday

Police are pictured at the scene of an alleged hit and run incident in Melbourne on Tuesday

Police are pictured at the scene of an alleged hit and run incident in Melbourne on Tuesday

Witnesses said they heard ‘a huge bang’ and saw her on the road with wounds to her head and leg.

What is Tesla autopilot

Autopilot enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane.

Current autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.

Source: Tesla 

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‘People started to get off the tram, so I told them to call the ambulance, and we waited there with her,’ resident Vanessa Sorensen told Nine News.

‘We established that she was still breathing, which was good, and she was stable. We just tried to make her comfortable without moving her in case she had a spinal injury.’

Detective acting Senior Sergeant Jarrod Dwyer, from the major collision investigation unit, said it was still relatively dark when the car allegedly driven by Ms Agrawal hit Ms Lagos, dragging her between 15 and 20 metres.

‘As the pedestrian has approached the tram, a white Model 3 Tesla has driven through past the tram and collected the pedestrian and then fled the scene initially,’ he said.

He said Ms Agrawal had panicked after the collision and left the scene, but returned shortly after in the company of a friend.

She expressed remorse when she returned to the scene with the police and was ‘quite hysterical,’ Sgt Dwyer said. 

Ms Agrawal’s partner, who returned with her to the scene, said the collision was ‘just a normal accident, it happens every day’.

‘She was going to come back anyway. She was a bit scared,’ he said.

Local woman Sophie Gohl said she had seen Ms Lagos at the stop before and that it was ‘terrible’ to see her with ‘awful injuries’. 

Sgt Dwyer said Ms Lagos, who was helped by six bystanders after being hit by the car, was unconscious and unable to speak to police. 

The partner (pictured) of an alleged hit and run driver told Channel Nine it was 'just a normal accident, it happens every day'

The partner (pictured) of an alleged hit and run driver told Channel Nine it was 'just a normal accident, it happens every day'

The partner (pictured) of an alleged hit and run driver told Channel Nine it was ‘just a normal accident, it happens every day’

He said he believed Ms Agrawal was not speeding and there was ‘no indication’ she had been influenced by any substances. 

She will have to report to a police station twice a week as part of her bail conditions and face Melbourne Magistrates court on June 14. 

Police ask that anyone who witnessed the incident or may have dash-cam footage of it to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or through their website.

Tesla recalls self-driving software on 54,000 cars after it let them run stop signs

BY RYAN MORRISON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

Tesla recalled nearly 54,000 cars and SUVs in January because their full self-driving software let them roll through stop signs without coming to a complete halt.

The firm disabled the feature with an over-the-internet software update, documents posted by US safety regulators said.

The feature, that was being tested by a number of drivers, let vehicles go through junctions with a stop sign at up to 9 kilometres per hour.

The documents said Tesla agreed to the recall after two meetings with officials from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tesla said it knows of no crashes or injuries caused by the feature, and no warranty claims as a result of issues with the rolling start feature.

Selected Tesla drivers are beta testing the full self-driving software, but have to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times.

The cars cannot drive themselves and drivers must be ready to take action at all times, the company said.

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Source: DailyMail

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