The era of driverless cars comes down the road.
But not fast enough for a Briton who came into conflict with the law when he was placed on autopilot in the passenger seat of a Tesla set with his hands behind his head about 40 miles an hour.
nobody was in the driver's seat.
Witnesses told police that "traffic was heavy" last May when they saw the non-driving, Bhavesh Patel, 39, of Nottingham, England, in his white Tesla S60 on the M1 motorway near Hemel Hempstead [PolicesaidinastatementthatMrPatelwhoownedthecarforaboutfivemonthsbeforestuntownershipdidwhathehaddonewas"silly"butsaidthecarwascapableofsomething"amazing"andthathewasonlythe"unfortunateonewhowascaught"
According to the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and H. The person who was traveling in another car used a cellphone to record a video of Mr. Patel.
The police said Patel had turned on the car's semi-autonomous driving function while she was moving, and then hopped into the passenger seat – "leaving the steering wheel and foot controls completely unmanned."
The mobile footage was first published on social media before it was reported to the police, which sent Mr. Patel a "notice of intentional persecution". He was later interviewed at Stevenage Police Station.
The authorities consulted a Tesla engineer who said the autopilot features should "support a fully attentive driver."
Investigator Kirk Caldicutt said, "What Patel did was grossly irresponsible and could easily end up in a tragedy, endangering not only his own life, but the lives of other innocent people who died that day Highway used. "
Two drivers have died in the US in Tesla autopilot cars: one in a Model S sedan in Florida in 2016 and the other in a Model X Sport Utility Vehicle in California in March this year.
March also saw what was the first pedestrian death associated with self-propelled technology when a Volvo for autonomous operation retrofitted by Uber – who had an emergency driver behind the wheel – hit and killed a woman on a road in Tempe, Ariz.
When investigating Florida's death in 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that it was not due to a fault in Tesla's systems, but it turned out that autopilot had no safety precautions to prevent its abuse prevent.
As for Mr. Patel, who could not be reached for comment on Sunday, St. Albans Crown Court ordered him to complete 100 hours of community service and 10 days of rehabilitation, in addition to the driving ban, and £ 1,800 – about 2,480 Dollars – for the cost of his prosecution.
"This case should serve as an example for all drivers who have access to autopilot controls and have thought about trying something similar," added Constable Caldicutt in a statement.
"I hope Patel uses his disqualification period to think about why he chose such a reckless decision."