Drunk Tesla driver tries to use the old Autopilot excuse after crashing into a pole
"No, no, I wasn't driving, the vehicle drove itself," seems to be the drunk driving excuse of this electric car era, as that's what one Tesla owner uttered to authorities when they came at the scene of his crash into a pole. "I thought I have a self-driving feature in this car, so I used that feature to move the car to the north gate. I didn't expect to have an accident just a short time after I drove out," he explained, trying to blame the self-driving mode of his Tesla for the crash.
The driver said he drank a bit, so he called a car service, but their vehicle arrived at a faraway entrance of the scenic park he was in, so he thought he'd let Tesla's Autopilot mode drive him there. A few oddities in the story, however, like the claim that he was sitting in the passenger seat and letting the assisted driving feature take him to the northern gate of the park when the accident occurred, quickly showed he was just trying to wiggle out of a $300 drunk driving charge.
Tesla's Autopilot doesn't switch on when there is nobody in the driver's seat and behind the wheel with their respective sensors, said local Tesla employees. Moreover, the electric car has to reach a speed limit for the mode to engage.
While Tesla's assisted driving features are facing scrutiny by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration when deadly accidents occur, there are also a number of cases where drivers deliberately do something dangerous to test the system.
Last week, a video of one cruising on the highway with their windshield sunshade up and the steering wheel protection disengaged in a "Look, Ma, no hands and no view" kind of stealth brag.