Get All Access for $5/mo

Tesla Owner Banned From Driving for 18 Months for Turning on Autopilot and Leaving the Driver's Seat He put too much trust in Autopilot.

By Jon Fingas

This story originally appeared on Engadget

PA Images | Getty Images via engadget

Tesla will be one of the first to tell you not to put too much faith in Autopilot. It's currently more of an advanced driver assist than a full self-driving system. However, one driver recently ignored that advice in dramatic fashion.

Nottingham, U.K. resident Bhavesh Patel has received an 18-month driving ban after he was caught sitting in the passenger seat of his Model S on the M1 in May 2017. The man said he invoked Autopilot and was betting that its "amazing" semi-autonomous guidance would keep the car rolling at the estimated 40 MPH of surrounding traffic.

He didn't crash, but that obviously didn't matter. Police noted that what he did was "grossly irresponsible" and was risking not just his life, but those of "other innocent people." On top of the ban, Patel has to work 100 unpaid hours, conduct 10 days of rehabilitation and pay £1,800 (about $2,480) in prosecution costs.

It almost goes without saying why doing this would be dangerous: Autopilot can keep your car in its lane and maintain a traffic-appropriate speed, but it won't perform evasive maneuvers or otherwise react well in emergencies. There is a question about how long Patel managed to keep Autopilot going, though. The system requires that you keep your hands on the wheel. Ignore warnings for a minute and Autopilot will not only switch off for the rest of the drive, but (if you continue to ignore it) bring the car to a complete halt. Patel most likely stayed in the passenger's seat for just a brief period, but it's slightly disconcerting that he had any time to crawl around the Model S without Autopilot bringing his experiment to a premature end.

Jon Fingas is an associate editor at Engadget.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Branding

ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Business News

You Can Now Apply to Renew Your U.S. Passport Online — But There's a Catch

The U.S. State Department officially launched the beta program this week.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.