What’s worse than the traffic on the M1, the highway between London and Leeds? A driver that decides to let his car on Autopilot on that leg of journey.
39-year-old Nottingham resident Bhavesh Patel made headlines, after he recklessly put his Tesla Model S on Autopilot on a busy freeway.
The Tesla Model S driver didn’t stop at that. No, then he moved to the passenger seat and dozed off, while the car cruised on Autopilot at around 40 mph.
Patel was captured in the video above by another driver, who was alarmed to see a Tesla car without someone at the steering wheel. In theory, a Tesla Model S is capable of navigating a road safely, but the current UK law demands that drivers stay in their seat, with their hands at the wheel and alert at all times.
Since Mr Patel was caught doing none of those things, he lost his license and was ordered to carry out 10 days rehabilitation and 100 hours unpaid work, as well as pay a fine of £1,800.
According to police officers, Patel knew that what he was doing was “silly” and that he was just the “unlucky one who got caught”.
As Tesla’s own documentation states, a driver should “never depend on TACC to adequately slow down model S, always watch the road in front of you and be prepared to take corrective action at all times. Failure to do so can result in serious injury or death.”