Monday, 30 April 2018

Tesla driver banned for M1 autopilot seat-switch

Photo: Herts Police
A driver who moved into the passenger seat after putting his electric car into autopilot while at 40mph on a motorway has been banned from driving. 

Bhavesh Patel was filmed by a witness in another car sitting in the passenger seat of his Tesla S 60 on the M1 between junctions 8 and 9 near Hemel Hempstead.

The footage was posted on social media before it was reported to the police.

The court heard Patel told officers what he had done was "silly" but his car was capable of something "amazing" when he was interviewed at Stevenage Police Station.

He added he was the "unlucky one who got caught".

A statement provided by a Tesla engineer said the autopilot was intended to provide assistance to a "fully-attentive driver", the court heard.

Mr Patel pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at St Albans Crown Court, he was disqualified for 18 months and must do 100 hours of unpaid work. He also had to pay the Crown Prosecution Service costs of £1,800.

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