Can you get a DUI with Tesla Autopilot? While some may think that being in a car equipped with Tesla’s autopilot means that they don’t have to worry about their level of intoxication, this is not true. Tesla’s autopilot is far from an autonomous driving system, and Tesla operators need to be as sober as anyone who drives a car.
How does Tesla’s autopilot work?
Tesla’s Autopilot is a semi-autonomous driving system. This means that even though it has advanced capabilities, it still requires an operator to supervise it. It could mean making minor adjustments on the freeway, or navigating a turn or curve that Tesla’s autopilot doesn’t see.
Tesla’s autopilot feature has eight cameras that give the Tesla a view of the vehicle’s surroundings. Tesla’s website states that autopilot allows your vehicle to “automatically steer, accelerate and brake in its lane.” He notes that autopilot does not make the vehicle autonomous and that the vehicle still requires “active driver supervision”.
Fully autonomous driving is another misnomer from Tesla. While that sounds like what it would be – well, fully autonomous, it’s just another more advanced semi-autonomous driving system. Fully autonomous driving also requires that one person be in charge of the vehicle at all times.
People have tried to drive their Tesla while intoxicated
Unfortunately, there are people who drive under the influence. Still, some people think this is okay as long as Tesla Autopilot or Fully Autonomous Driving is in control. This is simply not true.
In 2018, a San Francisco man was arrested after he was found unconscious in his arrested Tesla – in the middle of the Bay Bridge. When asked what happened, he said he engaged the autopilot. Clearly saying the autopilot was on load didn’t help.
And on July 30, 2021, a Tesla driver in Norway was filmed sleeping in his Tesla. Protective measures are in place to ensure that a driver is in control of the vehicle that has been running, and the Tesla has slowed down and stopped. The other motorists were unable to wake the man. When the police arrived, they determined he was drunk, according to Electrek.
You can still get a DUI with Tesla Autopilot
The Tesla Autopilot, as well as fully autonomous driving systems and other semi-autonomous driving systems, should not be used alone. Anyone driving a vehicle should maintain the vehicle and be able to bypass it if necessary.
Because these driving systems aren’t meant to be fully autonomous, you won’t be able to have a few drinks and say autopilot is driving you home. It is still illegal to drive while intoxicated, even with autopilot. Like any other car, you need to be sober enough to drive it.
The risk of driving under the influence is serious not only for you and your passengers, but for other motorists on the road. Be careful and smart. Don’t rely on a driving system to get home safely. Obviously, you shouldn’t be driving under the influence at all, even if you’re in a Tesla.
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