Tesla driver loses license for five years; blames it on Autopilot feature

After a Tesla Model X driver in China's Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province crashed his electric SUV in a park, his driving license got revoked for five years. Local media reports suggest that the driver had been drinking alcohol before getting inside the car but did not drive it, and instead sat in the front passenger seat and let the Autopilot drive him to the north gate where his friend would meet him and take over the driving.

File photo of the interior of a Tesla vehicle used for representational purpose only. (REUTERS)
File photo of the interior of a Tesla vehicle used for representational purpose only.

The Model X owner informed the local media that the Autopilot drive did not go as planned and the electric SUV eventually ran off the road and crashed onto the top of a park bench. However, at the crash site, when the police conducted a breathalyzer test for the owner, a positive reading with an ethanol content of 86.6 mg/100 ml led to the driver being immediately charged with drunk driving.

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It was also determined that the owner was actually in the driver's seat and not the front passenger seat because a Tesla doesn't start unless it detects someone in the driver’s seat, which made things worse for the Model X owner. However, it still remains unclear whether the vehicle's Autopilot system was enabled at the time of the crash or if the drunk owner was actually driving.

Whatever be the case with the Model X owner, Tesla Autopilot system regularly comes under scanner. The state transportation regulator in California has accused Tesla of falsely advertising its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features as providing autonomous vehicle control. California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) stated in a complaint that Tesla misled prospective buyers with an advertisement that exaggerated how well its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) worked. The complaint stated that Tesla made statements regarding its ADAS which are untrue.

First Published Date: 09 Aug 2022, 09:08 AM IST
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