A man in the UK has been banned from driving for 18 months after being nabbed riding in the passenger seat of his Tesla Model S while Autopilot was enabled.
In May of last year, 39-year-old Bhavesh Patel thought it would be a good idea to enable Autopilot in his Tesla before shuffling over to the passenger seat and letting the driving aid do all the work for him.
A fellow motorist then filmed Patel driving at roughly 40 mph (65 km/h) on a motorway northwest of London. In the footage, Patel could be seen relaxing with his hands behind his head.
Speaking in the Saint Albans Crown Court, Patel said he was “unlucky” to have been caught and that he was simply using the “amazing” capabilities of the electric sedan, The Guardian reports.
In court, Tesla said that drivers should also be ready to take control from Autopilot when the necessity arises.
“[Drivers should] never depend on TACC [Traffic-Aware Cruise Control] 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.”
Alongside his 18-month driving ban, Patel has been ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work, 10 days of rehabilitation and pay just under $2500.