Teslas can do some pretty amazing things. From self-parking abilities to its semiautonomous Autopilot mode, the cars can definitely feel like the future.
And yet, that doesn’t mean you can just kick back in the passenger seat while Autopilot is engaged.
A British Tesla owner has found himself in hot water for doing just that, though. Bhavesh Patel, has been banned from driving for 18 months after a court found him guilty of dangerous driving for sitting in the passenger seat while his Tesla drove through traffic, according to The New York Times.
Patel was also ordered to pay an £1,800 fine and complete 100 hours of community service for the stunt, which was captured on video by another driver.
It should really go without saying, but what Patel did was incredibly dangerous. Just because Tesla’s Autopilot feature may seem foolproof, doesn’t mean it is.
“Every driver is responsible for remaining alert and active when using Autopilot, and must be prepared to take action at any time,” Tesla says.
In the United States, there have been at least two fatal crashed associated with the feature, including one in 2016 caused by the “driver’s inattention due to overreliance on vehicle automation,” according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
More recently, a fatal crash in California last month happened while Autopilot was engaged. The driver’s hands were not on the steering wheel in the seconds leading up to the crash according to Tesla.