A Tesla driver has been charged with careless driving in Oakville, Ontario, because he was flossing his teeth while driving on Autopilot at 135 km/h (84 mph).
Ever since Tesla launched Autopilot, the public, media, and even some Tesla drivers have confused the driver-assist system for a full self-driving system.
It has led to some inappropriate use of the Tesla Autopilot, and now some people are being charged for it.
Sergeant Kerry Schmidt of Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reported yesterday that an OPP officer stopped a Tesla driver that was not only speeding on Autopilot but also “flossing his teeth with both hands.”
A 58-year-old Tesla driver was stopped by the Burlington OPP in Oakville, Ontario, using Autopilot while using both hands to floss his teeth and going 135 km/hr.
He reported that the Tesla driver was charged with careless driving.
Here’s Schmidt’s reports of the incident:
A 58 yr old Tesla driver was stopped by #Burlington OPP in #OakvilleON, using autopilot while using both hands to floss teeth and going 135km/hr. Charged careless ^kw#ArriveAlive #lookmanohands pic.twitter.com/zPK34AmVPJ
— Sgt Kerry Schmidt (@OPP_HSD) January 8, 2020
It’s not the first time a Tesla driver was charged for misusing Tesla’s Autopilot.
Just last month, a Tesla Model 3 owner driving on Autopilot crashed into a police vehicle in Connecticut and was given a citation for reckless driving after admitting that he wasn’t paying attention at the moment of the crash.
In the past, Tesla drivers have also characterized Autopilot as a self-driving system in order to try to get out of situations with the police, but in most cases, it was found that the drivers weren’t paying attention and not using the driver-assist system properly.
According to an NTSB report, a Tesla driver was eating and drinking during a crash on Autopilot that was widely covered in the media.
Tesla tells drivers that they are always responsible when driving with Autopilot, and that they must stay attentive and be ready to take control at all times.
If the risk of an accident is not enough to deter you from not paying attention when driving on Autopilot, hopefully the risk of being cited for reckless or careless driving might help.
We have seen several examples of it lately.
Tesla Autopilot is a great tool, but it must be used carefully.
I fear that if too many people do stupid things on Autopilot, like flossing their teeth at 135 km/h, regulators are going to get involved and force Tesla to nix the system as they did in Europe.
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