Tesla owner in the Bay Area made headlines last month when he was arrested after being found passed out drunk behind the wheels of his Tesla Model S. His response to the policemen that showed? In essence: "It's okay, car was on autopilot."
While that statement was likely just a desperate excuse by a drunk driver, it reflects today's society's increasing comfort and complacence with automated technology. We know that such technology has the potential to make our lives easier and better, but some are starting to learn that it can come at a horrible cost if not monitored correctly.
Just earlier this year, another Tesla that was functioning on autopilot slammed into a stationary Fire Truck in Culver City at 65 miles per hour. No matter how expensive the car, how reputable the company, or how impressive the technology, we have seen repeatedly that malfunctions with these technologies can and will happen. It is not worth taking a small nap in your car while relying on your autopilot just to find your vehicle smashed in under a fire engine.
All driver's are required by law to stay engaged and attentive even when autopilot is on. There is no law that allows drunk drivers or sleeping drivers to be behind the wheels of a car -- even if it is a Tesla with autopilot on.
Stay safe on the road!