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Alleged drunk driver tells police his Tesla was on autopilot

January 24, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Alleged drunk driver tells police his Tesla was on autopilot

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A drunk driver discovered passed out in a Tesla on a California bridge told authorities that the vehicle was on “autopilot” — in an apparent attempt to mitigate concerns about him being drunk behind the wheel.

The unnamed motorist was taken into custody and was charged with suspicion of DUI after he was discovered unconscious on the Bay Bridge with a blood alcohol level of “more than” twice the legal limit, the California Highway Patrol said on Twitter.

“Driver explained Tesla had been on autopilot,” the California Highway Patrol indicated. “He was charged with suspicion of DUI. Car towed (it didn’t drive itself to the tow yard).”

The tweet did not reveal when the incident occurred, but cops told the San Francisco Chronicle that the man was located in the stopped car at roughly 5:30 p.m. on January 13th.

“It’s quick that we get those calls,” Officer Vu Williams of the California Highway Patrol’s San Francisco division said. “We always have units patrolling the bridge.”

Officials with Tesla, meanwhile, indicated that the vehicle’s autopilot function is meant for use “only with a fully attentive driver.”

In September, a Business Insider writer who reviewed Tesla’s autopilot feature said he found the system to be “slightly terrifying,” primarily because it operates counter to every previously held instinct behind the wheel.

“Autopilot is not self-driving and can cause some anxiety while getting used to it,” Tony Yoo said while describing the Tesla Model S P100D. “Once you trust the technology, you realize that autonomous vehicles are no longer science fiction and it is not just marketing hype to think that we will see it within the next few years.”

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