The latest automobile technology is raising some questions for individuals who choose to drive the cars. One California man was recently arrested on alleged drunk driving charges when he was found supposedly passed out in his Tesla on the Bay Bridge. He claims that the car was on autopilot and was driving itself.
Authorities allegedly found the individual with a very high blood alcohol content and passed out in his car in traffic. Despite his claims that the car had been set to autopilot, the man was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Tesla did not confirm whether the car's autopilot had been engaged, although the company has revealed this data in the past for other cases.
Tesla's autopilot system is designed to get a driver's attention if an unusual or challenging situation occurs, and the car will stop if there is no response from the driver. The issue has raised questions about whether individuals will be allowed to use auto-driving cars in the future, even if they are intoxicated. For now, Tesla maintains that the cars are not fully automatic and that drivers should be alert while using them.
For the man who was stopped on the Bay Bridge, he is facing the potential consequences of the drunk driving charges. The facts of the case will determine whether he is convicted once the matter gets to court. Other California residents facing similar criminal charges may choose to use the aid of an attorney for help with building a strong defense when charged with criminal violations.
Source: Fortune, "Drunk Tesla Driver Tells Cops Autopilot Was in Charge", David Z. Morris, Jan. 22, 2018