Video shows what not to do when using Tesla’s autopilot feature

12 Nov 2015

Elon Musk and Tesla must be getting a bit worried that people who own the company’s range of cars might have taken its autopilot update a little too seriously, as a video has emerged of one driver engaging in some seriously risky behaviour.

Tesla launched the autopilot feature for its S range of cars, which aimed to take us at least one step closer to autonomous vehicles.

While driving on motorways, in particular, the feature would allow the driver to at least rest a bit easier by allowing the car to see where it is on the road and manage its speed while being aware of what’s on the road in front of it.

Of course, Tesla was quick to warn drivers that the October update was still very much a work in progress and one that required the driver to be alert, just like they would be when driving any other car.

“Tesla requires drivers to remain engaged and aware when Autosteer is enabled. Drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel,” Tesla said when the update was announced.

But lo and behold, one driver has totally ignored that advice and decided to be one of the worst types of people in a car, that being, a backseat driver – and not in the sense that someone is directing you at every opportunity, but quite literally driving from the back seat.

The YouTube video allegedly shot in the Netherlands shows the driver engaging the Autosteer feature and climbing into the back of the car, leaving his life and the lives of those around him in the hands of Tesla’s yet-to-be perfected system. Thankfully, no one was hurt but you would imagine it wouldn’t have taken much to cause a horrific accident.

Tesla Model S image via raneko/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic