Tesla owner who turned on car's autopilot then sat in passenger seat

A man who switched on his car's autopilot before moving to the passenger seat while travelling along a motorway has been banned from driving for 18 months.

Bhavesh Patel, aged 39, of Alfreton Road, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at St Albans Crown Court on F

Posted April 4,2018 in Cars and Vehicles.

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While the £70,000 car was in motion, he chose to switch on the supercar's autopilot function before moving across to the passenger seat and leaving the steering wheel and foot controls completely unmanned.

A witness noticed Patel, who had owned the car for a maximum of five months at the time of the incident, sat in the passenger seat of the vehicle.

No one could be seen in the driver's seat and Patel appeared to have his hands behind his head. The witness, who was a passenger in another car, filmed Patel as the car drove past.

Witness accounts stated that traffic was heavy due to congestion and it has been estimated that the vehicle was travelling at approximately 40mph at the time.


Footage of the incident was first posted on social media before it was reported to police and a Notice of Intended Prosecution was then sent to Patel in the post.

He was later interviewed by officers at Stevenage Police Station, where he admitted that he knew what he had done was 'silly', but that the car was capable of something 'amazing' and that he was just the 'unlucky one who got caught'.

As part of the investigation, officers obtained a statement from a Tesla engineer who described autopilot as a 'suite of driver assistance features'.

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