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Tesla Model S owner turns on Autopilot mode and then chills in the backseat

Published Nov 9th, 2015 3:18PM EST
Tesla Autopilot Video

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Once Tesla rolled out its new Autopilot software a few weeks ago, it wasn’t long before we started seeing videos of Model S owners engaging in some downright foolish and dangerous behavior. While its perfectly understandable that Model S owners would want to explore and test out the full range of options Tesla’s autopilot software provides, it seems that many owners have forgotten that carelessly cruising around in a nearly 5,000 pound car can easily inflict a lot of damage if driven irresponsibly.

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That being the case, it’s hardly a surprise that Tesla, going forward, will be taking pro-active measures to limit some of the crazier things we’ve seen Tesla Model S owners do. During Tesla’s most recent earnings conference call, CEO Elon Musk explained: “There’s been some fairly crazy videos on YouTube… this is not good. And we will be putting some additional constraints on when autopilot can be activated to minimize the possibility of people doing crazy things with it.”

What kind of crazy things, you ask?

Well, you might remember this video of a man driving a Model S hands-free, at over 90 mph mind you, while shaving and eating breakfast. More recently, we stumbled across an even more jarring video, this time featuring a Model S owner activating autopilot and then going to hang out for a bit in the backseat. Say what you will about the guy shaving in the Model S while zooming down the Autobahn, at least he had the good sense to stay in the driver’s seat.

Given Musk’s remarks about limiting when driver’s might be able to activate autopilot, addressing the scenario above would appear to be pretty straight forward: simply limit autopilot from engaging unless the car detects that someone is actively sitting in the front seat.

We should note, though, that we haven’t seen any reports of a Tesla Model S in autopilot mode getting into any accidents. Hopefully, things stay that way.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.