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A Tesla owner’s excuse for his DUI crash

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The driver had a blood-alcohol content nearly double the legal limit and a tenuous relationship with consciousness when his car slammed into the back of a parked fire truck on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.

Still, he became maybe the first to add a technologically advanced new entry to the list of drunken driving excuses.

He wasn’t driving, the man told the highway patrolman Monday morning. The car was.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver explained that his Tesla electric vehicle “had been set on autopilot,” obviating the need for him to be in control of the vehicle or, well, sober.

He was wrong, of course, and was ultimately jailed under suspicion of driving under the influence. But as word of another Tesla autopilot crash spread, the case of car as designated driver became an interesting thought exercise for anyone with more than a passing interest in vehicles that drive themselves.

If Elon Musk and other forward-thinking automakers have their way, there will soon be a time when there is no more drunken driving, because cars never have to wonder whether they’ve had one too many vodka martinis.

But until we all have our own computer-controlled, two-ton chauffeurs, we’re left with an increasing number of cars with a raft of features that make them semi-autonomous — vehicles that are safer and smarter, if not particularly geniuses.

Carmakers are transparent about that caveat emptor quality of their vehicles.


Read the full article here: https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/01/23/a-tesla-owners-excuse-for-his-dui-crash-the-car-was-driving.html


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