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Add This to the “How Not to Be a Tesla Owner” File: Driver in the Passenger Seat

Tesla chose to name its driver-assist system Autopilot and, despite claims that a name is just a name and it doesn’t mean the car is fully self-driving, many Tesla owners still take it at face value – and consequently like to believe the car is autonomous.
Model X drives itself on the highway in heavy traffic, with driver in the passenger seat 1 photo
Over the years, we’ve heard of and reported on several cases of drivers causing accidents or simply controversy by using the Autopilot mode to let the car drive itself. Officially, Tesla is clear on this point: no Tesla car is fully autonomous (yet) and should not be used without a fully attentive driver in the driver’s seat.

“While these features [i.e. Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability] are designed to become more capable over time, the currently enabled features do not make the vehicle autonomous,” Tesla states on its website.

Well, someone tell this to the guy who just jumped in the passenger seat of his Model X and let the car drive itself on the highway. That man, a certain Albert Siplen from North Carolina, according to ABC 7 News, pulled off the stunt, recorded it on his phone and then – of course – posted it to his social media for the world to see. Because it makes no sense to do something reckless and illegal if you don’t brag about it.

The way he puts it, if there were only Teslas on the road “it wouldn’t be any accidents” because Teslas are the most technologically advanced cars out there. He also believes that, because he paid $8,000 for the Full Self-Driving Capability package, his Model X is able to drive itself while he chills in the passenger seat. Anyone else who tells him otherwise is a hater, probably stupid and definitely jealous of the fact that he was able to buy himself a Tesla.

There can be little argument to his claim that Teslas are really advanced cars or that the roads would be safer with more Teslas on them. But Teslas, as of right now, are not fully self-driving cars, which means the presence of a fully attentive human operator at the wheel is a must. Or really bad things can happen.


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