Tesla's Autopilot Got a Partial Ban From the Police in Malaysia, Here's Why

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Photo: Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash
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Driving without your hands placed on the steering wheel is not well regarded by the Police in general. It’s also a safety matter everyone should consider not doing. But officers in Malaysia took it a step further and banned the irresponsible usage of Tesla’s Autopilot and other similar systems. Drivers can engage them but won’t be able to take full advantage of them.
As was the case with Tesla’s cars since the first Model S examples were handed out to customers, people enjoy talking about their new EVs, sharing their experience with them, and showing how great technology is in these zero-emissions vehicles. But, unfortunately, some drivers forget that not all countries are as friendly as the U.S. when testing automation and advanced driving assistance software.

A Model 3 owner from Malaysia decided to show people on TikTok what it’s like to live with Elon Musk’s low-budget wannabe all-electric sedan. He managed to gather quite a following in a couple of months, but his popularity is what attracted law enforcement’s attention. In many videos published on the platform, he can be seen letting go of the steering wheel, which is not something authorities agree with.

SGpikarchu tens and hundreds of thousands of views, and he’s doing Tesla a big service. He even shows how the charging works and what other costs the car brings. The man’s also comparing his Model 3 with other vehicles and even says that “the (ed. Tesla) robot never gets tired,” while other similar technologies don’t bring the same level of certainty.

After reviewing these videos, the Malaysian Police decided drivers can’t use Autopilot anymore if they plan on enjoying it too much. They reached this conclusion even though the country doesn’t have any rules against or in favor of automated driving. Instead, the nation has strict laws regarding being focused while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Furthermore, preventive driving is obligatory, and a good attitude must always be kept.

They even quoted the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) study on driver assistance systems that says such technology can lead to “drivers being inattentive and insensitive to road conditions.”

The decision to ban taking full advantage of this kind of software doesn’t stop at Tesla. All owners of vehicles with advanced programming will have to abide by the rules and always remain in full control of their cars.

After the news broke out, the influencer said they let the car do all the driving just for a couple of seconds or a minute at best just to show people how good the Autopilot is and how helpful it can be in a lot of stressful situations.

A senior of the Malaysian Police said, “the Autopilot feature in Tesla vehicles is helpful to drivers, but it doesn’t mean that drivers can completely take their hands off the steering wheel and mistakenly think that the system can automatically and safely control the car,” according to Paultan.

@sgpikarchu One of the main reasons why we choose Tesla. #SgTeslaGoesMsia #EVboleh ? Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] - Elliot Van Coup
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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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