Here’s a video of comedian Lil Duval reclining and smoking what appears to be a decent-sized joint, while his Tesla drives on the highway in the vehicle’s Autopilot mode. It’s unequivocally chill! A wonderful glimpse into the future! But, at the risk of being a total fun-killer, this makes for a good moment to remind all you would-be semi-autonomous car owners of something very important: getting groovy while behind the wheel still isn’t advisable!
Videos abound of Tesla drivers using Autopilot incorrectly. Though it’s neat to have a car drive itself down the road at 80 mph and make lane changes, the product still requires drivers to pay attention to the road at all times
When the International Business Times reached out to Tesla, the automaker reiterated as much:
A representative for the company clarified the safety practices for its vehicles, noting that Tesla’s autopilot is part of an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) that is designed as a “hands-on experience,” unlike what is shown in Lil Duval’s video clip. Tesla’s website reiterates that “until truly driverless cars are developed and approved by regulators, the driver is responsible for and must remain in control of their car at all times.”
The only, limited example of truly-driverless cars on the road right now can be found in Phoenix, where Google’s self-driving car project, Waymo, just started rolling out vehicles for a testing program. But no commercially-available vehicles come equipped with fully-autonomous technology. Drivers need to stay alert.
Tesla’s Autopilot is an advanced driver assistance system, but it’s by no means perfect. And only General Motors’ Super Cruise feature allows for your hands to roam free when at the wheel. Even then, a camera at the steering wheel follows your eyes to make sure you’re paying attention.
So, again, we don’t mean to play the spoiler—but this has been a big topic of conversation in 2017, especially after the National Transportation Safety Board concluded its investigation into a fatal Tesla crash, finding the accident was partially the result of the driver relying too much on automation.
One day, though! That’s the idea, anyway. To kick back, take a nap, smoke some weed, read a book—just let the car take you where you need to go. But for now, stay focused on the road.