We Played Patty-Cake While The Tesla Drove Itself

Semi-autonomous cars like the Tesla Model S open up new possibilities over long road trips, as we’ve learned. But when you’re just sitting there, with the car doing the driving, how can you entertain yourself while keeping one eye on the road? With a game of patty-cake, of course.


(DISCLAIMER: Do not try this yourself. You should always pay attention when you’re driving an automobile. If anyone asks, I was always paying attention. I can do that.)

The first time I encountered Tesla’s Autopilot system, it was only for a few minutes at first, and it was still definitively creepy. But after passing mile 1000 using the Autopilot system, you need to find new ways of entertaining yourself beyond the usual hellfires of Road Madness.


Now, we would never suggest actually playing patty-cake in the driver’s seat yourself, and Tesla’s official line is “you must keep both hands on the wheel at all times.” But we undertook this very scientific test for you, our readers, for JOURNALISM. You’re welcome.

It helps if you have a passenger, both for hand-game purposes and for keeping-at-least-one-eye-on-the-road purposes. Also, it helps if the car can change lanes on its own.

Contact the author at ballaban@jalopnik.com.
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In an autonomous car, will there be any need for windshield wipers? Why will we need to see out if we aren’t controlling it?