Home News Tesla driver under fire from police for testing Autopilot in YouTube video

Tesla driver under fire from police for testing Autopilot in YouTube video


A Tesla Model 3 owner in the United Kingdom has been warned by police to not test the Autopilot capability of his electric car again because the feature is still illegal in the region.

The Tesla Driver YouTube channel showed his Model 3’s ability to navigate a notorious mega-roundabout in the United Kingdom, known as the Swindon roundabout.

The video, uploaded on August 16, showed the Model 3’s performance when attempting to navigate the roundabout. It was unsuccessful in its attempts, aborting the navigation during the several attempts that Tesla Driver recorded for his channel.

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However, Wiltshire Police are now indicating that Tesla Driver was breaking the law and have formally warned him to not attempt to display the feature’s capabilities again.

“The UK’s current legislation does not allow for their [self-driving cars] use on public roads,” a spokesperson for the Wiltshire Police Department told the BBC, according to the Swindon Advertiser.

The U.K. has had several delays in both Autopilot and Full Self-Driving capabilities arriving in the region. The European Union has strict laws on the development of these capabilities, which is why Tesla’s self-driving features have not arrived in the region yet. Some countries in the EU, like Sweden, are working on revising the self-driving experimentation.

However, the spokesperson for the Wiltshire Police didn’t say that it would be a forever thing, because they expect self-driving vehicles to arrive in the area eventually. But for now, they advise people to not use the features if their cars are capable of using them.

“The development of self-drive cars appears to be accelerating and no doubt will be part of our world in the future, perhaps very soon,” the spokesperson said.

The issue with Tesla Driver’s video is that the car was ultimately controlling the movements, and not the operator himself. This is a breach of laws, which require the person behind the wheel to be dictating the vehicle’s moves while it is in operation.

“The driver in the YouTube video is breaking the law when he allows the car to take control as he is not in proper control of his vehicle and, if stopped by officers, would be asked to attend court,” the spokesperson added.

The Police Department did accept the fact that Tesla Driver attempted to navigate the roundabout while it was relatively empty on the road, which increased the safety of the experiment altogether.

“To put this into context, though, we accept he was doing this at 5am on a Sunday and the roads were very quiet. However, he was still breaking the law when allowing the car to effectively take over.”

The video of Tesla Driver’s attempt to navigate the Swindon Roundabout is available below.

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