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Watch: Tesla driver ‘puts on autopilot and moves to passenger seat’

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By Chris Harris
Watch: Tesla driver ‘puts on autopilot and moves to passenger seat’
Copyright  Credit: Hertfordshire Police

A driver in England who put his electric car on to autopilot and moved to the passenger seat has been banned from driving.

Bhavesh Patel, 39, was filmed on a motorway travelling around 40mph (64 k/ph) in a Tesla S 60 vehicle.

The grainy footage appears to show a person in the left-side passenger seat and no-one on the right behind the steering wheel.

Patel pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at court and said he was the “unlucky one who got caught”.

He was banned from the roads for 18 months.

Tesla told police the autopilot was one of several features to help a “fully-attentive driver”.

Kirk Caldicutt, the investigating police officer in the case, said: “What Patel did was grossly irresponsible and could have easily ended in tragedy.

“He not only endangered his own life but the lives of other innocent people using the motorway on that day.

“This case should serve as an example to all drivers who have access to autopilot controls and have thought about attempting something similar.

“I want to stress that they are in no way a substitute for a competent motorist in the driving seat who can react appropriately to the road ahead.”