Drunk Tesla Owner Loses License After Car’s Autopilot Crashes in Parking Lot

While the technology for self-driving cars is still in its infancy, one Tesla owner found out the hard way that we’re not quite there yet.

The owner of a Tesla Model X in China had his driver’s license revoked for five years after his car crashed in a parking lot in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province while he was under the influence.

Local media outlets have said that after a night of drinking, the owner of the Tesla Model X decided it wasn’t safe for him to drive. So the plan was to ask a friend to drive him home, and to meet him at the North gate of the lot where his car was parked.

The driver of the Tesla told police that he sat himself in the front passenger seat and had the car’s autopilot system drive him to the North gate of the lot. Obviously, this didn’t go the way intended. What ended up happening was the Model X ran itself off the road and crashed onto a park bench.

Police arrived on the scene and gave the man a breathalyzer test that resulted in an ethanol content of 86.6 mg/100 ml. He was instantly charged with drunk driving.

Things were only downhill from there as the Tesla determined that the man was not sitting in the front seat at the time of the incident, refuting his claim. This is because Tesla would not be able to start unless it detected someone in the driver’s seat.

Whether or not Tesla’s autopilot was engaged at the time of the incident, or if the owner was actually driving is unknown. In the end, driving while under the influence comes with its set of consequences. In this case, it means losing your license for five years.

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