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He was prosecuted for driving with a loose steering wheel, but was acquitted

He was prosecuted for driving with a loose steering wheel, but was acquitted

A court has upheld an Irish man who was sued for driving with the steering wheel stuck while using Tesla’s Autopilot system. Although the manufacturer didn’t even recommend it, the defendant’s explanation convinced the judge — and he reported the case Carscopes.


Police stopped Noel Burke on the interstate in March 2021 after noticing he didn’t have any hands on the wheel. The driver defended himself by saying he was using his Tesla on Autopilot, but his explanation did not reassure the uniformed officers. According to them, “It was worrying that the man was unable to control his car during the turn.”

Although the court charged the driver with dangerous driving, they also noted in their justification that “keeping your hands on the steering wheel provides stability to the car and the driver’s body.” the The Irish Times According to his report, Burke had to explain in detail the operation of Tesla’s driver assistance system in court, also citing the fact that he could take over control at any time if necessary.

At the same time, the police did not necessarily find the way Burke “drived” his Tesla dangerous, but at the same time they feared it would cause problems on the roads.

Despite all this, the judge accepted the defendant’s argument: although he said “it is ideal to have both hands on the wheel”, in his view Burke was telling the truth and gave credence to the fact that the man was actually watching. Autopilot system. The authorities’ claim was also rejected on the basis of the lack of traffic and the fact that it did not directly endanger others.

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Another issue is that after several controversial incidents, even Tesla maintains that Autopilot – despite its name suggesting otherwise – is not fully autonomous. Although it allows the car to automatically steer, accelerate and brake within a given lane, its use requires supervision. Because of the latter, drivers must “always keep their hands on the wheel” while constantly monitoring traffic and other factors as well as road conditions.

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