'Autopilot driver' who sat in passenger seat is banned for 18 months

Bhavesh Patel, 39, was spotted beside empty driver’s seat as his Tesla s60 travelled along M1 motorway last year

A driver who was filmed sitting in the passenger seat of his car after putting the vehicle into autopilot mode has been banned from driving for 18 months.

Bhavesh Patel, 39, was spotted leaning back with his hands behind his head beside an empty driver’s seat as his Tesla s60 supercar cruised at about 40mph along the M1 motorway near Hemel Hempstead last year.

The driver, from Nottingham, pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving after admitting he switched seats when he turned on the car’s autopilot mode, leaving the car’s brakes and steering wheel unmanned.

The driver admitted that the stunt in May last year had been silly, but insisted that he was simply “the unlucky one who got caught” trying out the “amazing” feature on the car.

As well as the 18-month driving ban he was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. He was also put on a 10-day rehabilitation programme and will have to pay £1,800 in costs.

28. April 2018

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