Just days after we pointed out the story of a Tesla slamming into (yet another) police car on the side of the road in Orlando, and just weeks after the NHTSA announced a formal investigation into Tesla's Autopilot, stories about the gross misuse of the car's "feature" continue to pour in.
The latest chapter in the "Autopilot" saga comes from Oregon, where a 63 year old woman now faces charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants after trying to have her Tesla drive her home last week, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Oregon State Police were not amused, writing “DUII is a DUII even if you think your Tesla can drive you home" on their Facebook page, regarding the incident.
The post continued: "Troopers responded to a two-vehicle non-injury crash that occurred in a parking lot near McLoughlin Blvd and Roethe Road in Milwaukie. The driver tried to initiate the car's autopilot to take her home but ended up crashing into another car."
The post said that the "driver showed signs of impairment" and was subsequently arrested and "lodged in Clackamas County Jail".
There were no injuries as a result of the incident, but the driver faces DUII charges related to alcohol.
The NHTSA recently said it had opened a formal investigation into the company's Autopilot feature. It said it is opening a probe into Tesla's Model X, S, and 3 for model years 2014-2021. The broad range of models and model years means that this could be the broad investigation that Tesla skeptics have been requesting for years.
Even Tesla founder Elon Musk doubts Tesla's "Full Self Driving" Beta version 9.2, calling it "actually not great" in a casual conversation on Twitter.
We hope the NHTSA adds this incident to the growing list of wonderful examples of how brilliantly Tesla's Autopilot feature works during its real-life beta testing that other unaware drivers on the road are also being subjected to.
But we're sure that, like countless other examples of misuse, this incident will wind up swept under the rug and ignored by regulators.