Who gets the ticket in this case? Tesla, the car or the owner?
Like a lot of YouTube channels, DragTimes decided to test the presenter’s Tesla Model 3 on Smart Summon. But it did not go as expected. Brooks Weisblat did not see a police officer, ran a stop sign, and got his car pulled over. With no one inside. Who gets the ticket?
***UPDATE: As we suspected, this event was staged. Read all about it here.
Gallery: Tesla Model 3 Smart Summon Pulled Over By Police
Jokes aside, the video raises a lot of questions. The first one relates to the video itself. Is a police officer entitled to ticket anyone for traffic violations inside a parking lot? For what we know, rules apply solely to the roads, which makes this a matter of jurisdiction.
If the police cannot do that, was the video staged in any way? Perhaps Weisblat is friends with the police officer and asked him to pretend to pull over his EV. Cops usually are not ok with people filming their actions, especially if they are giving anyone a ticket. This one was very at ease with everyone shooting around.
Let’s suppose everything went exactly as the video shows. Why would the cop decide not to give Brooks a ticket for running a stop sign after pulling over his Tesla? Just to make an educational lecture on the importance of respecting road signs?
He could have become the first police officer ever to ticket a car in autonomous mode. And that would have been not only educational but also historical and legally challenging.
As Brooks told the policeman, he was not driving the car. And that is true. The software was. Tesla has a disclaimer that tries to exempt it from responsibility when Smart Summon is active. But will that be enough in front of a judge in case this ever goes to courts?
NHTSA already said it has an eye on Smart Summon. It intends to ensure it can be safely used by so many people in public or private parking lots. Most evidence so far says otherwise, including the tests DragTimes made in this video.