PDRM Is Investigating Singaporean Tesla Owner Who Used Autopilot On Malaysian Highways
The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has launched an investigation into a Singaporean Tesla owner, whose videos went viral for showing how they 'drove' on Malaysian highways using the autopilot feature
According to Guang Ming Daily, Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement chief assistant director Supt Dr Bakri Zainal Abidin said that their actions should not be allowed even though there is no law that deals with autonomous driving in Malaysia.
"From PDRM's perspective, although Malaysia currently has no rules or laws against autonomous driving systems, these systems can't detect whether there is someone behind the wheel and that the drivers may not be focused on the road," he was quoted as saying.
"(With autonomous driving,) drivers might focus on unrelated things, such as using their smartphones."
The police will invoke the Land Transport Act 1987 to launch an investigation into the case
Bakri said their actions are prohibited in Malaysia.
He reminded members of the public that the Road Traffic Rules 1959 calls for good attitude, caution, and concentration while driving.
The police chief added that while Tesla comes with the 'full self-driving hardware', the autopilot system still requires drivers' supervision as it is yet to be a fully autonomous driving feature yet.
"The autopilot feature in Tesla vehicles is helpful to drivers, but it doesn't mean that drivers can completely take their hands off the steering wheel and think that the system can automatically and safely control the car," he explained.
According to him, Tesla's automatic assisted driving system comes with safety features and advanced facilities, but it needs to be purchased independently.
He also cited a research report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and said that autonomous driving can lead to inattention and insensitivity of drivers to road conditions.
Bakri added that even in the US, the country where the autonomous driving system was developed, some states have banned its use completely.
Over the weekend, several videos were posted on TikTok account showing how Tesla's autopilot feature was used to travel from Singapore to Penang
The TikTok account did not state their names but they are believed to be Singaporeans, as they were shown flashing their Singaporean passports to the camera.
After arriving in Penang, they travelled to Langkawi and Genting Highlands.
In a video published on Tuesday, 5 April, they clarified that, "We do put our [hands] on the wheel normally during autopilot."
"But in videos, we need to put our hands [down] so [the] audience can see how well it functions."
They mentioned that they "just supervise the drive".
Earlier this week, a Singaporean went viral for 'driving' to Penang using their Tesla Model 3's autopilot feature: