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The car does the driving for you. It keeps you in your lane, and will maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. However, we did experience some hiccups on our test drive. Instead of going straight at a red light, the car followed the truck in front of us turning left.
Also, if you the first one at red light or a stop sign, you have to stop the car yourself. But when we approached a man on a bicycle on the side of the road, the car slowed down and went around him.
Mike: “It really like having a great co pilot, isn it?”
Up next, we speed it up on 490.
Mike: “Now watch this. Turn on your left blinker.”
Nikki: “It changing lanes for me!”
The Tesla managed the curves during the morning drive on 490 flawlessly.
Nikki: “Were you scared at first?”
Mike: “Oh, I scared right now!”
So what about safety? News10NBC spoke with Monroe County Sheriff Deputy Matthew Mackenzie in the Traffic Enforcement Unit.
Nikki: “Self driving cars. Have you guys had any issues locally?”
Deputy Mackenzie: “Not as of yet.”
He believes this new technology will improve safety.
Deputy Mackenzie: “Human factor is a big cause of crashes. If we can take that out of the equation, I see the roads becoming safer.”
But the one rule everyone has to follow?
Deputy Mackenzie: “They are still required to have one hand on the wheel.”
The Tesla beeps and warns you if you don hold onto the steering wheel after a certain amount of time. And if you hoping to be able to sleep on a long drive or on the way into work keep dreaming.
Mike: “It not perfect. You have to stay awake.”
Deputy Mackenzie says you also have to be sober and be able to take over control of the vehicle at all times.
Deputy Mackenzie: “Ultimately, I can issue a ticket to a car. It going to be the operator of the car.”
Another thing to keep in mind: the auto pilot on the Tesla will not work when you can see the lines on the road.