I can read your mind. You are saying, “What are you trying to say, Are you Mad?”. But hear me out. For some, Tesla may be Ace lurking up the sleeve of a nefarious card player. Pulling the string or gaming the system. I don’t like it either. I’ll be brief and I’ll get to the point.
Tesla may serve as a false sense of security for that rare individual who thinks they can drink and drive. Will the Tesla car be the way for a drunk driver to drive himself home? Instead of calling a taxi or an Uber, he will use the Full Self-Driving (FSD) mode in his Tesla. Switch on the Full Self-Driving mode and sit behind the wheel and drive home intoxicated. I don't need to call a taxi. No one is talking about it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, 30% of all traffic fatalities in 2020 were a result of being impaired by alcohol. Will people be more willing to drive intoxicated because they own and drive a Tesla? You know there will be many who are willing to take a chance and drive their Tesla home intoxicated. Will Tesla become a modern-day Pandora’s Box? I don’t know where this will lead us. Maybe the Full Self-Driving Mode is that good. And no intervention is needed. But what if it isn’t? How can we prevent this from happening? Or will more and more people be willing to risk their lives and others around them, by putting their faith in technology while intoxicated?
An intoxicated driver may leave the bar or restaurant. Instead of calling a cab or an Uber, he just so happens to own a Tesla and decides to use the FSD mode to go home. In the middle of his trip home, he decides to override the full self-driving mode by accident or intentionally. He may decide to drive aggressively, speed up to get home sooner, or even commit road rage.
Imagine a drunk driver with a short fuse who initially uses full self-driving and gets angry at another driver who is going too slow or cuts him off. He retaliates by assuming control and disengages full self-driving. Now he is driving. A shocking statistic is by the time a drunk driver gets caught and is arrested for DUI, he has already driven eighty times intoxicated. Currently, one person dies every forty-five minutes as a result of alcohol-related traffic accidents. Greater than 10,000 Americans are killed annually as a result of intoxicated drivers, according to the CDC. Will FSD mode encourage more drivers to hit the roads intoxicated?
Tesla is foremost a car, regardless of the FSD option. And drivers must abide by our traffic laws when it comes to refraining from driving, and being responsible when drinking. But a handful of people will put themselves above the law. Maybe the answer is eliminating the FSD option if you are arrested with a DUI. Unfortunately, I really do not have any great solutions. But I want people to be aware, that FSD may not be the cure for the DUI.