The United Kingdom is renowned for having some of the most contrived and difficult to navigate mega roundabouts (comprised of several smaller, interlaced roundabouts) in the world. It’s therefore no surprise that British Tesla owners wanted to see how their car behaved when they tried negotiating such a complex set of roundabouts.
This Tesla YouTuber, going by the name Tesla Driver, posted several videos on his channel showing him attempting to allow the car with Autopilot enabled to tackle tricky situations on its own. Aside from perilous roundabouts, he also let the car drive itself through very thick fog, in town and on country lanes.
However, he recently caught the eye of the police after posting a video showing his Model 3 Performance attempting (an ultimately failing miserably) to go around the famed "magic roundabout" in Swindon (which is comprised of five smaller roundabouts placed around one large roundabout). So not only was the car not able to cope with such a complex (and some may say daunting) piece of road infrastructure, but the cops also sent him a formal warning to cease Autopilot tests.
According to the Swindon Advertiser, the driver was breaking the law and issued an official statement to comment on the matter.
‘ The development of self-drive cars appears to be accelerating and no doubt will be part of our world in the future, perhaps very soon. In the meantime, the UK’s current legislation does not allow for their use on public roads. The driver in the YouTube video is breaking the law when he allows the car to take control as he is not in proper control of his vehicle and, if stopped by officers, would be asked to attend court. ‘
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He was not fined for it, though, as the police did acknowledge that he chose a particularly quiet time (with minimal traffic) in order to carry out the test. Said test was ultimately doomed to fail even before it started because Autopilot is not designed to navigate roundabouts, although it is being completely rewritten so this may change for future iterations of the system.