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Autopilot and hand held cell phone driving issues

Discussion in 'North America' started by Judge Advocate, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. Judge Advocate

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    Here's an interesting scenario, what if you are in Autopilot and you are talking on the phone hand held when a nice police officer pulls you over?
    Would you be charged with driving while talking on the phone?
    Technically you shouldn't because you were not the driver. You are a passenger while Autopilot is in use. Should be an interesting court case as I think you could win it. Would set a precedence.
    Also, what if you "slide" over to the passenger side after having engaged autopilot ? What would happen if the car gets pulled over for either speeding, running a stop sign, illegal turn or whatever?
    Since there is no driver, you couldn't be charged. Right? Interesting to see what the courts would do in these situations. Of course if you did slide over to the passenger side, you would be responsible for pulling the car over.
    The policeman might assume that too!
     
  2. iKhalid

    iKhalid Member

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    No, you're still the driver. It's just a driving assistant. If I was the judge, I would double your fine ;-)
     
  3. agloutney

    agloutney Member

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    I would call that reckless driving! It's a level of automation like cruise control. Not fully autonomous.
     
  4. CmdrThor

    CmdrThor Member

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    Let's say you slid over to the passenger seat in a non-Autopilot vehicle. That vehicle then crashes into another vehicle. Do you believe that you would not be liable and charged for reckless driving because there was "no driver" and you were the passenger?

    Whoever begins driving is the driver. Now if you were to swap places with someone somehow, maybe they would become the driver. Not that executing that swap would be legal ...
     
  5. Jgdixon

    Jgdixon Member

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    What a ridiculous post. Please let this thread die.
     
  6. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Nope. You are still the driver. Technically, CA would have no leniency. You can't even look at your phone while at a stoplight. Not that it is that well enforced. But if it were...
     
  7. Judge Advocate

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    The question remains, however, should you be on the phone holding it while car is in Autopilot, and you get pulled over by the police, would you still be charged for driving while holding a hand held phone?
    I think this would be an interesting case in court as essentially, you were not driving. Sorry John, I don't think this is ridiculous, I think it does have merit.
     
  8. agloutney

    agloutney Member

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    The judge will apply the law. You're the driver. You're holding the phone. Guilty! It's not even gray. It's black and white. I'll let someone else test the 'I wasn't at the controls' defense. Pretty sure I know how it's going to go.
     
  9. Jgdixon

    Jgdixon Member

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    It is ridiculous. In our province using a hand held device is against the law while in a moving vehicle, period. Can't text, surf, use Google maps etc. it is well enforced here with major points added to your license. My son was charged while verifying directions while at a stop light. He is trying to fight it. Also ridiculous to talk about sliding over to the passenger seat. And why would you be talking on the hand held instead of using blue tooth? George these are the type of posts that clog up the forums with unnecessary crap and give a bad reputation. Stop it.
     
  10. pvogel

    pvogel Member

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    Regardless of autopilot or not, you are the 'driver in charge' of the vehicle just as a pilot is the 'pilot in command' even when autopilot takes the plane off and lands it. If something happens it's the responsibility of the pilot in command.

    In MV recently a gentleman in a Google self driving car was ticketed for impeding the flow of traffic for taking the 100% self driving neighborhood electric vehicle (limited to 25mph) on a busy local road with a 40mph speed limit. His defense that he wasn't the driver was immediately cut down.
     
  11. Judge Advocate

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    #11 Judge Advocate, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016




    - - - Updated - - -

    I guess it comes down to who is responsible for the car's operation and essentially, the person in the drivers seat is.
    So, no more speculation on what if. No sympathetic judge in his/her right mind will let this slide through the justice system.
    I just don't see it happening.
     

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