If you’re on TikTok recently, you might have seen this SG couple who went viral recently after documenting their trip to Penang. Their TikTok video, which was posted to the account @SGpikarchu, sees them cross the border and then start cruising on the North-South highway using the semi-autonomous autopilot mode with their Tesla.
@sgpikarchu Crossed the custom within 45 minutes at midnight. Drove past KL, continuing up north! Go Tesla 🤓 #SgTeslaGoesMsia #EVboleh ♬ Vacation – Dirty Heads
It currently has almost a million views on TikTok, with over 69k likes as well, but it seems as though not everyone is a fan of their autopilot mode stunt. According to a report by Guang Ming Daily, Bukit Aman chief assistant director Superintendent Dr Bakri Zainal Abidin has voiced out against the use of autopilot mode in Malaysia. Bakri notes that the police will be launching an investigation into the Singaporean couple, as they were shown using the Tesla autopilot mode without their hands on the steering wheel which goes against the Land Transport Act 1987.
Bakri also pointed out that while the Autopilot feature is helpful, drivers should still keep their hands on the wheel at all times. He also cited an incident in 2019 when a Californian Tesla driver using Autopilot drove past a red light and hit another car, killing two others. The driver would later be charged with manslaughter in January of this year. Bakri cited a report from MIT too, saying that the use of automated driving systems can lead to inattentive and distracted drivers.
It should be noted that Tesla themselves do state that drivers must have their hands on the steering wheel at all times even when in Autopilot mode… even though they call it ‘Full Self-Driving Capability’. There are no cars available to purchase with hands-free autonomous driving capabilities in both Malaysia and Singapore either. The Singaporean couple themselves have stated that they only took their hands off the wheel for demonstration purposes.