This is the stupidest misuse of Tesla's Autopilot yet

One Dutchman took it upon himself to leave the front seat entirely while autonomously driving down the highway.

The public-beta nature of Tesla Motors' quasi-autonomous Autopilot software is unavoidable. Browse the California-based automaker's site, and you'll see plenty of warnings to this end, stressing that humans must remain alert while Autopilot is activated. One idiot in the Netherlands chose to ignore this, and he got the whole thing on video.

Very shortly after Autopilot capability was beamed wirelessly to every Model S sedan equipped to use it, . Most of these clips can be attributed to driver error, as the owners go against Tesla's requests. Autopilot, Tesla says, is supposed to function like the one on an airplane -- it's great for some autonomy, but it's incapable of functioning without an overseer ready to take the controls at a moment's notice.

This video, however, takes the cake for flagrant rule violation and outright stupidity. The video, reportedly taken in the Netherlands, shows a Model S owner utilizing Autopilot...from the backseat. With no driver present in the seat, and the seatbelt light flashing, the car continues to roll down the highway behind a large truck.

As I've stressed in the past, it's these kind of videos that spoil fledgling autonomy for the rest of us. The first person to get into an Autopilot accident by not following the rules will create a wave of negative PR that could very well sink the whole program. Self-driving cars are all but inevitable, but dumb moves like the one above could push widespread implementation back by years.

Update, 11:27 a.m. PT: The original video was pulled, but a mirror has been put up in its place.

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