Drivers using illicit 'hands-free' driving tech (and oranges) will face a $250 fine.
Advancements in driver assist technology and active safety systems have skyrocketed in recent years and crashworthiness standards set by safety authorities have become a lot more stringent, too. Subsequently, most, if not all, modern-day vehicles come comprehensively outfitted with these technologies from right off the factory floor. Though 'self-driving' cars are still a distant ambition, the technology does exist and resides in many of America's modern vehicles. One such example is the Super Cruise function in the new Cadillac Escalade. Unfortunately, drivers have been working out ways to bypass or shut-off these driver attention systems and warnings that are meant to keep them driving carefully, but Arizona County won't have it, introducing a new Bill that stipulates fines of up to $250 for defeating these measures.
After coming across a video of a driver sleeping behind the steering wheel of his Tesla, Rep. John Kavanagh saw it fit to introduce the House Bill 2007, which targets equipment and software used to bypass the safety functions in vehicles by issuing fines of up to $250 to those utilizing them. Autopilot Buddy is one such device that fits onto the steering wheel of Tesla cars such as the Model 3, which features the EV company's famous Autopilot system, tricking the car into thinking that the driver has their hands on the wheel when Autopilot is engaged. The NHTSA went ahead and issued a cease-and-desist order on the company, banning the sale of the product throughout the USA. The Bill also applies to those caught using any weight or object on the steering wheel to achieve the same effect. Remember the guy that used an orange?
At the end of the day, genuine self-driving commercial cars are not yet a reality, and the automotive industry is still working tirelessly at perfecting the concept. So, while using your commuting time to catch up on sleep or removing the seatbelt warning tone to feel more comfortable, drivers still need to apply their full concentration on the road just in case the car encounters something it hasn't been designed to deal with autonomously. Other than for the safety of others and yourself, failing to adhere to the House Bill could result in a hefty fine, so for now, it's definitely best to keep one's eyes on the road at all times.