Last week when the Malaysia-Singapore borders reopened, a Singaporean couple shared how their Tesla drove them on autopilot from the lion city to Penang in a 700km journey of relaxation.
However, it turns out that driving hands-free is not allowed in Malaysia!
According to a report by Guang Ming Daily, Bukit Aman Chief Assistant Director of Traffic Investigations and Enforcement (JSPT) Superintendent Dr Bakri Zainal Abidin has since issued a statement to remind Malaysians that the use of automated driving functions are prohibited in Malaysia.
As such, the police has opened an investigation into the couple and their hands-free journey.
Bakri explained that the country currently has no rules or laws against the automated driving system, but the Land Traffic Act 1959 states that drivers must drive well, be careful and concentrate. With this, the couple’s trip serves as an offense as the driver should always control the movement of the steering wheel.
“The police believe that the system does not help drivers keep their full attention on driving and it also cannot detect whether there is a driver in the car; drivers may see fewer road conditions, but pay more attention to the system in question,”
“Drivers may spend their time on other irrelevant things, such as the use of a smartphone while driving. Therefore, the use of automatic driving systems while driving is still prohibited in our country,” he shared.
He added that drivers should always pay attention to the road condition in case when the system fails to detect any danger, the driver can respond accordingly to prevent accidents.
He added that even the United States prohibits the use of autonomous vehicles, despite carmakers and tech companies testing such vehicles in the country.
He also cited the latest research report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that the use of this automatic driving assistance function can cause drivers to be negligent and insensitive to road conditions.
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