No, Elon, a Tesla Won’t Fix Justin Timberlake Problems

The big challenge for robotaxis is the sheer number of unforeseen situations they are expected to deftly handle. How would they react, for example, to an allegedly intoxicated ex-boyband singer veering across the genteel byways of the Hamptons? Impossible to know? Not to Elon Musk. Replying to a tweet from a fan, he concurred that had Grammy-winning entertainer Justin Timberlake been driving a Tesla, it would never have allowed him to run a stop-sign near Sag Harbor, which led to his arrest last week.

That Timberlake should figure, however obliquely, in Tesla Inc.’s robotaxi hype is itself an unforeseen situation. But these edge cases have a way of cropping up — and this one comes at an interesting time.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is due in November to issue a regulation stipulating that, beginning later this decade, new vehicles come standard with technology to passively detect and prevent intoxicated or otherwise impaired driving.

Receive Our Newsletter

Get the latest Safety21 news sent to your inbox.