Elderly woman has hard time letting go in self-driving Telsa

Adapting to new and often alarming technological advances can be a challenge for anyone, but it is often especially difficult for the elderly. Tesla owner and YouTube user William Rimmer illustrated this fact perfectly when he put his 70-year-old mother at the controls of his new Tesla Model S. Mother Rimmer was fine with the new car, right up until the point her son activated the car's autopilot system. reports that Rimmer filmed his mother reacting with increasing alarm bordering on panic to the car's autopilot. At one point in the video she begs him to put her back in control of the car, obviously extremely uncomfortable with the whole situation. Rimmer posted the video, called "My mom lets Tesla self-drive", to Reddit where it quickly went viral. Once it went viral however, Rimmer made the video private.

Fred Lambert from, a website that publishes news about electric cars and bikes, published the video and made the following comment about its contents,

"As you'll see, her reaction is a bit problematic though I don't think Rimmer was fair," Lambert wrote. "He should have told her to keep her hands on the steering wheel, as it is recommended. It's not only safer, but it also increases the level of comfort when surrendering the controls to the autopilot."

Lambert is right. Surrendering controls is actually exactly what you're not suppose to do, and can have very scary consequences. Just after Autopilot became available, YouTube user RockTreeStar claimed his Tesla Model S tried to kill him while in self-driving mode. What really happened was he removed his hands from the wheel while going around a curb and the car began using oncoming traffic as a lead for its maneuvers. The technology isn't perfect yet. Tesla recommends drivers keep both hands on the wheel and stay alert while the car is in Autopilot.

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