AN SNP MP has called on the UK Government to instigate an urgent safety review into the use of Tesla’s autopilot mode on public roads.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Alan Brown, the MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, said his constituent had told him of the dangers of allowing drivers to use Tesla’s autopilot technology, which is still in its beta phase of testing.

“Imagine seeing the car in-front of you swerving erratically or suddenly braking for no reason, risking your car slamming into the back of that, endangering those daft enough not to wear seatbelts," he said. 

“Now, this is not the actions of a drunk or reckless driver but my constituent’s experience using Tesla on autopilot mode – software still in beta phase but deemed suitable for cars on our public roads.

“Will the Prime Minister meet with me to discuss the issues with Tesla’s autopilot and instigate an urgent, critical safety review in terms of its suitability for operation and the licencing of it.”

Rishi Sunak said he would ensure that Brown would get a meeting with the Transport Secretary Mark Harper to discuss the “safe regulation of autonomous and self-driving vehicles”.

The government currently allows Tesla drivers to use the autopilot mode – which allows the car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically – as long as they remain alert and keep their hands on the steering wheel.

Official statistics from Tesla in the United States show that fewer accidents occur involving their vehicles when it is in autopilot mode.

However, some have suggested that this is misleading because autopilot is generally used on motorways which is already twice as safe as driving within a city.

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Autopilot has been legal on roads in America since 2015. Yet, according to the New York Times, there is little publicly available data measuring how safe these technologies are.

Last year, the UK Government invested £100 million into the rollout of fully self-driving cars.

Vehicles that are able to drive themselves on motorways without driver input could be available to purchase this year, with self-driving vehicles being used for public transport and deliveries across the UK by 2025.

Later this month Stagecoach will introduce its first full-size self-driving bus journey, which will travel over the Forth Road bridge between Ferrytoll park and ride in Fife and Edinburgh Park train and tram station.

However, a safety driver will sit in the driver’s seat to monitor the technology while a so-called “bus captain” will help passengers with tickets and boarding.

Tesla have been contacted for comment.