Calling it one of the saddest days of his career, reigning Olympic men’s tennis gold medalist Rafael Nadal announced in a statement that he has pulled himself from the London Games because of an unspecified injury.“I am not in condition to compete in the London Olympics and therefore will not travel as planned with the Spanish delegation to take part in the Games,” said Nadal, the third-ranked player in the world.“(This) is one of the saddest days of my career as one of my biggest ambitions, that of being Spain’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony of the Games in London, cannot be,” Nadal said. “You can imagine how difficult it was to take this decision.”Nadal did not mention any specific injury, but he has been battling knee pain off and on throughout his illustrious career. In fact, he canceled a charity match in Madrid on July 4 because of tendon problems in his left knee.He did not use knee troubles as an excuse in his last performance, but he seemed hampered. Nadal has not played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon to then 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol, one of the most surprising results in the tournament’s long history.Treatment and rehabilitation apparently have not wrought Nadal the results he needed to defend his title in London.“I have to think about my companions, I can’t be selfish and I have to think of what’s best for Spanish sport, especially tennis and Spanish players, and give fellow sportsmen with better preparation the chance to compete,” he said. “I tried to hurry my preparations and training to the very last minute, but it was not to be.”Nadal, who won the singles tournament at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was set to be the flag bearer for Spain during the opening ceremony, an honor he coveted.
Tulane University safety Devon Walker, who suffered a broken neck against Tulsa on Saturday, was “alert and responsive,” when addressed by family and friends on Monday, according to Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson.Walker was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where on Sunday he underwent three hours of surgery to stabilize his spine. Tulane team doctor Greg Stewart told ABC the procedure was “very successful.”“[The paralysis potential] is certainly a concern,” Stewart told the Tulsa World, “We don’t know what the ultimate outcome is going to be.”As with any severe spine injury, hours are long and dicey and reveal frustratingly little. It will be days or weeks before Walker’s prognosis is determined. He remains in stable condition in the ICU, with significant swelling around his spine. But late on Monday, Dickson shared a touching story on a Tulane conference call.Although Dickson could not give much in the way of a medical update, he said Devon “has not lost his sense of humor.”Dickson shared a story of a conversation he had with one of the nurses about something very important to the 21-year-old, three-year letterman: his hair.“I told [Devon] one of the things that almost occurred was [a nurse] cutting [his] hair,” Dickson said. “I wanted him to know I put up a fight.”Dickson said Walker glanced up from his hospital bed and “gave me that look: ‘Really? Did she really say that?’ ”Then he smiled.Asked if Walker’s hair was cut, Dickson gave a vociferous, “No!”The crown of Walker’s helmet collided with that of a teammate as the two tried to make a tackle, and it was clear Walker was seriously injured. “We quickly realized it was a significant event,” Dickson said.Medical staff from both teams rushed the field and worked on Walker for more than 20 minutes before an ambulance took him from the stadium. Several coaches were in tears as a prayer was led inside the Tulsa stadium.A Tulane website for Walker has been flooded with messages of support. Walker’s parents, Booker and Inez, released a statement saying, “We have been overwhelmed by the amount of concerned well wishes we have received from all over the world. Although we cannot respond individually to all, we thank everyone for the love and support shown to Devon and our family. The medical care that our son has received so far has been outstanding.”
Thanks to the legs of Terrelle Pryor and the stingy silver bullet defense, Ohio State carries an unblemished record into Saturday’s home contest with in-state foe Ohio University. Although the Buckeyes are coming off a high-profile victory over the Miami Hurricanes, coach Jim Tressel said his team can’t dwell on the win. “It was just a great atmosphere against a very good team and gives us a lot to learn from and grow from and if we’ll roll up our sleeves and go to work, we can have a good football team,” Tressel said. “If we sit back and say, ‘gosh, that was wonderful, we won in the Ohio State-Miami game and we’re satisfied,’ we’re in trouble, and that’s the reality and I think our guys will respond the right way.” Barnett possibly out for year When it looked like the Buckeyes were approaching 100 percent health, the defense took a major hit Saturday when starting strong safety C.J. Barnett suffered a knee injury in the second half. “C.J. was really playing well,” Tressel said. “He took advantage of an opportunity in preseason to get a lot of reps when Orhian Johnson had a calf pull and really did well and we thought played very well through the first game and three quarters. Unfortunately, I think (Tuesday) he’ll be having surgery and probably won’t have him the rest of the year.” With the loss of Barnett, Tressel said that Johnson, Aaron Gant and Zach Domicone will be in the mix to help fill the void left by Barnett’s injury. On the bright side, defensive end Nathan Williams returned against Miami and was able to contribute more of his services than the coaches had expected. “We were thinking he might play 20, 22 (snaps), so he exceeded our expectations there and played well, played with a lot of burst,” Tressel said. “I’d like to think he’ll do nothing but get stronger as time goes here.” Chekwa, Barclay earn Big Ten honors Rising to the occasion Saturday were cornerback Chimdi Chekwa and kicker Devin Barclay, who each garnered Big Ten honors this week as defensive player of the week and co-special teams player of the week, respectively. Pulling in two of the defense’s four interceptions, Chekwa’s solid play also earned him national defensive player of the week recognition. “Defensively, it was Chimdi Chekwa who came up with a couple big plays and continues to lead back there and play with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and play like a senior,” Tressel said. “You know, we’ve said a million times that you can have a good team if your seniors have their career-best year and Chimdi certainly is on task to perhaps make that happen.” For Barclay, it was his career-high five field goals that helped snag him conference accolades. The battle of the Posey brothers When the Bobcats come to town this weekend, No. 1 receiver DeVier Posey will face a different sort of challenge as his older brother, Ohio cornerback Julian Posey, will be the one attempting to stop him. “I’m sure that will be interesting,” offensive lineman Justin Boren said. “It’s interesting me playing with my brother, I can’t imagine playing against him. Especially like going one-on-one the entire game.” Tressel said the jawing back and forth will add to the intrigue. “I think Julian and DeVier worked out a little bit against each other and they’ll be talking trash,” said Tressel. “Those guys talk trash to people they don’t even know. I can’t even imagine what they’ll be doing when they face one another. “I told DeVier, I said, if big brother shuts you down, it’s going to be a long lifetime for you.” Struggling in the red zone Although the OSU offense racked up 36 points on the Hurricanes defense, 15 of them came from field goals. Having settled for field goals three times from inside the 10-yard line, Boren insisted that the offense has to be able to get in the end zone. “When we get inside the 10-yard line, we have to score touchdowns,” Boren said. “We need to have seven points instead of three points in those types of games.” Special teams blunders The Canes’ speed exploited what appeared to be a glaring weakness for OSU, special teams. After giving up both a punt and kickoff return for a touchdown, Tressel was not shy about admitting that OSU’s kick coverage has to improve. “If you err on the line as a kickoff coverage guy, there’s a 10-yard issue, and if there’s a fast guy running through that 10-yard issue, everyone else is in trouble,” he said. “So we’ve got to understand what the fundamentals are at every stage, and that’s where I think special teams sometimes become difficult. “So what can you do? You can do it right, just like any other play, but it’s really magnified in the special teams.” In an attempt to help alleviate this problem, Tressel said that employing the help of return specialists Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry on kickoffs might be one potential solution. “This week we’ll find out who ought to be the 11 guys that get to run down or who are the guys that need to stay in front of the punt returner even when they think he might fair catch,” he said. “And those two have done a good job because they’re both good running backs. And just like anything else, when you want more, the answer to getting more is do well with the few you get. “And those guys are doing a good job with the few opportunities they’re getting. So now they should get more responsibility.”
After winning a share of its first Big Ten championship in program history, the No. 17 Ohio State women’s soccer team (14-4-1, 8-2-0) is now looking forward to making the most of the subsequent NCAA tournament bid that came with the conference title. The Buckeyes earned the No. 3 seed in their region and will host the first two rounds of the tournament at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU will face St. Francis (Pa.) (15-4-2) on Friday, and the winner of the match will advance to face the winner of Dayton and Virginia Tech on Sunday. “We’re excited to host St. Francis and we’re excited to be home, playing in the NCAAs,” said OSU coach Lori Walker. “I really think that the team has recovered well from the excitement of winning a Big Ten championship.” Senior midfielder Courtney Jenkins said her team’s historic accomplishment hasn’t set in yet, but that St. Francis is the only game on the Buckeyes’ minds. “We came up a little short last year and that was our main goal this year and it’s just kind of hard to believe that we actually did it,” Jenkins said. “We play St. Francis on Friday and that’s the only game we’re looking at right now. So we’re going to get a win there and just prepare after that.” The Buckeyes earned their share of the Big Ten title when they beat Michigan State last week in a 1-0 decision. The win avenges a loss to the Spartans last season in a game that would have given OSU a share of the Big Ten crown, which went to Penn State. Forward Paige Maxwell said this year’s championship brought closure to last year’s heartbreak. “We got so close, and not everyone gets a chance to do it again exactly the same way we did last year,” Maxwell said. “It’s kind of nice to brag about it.” The Buckeyes followed last year’s disappointing end to the regular season with a disappointing end to the postseason when they dropped their first-round match to Oregon State, 3-1. Maxwell said this season’s opponent, along with the Buckeyes’ preparation, should help avoid another upset. “Just focus on St. Francis right now. Take it a game at a time. We know a few things about St. Francis, so I say it’s a comfortable job for us,” Maxwell said. “Last year with Oregon State, we didn’t know anything about them. I’d say this year it’s just one game at a time.” On-the-field success translated into postseason honors for the Buckeyes, who were awarded three of the four individual Big Ten honors this season as Maxwell was named the Offensive Player of the Year, senior defender Cassie Dickerson was named Defensive Player of the Year, and Walker was named Coach of the Year. Both Maxwell and Dickerson were named first team All-Big Ten, as was sophomore midfielder Tiffany Cameron. Other Buckeyes recognized for their play this season include midfielder Danica Wu and goalie Rachel Middleman, who were named to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman team, and senior defender Lauren Beachy, who was named as OSU’s Sportsmanship Award Honoree. OSU enters the postseason on an impressive defensive streak, having only given up multiple goals in a game once in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes made a late season switch in goal, replacing Middleman with junior Katie Baumgardner, who was named this week’s Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. “She’s come up huge,” Jenkins said. “She’s a junior for us, so her leadership back there and just her vocal presence has been a big help for us.” Although the player in net for the Buckeyes has changed, Walker said her team’s philosophy hasn’t heading into the postseason. “They’re really staying open to coaching, which this point in the season can sometimes be difficult,” Walker said. “We’re just going to kind of stay put with what we’ve been doing all year, which is just taking it one game at a time.”
Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins prepares for practice at fall camp on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor.It either takes fortunate circumstances – as it did for then-freshman guard Michael Jordan last year – or other-worldly talent for a true freshman to see the field when competing for time on a team like Ohio State.It’s even more impressive when it’s at a position as deep as running back where the Buckeyes have four quality backs hoping to see the field in the upcoming season.But then again, running backs coach Tony Alford said freshmen like J.K. Dobbins don’t come around all that often. “(Dobbins) has picked it up faster than anybody I’ve ever been around in my 22 years as a true freshman,” Alford said Friday. “He’s picked it up, he understands the offense — the nuances of it — very, very quickly and he plays hard. He goes so hard at everything he does which is part of this program.”Learning the offense as a true freshman can be difficult. Players often redshirt their first year with the team, as redshirt sophomore Mike Weber did, or they will ride the bench for a bulk of the season, like sophomore running back Antonio Williams last year.After Friday’s practice, Williams said that freshman year was valuable to him to be able to learn about the offense and understand how to improve his game a little bit more so he’ll be ready for future seasons.But that’s what makes Dobbins such a rare case. He’s being expected to learn the offense in during his debut campaign while also taking up a big role.“J.K.’s a freak. He’s just a freak. You’ve got guys like that that just come through here every now and again, he’s one of those guys,” Williams said. “Watching him going through a freshman year, seeing how difficult it was to pick up on things, and then seeing how fast he did it.”And Dobbins is expected to rack up some carries this season. When asked about who would back up Weber at running back, Alford said without a moment’s hesitation that it would be Dobbins. “He’s going to contribute,” Alford said. “I’m not trying to be nice, it is what it is. I call it as it is.”In Dobbins, Alford and the coaching staff believe they have a running back who combines not only the skills necessary to succeed at the collegiate level, but also the intellect to pick up on different aspects of the game that others his age take longer to develop.While he has the speed to outrun defenders, Dobbins knows how to best utilize his speed to maximize every carry. Alford said that many running backs often run horizontally, avoiding hits. But Dobbins isn’t afraid to challenge defenders and make them miss to create the open field, according to his position coach.“That’s unique for a young guy coming in to do that and to do it that fast and to understand why you do it and then to actually go do it is one thing,” Alford said.But it’s not just his ability to pull off highlight reel runs that have garnered him attention. Dobbins has also received credit as an advanced blocker, considering his limited experience.Alford said that more than anything else, it is the ability to thrive in pass protection when he’s not taking carries that has helped him stand out among other young backs that enter college more as one-dimensional players.“I would like to think that the hardest thing for incoming freshmen running backs is pass protection,” Alford said. “Not only to protect it, but where to go and where they fit and all the different protection schemes and understanding fronts and different blitzes.”Entering the year as the backup running back as a freshman will bring about several challenges for Dobbins. There is still plenty to learn, and he will have to continue to adjust to the new level of opposition he will face. But given the progress he’s made so far, and the drive to keep building on his game, Alford is confident his young running back will excel in his first year.“It’s been a great progression from spring to fall, but you can watch him daily progress. You can see him just, he figures it out. You’ll say something to him and he’ll sit there and just kind of look at you and this churn in his mind, ‘OK, here’s what you’re saying,’” Alford said. “He asks a lot of questions and they’re great questions. He wants to learn, and that’s the thing. He’s hungry to learn. You can’t ask for any more than that.”
Redshirt sophomore Jake Hanes smacks the ground out of frustration after sending the ball out-of-bounds during Ohio State’s loss to George Mason on Jan. 18 at St. John Arena in Columbus. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Senior Reporter.This season, the Ohio State men’s volleyball team has had to replace decorated seniors, work through injuries and experience tough losses. But none of these challenges measure up to the tests it faces this weekend. The Buckeyes (4-6) continue their five-match road trip in Long Beach, California, on Friday, when they take on No. 6 UC Santa Barbara (9-3) and No. 1 Long Beach State (10-0). The Buckeyes are reeling after a straight-set loss to No. 15 Purdue Fort Wayne on Tuesday for their second straight conference loss. Junior outside hitter Jake Hanes and senior setter Sanil Thomas did not play in the match due to injury, and will not play in either of the upcoming matches. Head coach Pete Hanson said injuries have taken a toll on his team’s flow during the game. “I think our guys are a little bit shaken mentally, not having Jake and having lost Sanil,” Hanson said. “It’s just been kind of topsy turvy and you can’t get a rhythm established when you can’t keep the same guys on the floor all the time.” Both UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State have been anything but topsy turvy this season. The Gauchos are coming off of back-to-back road victories against then-No. 3 BYU in six straight sets. Senior outside hitter Corey Chavers collected 33 kills and six aces in the two matches. Long Beach State has only lost one set in its 10 matches this season, a 25-19 third set against USC. Senior opposite hitter Kyle Ensing and senior outside hitter TJ DeFalco lead the team with 106 kills each, adding 21 and 17 aces, respectively. In the face of tough competition, Hanson said the message he’s trying to get across to his players this weekend is building confidence. “We’re talking to our guys about, ‘Hey you can’t worry about the end result right now. We have to worry about the process,’” Hanson said. “Let the chips fall where they may, and just build some confidence in what we’re doing. It might result in a win, it might not, but let’s kind of get our feet underneath us and get going a little bit.” Freshman setter Luke Lentin will start his second and third matches, respectively, this weekend after beginning his Buckeye career on Tuesday against Purdue Fort Wayne. Prior to Tuesday, Lentin was injured with a concussion, forcing him to miss three matches. “I had one full day of practice before I came back on the court,” Lentin said. “But I think I’ve worked myself into it.” This weekend brings more than an opportunity to get back out on the court for Lentin: it brings home. Lentin is originally from La Jolla, California, just 95 miles from Walter Pyramid where the Buckeyes will play their matches. “I’m really excited to get back home, back to my home state,” Lentin said. “Maybe it’ll make me feel a little more comfortable setting on the court.” Ohio State will play UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. on Friday and Long Beach State at 10 p.m. on Saturday in Long Beach, California.
Children with the most common form of muscular dystrophy have been offered hope of living a healthy life after a breakthrough gene therapy was shown to restore muscle strength in dogs.The hereditary condition, which is marked by progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles, affects one in 5,000 boys and most will not live past their 30s.However a new trial carried out by researchers at the Royal Holloway in London and French scientists, showed that repairing a defective gene vastly improved the ability of dogs to run, walk and jump. Experts said the results offered ‘real hope’ for boys born with the condition.Prof Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics, University of Kent, said: “This is really a very exciting study indeed. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a horrible, wasting, life-ending disease of young people.“By making use of the canine model and showing genuine improvement in the animals treated, then real hope is present for the prospect for disease treatment in humans. “The disease has long been a target for gene therapy and it is only to be hoped that sufficient funds can be awarded for this research to reach its natural conclusion and go into full clinical trials.”The research was published in the journal Nature Communications. A dog treated with a high dose of the new gene therapy In some cases, the dogs’ motor skills were indistinguishable from animals without the disease.Golden Labradors are naturally affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy so researchers chose them for mammalian trials, ahead of tests in humans.The 12 dogs, who were not expected to live longer than six months, were treated as puppies and are still alive two years after the trial. The new therapy works by replacing a faulty gene with fully functioning DNA using a harmless virus, which ‘infects’ cells and alters their genetic code. Once repaired, the gene produces a protein which is essential for correct muscle functioning.Professor George Dickson, who led the trial at Royal Holloway, said: “This is tremendously exciting progress towards a gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.“The studies in dogs have been spectacular and exceeded our expectations.”Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common type of muscular dystrophy, with 100 boys born with the condition in Britain each year. There are about 2,500 boys living with the disease in the UK at any one time. The new therapy repairs the genetic code so that it can make an essential protein needed to keep muscles strong Credit:Supphachai The dogs struggled to move quickly or jump up before the therapy Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
The story of Helen and Rob captivated Archers listenersCredit:BBC Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall listens during a roundtable discussion with (L-R) Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Rachel Williams, a domestic abuse victim and Jude KellyCredit:WPA Pool Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Commonwealth Youth ForumCredit:Yui Mok Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, , with the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke GayfordCredit:AP Pool The Prince of Wales with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Credit:WPA Pool Meghan Markle and Prince Harry speak to young activistsCredit:Yui Mok Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Appearing visibly moved by the words of survivors, she told 300 women from the Commonwealth’s 53 member countries: “In the past year I have visited Australia, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Canada – countries that are so different in myriad ways, but which share the scourge of domestic abuse which takes the lives of women and damages the lives of children all around the world.“But new conversations are starting – sometimes in places where many might not have expected it.“In the UK, thanks to hugely popular radio show, The Archers, millions of people now have some understanding of what living with relentless coercive behaviour is really like. Ms Markle told the young delegates: “You’re so energised. “You’ve got this [Commonwealth] umbrella to hold you together. It’s incredible. So stay in touch, maximise it.”On Thursday, the Queen and Prince of Wales will formally open CHOGM at Buckingham Palace, joined for dinner in the evening by all the Commonwealth Heads of Government and members of the Royal Family including the Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. In a separate youth forum also held yesterday, Prince Harry and Ms Markle met activists including Jacob Thomas, who won a Queen’s Young Leaders award for reducing the rate suicide in the LBGTI community in Australia, said: “Mss Markle said, and these were her exact words, that this is a basic human rights issue, not one about sexuality.“Prince Harry said that what was so amazing was that five or ten years ago we wouldn’t have been having this conversation and how incredible it was that we now were.“He said he would put the issue at the forefront of his work.” “Similarly, the Indian soap opera ‘Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon’– “I, a woman, can achieve anything” – dealt with issues of domestic violence and had over 400 million viewers. “These are new ways and valuable ways of breaking the silence.” She added: “I hope we can talk about what is happening behind closed doors across the world and I hope that these brave people have the courage to speak out – to be, in the words of one of those women, ‘victors not victims’. “I hope very much that today might mark a moment when we start to pull back that shroud of silence.” Jude Kelly, founder of the Women of World movement, told an audience how, during a recent trip to Australia, the Duchess had told one young woman: “I believe my purpose is to listen to other people’s stories and knowing I have some power I can take those stories and make other people listen to them too.”The Duchess will be the subject of an ITV documentary to be broadcast on Monday, which sees the Prince of Wales describe his “darling wife”: “She’s the best listener in town. She can get anything out of anybody.” It brought the issue of coercive control into the nation’s sitting rooms, with the slow-burning story of Helen and Rob unfolding day by chilling day.Radio 4 drama The Archers has been praised by the Duchess of Cornwall for helping to lift a corrosive “shroud of silence” about domestic violence, as she used a Commonwealth forum to speak out against the abuse of women.The Duchess, a long-term campaigner against domestic violence, delivered a speech ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting to call for women suffering abuse to speak out, saying she hoped to see them become victors not victims” as the “corrosive” shame surrounding abuse begins to fall away.Using the example of the “hugely popular radio show” the Archers, as well as a similar programme in India, she hailed the “new ways and valuable ways of breaking the silence”.The Duchess joined the Commonwealth Women’s Forum on a day of activity for the Royal Family, which saw her husband the Prince of Wales call for an end to the “pernicious disease” of malaria and visit the Science Museum for a celebration of Anglo-Indian ties with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met youth activists, vowing to put gay rights at the forefront of their future campaign work.The Queen, meanwhile, received Mr Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Buckingham Palace ahead of the official opening of CHOGM today.The Duchess of Cornwall, who has dedicated time on each of her overseas tours in recent years to meeting victims of domestic violence in the host nation, joined Commonwealth Women’s Forum delegates to hear their stories.
No one could be seen in the driver’s seat and Patel appeared to have his hands behind his head. The witness, who was a passenger in another car, filmed Patel as the car drove past.Witness accounts stated that traffic was heavy due to congestion and it has been estimated that the vehicle was travelling at approximately 40mph at the time. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Footage of the incident was first posted on social media before it was reported to police and a Notice of Intended Prosecution was then sent to Patel in the post.He was later interviewed by officers at Stevenage Police Station, where he admitted that he knew what he had done was ‘silly’, but that the car was capable of something ‘amazing’ and that he was just the ‘unlucky one who got caught’.As part of the investigation, officers obtained a statement from a Tesla engineer who described autopilot as a ‘suite of driver assistance features’. Tesla founder Elon MuskCredit:Joe Skipper/Reuters “This case should serve as an example to all drivers who have access to autopilot controls and have thought about attempting something similar. I want to stress that they are in no way a substitute for a competent motorist in the driving seat who can react appropriately to the road ahead. “I hope Patel uses his disqualification period to reflect on why he chose to make such a reckless decision on that day.”In addition to his 18-month disqualification, Patel was given 100 hours unpaid work, ordered to carry out 10 days rehabilitation and pay £1,800 in costs to the Crown Prosecution Service. They stated that these are hands-on features intended to provide assistance to a ‘fully-attentive driver’.Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) assists with acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle whilst Autosteer provides assistance with steering of the vehicle.Further literature provided by Tesla states that drivers should ‘never depend on TACC to adequately slow down model S, always watch the road in front of you and be prepared to take corrective action at all times. Failure to do so can result in serious injury or death’.Investigating officer PC Kirk Caldicutt, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, said: “What Patel did was grossly irresponsible and could have easily ended in tragedy. He not only endangered his own life but the lives of other innocent people using the motorway on that day. Show more A man who switched on his car’s autopilot before moving to the passenger seat while travelling along a motorway has been banned from driving for 18 months.Bhavesh Patel, aged 39, of Alfreton Road, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, April 20.The court heard that at 7.40pm on May 21, 2017, Patel was driving his white Tesla S 60 along the northbound carriageway of the M1, between junctions 8 and 9 near Hemel Hempstead.While the £70,000 car was in motion, he chose to switch on the supercar’s autopilot function before moving across to the passenger seat and leaving the steering wheel and foot controls completely unmanned.A witness noticed Patel, who had owned the car for a maximum of five months at the time of the incident, sat in the passenger seat of the vehicle.