A man has been caught asleep behind the wheel of a self-driving Tesla car that was travelling at 150km/h (93mph).
Police in Alberta, Canada, received a call about a 2019 Tesla Model S speeding on a motorway near the town of Ponoka.
Officers said the car appeared to be in self-drive mode, with both front seats fully reclined and both the driver and passenger sleeping.
It had been travelling at 140km/h, but sped up to 150km/h when police turned on their emergency lights.
The car was pulled over before the 20-year-old man who was driving was charged with speeding and had his licence suspended for 24 hours for fatigue.
The man from British Columbia was later charged with dangerous driving and is due to appear in court in December.
“Although manufacturers of new vehicles have built-in safeguards to prevent drivers from taking advantage of the new safety systems in vehicles, those systems are just that supplemental safety systems,” RCMP traffic services Superintendent Gary Graham said in a statement.
“They are not self-driving systems, they still come with the responsibility of driving.”
Tesla’s website says the autopilot function will steer, accelerate and brake for the car within its lane but still needs the driver to be paying attention – adding that it does “not make the vehicle autonomous”.
It is merely the latest report of a motorist accused of leaving a Tesla car’s automated systems in control.
In August, a Tesla driver in North Carolina crashed into a police car after allegedly watching a film while his vehicle was on autopilot.
And onlookers were shocked to see a driver apparently sleeping while his vehicle travelled along a California road in August 2019.
By David Aaron
October 18, 2020