In California, a driver appears to be in a deep sleep behind the wheel of an autopilot Tesla while other motorists desperately honk to try to wake him.
In footage shared by another driver shows the car traveling down the freeway with the driver appearing to be mid-nap, with his head turned to the window. Tesla’s autopilot technology keeps the car traveling at a safe distance from the surrounding traffic and adjusts its speed based on predictions of other vehicles’ behavior. But, as with all cruise control and autopilot functions, the driver still needs to be able to take control if anything happens.
Sleeping at the wheel on Autopilot is not a new thing, recently the Netherlands noticed a Tesla driving behind a slower-moving truck on a mostly empty freeway. When the police pulled alongside they saw that the driver appeared to be in deep sleep with his hands on the wheel while the car’s Autopilot feature kept it in motion.
Autopilot is intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any time – The company
The way Tesla ensures a driver remains attentive seems like is not working the way they desired to. And until it figures out an alternative, there’s a chance we’ll see more impaired owners turning control of their vehicles over to Autopilot calling upon great danger.