The dangers of Tesla's Autopilot: the driver takes a nap and the car continues to drive at 150 km / h

Tesla driver falls asleep while going 93 mph on autopilot

The new incident related to Tesla's autopilot. Although there was no need to lament casualties, the prospect of a car driving at 150 km/h with no one behind the wheel is disturbing...

It's happened again. In the most irresponsible way possible: with the seats reclined, and as a couple. A 20-year-old Canadian driver has been arrested after driving asleep at 150 km/h on his Tesla Model S. It wasn't accidental: both his seat and that of the co-pilot, who also slept, were reclining.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, at about 4 pm on July 9, a call alerted officers to the presence of a 2019 Tesla Model S driving at high speed on Highway 2 in Ponoka. You can see it in the opening photo of the news.

Speeding Tesla driver caught napping behind the wheel on Alberta highway |  CBC News

The car was driving about 140 km/h, with the front seats reclining backward, and its occupants apparently asleep. The Tesla was driving alone with the AutoPilot activated.

A patrol car from Alberta's Royal Canadian Mounted Police drove to the Tesla vehicle. When he approached him with the emergency lights, the vehicle automatically accelerated to 150 km/h. It's probably one of the Autopilot's safety measures: if it detects that a vehicle is getting too close, it accelerates. But what if he's going to move forward?

Finally, with the sound of the siren, the driver woke up and was able to stop the car. He is a 20-year-old resident of British Columbia, who was accused of driving faster than allowed and had his driver's license withdrawn for 24 hours, due to fatigue.

Canadian police charged a Tesla owner for sleeping while driving

After analyzing the facts and verifying that it was a premeditated action, by reclining the sleeping seats with the Autopilot activated, he has also been accused of reckless driving.

Superintendent Gary Graham of the Canadian Mounted Police's traffic services has clarified that: "While new vehicle manufacturers have incorporated safeguards to prevent drivers from taking advantage of new vehicle safety systems, these systems are just that: complementary safety systems. They are not self-employed, and the driver still has a responsibility to drive."

Tesla's AutoPilot is a driving aid that can keep direction on the straights, take some curves, and even change lanes. But it is not autonomous driving, and for the driver's hands to work they have to be resting on the steering wheel. Although the system can be fooled with any object that adds a little weight, like an orange.

After recording several accidents involving the AutoPilot, some with fatalities, experts have asked Tesla to rename it, because Autopilot makes many people believe that the car drives alone. Something like Driving Aid would be much clearer. 

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