Driver filmed 'sleeping' at the wheel of Tesla

Daniel Fowler
September 11, 2019

As NBC DFW reports, one such Tesla owner was caught napping behind the wheel on Sunday while driving on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

It was shot by a fellow motorist by the name Dakota Randall on I-90 in MA and it shows both the driver and the front seat passenger catching some Zs while the auto is traveling at about 55-60 miles per hour. He didn't contact the police about the incident, even though he had the video to backup his story.

"Tesla AutoPilot does not allow drivers to sleep behind the wheel [.] If the driver does not respond to attention prompts, the auto will play a sound to try and get their attention /wake them up [.] If they still don't respond the vehicle will automatically slow down and pull over", the tweet said. In the passenger's seat, another person appears to be sleeping.

The video appears to show two people in the Tesla. Other Tesla drivers have recorded videos of them pretending to be asleep or "disappearing" as a hoax while using AutoPilot.

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"I thought I should record this, then I thought I shouldn't record this because it's also unsafe, but it was just so freakish I just had to get it on video", Randall said.

Massachusetts State Police told CBS Boston there's no law against falling asleep behind the wheel of a self-driving vehicle. Some of those who saw the video, however, are wondering if the video is some elaborate hoax as some EV owners have been known to post similar videos as a joke. "At highway speeds, drivers typically receive warnings every 30 seconds or less if their hands aren't detected on the wheel", the spokesperson said.

Even though the automaker refers to Tesla cars as having "full self-driving capabilities" on its website, the company has also always said the functions are meant to be used by a "fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over any time".

It's one thing if that vehicle was piloting itself down a barren stretch of road, endangering only itself if Droopy Driver hit some pedals in his sleep or the auto itself makes a miscue, as has happened repeatedly, sometimes withfatal results.

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