A Canadian Tesla driver appears to have full faith in the vehicle’s Autopilot feature.
A video came out on Friday, September 2nd, that showed a Tesla driver taking a nap behind the wheel with their seat reclined backwards, while their vehicle was going faster than 100 km/hr on the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) in St. Catharines, as reported by Global News.
Louise Lesser, a passenger in a different vehicle, captured the footage around 7am on Friday morning, and said that “my boyfriend, who was driving at the time, noticed that the car near him, that he could see in his rearview, almost looked like there was nobody in it. And I didn’t believe him,” in a statement given to Global News. “And then he looked again and he’s like, ‘No, there’s someone in it. But it looks like they’re sleeping.”
Tesla’s Autopilot feature is meant to assist drivers in maneuvering through the road, not take over complete control. While the feature supports adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, self-parking and more, drivers are supposed to stay attentive and have their hands on the steering wheel at all times when the mode is engaged.
In case the vehicle detects that the driver isn’t attentive, it asks the driver to put their hands on the steering wheel. According to Lesser’s claim, this couldn’t be possible. She said, “his seat was insanely far back. I don’t think he could have reached his steering wheel if he tried.”
Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told Global News the driver can “absolutely” face charges, though the case isn’t currently under investigation as no formal complaint has been filed. “Right now, as much as we enjoy technology in vehicles and we’re getting more and more features within vehicles that assist drivers, there is still the requirement for there to be alert, attentive and an eyes-open driver in the driver’s seat with their hands on the wheel, ready to respond,” Schmidt said.
Back in September 2020, a Canadian Tesla Model S owner was charged for being asleep behind the wheel while their vehicle was driving at speeds of 150 km/hr. Read more about the incident via the link below:
Source: Global News