- The driver of a Tesla vehicle travelling along the Massachusetts Turnpike on Sunday appeared to be asleep behind the wheel, as local news station WHDH TV News 7 Boston reported.
- It wouldn’t be the first time a Tesla driver has been caught sleeping behind the wheel. Police in the Netherlands recently arrested a Tesla driver that appeared to have dozed off while driving.
- Tesla vehicles are capable of turning on an advanced autopilot mode that make it possible to steer, brake, and accelerate within their lane, but the mode still requires active driver supervision.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A Tesla owner travelling along the Massachusetts Turnpike on Sunday appeared to be asleep behind the wheel, as shown in a video published by local news station WHDH TV News 7 Boston.
Inside the vehicle, which was spotted by a man named Dakota Randall, are two front-seat passengers who appear to be asleep. The driver’s head is drooping downward as if he had nodded off.
“I was just so baffled that I honked a couple of times because I was like, you guys, you might want to wake up,” Randall said to WHDH TV.
It wouldn’t be the first time a Tesla driver has been caught sleeping behind the wheel. Back in May, police in the Netherlands stopped a Tesla driver who appeared to be snoozing behind the wheel. And before that in March, a video surfaced on Twitter showing a Tesla driver resting his head against the driver’s-seat headrest after he appeared to have dozed off.
Tesla rebuked the behaviour in a statement on Monday, saying: “Many of these videos appear to be dangerous pranks or hoaxes. Our driver-monitoring system repeatedly reminds drivers to remain engaged and prohibits the use of Autopilot when warnings are ignored.”
“At highway speeds, drivers typically receive warnings every 30 seconds or less if their hands aren’t detected on the wheel.”
Tesla vehicles like the Model S, Model 3, and Model X come with hardware capable of an advanced autopilot feature that makes it possible for the car to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within its lane. The autopilot mode, a paid upgrade, is powered by eight surround cameras that can capture a 360-degree view of up to 250 meters, according to the company’s website. But the vehicles cannot drive completely autonomously and the feature requires active driver supervision, says Tesla’s website.
Randall, however, said that the Tesla he encountered on the Massachusetts Turnpike looked like it had no problem keeping up with the flow of traffic. The car, he said, stayed at the same speed and “didn’t change at all.”
“At no point did I feel like I was in danger until after the fact when I thought, ‘Wow, I was just driving next to somebody that was completely asleep on the Mass Pike, of all places,'” Randall said to the TV station. “One of the most dangerous roads I can imagine.”
The video surfaced just after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed last week that the Tesla Model S that struck a fire truck in Culver City, California, last year was being driven on autopilot mode.
See below to watch the video from the Massachusetts Turnpike obtained by WHDH TV.
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