Tesla driver, 20, is found asleep at the wheel of his self-driving car traveling at 150 km / h on a highway in Canada
- Police initially discovered that the car was traveling at 86 mph on the Edmonton highway
- Tesla ‘automatically started accelerating’ to 93 mph when the police turned on flashing lights
- Police say the 20-year-old slept in reclining seats while Model S was on autopilot
A Tesla driver has been charged after he was found asleep at the wheel of his self-driving car traveling at 150 km / h in Canada.
The man’s Model S Tesla was depicted with the seats fully reclined as it roared past the town of Ponoka, about 62 miles south of Edmonton in Alberta.
When the police discovered the car was traveling at around 86 mph, they turned on their emergency flasher lights – only to allow the Tesla to ‘automatically accelerate’ to 93 mph. The speed limit on that stretch of highway is about 110 km / h.
The 20-year-old driver from British Columbia was accused of speeding and was suspended for a 24-hour license for fatigue.
A Tesla driver has been charged after being found asleep at the wheel of his self-driving car traveling at 93 mph in Canada
He was also later charged with dangerous driving and was summoned to appear in court in December.
RCMP Sgt. Darrin Turnbull told CBC News: ‘No one looked out the windshield to see where the car was going. I’ve been in the police force for over 23 years and most of it in traffic law enforcement, and I’m speechless.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, but of course the technology wasn’t there.”
Tesla Model S sedans have autopilot features including automatic steering and ‘traffic-aware’ cruise control. In this case, both functions were found to be in use.
Turnball added: “We think the vehicle was operating on the autopilot, which is really just an advanced driver safety system, a driving aid program. You still need to drive the vehicle.
“ But of course there are aftermarket things that can be done on a vehicle against the manufacturer’s recommendations to change or circumvent the safety system. ”