Tesla owners are known for doing stupid things behind the wheel, but few can compare to a couple of knuckleheads who thought it was perfectly fine to fall asleep while Autopilot drove their car.
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, they received a complaint about a car speeding on Highway 2 near Ponoka. While a speeding car isn’t too unusual, authorities said the Tesla Model S was going over 140 km/h (87 mph) and both front seats were completely reclined with two people apparently sleeping in them.
An Alberta RCMP Traffic Services officer responded and managed to locate the vehicle. After they switched on their emergency lights, the “Tesla automatically began to accelerate” and the officer radar checked the vehicle “confirming that it had automatically accelerated up to exactly 150 km/h (93 mph).”
The officer managed to pull the vehicle over and it was being ‘driven’ by a 20-year-old male from British Columbia. He was initially charged with speeding and had his license temporarily suspended for 24 hours due to fatigue.
After further investigation and consultation with prosecutors, the driver was charged with dangerous driving which is billed as a “serious offence where a driver handles a motor vehicle in a manner that’s hazardous to public safety.” The case will be heard in December and Saini Law suggests people convicted of that offense could have their license suspended for a year and face up to five years in prison.
In a statement, the Superintendent of Alberta’s RCMP Traffic Services said “Although manufacturers of new vehicles have built in safeguards to prevent drivers from taking advantage of the new safety systems in vehicles, those systems are just that — supplemental safety systems.” He added, “They are not self-driving systems, they still come with the responsibility of driving.”