The Car Was Going 93mph. The Driver Was Taking a Nap

Canadian officers say they found both front seats reclined, car apparently on Autopilot
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2020 12:33 AM CDT
The Self-Driving Car Was Going 93mph. The Driver Was Asleep
In this Feb. 2, 2020, file photo, the company logo appears on an unsold 2020 Model X at a Tesla dealership in Littleton, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Police in Canada say a man has been charged over a July incident in which he was allegedly snoozing away as his apparently self-driving car traveled more than 93mph. Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were alerted around 4pm on July 9 to a Tesla Model S speeding down the highway with no apparent driver, the Edmonton Journal reports. The first officer to spot the car as it sped by, similarly, could not see the driver. Ultimately, he caught up to the car to see "both front seats completely reclined and both occupants appearing to be asleep," per an RCMP statement cited by the Guardian.

When he turned on his siren, a driver popped up and pulled over. The 20-year-old man has since been charged with speeding and dangerous driving. As Electrek reports, Tesla's Autopilot mode is not technically self-driving, but rather "a suite of driver-assist features." It can, however, technically drive autonomously on highways, though Tesla says a driver must always be paying attention. Some drivers have found ways around Tesla's requirement that their hands remain on the steering wheel, and the Vancouver Sun says drivers can "tweak" the car with aftermarket changes to the driver-assist system. (More Tesla stories.)

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