20-year-old Canadian driver charged for sleeping, speeding in self-driving Tesla

Sep 17 2020, 4:11 pm

A 20-year-old man from BC is facing multiple fines and a dangerous driving charge for allegedly sleeping at the wheel while his self-driving car was doing 140 km/hour.

A release from Alberta RCMP states that a complaint was received of a speeding vehicle on Highway 2 near Ponoka on Thursday, July 9.

RCMP located the vehicle, and found that the car was travelling over 140 km/hour while both the driver and the passenger appeared to be sleeping, with both front seats fully reclined.

When the police officer that had been following the car turned their emergency lights on, the car, a 2019 Tesla Model S, began to automatically accelerate up to exactly 150 km/hour.

“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,” said Superintendent Gary Graham of Alberta RCMP Traffic Services in the release.

“They are not self-driving systems, they still come with the responsibility of driving.”

The driver was charged with speeding and fatigue, resulting in a 24-hour license suspension. A Criminal Code charge of Dangerous Driving was also laid against the man, and he is expected in court in December.

Chandler WalterChandler Walter

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