Smartphone footage has emerged which shows a driver sleeping at the wheel while his car was on autopilot.
The footage was captured Monday (March 4) on a busy freeway in Los Angeles, in a vehicle which appears to be a Tesla.
Similar footage was uploaded to Reddit a month and a half ago, with the video appearing to show the same Tesla and driver.
This latest footage was captured by Wage War guitarist Seth Blake, as he was travelling from Anaheim to Los Angeles.
Blake made the following comments according to CBS Los Angeles:
I noticed the guy was slouched way back in his chair, and I was like, ‘Is that guy sleeping?’ and I pull up next to him, he was asleep. So I asked my fiancé, I said, ‘Take a video of that, that guy’s sleeping.
We were in his area when we were driving only for about 10 minutes, and he only woke up one time, and kind of like looked around and went back to sleep.
He did have his hand positioned into the steering wheel while he was asleep, so I think that it wouldn’t fall off, and that’s what made it possible for him to keep driving while he was asleep. He was applying pressure even though he wasn’t awake.
— SETH BLAKE (@SethWageWar) March 4, 2019
Blake’s footage quickly went viral, with many people expressing serious concern over the driver’s ‘reckless’ behavior.
One person remarked:
I’ll be glad when the technology is perfected. Now? Not at all.
I’m sure Tesla would place a disclaimer and warning in its manual making sure that nobody did this sort of thing and relied totally on the auto pilot.
A totally irresponsible action. How would the guy feel if his car killed somebody because of his actions.
This is the danger of @elonmusk falsely branding his assisted cruise control as “Autopilot”. This misnomer has costed lives. If he was honest about it limited abilities people wouldn’t be so reckless. #tesla #unethical
— nickle4u (@nicu88843872) March 5, 2019
According to the Tesla website:
Autopilot is intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any time.
While Autopilot is designed to become more capable over time, in its current form, it is not a self-driving system.
Especially at higher speeds, the Tesla shouldn’t give you too long before yelling very loudly about it (and eventually slowing down with hazards on and all that). Can’t imagine this guy had been napping for long. Still scary though
— Jake (@bEEarCUB) March 5, 2019
No matter how advanced your car may be, there is never any excuse for reckless driving. If you find yourself getting nodding off at the wheel, stop at a safe place to have a rest and freshen up.
It just isn’t worth risking your life or the lives of others.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.