Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Tesla driver appears to be sleeping at the wheel on Massachusetts Turnpike

Tesla driver appears to be sleeping at the wheel on Massachusetts Turnpike

Regarding the incident, a Tesla spokesperson claimed "these videos appear to be risky pranks or hoaxes", adding that its driver-monitoring system repeatedly reminds drivers to remain engaged.

There is an increasing number of headlines of Tesla owners falling asleep behind the wheel, raising concerns that the advanced driver assistance built into Tesla cars lulls drivers to sleep, turning their cars into unguided missiles. As the video below reveals, his passenger was also asleep, meaning the vehicle (and everyone around it) was apparently completely reliant on Autopilot to drive safely. Dakota Randall told NBC News that he was driving on Interstate 90 when he noticed a Tesla with its driver and passenger both asleep on Sunday afternoon. "Teslas are sick, I guess?"

On the other hand, Massachusetts Police gave a statement to local television saying that they are aware of the said viral video but that no formal complaint has been filed for them to take action.

"It was just so unusual and baffling" Randall told WBZ-TV.

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He tried honking to wake up the driver, but said that it "didn't work at all".

"I thought I should record this, then I thought I shouldn't record this because it's also unsafe, but it was just so freakish I just had to get it on video", Randall said.

The Massachusetts State Police told WBZ there's technically no law against falling asleep at the wheel of a self-driving auto, but it's not recommended. "Maybe the people in the auto were faking being asleep, but I'm skeptical".

The report caused a lot of handwringing and suggested Tesla should be more aggressive about monitoring drivers and possible jerking them awake by braking sharply.

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