Sleeping Tesla Driver Caught On The Autobahn

Jan 18, 2023 2 min read
Sleeping Tesla Driver Caught On The Autobahn

Maybe get more shuteye at night?

Police in Germany believe a man who appeared to be sleeping the driver’s seat of his Tesla had Autopilot engaged while traveling down the Autobahn. That’s right, the roadway where in many areas there’s no speed limit doesn’t seem like the kind of place one would just let a computer do the driving, but we suppose when you live around it the thrill might wear off. Or maybe it was the drugs.

Learn why thieves are targeting Teslas here.

According to a press release from police, which was uncovered by Teslarati, the 45-year-old man showed “drug-typical abnormalities” which we assume means he didn’t pass a field sobriety test. The whole incident started when an officer noticed the man’s seat was reclined back, his eyes were closed, and his hands weren’t on the steering wheel, leading police to believe Autopilot was engaged.

Realizing this, officers tried to get the man to pull over, but he was reportedly unresponsive to police signals and sirens. If he was in fact on something at the time, plus he was asleep, he probably had no idea there was a problem at all. As for the Tesla, it was driving at about 68 mph and maintained a safe following distance.

Even though the car was driving itself just fine, police obviously weren’t amused by this stunt. When they finally woke up the driver, he pulled the Tesla over, but the whole ordeal took about 15 minutes. Police claim they found a steering wheel weight in the footwell of the car, a device which is designed to trick Autopilot into believing the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel. Autopilot periodically checks for steering wheel pressure to prohibit people from napping or just not paying attention since it’s not a truly fully-autonomous driving technology.

For now, the Tesla driver who wasn’t driving has a suspended license, thanks to police initiating a preliminary investigation into what they say is a criminal offense of endangering road traffic. Ultimately, a court will decide the unnamed driver’s fate.

Check out the police press release here.

Images via Tesla

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