The future of cars might be here, or the future of next-level marketing. A driver was caught, not driving, but sleeping at the wheel of his Tesla Model S as it drove for him.
The Tesla Model S Autopilot system works both at speed on motorways and slowly in stop-start traffic. This video, apparently shot from another car in the traffic, shows the Tesla driver sleeping against his seatbelt. This appeared on the Reddit Tesla Motors community.
While this is technically possible, it's hard to imagine someone would nod off completely. When Tesla was asked about the video, by Tech Insider, it responded with this statement:
"Tesla Autopilot is designed to provide a hands-on experience to give drivers more confidence behind the wheel, increase their safety on the road, and make highway driving more enjoyable. Autopilot is by far the most advanced such system on the road, but it does not turn a Tesla into an autonomous vehicle and does not allow the driver to abdicate responsibility. Since the release of Autopilot, we’ve continuously educated customers on the use of the feature, reminding them that they’re responsible for remaining alert and present when using Autopilot and must be prepared to take control at all times."
While there has also been a video of a Tesla dodging a truck that swerved into its lane, there have also been fails. Some have reportedly swerved into traffic, exited the highway too soon or in one case even had the Autopilot knocked out by a large moth.
It's still early days for this kind of technology with little legislation and no fully self-driving system available yet. But the future of driverless cars is edging ever closer, fast. Soon everyone could be asleep at the wheel, legally.