While technology has made advancement and has made life a whole lot easier, there are still many reasons why we should not be entirely dependant on it.
Imagine you own a beautiful and expensive car with an autopilot feature. You’re going on a drive, and then all of a sudden, you fall asleep. That’s exactly what happened to a Tesla Model S owner in Alberta, Canada.
The driver was caught sleeping on autopilot mode with their seat ‘fully reclined.’ Alberta RCMP received a complaint of a car speeding on Highway 2 near Ponoka.
“The car appeared to be self-driving, traveling over 140 km/h with both front seats completely reclined, and occupants appeared asleep.” Read the report.
Alberta RCMP received a complaint of a car speeding on Hwy 2 near #Ponoka. The car appeared to be self-driving, travelling over 140 km/h with both front seats completely reclined & occupants appeared to be asleep. The driver received a Dangerous Driving charge & summons for court pic.twitter.com/tr0RohJDH1
— RCMP Alberta (@RCMPAlberta) September 17, 2020
Here’s what drivers failed to understand. In Tesla cars, autopilot doesn’t mean that the vehicle can drive itself to your chosen destination. It is a suite of driver-assist features. Though the feature allows drivers to drive autonomously on highways without driver interventions, Tesla asks drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and to pay attention at all times.
For the autopilot to remain active, the driver has to apply light torque continuously. In this incident, the police reported some strange behaviors from the vehicle, which was presumably on Autopilot:
“After the responding officer activated emergency lights on their vehicle, Tesla automatically began to accelerate. The Officer was able to obtain radar readings on the vehicle, confirming that it had automatically accelerated up to exactly 150 km/h.” said the police. The driver was then issued a speeding ticket and was charged for dangerous driving under the criminal code.
Moreover, this is not the first time a driver has fallen asleep. There are many reports over the years about such drivers crashing and even ending up killing many pedestrians. A lot of times, they end up injuring themselves and their passengers as well.
Here’s what digital publication electrek has to say:
“Let me start by saying that using Autopilot at such high speed is dangerous, to begin with. If you are not paying attention, reclining your seat, and going to sleep, I think you should certainly be criminally charged.
The police seem to suggest that the car accelerated on its own after they activated their emergency lights. Tesla has a limit of 90 mph — 150 km/h on Autopilot.
The driver might have set that speed, which again is crazy, and there might have been a lead car that moved out of the way — enabling Tesla to accelerate.
But that’s all speculation.”
Stay tuned to Brandsynario for more news and updates.