Tesla driver in Canada charged with “speeding nap”

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Alberta RCMP

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The car was traveling on a highway near Ponoka, Alberta


A Canadian has been charged with dangerous driving for allegedly taking a nap while his autonomous Tesla car was traveling over 90 mph (150 km / h).

Police said both front seats were fully reclined and the driver and passenger were apparently asleep when alerted to the incident in Alberta.

The Tesla Model S was traveling 140 km / h but accelerated to 150 km / h when a police officer turned on his emergency lights.

The 20-year-old driver from British Columbia is due in court in December.

He was initially charged with speeding and suspended from his 24-hour license for fatigue, but was later charged with reckless driving.

The incident occurred near Ponoka, about 100 km south of Edmonton, in July.

“No one was looking out the windshield to see where the car was going,” Police Sgt. Darri Turnbull told CBC News.

He said when they turned on their emergency lights, the Tesla accelerated as vehicles ahead of him pulled out of the way.

“No one seemed to be in the car, but the vehicle accelerated because the line was clear ahead. ”

He added: “I have been in the police force for over 23 years, and the majority in traffic enforcement, and I am speechless. I’ve never, never seen anything like this before, but of course the technology wasn’t there. ”

Tesla cars currently operate on a level two autopilot, which requires the driver to stay alert and ready to act with their hands on the wheel.

Tesla founder Elon Musk said he expected his vehicles to be fully autonomous, with little driver intervention, by the end of the year.

However, he added that there were “many little problems” that would need to be addressed through real world testing.

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