Tesla driver appears to be sleeping in car as it travels down highway
LOS ANGELES – A man seemed to be asleep at the wheel of his Tesla as it cruised down a busy Los Angeles freeway on what appeared to be the car's autopilot mode, and the incident was caught on video.
In the video posted to Twitter on Monday, Seth Blake said that the man was going about 75 miles per hour on the interstate as he allowed his Tesla to "do the work."
Blake told ABC News he was driving to Los Angeles to record an album with his band, Wage War, at around 8 a.m. on Monday. He said that he thinks Tesla vehicles are amazing, and because there aren't many where he lives in Florida, this one caught his attention. And that's when he saw the driver "totally asleep," he said.
Blake said that he handed his phone to his fiance sitting in the passenger seat so that she could record the video. The couple drove near the car for around 10 minutes before they lost it in traffic. It's unclear if the vehicle was in autopilot mode.
“I was so taken aback that I didn’t even think about getting his plate number or anything. It was just so crazy,” Blake said.
He said that in hindsight, he should have gotten the driver’s information and reached out to someone.
Nobody filed an incident report on the apparently sleeping driver, Juan Galvan, public information officer for the California Highway Patrol, told ABC News.
“If you do see somebody using that feature in that capacity call 911…we will try and get an officer out there as quick as we can and conduct a proper enforcement action,” Galvan said.
Tesla’s autopilot mode reduces the overall workload for drivers, according to the company's website.
“Autopilot is intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any time," the company's website says. "While Autopilot is designed to become more capable over time, in its current form, it is not a self-driving system.”
Tesla also notes that before enabling autopilot, the driver must agree to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times” and to always “maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle.”
A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment on the video.
2019 ABC News