Royal Canadian Mounted police (RCMP) charged a 20-year-old Tesla driver from British Colombia with speeding and dangerous driving. He is due to appear in court in December.
The driver was arrested on a highway in Alberta. He had his Tesla Model S on autopilot while he and a passenger were having a nap. The car was cruising at 150kmph. Both the front seats were fully reclined when officers stopped the vehicle. As well as the charges, the driver was given a 24-hour license suspension for driving while fatigued. RCMP tweeted,
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
It is common for someone on a long journey to be tired after driving hundreds of miles. But sleeping while the car was cruising at a high speed is not at all acceptable. Taking some rest in a motel is total lifesaver than trusting the autopilot system of the car. RCMP superintendent Gary Graham said,
Although manufacturers of new vehicles have built-in safeguards to prevent drivers from taking advantage of the new safety systems in vehicles, those systems are just that - supplemental safety systems. They are not self-driving systems. They still come with the responsibility of driving.
Tesla offers advanced safety and convenience features that are designed to assist driver but that doesn't mean one can just recline the seat and let the car carry on. In World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai this July, Tesla founder Elon Musk said,
I'm extremely confident that level-five [autonomous driving technology] or essentially complete autonomy will happen and I think will happen very quickly.
Musk is confident about the fully autonomous vehicle in the near future and no doubt we are all waiting for that day. But till then you must drive your Tesla in a responsible way.