Wed. Oct 28th, 2020

Driver caught sleeping while travelling at 150km/h on highway

A self-driving Tesla car was recently recorded doing 150km/h on a Canadian highway while the driver and passenger enjoyed an onboard siesta.

driver caught sleeping while travelling at 150km h on highway - Driver caught sleeping while travelling at 150km/h on highway

Many of us have felt a little tired behind the wheel of a car from time to time. No crime in that.

In fact, national highways here in South Africa and elsewhere in the world frequently have signs reminding motorists to pull over and rest if they start to feel bleary eyed.

‘Driverless’ car causes consternation

But a Canadian driver thought he knew better; he was driving a high-tech Tesla self-drive car, after all. So he and his passenger reclined their seats and enjoyed a snooze while their car tootled along under its own guidance – at around 140km/h.

Unsurprisingly, this caused some consternation among other drivers, given that what seemed to be an unoccupied car was speeding past them at well over the 110km/h speed limit on a busy highway.

A member of the public alerted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) – the famed ‘Mounties – and a patrol car caught up with the Tesla, which then sped up to 150km/h with the police car on its tail.

Sleeping Beauty wakes and pulls over

Eventually Sleeping Beauty was presumably woken up by all the kerfuffle of lights and sirens and the Tesla pulled over.

The incident happened in July, but only came to light this week when the RCMP announced charges against the 20-year-old driver. He will now have to front up in court – in a hopefully wide-awake state this time – to face charges of speeding and dangerous driving.

20ecda92 tesla car with sleeper rcmp - Driver caught sleeping while travelling at 150km/h on highway

A photo released by the RCMP (above) along with its media statement shows what appears to be a car without occupants hurtling along, having just overtaken a large truck.

Several bizarre Tesla incidents of late

While Tesla cars are proving increasingly popular for their high-tech innovations and environmentally friendly alternative-energy motors, there have been an increasing number of bizarre, and often downright dangerous, incidents involving Teslas.

Also in Canada, provincial police officers in the state of Ontario pulled over a Tesla driver who had engaged self-drive and was using both hands to floss his teeth while travelling on a busy road at 135 km/h.

The cops were unimpressed with his sparkling-clean smile when they stopped him. He was charged with reckless driving.

‘Smart summon’ feature in narrow miss

Another Tesla innovation is the ‘Smart Summon’ feature that allows a driver standing outside their Tesla to ‘summon’ it from its parking space to wherever they happen to be.

But a Twitter video from the US (above) shows how this almost went wrong when the driverless car narrowly avoided travelling into the path of a moving vehicle approaching from the side.

Fortunately, the other driver was alert enough to slam on brakes, while the Tesla’s sensors then also kicked in and brought it to a rapid halt.

Nevertheless, it was a very hairy moment for both drivers.

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