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Tesla Drivers Observed Asleep at the Wheel While Using Autopilot

February 04, 2019

UNITED STATES – According to an online news report posted to, numerous Tesla drivers have been observed in the U.S. asleep behind the wheel of their vehicles while operating in Autopilot mode. The semi-autonomous feature might be luring people into a false sense of security about how well a Tesla vehicle can drive itself.* 

Twice so far in January, videos have surfaced online showing U.S. drivers cruising down roadways while they are asleep. They are doing so by way of Tesla’s Autopilot feature, which allows the vehicle to carry out many driving functions on its own. 

In one video, a man in Las Vegas behind the wheel of a Tesla is depicted with his head back on the headrest and his eyes closed. In another video, a man is seen traveling along a highway in California with his head back and eyes closed as well. 

The week of January 27, AAA released a statement encouraging automakers to use standardized language for their driver assistance features. The organization argued that names like Autopilot and ProPilot (available in Nissan vehicles) might be giving drivers a false perception about their vehicles’ capabilities. These features are not fully autonomous, and they do not replace an active, alert human driver. 

Tesla agrees that its Autopilot feature is not full vehicle autonomy, and it has issued numerous statements urging drivers to use it with caution. The system is also designed to provide visual and audio alarms when the vehicle senses that the driver’s hands have been off the steering wheel for a certain amount of time. If the driver ignores the alarms, the system is supposed to direct the vehicle to come to a controlled stop and turn the hazard lights on. 

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Category: Auto Accidents

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