Tesla on Autopilot Drove 7 Miles With Drunk Driver Sleeping

Tesla on Autopilot Drove 7 Miles With Drunk Driver Sleeping

It's unclear if the auto was in Autopilot mode at the time, but authorities believe that had to be the case, as it took seven minutes, over several kilometres, to successfully stop the Model S. CHP Public Information Officer Art Montiel told the Mountain View Voice that police suspect Autopilot was engaged at the time, and reiterated a similar point that Tesla drivers are told to always pay attention to the road when using the system.

CHP issued a statement that said officers couldn't confirm which technology was active - but clearly the driver was not. He has been identified as Alexander Samek of Los Altos, 45, who happens to be a member of the Los Altos Planning Commission.

The police then carried out a roadside sobriety test which Samek failed.

The Los Altos Town Crier reported that when police approached the auto on Highway 101, officers believed the electric vehicle was driving on autopilot at 70 miles per hour in the wee hours of Friday morning. Tesla's Autopilot, which is one of the most advanced on the market, was recently used to drive seven miles down a highway while the driver is alleged to have been asleep and drunk behind the wheel.

Samek was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and transported to San Mateo County Jail.

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Officers have yet to confirm that the car's autopilot function was switched on but suspect the vehicle was on driver-assist mode that provides semi-autonomous capability.

Tesla's autopilot feature can change lanes and detect obstacles ahead, but is not created to drive the auto entirely independently. Tesla cautions that drivers using the semi-autonomous feature must keep their hands on the steering wheel, stay alert, and be ready to take over within a moment's notice, but those are apparently not requirements.

Tesla Autopilot works great as long as it isn't abused.

The vehicle was doing 70 miles per hour on Highway 101, and the driver showed no response to their lights and sirens.