A motorist in Massachusetts has been filmed seemingly asleep while behind the wheel of a black Tesla Model S on a motorway.
The video was shot by passerby Dakota Randall and shows the male driver with his head slumped over. A female passenger sitting next to him also appears to be asleep as the car drives itself down the Massachusetts Turnpike, obviously with Autopilot enabled.
“Some guy literally asleep at the wheel on the Mass Pike (great place for it). Teslas are sick, I guess?” Randall wrote on a Twitter post where the video was first published. The Model S was reportedly traveling at between 50 and 60 mph (80 km/h – 96 km/h) at the time the clip was filmed at 3 p.m. on Monday.
Shortly after the video started to gain traction, a Tesla spokesperson issued a statement suggesting that the clip may not even be real.
“Many of these videos appear to be dangerous pranks or hoaxes,” the spokesperson wrote. “Our driver-monitoring system repeatedly reminds drivers to remain engaged and prohibits the use of Autopilot when warnings are ignored. At highway speeds, drivers typically receive warnings every 30 seconds or less if their hands aren’t detected on the wheel. Tesla owners have driven billions of miles using Autopilot, and data from our quarterly Vehicle Safety Report indicates that drivers using Autopilot experience fewer accidents than those operating without assistance.”
Randall says the incident was not a ‘hoax’, at least not on his part, and said the people inside the Tesla did indeed appear to be asleep.
— Dakota Randall (@DakRandall) September 10, 2019