This isn't the first time we've seen a Tesla driver sleeping behind the wheel. We've also seen Tesla drivers pretending to be sleeping, exiting the driver's seat, playing with a phone or laptop, and much more. Tesla, just like other automakers, makes it very clear that you must keep your eyes on the road and be ready to take control at a moment's notice.
Most modern cars have advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS), and that's precisely what Tesla Autopilot is. It's a suite of ADAS similar to the Honda Sensing suite, Ford Co-Pilot360, and Toyota Safety Sense. ADAS systems have been proven to save lives, and this is precisely why safety organizations encourage carmakers to implement them. In fact, some features are required for cars to get top honors in crash tests.
If a driver fails to use ADAS features as they're intended to be used, or goes out of their way to trick the systems, features that save lives can become features that take lives. Thankfully, the Tesla owner in this video didn't get into an accident, but he could have killed himself, as well as other innocent drivers.
While there are certainly people who would purposely aim to take a nap in a moving Tesla on Autopilot, it's likely extremely uncommon. However, if a driver were to accidentally fall asleep in a car equipped with certain ADAS features, the technology might just work to save their lives, but it can't be counted on. At the same time, you can almost be certain to assume that if a person fell asleep behind the wheel of a car with no safety systems, the chances of a crash would be very high.
In this case, the man was clearly sleeping (or at least closing his eyes and not paying any attention to the road for many miles), and he's lucky to have survived. As you can see in the video, he spends a great deal of time talking with the police, and he's very cooperative.
It's safe to say Tesla Autopilot may have saved this man's life, or at least avoided a potential accident. For this reason, we probably won't see much media coverage of the incident. The media typically covers the story only if it can blame Autopilot for causing accidents, rather than avoiding them.
The incident happened in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. Reports say a 38-year-old man was cited by the police for inattentive driving. A sheriff's deputy realized that the Tesla driver was actually sleeping behind the wheel for several miles. Watch the video for the details, then start a conversation about this topic in our comment section below.