Because if you're going to catch some Zs at the wheel, you might as well do it quickly.
Tesla's Autopilot system may be industry-leading, but it's nonetheless received its fair share of criticism, largely stemming from its name. Many drivers have falsely assumed Tesla models are fully autonomous and do not require them to be alert - nor indeed conscious - behind the wheel, often with disastrous consequences.
This has even led to a court order in Germany banning Tesla from advertising Autopilot as the company was accused of misleading customers about the self-driving system's capabilities. The system is only capable of Level 2 autonomy, as defined by the SAE, meaning the driver is required to stay alert and have their hands on the steering wheel, but too many drivers have been treating it as a fully autonomous system.
One Tesla Model S owner in Canada seems to have missed the memo, getting himself caught red-handed as he napped behind the wheel while driving on the highway using Autopilot. Obviously, this is not a very smart thing to do - especially at highway speeds.
According to CBC News, police in Alberta, Canada received reports of a Tesla Model S speeding on Highway 2 near Ponoka with both of the front seats fully reclined, driver and passenger conked out, while the Model S carried on cruising. Because if you're going to jeopardize everyone's safety by sleeping at the wheel, why not add exceeding the speed limit while you're at it?
According to police, the Model S was clocked at over 140 kph (86 mph), in a zone with an enforced speed limit of 110 kph (68 mph).
"Nobody was looking out the windshield to see where the car was going," RCMP Sgt. Darrin Turnbull told CBC News. "I've been in policing for over 23 years and the majority of that in traffic law enforcement, and I'm speechless. I've never, ever seen anything like this before, but of course the technology wasn't there."
When the officer tried to pull the Model S driver over, traffic cleared out of its lane, causing the car to automatically accelerate up to 150 kph (93 mph). Needless to say, pulling him over was an uphill battle.
Eventually, though, the officer managed to issue a ticket for speeding and suspend the driver's license for 24 hours for fatigue. Further investigation led to the driver being charged with dangerous driving and being summoned to court in December.