A Tesla driver in Germany has been accused of giving ‘auto’ a new meaning on the Autobahn, when he fell asleep at the wheel and left his car in control.
Police claim the driver switched it on. Tesla’s The Autopilot feature, leaning back in its seat and cruising along the A70 near the Bavarian town of Bamberg, came up a bit shat.
Traffic officers said they tried to pull over the vehicle to check traffic, but it failed to stop for 15 minutes despite police honking repeatedly.
In a statement, the Bavarian police force said: “It was remarkable that the vehicle kept the same distance from the patrol car in front from the Werth-Tronstadt junction to the Bamberg-Hafen junction at a speed of 110 km/h (68 mph). .
“Officers found the Tesla driver reclined in the seat with his eyes closed and his hands off the steering wheel.
“This reinforced the suspicion that he had left the controls on autopilot and fell asleep.
“After about 15 minutes, the man finally woke up and followed the police’s instructions.”
Police say the 45-year-old man displayed “unusual drug characteristics” when approached by officers.
The force also said its officers found a “steering wheel weight”, a device used to simulate the weight of hands on the steering wheel, in the footwell of a vehicle.
Police said they have launched a criminal investigation into endangering road traffic.
The man was forced to surrender his driver’s license pending a court appearance.
Drivers of private cars Germany They are not legally able to use fully autonomous driving features and must remain in control of their vehicles at all times.
In May last year, German lawmakers announced that they had approved new laws to set the framework for future driverless cars, including allowing the use of driverless shuttle buses.
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