San Diego

Viral video of Tesla driver sleeping behind the wheel raises safety concerns

SAN DIEGO — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is no such thing as a car presently obtainable on the market that’s totally automated or “self-driving,” but a video of somebody sleeping behind the wheel regionally is catching hundreds of views. 

“It was insane,” mentioned Sean Thompson who was driving on the 5-South freeway when he noticed a driver asleep at the wheel whereas his Tesla was driving presumably in autopilot mode round 6:30 Monday morning.

“The guy was completely passed out sleeping. We were stunned. My immediate reaction was to get a video,” mentioned Thompson.

Many movies just like this have circulated on-line since electrical automobiles have grow to be extra in style. 

“Just absolutely stunned. I’ve never seen anything like this. It felt surreal. This can’t be real,” mentioned Thompson.

Before enabling autopilot mode, Tesla says drivers should concentrate and preserve their palms on the wheel.

If drivers take their palms off the wheel, the automotive responds with visible and audio warnings. However, drivers have discovered methods to get round these warnings by means of a tool referred to as Autopilot Buddy. 

A video from Amazon reveals the small weighted gadget that gives sufficient torque on the steering wheel to scale back the quantity of warnings from the car relating to hands-off operation when autopilot is activated. It’s fashioned to mix in with a number of Tesla fashions and it clips to the aspect of the wheel with magnets. It’s not simply restricted to Teslas, this gadget can be utilized on different automobiles with related options.

In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a stop and desist order to the producer of the aftermarket gadget in the U.S., nevertheless, CBS 8 reporter Ariana Cohen nonetheless discovered Tesla steering wheel equipment on Amazon for round $60 to $70.

“It’s a really dangerous and unfortunate world we live in,” mentioned Thompson.

The California Highway Patrol says sleeping whereas behind the wheel is just not solely unsafe however can also be unlawful below present California legislation.

CBS 8 additionally needs to level out there are numerous occasions when autopilot may be an essential safety characteristic for drivers.

CHP needs to remind everybody if you happen to ever see somebody sleeping whereas driving to right away name 911.

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