Published On: Wed, May 25th, 2016

Man caught sleeping behind wheel of Tesla while Autopilot did the driving

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Just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should.

A man was caught sleeping behind the wheel of a Tesla Model S — presumably with Autopilotengaged — in a GIF posted to Imgur yesterday.

The GIF reveals yet another Tesla driver doing crazy things with the car’s semi-autonomous driving system engaged. This is the kind of thing Elon Musk said an update to the Autopilot system was supposed to prevent — or so we thought.

While this gentleman is being hugely irresponsible in his actions, the onus is really on Tesla for allowing someone to zonk out while on the freeway without the car shutting down or coming to a stop.

Other automakers have similarly robust semi-autonomous systems like Mercedes-Benz and Audi. However, the systems from those carmakers require drivers to remain alert and responsive. Autopilot doesn’t.

It’s this sort of cavalier behavior that could set back autonomy by a decade.

Remember, sleeping behind the wheel will be feasible with a fully autonomous car. However, it is never appropriate in a semi-autonomous car — no matter how well it appears to perform. Autopilot simply doesn’t have enough safety tech to allow for such carelessness.

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About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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