Disturbing video shows driver apparently asleep in moving Tesla on highway

By Christopher Brito

/ CBS News

A motorist behind the wheel and a passenger next to him were caught on video fast asleep inside a Tesla on a highway over the weekend. The footage, captured by Dakota Randall, showed a couple riding along the Massachusetts Turnpike — with no one seemingly alert.

The driver looked hunched over and the passenger also appeared to be dozing off. Randall posted the video to Twitter on Sunday. "Some guy literally asleep at the wheel on the Mass Pike (great place for it). Teslas are sick, I guess?" he tweeted.

Randall told CBS Boston he tried waking them up by honking but it didn't work. "It was just so strange and baffling," Randall told the station. "I thought I saw somebody asleep at the wheel but I wasn't sure so I did a double-take. Sure enough, there was somebody with his head right between his legs."

Some guy literally asleep at the wheel on the Mass Pike (great place for it).

Teslas are sick, I guess? pic.twitter.com/ARSpj1rbVn

— Dakota Randall (@DakRandall) September 8, 2019

"They looked like they needed to go home and go to bed," he added.

Trending News

While the footage is worrisome, Massachusetts State Police told CBS Boston there's no law against falling asleep behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

According to Tesla, its autopilot features require "active driver supervision" and do not make vehicles fully autonomous.

Tesla says it doesn't consider its cars with the autopilot feature to be self-driving in its current form. It does not allow the driver to abdicate responsibility.

This is the latest incident involving a driver seemingly asleep at the wheel of one of Tesla's self-driving cars. In August, another video circulated of a driver who appeared to be dozing off on the I-5 near Santa Clarita, local station KABC-TV reported.

@RalphNader Ralph can you do anything about stopping this disturbing phenomenon? My wife and I shot this video last week on the busy I-5 in LA. @Tesla #sleepingdrivers #unsafeatanyspeed pic.twitter.com/ADbpt0uSZ4

— Clint Olivier (@ClintOlivier) August 21, 2019

Last week, a National Transportation Safety Board report found the driver of a Tesla was using the car's Autopilot system when a vehicle in front of him suddenly changed lanes and he didn't have time to react before crashing into a fire truck near Los Angeles.

First published on September 9, 2019 / 3:35 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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