A man on the 405 Freeway in southern California was caught in a video, appearing to be asleep at the wheel in his Tesla. This isn't the first time this has happened, though. Seth Blake captured this video of the same exact happening during his drive on the highway on April 17th.
Tesla has an autopilot feature that lands right in between the 2nd and 3rd level of automation: partial automation and conditional automation. Although the car is doing a lot of the work for driving it still requires the driver to be ready to take back control at all times.
Now, the 405 Freeway is notorious for how busy it is, which made the video even more crazy to see. A man asleep at the wheel on the busiest freeway in California doesn’t instill a feeling of confidence in other drivers.
Shawn Miladinovich, the man who captured the sleeping driver, said that he was driving next to him for about 30 miles and the man never looked up or gave any sign of consciousness, hands not even on the steering wheel.
In response to the video, Tesla posted on its website that the Autopilot system is not meant to make the car fully autonomous and that it requires driver supervision at all times.
One of the ways Tesla is trying to combat drivers not having their hands on the driver’s wheel is by implementing a system that gives both visual and audible warning when there is not an adequate amount of torque on the wheel. Their website states, “This helps ensure you are attentive, and that the steering wheel is properly oriented in the event that you need to take over control."
As technology progresses consumers need to understand that features such as Autopilot are here to help us and make our leaves easier but are not meant to replace human intuition. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!