The future is now people. A video has surfaced of a man who appears to be fast asleep sitting in the driver’s seat of his Tesla Model S as it drives in extremely heavy traffic. The only problem is, the car’s “Autopilot” mode isn’t meant to completely take over for a driver. And, sleeping behind the wheel is not something anyone recommends at this point.
The automaker sent a statement about the incident to Motortrend, and they explained that, “Tesla Autopilot is designed to provide a hands-on experience to give drivers more confidence behind the wheel, increase their safety on the road, and make highway driving more enjoyable.” Emphasis here on “hands-on”; in other words, not napping.
They said that the autopilot mode “does not turn a Tesla into an autonomous vehicle and does not allow the driver to abdicate responsibility,” adding that drivers are “responsible for remaining alert and present when using Autopilot and must be prepared to take control at all times.”
Completely hands-free self-driving cars could one day greatly reduce traffic, prevent accidents and cut down on carbon emissions, but, for now, it’s a good idea to remain awake if you’re driving down the highway.
Jesse Carey is a mainstay on the weekly RELEVANT Podcast and member of RELEVANT's executive board. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two kids.