The police will remember this interception. A 45-year-old man was arrested last week as he slept behind the wheel of a Tesla speeding 110 km/h on a German autobahn. Before waking the man and being able to intercept him, 15 long minutes passed, indicates Release which relays the information communicated by the police of Bamberg (Germany).
A steering wheel weight found
The 45-year-old man reportedly fell asleep at the wheel of his Tesla, autopilot activated on the Bundesautobahn 70, a Bavarian highway, towards Bayreuth (Germany). When the patrol tried to control him, the driver did not react to the various signs and honks of the officials. “What was striking was that the vehicle constantly maintained the same distance from the patrol car in front of it, at a speed of 110 km/h”indicates the police headquarters of Upper Franconia in its communicated.
According to the findings of the agents, the driver was leaning against his seat, his eyes closed, without his hands on the steering wheel. After a quarter of an hour, the man woke up before cooperating with the police forces. According to the police report, the driver showed signs “typical” of drug use. The press release does not specify, however, whether a screening could be carried out.
After inspecting the interior of the Tesla, officers found a steering wheel weight. An object marketed on the Internet by third-party sellers and capable of deceiving the detection of hands on the steering wheel of the vehicle. An investigation for endangering the life of others has been opened. Pending his trial, the driver had his license suspended.
A standard feature
Autopilot technology, which allows semi-automatic driving on certain types of road, is included as standard on all new Teslas. On its website, the American manufacturer specifies that its system is designed for a “safer and less stressful driving”.
“Before activating Autopilot, you must first agree to ‘keep your hands on the wheel at all times’ and to always ‘remain in control of your vehicle’. Once engaged, Autopilot provides a series of increasingly loud visual and audible warnings to remind you to place your hands on the steering wheel if insufficient force is applied to the steering wheel. If you repeatedly ignore these warnings, you will no longer be able to use Autopilot during the current ride”recalls Tesla.
In this case, the driver was able to override the security system using steering wheel weight.