Tesla Drivers “Sleeping at the Wheel” During Autopilot


Tesla drivers are caught falling asleep due to the dependency of the autopilot feature.

Karina Gonzalez, Website Editor

We’ve all heard of the famous futuristic cars, known as Tesla. Tesla has featured cars jam-packed with the latest most modern technology. One major feature includes the huge tablet screen which demonstrates web browser and streams music or entertainment. Another feature includes advanced parking sensors and their famous Tesla app. The very best feature, that stood out from the rest, is their Autopilot mode. This is capable of controlling throttle, steering, breaking, and lane changing. All it takes is to input your desired destination and the Tesla car will take you there with the push of a button.

However, the issue with this is that Tesla drivers have taken advantage of this special Autopilot mode to catch up on sleep. More and more Tesla owners are being irresponsible with the Autopilot mood. A few months ago, a video went viral when a couple noticed in the lane next to them a driver was seen falling asleep at the wheel. While on the busy Los Angeles I-5 freeway, the Tesla driver was seen going at 70 m.p.h. with the windows closed, head down, eyes shut, and arms crossed.

This now raises more safety concerns about where our future is headed with cars of the future. When the Tesla company found out about this issue causing commotion, they had made a clear statement that: “Drivers are supposed to keep their hands on the wheel at all times.” But that would not stop some Tesla drivers from cheating the system. Some drivers are known to look up on Youtube on how to use the “jammed orange and water bottle on the steering wheel” as a method of defeating the sensor that detects “hands on the wheel.” This Tesla system sensor gives a visual and audio alert to get the driver’s attention to keep both hands on the wheel.  Yet Tesla drivers still choose to make use of this Autopilot feature, despite the risks.

The Tesla Autopilot mood is being used on freeways for drivers to nap.











Another scary incident occurred on a Boston highway with two adults, both asleep, in the passenger and driver seat as their Tesla was still driving at 55 mph. An L.A. driver on the 405 freeway was observed falling asleep last June and was recorded on cell phones. Also worth mentioning was a NBC News case from 2018 in which a Tesla driver crashed into a parked firefighter truck. The driver was blamed with driver inattention and over-reliance on driver assistance systems. The video link below mentions the many previous crashes from past years that keep occuring due to Tesla’s Autopilot mood.

As of right now, Tesla is trying to see if their latest Model 3 will have built-in camera monitors on the desktop to ensure the safety of Tesla drivers and prevent putting more human lives in danger.