California Highway Patrol managed to stop the car while the driver was unconscious
The incident happened on the Ventura Freeway near Glendale at 11 PM on September 16
The driver was charged with DUI
Amid a federal probe into Autopilot by the NHTSA, another incident implicating Tesla’s self-driving technology happened yesterday.
Police forces were alerted to a Tesla that had reportedly hit a wall and kept driving on the highway.
The officers that followed the car then discovered that the woman behind the wheel was drunk and she had activated her car’s Autopilot feature before passing out.
It is unclear whether the car it the wall before or after Autopilot was activated.
In order to stop the driverless car, a police car had to get in front of the Tesla and slow down gradually.
Tesla claims its Autopilot (which is not a fully autonomous system, contrary to what its name may imply) should detect when a driver is unresponsive and then make its way to the right side of the road and safely come to a stop.
These claims are questioned since several incidents showed the system to have faults.
In one of those incidents, a Tesla driver in Norway became incapacitated and the car drove for 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) before stopping in the left lane of a busy road. Fortunately, no one was injured.
A test conducted by Jason Torchinsky of Jalopnik also had the car stop in the lane it was traveling in, failing to reach safety.
Some drivers seem to forget they have responsibilities when they engage their car’s driver assistance features, but as of now, all of these systems require constant driver monitoring to make sure an emergency situation is dealt with correctly.