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Tesla driver accused of sleeping on Autopilot goes to court for dangerous driving



A case from the Tesla driver about having slept while using Autopilot on the highway, will be tried for dangerous driving in what legal experts call legal first.

Earlier this year, we reported on the Alberta RCMP (Canadian Federal Police) which issued a report on a strange incident involving a Tesla vehicle on Autopilot:

The Alberta RCMP received a complaint about a car driving on Highway 2 near Ponoka. The car appeared to be self-driving, and drove over 140 km / h with both front seats fully reclined and the passengers appeared to be sleeping. ”

Tesla̵

7;s Autopilot enables virtually autonomous driving on the motorway, but drivers are required to keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take control at all times.

The car manufacturer tries to enforce this by requiring drivers to use low torque on the wheel at frequent intervals, but there are ways to get around by adding weights to the steering wheel.

It is unclear if that is what the driver, Leran Cai, a 20-year-old, did in this case.

We reported that the police charged him with criminal charges for dangerous driving over the incident, and now we were told that the case is actually coming to court.

Global News reports:

“In what Canadian legal experts call a unique case, a BC man is charged with dangerous driving in Alberta after he was allegedly taken to sleep in a self-driving Tesla when it drove south on Highway 2 between Edmonton and Calgary this past summer. ”

They added about Cai’s accusations:

“On top of the criminal charges, Cai is accused of driving too fast, and the RCMP said he also received a 24-hour license suspension for exhaustion in connection with the alleged incident on July 9, in which drivers and police noticed a Tesla Model S in 2019 operating without the driver in sight. ”

Kai’s next court hearing is set for January 29, 2021 in Ponoka, and the case will be followed closely as it can set a precedent.

Electrek’s Take

I think this is going to be fast. Cai obviously abused the driver assistance system and was dangerous.

He could potentially try to get away with it by claiming that he thought the Tesla Autopilot was completely autonomous, but it would be difficult to argue with all of Tesla’s Autopilot warnings, including just when you activate it.

I’m sure you would not be shocked if I told you that Cai has a long history of driving violations, especially for someone who has only been driving for a few years.

According to Global News’ report, he was convicted of driving without a driver’s license only last year.

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