Police in the San Francisco Bay Area stopped a Tesla operating on Autopilot as a drunk driver slept behind the wheel, this weekend, during Friday night at around 3:30 a.m..
The electric luxury sedan had been traveling south on Highway 101, going about 70 mph. The driver, Alexander Samek, a man who serves on the Los Altos Planning Commission, did not respond to the lights and sirens when the officers tried to pull the vehicle over. An officer traveling in front of the car gradually slowed down, forcing the semi-autonomous sedan, which can respond to varying traffic speeds and accelerate or slow down accordingly, to a complete stop. The car traveled for about seven miles before stopping.
A similar Sedan 5
"Once the vehicle came to a stop, the officers got out of their patrol cars, approached the Tesla, and knocked on the windows to wake up the driver," a patrol officer explained. Police in the Northern California town of Redwood City arrested the man on suspicion of driving under the influence. There's no autopilot exception to drunk-driving laws. Teslas equipped with Autopilot cannot drive themselves and deactivate if the driver does not respond to some warnings.