In an interesting report by Global News, a driver in Alberta, Canada, has been charged by authorities with dangerous driving. He fell asleep while driving his Tesla Model S with the Autopilot system engaged.
Leran Chai, 20, a British Columbia resident, appeared in court in Alberta to face the charges imposed on him. Aside from the dangerous driving, he also was accused of speeding.
This summer, drivers noticed a Model S cruising the highway without a driver behind the wheel. As commuters got closer to the vehicle, they found Chai and his passenger sleeping peacefully on their recline seats. The speed of the Model S was around 93 miles per hour.
The Tesla Autopilot has a Level 2 self-driving classification. This classification indicates that even if the vehicle can drive by itself, the driver may still need to have their hands on the steering wheel. This way, they can manually override the autopilot system during an emergency. Somehow Chai managed to get around this safety feature of the autopilot system.
British Columbia law states that drivers must be accountable for the vehicle’s entire operation, even in the presence of automated systems or driver-assist mechanisms.
Chai will face the court again in January 2021. Since he has a history of substandard driving, it may play a part in his possible conviction. Last year, Chai received a charge of driving without a license. His conviction included a $1000 fine.
After that incident, he also received a ticket because of a license restriction violation. February this year, he was also involved in a case of speeding.
We don’t believe that prison is in his future. However, we are sure he will have long-term repercussions because of his recent traffic infringements.