Police Catch Tesla Model 3 Driver Sleeping With Autopilot on the Highway

Whether you believe the Tesla Model 3 and its Autopilot system are the way of the future or just fancy cruise control, there’s no denying that the system has created a few unusual situations. In fact, the Tesla covered in this latest police video appears to show just that. That’s because the footage appears to show a driver asleep behind the wheel as the EV drives along a major highway.

This video was posted to the Code Blue Cam channel on YouTube. According to TMJ4, the incident took place in Illinois earlier in May. This whole situation started as other drivers called in to report a driver that appeared to be asleep. However, as the officers caught up, that’s exactly what they seem to have found.

Was this Tesla Model 3 owner asleep at the wheel?

The video of the Tesla Model 3 embedded above begins as a police officer catches up with the EV on the highway. After noticing that the driver was asleep, the officer decided to turn on his lights in an attempt to pull over the driver. However, the car doesn’t stop. Instead, the EV continues at a speed of around 82 mph for two miles before the driver wakes up and eventually pulls over.

Naturally, the first question, in this case, is whether or not the Tesla Model 3 was utilizing its Autopilot system as its driver slept behind the wheel. According to TMJ4, this was obviously the case, or else the driver would’ve undoubtedly crashed. However, after officers pulled the driver over, he insisted that he wasn’t sleeping and was just tired while driving to work.

While the car’s autopilot system can certainly be criticized for allowing this kind of situation to happen, it is also worth noting that it likely saved its owner’s life. If the driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel without the Autopilot system, he likely would’ve crashed.

Is Autopilot safe to use?

A dark gray Tesla model 3 against a white background.
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

On paper, the Tesla Model 3’s Autopilot system is supposed to require input from its driver every so often to ensure that the driver is still paying attention. However, throughout the years, several cases of drivers asleep behind the wheel have arisen, opening the floor for some fairly valid criticism. In fact, just a few months ago, we saw a case two people lost their lives trying to utilize Autopilot from the car’s rear seat.

However, in most cases, it seems perfectly safe to utilize the car’s Autopilot system as long as you keep in mind that it doesn’t allow the EV to drive itself. Instead, you should think of it as an advanced form of cruise control designed to keep you in the lane. This is especially useful for long trips where driving highway miles can get quite exhausting.

Did the Tesla Model 3 receive a citation?

An image of a red Tesla Model 3 out on the road.
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

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In the end, this Tesla Model 3 story ends exactly as you’d expect it to. TMJ4 reports that the driver in question ended up receiving a $187.90 citation for inattentive driving. In fact, the driver even went to court and pleaded no contest. While this situation ended with a relatively happy ending, we could’ve been covering a completely different story had the system failed.