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The latest clip was captured by Dakota Randall, who says he was driving on an interstate in Newton, Massachusetts, when he noticed both the Tesla driver and passenger were asleep.
“I kind of looked over and saw what I thought was somebody asleep at the wheel and I was like that can’t be right, so I did a double take, looked over and sure enough this guy was just, head between his legs completely asleep,” Randall told NBC10 Boston.
Randall says he used his car horn to try and wake the sleeping occupants of the car, which was traveling at around 55 – 60 mph, but it didn't work. He added that he drove next to the Tesla for between 45 seconds and a minute before speeding away.
State police said they contacted Randall, but he was unable to provide details on the vehicle or driver.
Tesla has repeatedly warned that its Autopilot feature isn’t a fully autonomous system, yet we’ve seen multiple incidents of people sleeping behind the wheel and sitting in the passenger seat as the vehicles drive themselves. Autopilot alerts drivers when it detects they’re not holding the wheel. If the warnings are ignored for a minute, the feature is switched off for the rest of the drive.
"Many of these videos appear to be dangerous pranks or hoaxes," Tesla said, in a statement. "Our driver-monitoring system repeatedly reminds drivers to remain engaged and prohibits the use of Autopilot when warnings are ignored."
Randall insists that if this was a hoax, he played no part in it. “Maybe the people in the car were faking being asleep, but I’m skeptical,” he said.
There have been several reports of Tesla motorists sleeping while the cars drive on freeways over the last few months, including one in which the vehicle drove 7 miles as a man slept drunkenly behind the wheel.
Last year saw a UK man banned from the roads and fined £1,800 (around $2,225) after engaging Tesla’s autopilot and leaving the driver’s seat.
Man pleads guilty to dangerous driving after switching on his car's autopilot and moving over to the passenger seat while travelling along the M1 near #HemelHempstead: https://t.co/GrKppSLVZT pic.twitter.com/JPYgk9eyDM— Herts Police (@HertsPolice) April 27, 2018