Tesla driver spotted SLEEPING at the wheel of his car in the fast lane of a Florida highway

The diver of a Hyundai filmed a man behind the wheel of a Tesla on a Florida highway. The witness claimed the man in the electric car was asleep while the car was driving itself

Tesla driver is spotted SLEEPING at the wheel of his car in the fast lane of a Florida highway

  • A Tesla driver has been spotted slumped against the window in the fast lane
  • A motorist driving a Hyundai grabbed their cell phone to film him
  • Witness said other cars were having to slow down and then overtake the Tesla 

A Florida motorist filmed a man apparently asleep behind the wheel of his Tesla electric car as the car drove along the fast lane. 

The astonished motorist, who was driving a Hyundai, used his mobile phone to film the man who was using the high-tech car’s Autopilot system. 

The witness, who does not wish to be named, said: ‘I was driving down the highway with a group of cars. We all found ourselves having to slow and go around someone in the fast lane.  

‘As I passed I noticed that the reason this car was just sitting in the lane was because he was asleep. I decided to grab my phone and document the unbelievable event.’ 

The diver of a Hyundai filmed a man behind the wheel of a Tesla on a Florida highway. The witness claimed the man in the electric car was asleep while the car was driving itself

The diver of a Hyundai filmed a man behind the wheel of a Tesla on a Florida highway. The witness claimed the man in the electric car was asleep while the car was driving itself 

The man appeared to be unaware of his surroundings as his car continued along the highway

The man appeared to be unaware of his surroundings as his car continued along the highway

Teslas have a far higher degree of automation than conventional cars including systems which monitor what is happening around the car using a plethora of lasers and cameras.  

However, drivers are advised to keep a proper lookout as they are still responsible for the safety of the car and other road users.  

This incident follows when a Tesla on autopilot crashed into a Connecticut State Police cruiser before rear-ending a disabled car while the suspected driver was ‘checking on his dog in the back seat.’

The Connecticut State Police said two troopers dispatched to Interstate 95 in Norwalk to help a disabled vehicle that was stuck in the center lane.

They maintain that both police cruisers had their emergency lights activated and an additional flare pattern behind the vehicles.

Democratic U.S. Senator Ed Markey asked Tesla to disable its ‘Autopilot’ driver-assistance system until it installs new safeguards to prevent drivers from evading system limits that could let them fall asleep.

‘Tesla should disable Autopilot until it fixes the problem, Markey said at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on advanced vehicle technologies.

Markey, who wrote to Tesla about the issue earlier this week, cited YouTube videos and press reports that suggested drivers could travel long distances without touching the steering wheel by using an object to defeat requirements that drivers should regularly touch the wheel ‘even if they are literally asleep.’

Markey cited a local news report that said a driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel as a Tesla drove 14 miles on Autopilot. Other unconfirmed videos on social media appear to show drivers sleeping behind the wheel of Tesla vehicles.

According to Tesla: ‘Many of these videos appear to be dangerous pranks or hoaxes. 

‘Our driver-monitoring system repeatedly reminds drivers to remain engaged and prohibits the use of Autopilot when warnings are ignored. 

‘At highway speeds, drivers typically receive warnings every 30 seconds or less if their hands aren’t detected on the wheel. 

‘Tesla owners have driven billions of miles using Autopilot, and data from our quarterly Vehicle Safety Report indicates that drivers using Autopilot experience fewer accidents than those operating without assistance.’ 

HOW DO SELF-DRIVING CARS ‘SEE’?

Self-driving cars often use a combination of normal two-dimensional cameras and depth-sensing ‘LiDAR’ units to recognise the world around them.

However, others make use of visible light cameras that capture imagery of the roads and streets. 

They are trained with a wealth of information and vast databases of hundreds of thousands of clips which are processed using artificial intelligence to accurately identify people, signs and hazards.   

In LiDAR (light detection and ranging) scanning – which is used by Waymo – one or more lasers send out short pulses, which bounce back when they hit an obstacle.

These sensors constantly scan the surrounding areas looking for information, acting as the ‘eyes’ of the car.

While the units supply depth information, their low resolution makes it hard to detect small, faraway objects without help from a normal camera linked to it in real time.

In November last year Apple revealed details of its driverless car system that uses lasers to detect pedestrians and cyclists from a distance.

The Apple researchers said they were able to get ‘highly encouraging results’ in spotting pedestrians and cyclists with just LiDAR data.

They also wrote they were able to beat other approaches for detecting three-dimensional objects that use only LiDAR.

Other self-driving cars generally rely on a combination of cameras, sensors and lasers. 

An example is Volvo’s self driving cars that rely on around 28 cameras, sensors and lasers.

A network of computers process information, which together with GPS, generates a real-time map of moving and stationary objects in the environment.

Twelve ultrasonic sensors around the car are used to identify objects close to the vehicle and support autonomous drive at low speeds.

A wave radar and camera placed on the windscreen reads traffic signs and the road’s curvature and can detect objects on the road such as other road users.

Four radars behind the front and rear bumpers also locate objects.

Two long-range radars on the bumper are used to detect fast-moving vehicles approaching from far behind, which is useful on motorways.

Four cameras – two on the wing mirrors, one on the grille and one on the rear bumper – monitor objects in close proximity to the vehicle and lane markings. 

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