A driver encountered what appeared to be a woman sleeping behind the wheel of a Tesla that was traveling along a Southern California freeway.
The viral video, which was recorded by Kiki Dolas, shows a woman in a pink top and sunglasses seemingly asleep behind the wheel of a Tesla sedan at around 4 p.m. on Thursday on the 15 Freeway near Temecula.
Dolas and her partner were driving home to Las Vegas when they spotted the driver. Dolas immediately recorded and narrated the incident.
You’re not gonna believe this. This is a brand new Tesla. She doesn’t even have plates on it, right? We’re on a freeway in California where it’s bumper-to-bumper. She is out, sleeping, completely knocked out and this car is driving her. Look at how dangerous that is, you guys. I’m sorry, that is too damn dangerous!
The couple reportedly tried catching the driver’s attention for 15 minutes by honking.
Dolas said they eventually dialed 911 to report the incident.
She had her sunglasses on. She was slouched down. We started honking to try to get her attention because maybe she’s having a health emergency or something. I really wasn’t sure. So we couldn’t get her attention, the traffic is getting thicker and thicker so I said, ‘You know what? Let me call 911.’
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials tracked down the Tesla two minutes after responding to the scene.
“It is illegal and motorists have to realize that they have to be awake, conscious and sober so they can take control of the vehicle,” Officer Mike Lassig of CHP Temecula told KTLA.
Tesla has been facing investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration due to crashes related to its controversial self-driving and autopilot features.
It is not the first time that such an incident has been caught on camera. In 2019, a sleeping driver was also spotted on a freeway in Santa Clarita.
Last month, the Department of Justice requested documents from Tesla related to its two driver-assist features.
In October last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted that while the company’s “Full Self-Driving” system can navigate roads in many cases, it is not “quite ready to have no one behind the wheel.”
Tesla’s website also states that its electric cars cannot drive themselves:
Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment. While these features are designed to become more capable over time, the currently enabled features do not make the vehicle autonomous.