The Royal Mounted Police of Canada (RCMP) had never seen anything like it: a car without an occupant speeds down Alberta’s Highway 2 at 140 km / h, although only 110 km / h is allowed. A traffic policeman is in pursuit with flashing lights. Vehicle drivers driving further ahead obediently make room. The car in pursuit, a Tesla S, accelerates to 150 km / h.
At the end of the chase on July 9, it turns out that the Tesla does have passengers. However, the 20-year-old driver from the neighboring province of British Columbia had activated the driver assistant, which was misleadingly marketed as “autopilot”, lay down his seat and lay down on it to sleep. Detto the passenger.
So from the outside it looked like the car was empty. And when the vehicles in front gave way, the “autopilot” saw clear. He decided to speed up. The computer ignored the emergency vehicle.
Driver monitoring tricked
Actually, the Tesla computer is supposed to constantly ensure that the chauffeur is involved. The “autopilot” is not an automatic pilot. There is always someone to sit behind the wheel, monitor the computer and look out the window. However, this security feature isn’t foolproof. In this case, a bypass device was apparently installed afterwards.
The Canadian initially only got a ticket for speeding and a 24-hour driving ban due to fatigue at the wheel. On Thursday the RCMP communicatedthat dangerous driving charges have been brought. In Canada, this is a criminal offense (Criminal Code s.320.13 (1)) that can be imprisoned for up to ten years. The negotiations will take place in December.
An association of Tesla owners in Alberta responded to the public Canadian broadcast CBC indignant on the incident. Because irresponsible hacks to abuse Tesla technology bring all other Tesla drivers into disrepute.