A driver in Canada is in trouble with the law for doing 150km/h on a highway in the province of Alberta. Naughty, but hardly uncommon you might say?
Except in this instance he and his passenger happened to be asleep, with both seats reclined, while the self-drive Tesla sailed on down the busy road whose traffic included large and heavily laden trucks.
Canadian police announce charges against driver
The incident apparently happened in July, but it was only on Thursday this week that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) – the country’s national police force – announced charges against the 20year-old man.
He is to appear in court in December to face charges of speeding and dangerous driving. He has also been given a short-term licence suspension for driving while fatigued.
Bizarre incidents involving high-tech Tesla cars have become more common recently. Not only can the vehicles self-drive with a driver on board, in certain circumstances they can also be remotely controlled with no person on board at all.
New high-tech features pose problem for lawmakers
This has posed a challenge for lawmakers and law-enforcement officials in various countries – no only to determine how safe these systems actually are, but what charges can be laid against drivers as, in some instances, the road laws are decades old and drawn up long before anyone envisaged the latest driving technology.
According to a media statement from the RCMP, the latest incident occurred near the town of Ponoka, when officers reacted to a report of a vehicle on the highway without occupants.
“The car appeared to be self-driving, traveling over 140km/h, with both front seats completely reclined and both occupants appearing to be asleep,” the RCMP said.
Another driver flossed teeth travelling at 135km/h
After the police flashed their lights, however, the Tesla electric vehicle reportedly sped up to exactly 150km/h.
This is one of several recent incidents in Canada involving the Tesla.
In January, police in the province of Ontario pulled over a driver who was busy flossing his teeth with both hands while the car sped along at 135km/h. Most highway speed limits in Canada are set at 110km/h.
The man was subsequently charged with reckless driving.