DUI on Autopilot
At approximately 3:37 am, an officer pulled up to a stationary Tesla Model S with sirens blaring on Highway 101 in Palo Alto, California. After chasing the car for seven long minutes at 70 mph (the Tesla was driving just over the speed limit) the officer finally managed to get a peek at the driver.
But the driver was completely “unresponsive,” according to the Los Altos Town Crier.
The officer was clever enough to figure out the Tesla was most likely set to Autopilot —although that’s not officially confirmed yet — and called two additional officers to help him slow down Samek’s Model S safely.
The driver turned out to be the head of the Los Altos Planning Commission Alexander Samek. The officers gave him a ride to a local Shell gas station, and promptly arrested him after he failed a sobriety test.
It’s unusual given the fact that Tesla’s Autopilot feature will aggressively blink, and beep at the driver if they are unresponsive or don’t have both hands on the steering wheel. That is, if Autopilot was actually turned on. The feature will also automatically slow the car down on the side of the road if the driver doesn’t react.
Samek was booked on two misdemeanors, the Los Altos Town Crier reports. Unsurprisingly, Samek posted bail to get out of custody by the next day.
Futurism has reached out to Tesla for comment.
READ MORE: Highway patrol struggles to pull over allegedly drunk, sleeping Tesla driver [Mashable]