VG TV/Austin Tesla Club/Twitter
Tesla’s autopilot feature has received some criticism over the years, but the advanced technology has reportedly saved a drunk driver’s life.
Over the weekend, a 24-year-old Norwegian man was intoxicated while driving his Tesla vehicle and passed out at the wheel.
Fortunately for the man, the car’s autopilot system kicked in after what could have been a fatal accident.
The model S vehicle safely stayed in the lane, despite the driver being unconscious, and prevented the car from colliding with other drivers.
When the car detected that the driver was unresponsive, the vehicle came to a stop and engaged its hazard lights. Emergency services later attended the scene.
According to TeslaRati, 8% of Norway’s annual fatal car crashes involve a drunk driver, and it’s fortunate that Friday’s ordeal, July 30, didn’t end up being part of this percentage.
The official Eastern Police District’s Twitter page wrote on Friday:
At 0540; a Tesla stops in the tunnel. It turns out to be a man 24 years old who has fallen asleep behind the wheel. He is also drunk, but stubbornly denies driving. Although there is a video of him from the car … Necessary samples have been taken.
‘The Nøstvet tunnel is closed while we wait for salvage. Cases are created and driver’s licenses are temporarily confiscated,’ the update continued.
— Austin Tesla Club (@AustinTeslaClub) July 31, 2021
Tesla founder Elon Musk faced backlash in April after a Tesla car was involved in a fatal crash in Texas.
The 2019 Tesla Model S was travelling at a high speed when it failed to negotiate a curve on a winding road, BBC News reports, but it was later revealed that the car’s autopilot wasn’t enabled.
Two people in their 50s died as a result of the crash. Reportedly no one was in the driver’s seat at the time.
Responding to The Wall Street Journal’s tweet sharing the story, one person pointed out that it ‘didn’t make sense’ the car was still operating without anyone in the driver’s seat.
Your research as a private individual is better than professionals @WSJ!
Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD.
Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2021
They wrote, ‘There are safety measures in place with the autopilot. Seat is weighted to make sure there is a driver, hands must be on steering wheel every 10 seconds or it disengages. Autopilot doesn’t go over the speed limits over limit is impossible.’
Elon Musk himself later responded to their tweet, replying, ‘Your research as a private individual is better than professionals @WSJ! Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD.
‘Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have,’ he added.
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