Tesla turned heads when it debuted Autopilot hardware in 2014, which allowed cars to navigate in traffic and drive on the highway without the assistance of the driver.
However, the company continues the stress that Tesla cars are not yet fully autonomous, and that drivers need to be licensed and fully aware of their surroundings while the car is in “Autopilot.”
Apparently, one Tesla driver didn’t get the message. In a video posted to Facebook on Sunday, a Tesla driver was caught napping in the drivers' seat as his car made its way through traffic.
The video is just the latest piece of evidence in an ongoing debate among safety officials: Should “Autopilot” features be included in cars if the driver must remain responsible? Some companies, like Google, have promised not to market autonomous vehicles until they can create a car that does not require a driver. It seems they still have a ways to go after one of their autonomous cars caused an accident earlier this year.
However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Tesla S is one of the safest cars on the road. In fact, the NHTSA has given every Tesla it’s tested a five-star rating in every category. But, the NHTSA ratings are assuming a competent, focused driver.
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Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.