Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

247 N. Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112

Call Today for a Free Consultation | Se Habla Espanol

408-246-3004

Recent California DUI Case Brings Questions About Safety of Autopilot Mode on Cars

Posted on in DUI

San Jose DUI defense lawyerWhen you are intoxicated and need to get home, it may seem like a good idea to put your car into autopilot mode and hop in. That did not work out so well for a California man who was pulled over by California Highway Patrol (CHP) after police observed him asleep behind the wheel. He was stopped and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol after he failed field sobriety tests. The incident has brought up a conversation about the safety of autopilot features in vehicles and how they are able to be abused by consumers.

Sleeping Man is Pulled Over by California Highway Patrol

In the early morning hours of Nov. 30, CHP noticed a Tesla Model S going 70 mph down U.S. Highway 101 in Palo Alto. Upon further inspection, CHP gathered that the driver was unconscious behind the wheel, as there was no response from him when officers activated their lights and sirens. Hoping the driver assist feature was activated on the vehicle, police closed the highway off and successfully slowed down the vehicle by driving in front of it until it came to a complete stop. When officers tapped on the window, the driver woke up and was subjected to field sobriety tests -- which he failed. The driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Safety of Tesla Autopilot Feature is Questioned

Because the man was able to fall asleep at the wheel without the car realizing it, the safety of this feature is now being questioned by many. It has not yet been confirmed if the driver assist feature was actually activated during the ordeal, but because of the vehicle staying in its lane during its trip and responding to vehicles around it, it is assumed that the feature was activated. Some have pointed out that other vehicles with similar autopilot features have safety mechanisms in place to prevent situations like this.

Get in Touch With Our Santa Clara County DUI Defense Lawyer

Though autopilot mode might seem like a fantastic invention to help get you home when you are intoxicated, you are still required to pay attention and be able to take over driving, if needed. It is not legal to be behind the wheel of any vehicle while you have alcohol in your system. Nestled in Silicon Valley, at Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson, we are aware of new technology being developed each day, but also of the laws that still affect people. Our exceptional San Jose, CA DUI defense attorney can help you get the best outcome of most sticky DUI situations. Call our office today at 408-246-3004 to set up a consultation.

Sources:

http://fortune.com/2018/11/30/man-arrested-drunk-driving-asleep-tesla-autopilot-mode/

https://www.wired.com/story/tesla-sleeping-driver-dui-arrest-autopilot/

https://kfor.com/2018/12/03/dui-suspect-caught-sleeping-in-tesla-traveling-70-mph-officers-say/

 

Back to Top