Sleeping in a Self-Driving Car

Police pulled over a man driving a Tesla. Scratch that. A Tesla driving a man. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Traffic officers in Bavaria tried to pull over a Tesla driving 70 miles an hour, but couldn’t get the driver to stop for about 15 minutes of chasing him with the lights and sirens on.  The police noted that the driver had reclined his seat back and was asleep.  Sound sleeper, that guy, what with lights and sirens on his tail.

But if you’ve got a self-driving car, is it legal to sleep while in the driver’s seat?  Nope.  Even on autopilot, the cars are not meant to be fully autonomous; indeed, Speedy Sleeping Beauty, as no doubt his friends now call him, had attached a steering wheel weight, a device used to fool the system into thinking you’ve got your hands on the wheel, which is required because when the car is on autopilot, a human driver must still be awake and in control in case of a system failure or to prevent a driver error like when you unwittingly outrun the cops.

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