Tesla Driver Allegedly Napping on Autobahn


Tesla on road | Image by canadianPhotographer56/Shutterstock

A man in Germany is under investigation for criminal endangerment of traffic after allegedly napping in the driver’s seat while his Tesla traveled the Autobahn at nearly 70 mph.

On December 29, at about noon local time, local police spotted a Tesla driving along Autobahn 70 leaving Bamberg, Germany, headed toward Bayreuth, according to a news release.

Officers attempted to pull over the Tesla for a traffic stop; however, the vehicle did not stop, nor did it slow down or speed up.

While officers chased the Tesla, the vehicle “kept the same distance from the patrol car in front” as they traveled down the Autobahn, police stated.

Officers pulled alongside the Tesla and noticed the driver did not have his hands on the wheel and was reclining in the seat with his eyes closed.

“This confirmed the suspicion that he had left the wheel to the autopilot and had fallen asleep,” the news release read.

About 15 minutes into the chase, the driver, identified only as a 45-year-old man, woke up and followed officers’ instructions to pull over. After speaking with the driver during the traffic stop, officers came to believe the man was showing “drug-typical abnormalities.”

Police also reported finding a steering wheel weight in the vehicle’s footwell. These after-market devices attach to the steering wheel to mimic the weight of the driver’s hands to circumvent the vehicle’s safety function.

The suspect’s driver’s license was confiscated pending a formal hearing.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, Tesla currently has more vehicles with autopilot in operation out in public than any other electric vehicle manufacturer.

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