A sleeping Tesla driver was caught doing nearly 70mph on a motorway after doctoring the car’s autopilot so he could take a nap, say police.
Officers in Bamberg, Germany, chased the Tesla Model 3 after spotting the snoozing driver doing 110 kph on the A7 autobahn.
Police had been chasing the 45-year-old driver with their sirens and lights on for 15 minutes on 28th December.
But it was only when they overtook the car that they realised he was fast asleep at the wheel.
When the sirens finally woke him up, he immediately pulled up at the Bamberg-Hafen junction, confused and unaware of what was happening.
A spokesperson from the Upper Franconian police said: “It was evident that the vehicle kept the same distance from the patrol car in front from the Viereth-Trunstadt junction to the Bamberg-Hafen junction at 110 kilometres per hour.
“Officials determined that the Tesla driver was reclining in the seat with his eyes closed and his hands off the steering wheel.
“This strengthened the suspicion that he had left the controls to the autopilot and had fallen asleep.”
Further evaluations showed that the driver had taken narcotics prior to the ride.
The cops also found a Tesla steering wheel weight in the footwell that reportedly mimics the presence of hands on the wheel to fool the autopilot.
The police added: “This device is attached to the steering wheel to trick the vehicle’s safety function by pretending that the hand is on the wheel.”
Tesla’s autopilot is supposed to enhance safer driving using external cameras to reduce the risk of collisions.
The electric car firm, however, strictly bans customers from using it to they can sleep or get home after a night’s drinking.
Bamberg’s Public Prosecutor issued a criminal complaint for endangering road traffic against the driver, who was banned from driving indefinitely.
According to a 2017 law by the Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport, driving on autopilot has been allowed only “under certain conditions” in the country.