There is an increasing number of headlines of Tesla owners falling asleep behind the wheel, raising concerns that the advanced driver assistance built into Tesla cars lulls drivers to sleep, turning their cars into unguided missiles.
The most recent report was when a driver recorded a couple both apparently slumped over in the driver and passenger seats of a Tesla while barreling down the Interstate 90 in Boston.
The report caused a lot of handwringing and suggested Tesla should be more aggressive about monitoring drivers and possible jerking them awake by braking sharply.
Tesla responded that their cars already had engagement monitoring, as users had to torque the steering wheel regularly to show that they are paying attention.
“Our driver-monitoring system repeatedly reminds drivers to remain engaged and prohibits the use of Autopilot when warnings are ignored,” Tesla noted in a statement.
What is also notable is what actually happens if you were to fall asleep behind the wheel, which is not much. The car would try and alert you with some loud beeps and if you do not respond slow down and attempt to pull over, as demonstrated in this video, retweeted today by Elon Musk, below:
Another more recent video shows the process on the Tesla Model 3.
Tesla notes that according to their data driving with Autopilot on is safer than without, and noted that the videos of drivers happily sleeping behind the wheel is likely the result of pranksters playing a dangerous game of scaring fellow drivers, and overall likely damaging the EV cause.