Man falls asleep in Tesla with his car on autopilot ends up getting pursued by police in high speed chase in Bavaria, Germany KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Man falls asleep in Tesla with his car on autopilot ends up getting pursued by police in high speed chase in Bavaria, Germany

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Man falls asleep in Tesla with his car on autopilot ends up getting pursued by police in high speed chase in Bavaria, Germany.

Somewhere near Bamberg, Germany, police spotted a Tesla some 15 minutes after initiating a traffic stop. Authorities say that the man at the wheel had his seat reclined and had been asleep while the Tesla drove itself. They also say that they found a safety defeat device in the car.

According to the police press release, first obtained by Teslarati, “Officers found 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. After about 15 minutes, the man finally woke up and followed the instructions of the police.”

The same report says that the man “showed drug-typical abnormalities during the check-up.” It’s plausible then that a new medication might have lulled the driver into a slumber but that doesn’t account for the seat being reclined. It also doesn’t account for the steering wheel weight found in the footwell of the car.

The same report says that the man “showed drug-typical abnormalities during the check-up.” It’s plausible then that a new medication might have lulled the driver into a slumber but that doesn’t account for the seat being reclined. It also doesn’t account for the steering wheel weight found in the footwell of the car.

For now, the driver has lost their license until police can conclude an investigation into the criminal offense of endangering road traffic. In the meantime, arguments both for and against Autopilot will surely continue.

While some claim that the system is inherently unsafe because it can be tricked, as it appears to have been in this case, others will say that falling asleep at the wheel in another vehicle likely would’ve resulted in serious injuries or even fatal ones. We’re just glad that everyone walked away from this interaction unharmed.

At around 12:00 pm, the police patrol wanted to subject the driver to traffic control, but the driver did not react to stop signals and multiple horns from the patrol car, according to a press release from Polizei Bayern (Bavarian Police) picked up by Teslarati.

Officers noticed that the vehicle precisely maintained the same distance from the patrol car ahead from the Viereth-Trunstadt junction to the Bamberg-Hafen junction, traveling at a constant speed of 110 kilometers per hour (68 mph). Upon closer inspection, the police realized that the Tesla driver was leaning in the reclined seat with his eyes closed, without keeping his hands on the steering wheel. This confirmed their suspicion that he had activated Autopilot and then fell asleep. The patrol car continued to escort the Tesla for about 15 minutes, when the man finally woke up and followed the instructions of the police.

After he got out of the car, the driver showed "drug-typical abnormalities" during the traffic check. On the same disturbing note, police officers found a so-called steering wheel weight in the footwell. This is a defeat device that attaches to the steering wheel to trick the Tesla's safety system into "thinking" that the driver's hands are on the steering wheel.

Needless to say, steering wheel weights are highly controversial and dangerous accessories that work as defeat devices. In this particular case, had Autopilot not been activated, the driver would have most likely crashed as soon as he fell asleep at the wheel. 

The Bamberg Public Prosecutor's Office initiated a preliminary investigation into the Tesla driver, whose identity was not disclosed, for endangering road traffic, a criminal offense in Germany. He is no longer allowed to drive until the court reaches a decision.

The Upper Franconia Police Directorate first suspected the car was on autopilot when it maintained a constant distance from the police patrol vehicle, which was traveling at 110 kmh (68.3 mph), according to the newspaper.


"The officers noticed that the Tesla driver was leaning back in his seat with his eyes closed and his hands were not on the steering wheel," police said, per The Times. "This reinforced the suspicion that he had let the autopilot take over and had fallen asleep."

Police said he eventually woke up and pulled over, showing "drug-related symptoms," The Times reported.

The newspaper said that police found a steering wheel weight in the footwell of the vehicle, a device that mimics the weight of hands on the wheel, allowing a driver to take their hands off and continue to drive. The device overrides Tesla's safety feature.

The driver had his license confiscated pending an investigation on a charge of endangering road traffic, per The Times.

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