The incident occurred in the Alberta province near the town of Ponoka, local law enforcement said on Thursday according to CBC.
“The car appeared to be self-driving, traveling over 140 kilometers per hour (87 mph) with both front seats completely reclined & occupants appeared to be asleep,” authorities said.
The vehicle was an electric Tesla car model that was set on autopilot and the man facing charges is 20 years old, CBC reported. This section of the highway has a speed limit of 110 kilometers per hour (68 mph).
Police Sergeant Darrin Turnbull said he was “speec76hless” and hadn’t came across a case like this in his career that has spanned for two decades, “but of course the technology wasn’t there,” he said.
“Nobody was looking out the windshield to see where the car was going,” Turnbull said.
The autopilot mode in a Tesla vehicle enables it to accelerate, steer, and brake automatically within a lane on the road, but it isn’t supposed to be capable of making trips without a human intervening when needed.
Tesla, the U.S. company has a warning on its website that states “current autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”
The incident was condemned by the president of a Canadian Tesla owners’ club, but he said there have been videos making the rounds on the internet with instructions on how to “hack” the Tesla vehicle’s safety systems.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.