Report: German Police Pull Over Tesla Driver Asleep at the Wheel. Sure.

3 weeks ago 29

how's this work

Michael Simari|Car and Driver

Last week, German police evidently faced a new sort of dilemma: how to pull over a driver who appeared to be asleep. According to a report from the Bavarian police, the cops tried to pull over a Tesla—model not specified—on the A70 autobahn, but the driver didn't respond. They pulled alongside and saw Herr Teslaman appeared to be asleep at the wheel. Thus ensued 15 minutes of a game we'd call, "Wake up the guy who's pretending to be asleep so he can blame his car for whatever he did to get pulled over in the first place."

We guess there's an outside possibility that this all really happened in the way it's described, but the report omits some key details. It does say that the police pulled in front of the car and it maintained a safe following distance at 68 mph, but that the driver appeared to be reclining in the seat, eyes closed, with his hands off the wheel. The police then resorted to 15 minutes of honking (or perhaps sirens—we're thinking there's a nuance to the translation of "hupen") before the 45-year-old sleepyhead acknowledged it was time to hit the ausfahrt and talk to the polizei. Once he actually stopped, they found a weight in the footwell. Which, as we proved, could be hung on the steering wheel to trick the car into thinking there's a sentient being at the helm.

The cops also said the guy was probably on drugs. That we can believe.

Sure, Blame the Car

But was he really asleep? That's a good question. It would be helpful to know why the police decided to pull him over in the first place. Because if the reason was erratic driving, that's at odds with the narrative that Tesla's Autopilot system is so good that it drove for more than 15 miles just fine all by itself. Just maybe—bear with us here—our man knew he was busted for whatever caused the stop in the first place, so he decided to double down and blame it all on the car. Not that being asleep at the wheel is great, but maybe that's better than whatever else he was doing. These dang Teslas! You take an Ambien or three and the next thing you know, your car brought you from Bamberg all the way to Bayreuth! Also, if the cops noticed that the Tesla maintained a safe following distance, why didn't they just get in front of it and stop? Was there a second car to prevent a lane change? So many questions.

We'd ask Tesla for comment, but its PR department is a laughing-crying emoji on Twitter. So let's just say that either someone in Germany pushed their Tesla's driver assistance to the limit, or they came up with a novel new way to defend a traffic ticket. Or maybe both. But we know at least one crime was committed: driving at 68 mph on the autobahn.

This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Watch Next

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Read Entire Article