A video has emerged appearing to show a Tesla driver asleep at the wheel while travelling along an Ontario highway.
The video was posted by Louise Lesser on Instagram Friday.
“Hey @teslamotors, sleeping while driving is legal now?” the post read.
The video appears to show the Tesla driver with his eyes closed and seat reclined far back.
Lesser told Global News it was filmed while travelling along the Queen Elizabeth Way near the Garden City Skyway around 7 a.m. Friday, as she was heading to the U.S. border.
“My boyfriend, who was driving at the time, noticed that the car near him, that he could see in his rearview, almost looked like there was nobody in it. And I didn’t believe him,” she said.
“And then he looked again and he’s like, ‘No, there’s someone in it. But it looks like they’re sleeping.'”
Lesser said she told him to move over and slow down so they could get a better look.
“And sure enough, his seat was insanely far back. I don’t think he could have reached his steering wheel if he tried,” she said.
“His eyes were closed. He opened them for a split second when the sun hit the wrong way, and then they stayed closed the rest of the time we saw him…. I couldn’t believe it.”
Lesser said they considered calling the police, but couldn’t keep up with the vehicle or get a good look at the licence plate.
“Then at one point, he woke up and zoomed away super quickly in an opposite direction of us,” she said.
When asked about the video Friday, Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said it was “shocking.”
“Right now, as much as we enjoy technology in vehicles and we’re getting more and more features within vehicles that assist drivers, there is still the requirement for there to be alert, attentive and an eyes-open driver in the driver’s seat with their hands on the wheel, ready to respond,” Schmidt said.
“And that certainly isn’t what I saw in that video.”
Schmidt said the driver could “absolutely” face charges, but added that the incident is not currently under investigation as no formal complaint has been filed.
“At this point we would need a witness to come forward and put in a complaint,” he said.
“We could certainly do some followup around this video but right now I still have a lot more questions that need to be answered before we would get into a full investigation.”
Tesla’s autopilot system is meant to assist drivers, but not to render the vehicles autonomous, according to the company’s website.
Drivers must agree to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control before enabling the system.
— With files from Global News