Kenosha County

Driver Ticketed After Allegedly Sleeping at Wheel of Self-Driving Tesla in Wisconsin

The driver denied he had been asleep at the wheel, but acknowledged that he was "tired" at the time he was pulled over

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

An Illinois man was ticketed for inattentive driving after he allegedly was seen asleep behind the wheel of a self-driving Tesla on a Wisconsin highway this weekend.

According to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, a deputy was sent to northbound Interstate 94 near the Illinois-Wisconsin state line at approximately 7:51 a.m. Sunday after a motorist reported that a driver appeared to be asleep at the wheel of a 2019 Tesla.

The deputy spotted the vehicle near milepost 159 and drove alongside the vehicle. According to the deputy, the driver did appear to be asleep at the wheel, with the deputy noting that the driver’s “head was down and was not looking at the road,” according to a press release.

The deputy then initiated a traffic stop, but the driver of the vehicle did not pull over for approximately two miles. The Tesla’s driver allegedly noticed that he was being pulled over when the deputy pulled up alongside his vehicle for a second time, and pulled the car to the side of the road.

According to deputies, the driver, a 38-year-old man from Palatine, Illinois, denied being asleep when talking to the deputy. He did acknowledge being tired, and officers said that the man did not show any signs of impairment.

The driver was ticketed for inattentive driving, authorities said.

According to Tesla’s website, cars with autopilot and self-driving capabilities are “intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment.”

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