In a rather bizarre weekend tale, a San Francisco man on Friday evening passed out drunk in his Tesla Model S while trying to drive across the Bay Bridge, according to a report from SFGATE. As the story goes, the man fell asleep in bumper to bumper traffic whereupon other drivers on the road, seemingly unaware of the man’s inebriated state, called the police for help.
A short while later, officers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) showed up to assess the situation and see what was going on — and this is where things take a turn for the absurd. Upon waking up, the Tesla owner tried to convince the attending officers that everything was okay because the car was “on autopilot.”
It was subsequently revealed that the man had a blood alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit. Not surprisingly, he was arrested on charges of drunk driving, his appeal to the Tesla Autopilot gods notwithstanding.
With a somewhat comical take on the matter, the official CHP Twitter account posted the following late on Friday night.
When u pass out behind the wheel on the Bay Bridge with more than 2x legal alcohol BAC limit and are found by a CHP Motor. Driver explained Tesla had been set on autopilot. He was arrested and charged with suspicion of DUI. Car towed (no it didn’t drive itself to the tow yard). pic.twitter.com/4NSRlOBRBL
— CHP San Francisco (@CHPSanFrancisco) January 19, 2018
Incidentally, it’s worth noting that the current incarnation of Autopilot on Tesla vehicles will not simply take passed out or even inattentive drivers on a multi-hour journey. Due to some well-placed concerns stemming from Tesla owners posting absurd Autopilot videos online a few years back — including one of man who, with Autopilot engaged, decided to sit in the backseat — Tesla in recent years rolled out an update whereby drivers have to touch the steering wheel at least once every two minutes for Autopilot to remain on. Barring that, the car will simply slow down and eventually come to a halt, as was the case in the story above.