CHP: Drunk driver suspected of using Tesla’s autopilot on Hwy 101

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A man was arrested on the Peninsula early Friday morning for an alleged DUI after police suspect he was using Tesla’s autopilot feature while asleep at the wheel. 

At around 3:37 a.m., officers traveling southbound on Highway 101 noticed a grey Tesla traveling about 70 mph, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

The CHP says they pulled up next to the car and saw that the driver of the Tesla, who’s been identified as Alexander Samek, was asleep at the wheel. 

Officers tried to pull the car over for several minutes but Samek was unresponsive.

Officer then sped ahead of the car. Once the CHP vehicle was in front of it, the Tesla’s automatic radar activated the brake system and the car came to a complete stop. 

Officers approached the Tesla and attempted to wake up Samek by knocking on the window and giving verbal commands. 

After Samek woke up and got out of the Tesla he was placed in the back of the patrol car and taken off the freeway to the Shell Station off Embarcadero Road at W. Bayshore Road while the other officer drove the Tesla off the freeway.

The 45-year-old man was questioned, given a sobriety test, and taken into custody under suspicion of DUI.

In a statement from CHP: 

We cannot confirm at this time if the “driver assist” feature was activated but considering the vehicle’s ability to slow to a stop when Samek was asleep, it appears the “driver assist” feature may have been active at the time.

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