A driver on the Massachusetts Turnpike saw a motorist in the lane next to him asleep behind the wheel Sunday.
Dakota Randall says he was driving on Interstate 90 when he noticed a Tesla with its driver and passenger both asleep around 3 p.m. near Exit 17 in Newton.
“I kind of looked over and saw what I thought was somebody asleep at the wheel and I was like that can’t be right, so I did a double take, looked over and sure enough this guy was just, head between his legs completely asleep,” Randall told NBC10 Boston. “It seemed like he had his cruise control on around like 55-60 miles per hour.”
Randall sat stunned before pulling out his phone to record. He tried honking to wake the driver and passenger up but says “it didn’t work at all.”
Randall estimates he drove next to the Tesla for about 45 seconds to a minute before speeding up and leaving the sleeping driver behind.
He later shared the video on Twitter, writing, “Some guy literally asleep at the wheel on the Mass Pike (great place for it). Teslas are sick, I guess?”
Some guy literally asleep at the wheel on the Mass Pike (great place for it).
Teslas are sick, I guess? pic.twitter.com/ARSpj1rbVn
— Dakota Randall (@DakRandall) September 8, 2019
It’s not clear how long the Tesla driver and his passenger were asleep for or when they woke up.
Randall says the uncertainty of how the situation unfolded is even scarier than seeing an inattentive driver. He now has a new perspective on how he’ll drive around self-driving cars.
“I’m never going to look at one the same,” he said. “I’m always going to look to see if somebody’s asleep.”
The Tesla Autopilot feature is designed to actively guide cars from on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting and making lane changes, navigating highway interchanges, and taking exits. However, Tesla says on its website that the feature is intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any time.
Randall did not contact police after taking the video. State police tell NBC10 Boston they are aware of the incident from media reports but they were not contacted by anyone nor were they sent the video.