B.C. man accused of sleeping (and speeding) while on Autopilot going to trial for dangerous driving

Tesla Model S Alberta
Image via Ponoka RCMP

Earlier this year we told you about a British Columbia man who was caught travelling at 140km/h while allegedly asleep behind the wheel with his Tesla on Autopilot.

The 20-year old man was ticketed for speeding and received a 24-hour suspension of his driver’s license. A Criminal Code charge of Dangerous Driving was also laid against the driver, for which he has now had his first court appearance.

According to court records, Leran Cai appeared in Ponoka Provincial court on December 11, 2020, in what legal experts are calling a first in Canada.

“I don’t know that I’m aware of any other case in Canadian law ever where somebody has been asleep in a self-driving car that has been charged with dangerous driving,” Vancouver criminal lawyer Kyla Lee told Global News.

This isn’t the first driving-related charge against Cai. In March 2019 he was charged with driving while prohibited in Richmon.d He was later convicted of a lesser charge of driving without a driver’s license and paid a $1,000 fine.

Cai’s next court appearance is scheduled for January 29, 2021 in Ponoka.

A member of the Electric Vehicle Association of Alberta (EVAA) witnessed the incident. According to a statement to Drive Tesla, the driver and passenger were not asleep behind the wheel. While their seats were fully reclined, the driver and passenger were talking to each other and waved at the passing Tesla owner.

This incident serves as a good reminder that your Tesla is not capable of driving by itself, and you must remain attentive while behind the wheel and ready to take control at any moment.

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About Mike Flemming 784 Articles
Senior Contributor. White Long Range AWD Model 3 owner since October 2018. EV fan since 2012 with my first Nissan Leaf | Mike@DriveTeslaCanada.ca Have a Tesla tip? Email tips@driveteslacanada.ca, or DM us on Twitter @DriveTeslaca