Tesla driver's 'utterly irresponsible' act behind the wheel on busy freeway

A couple driving on a busy freeway were shocked when they realised the driver next to them appeared to be asleep at the wheel.

Journalist Clint Olivier and his wife, Alisha, were driving along the freeway in Santa Clarita, California when they spotted a man behind the wheel of a Tesla with his eyes closed.

The pair couldn’t believe it and Alisha captured the moment on her phone.

The 34-second video Olivier posted to his Twitter account shows the Tesla driver with his arms crossed and head to the side, with his eyes closed.

“Disturbing phenomenon? My wife and I shot this video last week on the busy I-5 in LA,” he posted.

Tesla's technology boasts an 'autopilot' feature. The couple caught this driver apparently asleep (right) while on a Los Angeles freeway. Source: Twitter/@ClintOlivier/Getty stock

“He’s totally asleep. This is crazy,” Alisha can be heard telling her husband as she films.

“Wake up... wake up,” a nervous Alisha can be heard repeating.

Toward the end of the video the driver suddenly jolts awake and grabs the steering wheel.

The Tesla website calls the technology "autopilot”, but does advise drivers the feature was “intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any time".

The driver of the Tesla leans back with his eyes closed (left), and suddenly he opens his eyes and grabs the wheel (right). Source: Twitter/@ClintOlivier

The video posted on August 22 has received a lot of responses from people shocked that any driver would take the risk of letting the advanced car be in control.

“Totally and utterly irresponsible behaviour,” one person responded.

“This is just as dangerous as a drunk driver,” another person wrote.

Some people called on Tesla founder Elon Musk to rethink the auto-pilot feature.

“You should put in place a control to stop this kind of behaviour. You are a technology company,” a person tweeted, tagging Elon Musk.

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