A Tesla driver has been charged after being found asleep at the wheel of his self-driving car speeding along at 93mph while using the 'autopilot system' in Canada.
The man's Model S Tesla was pictured with its seats fully reclined while roaring along near the town of Ponoka, about 60 miles south of Edmonton in Alberta.
Both the driver and another passenger were said to be asleep in the two front seats of the car.
When cops discovered the car traveling at about 86mph, they turned on their emergency flashing lights - only for the Tesla to 'automatically begin to accelerate' to 93mph. The speed limit on that stretch of highway is about 68mph.
'The car appeared to be self-driving, traveling over 140km/h, with both front seats completely reclined and both occupants appearing to be asleep,' said a statement from the Royal Canadian Mounted police (RCMP).
It is not clear why the car sped up to 93 mph (exactly 150 km/h) as the cars moved out of the way when the police gave chase.
The driver, 20, from British Colombia, was charged with speeding and given a 24-hour license suspension for fatigue.
A Tesla driver has been charged after being found asleep at the wheel of his self-driving car speeding along at 93mph in Canada. Pictured: A picture taken by the Royal Canadian Mounted police of the Tesla Model S involved in the incident
He was later also charged with dangerous driving and he was served a summons to appear in court in December.
RCMP Sgt. Darrin Turnbull told CBC News: 'Nobody was looking out the windshield to see where the car was going. I've been in policing for over 23 years and the majority of that in traffic law enforcement, and I'm speechless.
'I've never, ever seen anything like this before, but of course the technology wasn't there.'
Tesla Model S sedans have autopilot functions which includes auto-steer as well as 'traffic-aware' cruise control. In this case both functions appeared to be in use..
Turnball added: 'We believe the vehicle was operating on the autopilot system, which is really just an advanced driver safety system, a driver assist program. You still need to be driving the vehicle.
'But of course, there are after-market things that can be done to a vehicle against the manufacturer's recommendations to change or circumvent the safety system.'
Pictured: A Tesla Model S, the same model that was caught speeding down a Canadian highway while its driver was using the auto-pilot features to take a nap (stock image)
The auto-pilot function will steer, accelerate and brake for the car within its lane, according to Tesla's website, but notes that the driver still needs to be paying attention. The function does 'not make the vehicle autonomous', it says.
RCMP superintendent Gary Graham said in the statement: 'Although manufacturers of new vehicles have built-in safeguards to prevent drivers from taking advantage of the new safety systems in vehicles, those systems are just that – supplemental safety systems.
'They are not self-driving systems. They still come with the responsibility of driving.'
In all Canadian provinces, using the self-driving feature is illegal without an alert driver present, with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) stating that a driver is responsible for the vehicle's actions when driver assistance is turned on.
In July, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he expects his company's vehicles to be fully autonomous by the end of the year, saying it was already 'very close' to meeting the requirements of 'level-five' autonomy, which requires no input from a driver.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has boldly claimed that Tesla cars could have 'level-five' autonomy by the end of the year. Level-five autonomy means the vehicle requires no input from the driver
Laws regarding self-driving or autonomous vehicles are currently at different stages from country to country.
Canada is yet to adopt any comprehensive federal legislation that targets their use, or the liability issues they raise.