Tesla clip goes viral as it speeds down highway with nobody at the wheel

Kieran Bicknell

Tesla’s class-leading autopilot system is often in the news for all the wrong reasons. Unfortunately for Musk, he can add another viral video to that list of reasons, as this Tesla driver’s reckless behavior could’ve cost lives.

While they may be leading the way in the development of autonomous driving for consumers, car manufacturers Tesla are often in the news for all the wrong reasons.

With the company themselves even admitting they’re not quite at the pinnacle of autonomy just yet, their comments sometimes fall on deaf ears, with this driver being a perfect example.

The driver of this brand-new Tesla Model X only served to further the bad press about their autopilot systems, with his reckless behavior potentially endangering those around him.

Tesla Model X
The ‘driver’ was in a Tesla Model X when they filmed the stunt.

Autopilot stunt goes viral

In a clip that was originally uploaded to Facebook, this new Tesla Model X owner chose to film his own style of autopilot ‘test.’

Choosing to swap the driver’s seat for the passengers, he films himself riding in the Model X as it flies down the highway at 52mph without anyone in control.

While the autopilot system is able to keep the car in a straight line and work with general traffic, it cannot react in the same way humans can to changing environments.

With the clip now having been shared to Twitter and going viral with nearly 5 million views on one account alone, many have been quick to condemn the ‘stupid’ drivers actions. One commenter said: “The fact that dude is so willing to test the limits and put his life and other people’s lives in danger is crazy to me.”

Tesla Autopilot lawsuits

Others were somewhat less hasty to condemn the driver, saying “I’m torn somewhere between ‘this is amazing, I want one’ and ‘seems like this how I would die’.”

Besides the obvious illegality of the driver being in the passenger seat while flying down the freeway, there are a number of other safety factors at play.

Tesla themselves have been quick to remind buyers that they are required to keep their hands on the wheel at all times, and remain alert in the driver’s seat while using the autopilot system.

They have also had numerous lawsuits around the naming of the system, with prosecutors stating that the name is ‘misleading’ and suggests the ‘autopilot’ system is more advanced than it actually is. Clearly, that wasn’t enough to stop this driver – we’re just glad nobody got hurt.