Young adults on social media put a dog in the motive force’s seat of a Tesla Model X on Autopilot, putting the animal and everybody else on the road in peril, in an try and go viral.
The case may very well be considered animal abuse on top of a serious traffic violation.
There was an extended documented history of irresponsible people putting themselves and others in danger by abusing Tesla’s automated driver-assist features. Tesla drivers have often jumped within the back seat of their vehicles while moving and using Autopilot for social media clout and Youtube views.
It’s an especially dangerous practice since Tesla Autopilot is just not a self-driving system, but a driver-assist system that requires the motive force to have their hands on the steering wheel and be able to take control in any respect times. If the motive force is just not in the motive force’s seat, they obviously can’t take control rapidly and put everyone in and across the vehicle in danger in consequence.
Tesla has implemented driver monitoring systems to stop drivers from exiting the motive force’s seat, but they’re ways to get around it and a few have abused it.
Now we get one other horrible example of abuse of the system involving a dog.
Blake Messick, a social media personality who posts childish stunts on TikTok and Youtube, shared a video showing a Tesla Model X driving on the road, seemingly on Autopilot, with no driver in the motive force’s seat apart from a dog sitting in it:
I asked Messick concerning the video, and he claimed that he just stumbled upon this scene:
Yesterday around 3 pm, I used to be just driving down a road in Austin TX with my friend once we saw it. At first, it looked like a traditional dog sitting on the motive force’s lap or something but my friend identified he didn’t see the motive force. So after all, I began filming just out of interest. After the video cuts off, we passed the automobile and kept driving straight because we were going way under the speed limit to match the speed of the Tesla. I posted it just a few places but didn’t expect it to get as much coverage because it ended up getting. I’ve watched the video countless times now and still can’t see anybody else within the automobile, but I still have a sense it can have been a prank on us ultimately.
Never within the video nor in my conversation with Messick did he express any concern for the dog or for anyone on the road. As a substitute, he talked concerning the views it was getting on social media.
While Messick wouldn’t admit that he was involved within the stunt, when questioning how he happened to come upon the scene, he said that certainly one of his friends may be behind it:
Numerous my friends create videos for a living, so my best guess is certainly one of them is doing it for a project they’re working on and targeted me for the ‘prank’.
The video also starts with a shot of Messick’s shoe on which he wrote ‘sub 2 Blake’, which shows that he aimed to make use of this video as a promotional tool for himself.
The vehicle used is a Silver Metallic 2017 Tesla Model X with PWS-0806 plates – a plate lookup shows that it was most recently on the market at Auto Centrix in Carrollton, Texas, back in May 2021.
The people behind this stunt could face reckless driving charges based on Texas laws. On top of it, it could fit the outline of animal neglect and abuse since Texas law has a clause to charge people for neglect when “transporting or confining an animal in a cruel manner”.
That is the third “social media star” this yr caught doing this kind of stunt with Tesla Autopilot, and it’s a trend that should be shut down as soon as possible. It’s directly dangerous and on top of it, it has the potential to negatively affect the appearance of automated driving systems.
There’s a transparent misunderstanding on the danger of those stunts. Messick was never concerned concerning the dog or anyone else on the road on this video – he was just “entertained” by the scene.
Tesla’s Autopilot is a formidable technology, but it surely must be used with extreme caution, like several other driver-assist system.