A group of men who videoed themselves apparently drinking alcohol while riding in a self-driving Tesla have been slammed by social media users.
Tesla make it clear in the car’s manual that the autopilot feature should only be used in conjunction with a qualified – and sober – driver.
Nevertheless TikTok user blurrblake posted a video of himself and his mates travelling in his Tesla Model S at over 60mph in autonomous mode while passengers hold cans bearing the brands of various alcoholic fizzy drinks.
The group were raucously singing along to Justin Bieber’s “Baby” as they waved cans of assorted US-made “hard seltzers” such as White Claw, Truly, Four Loko, and Natty Light Seltzer.
The video clearly shows the car moving with its driver’s seat empty.
A can of Truly, an alcoholic seltzer, can be seen in the video directly in front of the vehicle’s steering wheel.
TikTok users were not impressed. While one commenter speculated on who would actually be arrested done the police had seen the video and another simply said “stupid” a third TikTok commenter who described himself as a personal injury lawyer pointed out that the owner of the car would be sued in the case of any accident.
Another commenter, Billy Mueller, said the kind of behaviour on display was “natural selection,” adding: “this is how God makes us smarter as a species. People drink White Claw and let Elon take the wheel.”
This isn’t the first time blurrblake has shown off his self-driving car on TikTok. Another video shows a teddy bear “steering” the car while a man sleeps in the Tesla’s passenger seat. He tagged that one #Viral!
While self-driving vehicles are statistically safer than human-piloted cars, they aren’t infallible. Four people are thought to have died car crash where Autopilot was involved. The first such death was in May 2016, when a man was killed after his Tesla failed to spot a truck that was in front of it.
However the car’s software has been upgraded since then. In June this year a Belgian man posted a dash cam video showing his Tesla deftly swerving a barely-visible wild boar wandering across a road at night.
After the man uploaded the clip, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, replied to the tweet, boasting about the car’s “superhuman” technology and saying: “Autopilot prime directive is: Don’t crash.”