So first off, I have to give credit where credit is due. My husband consistently sends me crazy Reddit videos and threads of insanely stupid things people do in their cars, or in the shop … it’s how we speak to each other. This video was one of those exchanges, where a dog appears to be ‘driving a Tesla down a public road. And now, I’m left with a lot of questions and some theories as to what’s actually happening.
Posted by Reddit user MountainousOutset on the thread OddlyTerrifying—the thread name really sums up the viewer’s initial experience.
Let’s start with the main attraction: The dog alone in the front seat of what appears to be a Tesla Model X.
I say alone, because as I continually replay this video, I cannot find nor do I see a human in the vehicle. There’s no one in the passenger’s seat. You also do not see the seat back tilted down on the driver’s side, which for me I guess would have been the next logical place for someone to hide? It also doesn’t look like anyone is tucked into the footwell.
The dog also has no leash attached, so that’s a good doggo for not jumping out the window, but where are your parent(s)?!?
My guess is, as one can see the windows are tinted, someone is in the backseat of the car.
But as far as the mechanics behind it, I’ll admit I haven’t driven a Tesla myself, so I reached out to our Tesla savant, Jason Torchinsky for a little help and insight. My first thought was that someone stuck their dog in the front seat after activating Tesla’s “Full Self Driving” level 2 driver assist system we just love talking about.
Jason tells me whoever set this vehicle up for this stunt just needed to defeat the steering wheel torque sensor, by starting it in Auto Pilot and adding a little weight on the wheel. Then the human could have moved to the back seat.
It’s fairly obvious this is staged, though. The video starts long before the “filming car” reaches the car with the driving dog. I doubt they slowed down that much just to catch up with this dog doing his thing on the road.
Simple enough. Granted, none of this sounds safe at all. The two cars appear to be going at a decent speed. Regardless of might be going on in the “dog car,” this is stupid.
(Imagine explaining to a grieving parent what you were trying to do when your Tesla killed their kid. —ED)
And I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway: Please do not let your dog ‘drive’ your Tesla. A human needs to be behind the wheel at all times.