A teen is finding himself under fire after a November 2020 TikTok has resurfaced, showing him misusing his Tesla Autopilot feature. Tens of thousands of viewers are sharing and commenting on the video nationwide, along with concerns about the legality of his actions – not to mention the extreme danger and risk to himself and others.
In the video clip, 18-year-old Jonathan Cox is seen sleeping in the front passenger seat of a 2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus. He is not just “napping” – the teen has full blankets and pillows set up. The car is also moving at considerable speed (64mph) on an open highway with other vehicles. Next, Cox is in the backseat, asleep with his blankets and pillows. The next clip features some sort of interaction between him and another driver. Further? The entire thing was filmed by his mother, who encourages his behavior throughout.
Cox was able to bypass the Tesla’s systems by placing a weighted band on the steering wheel. You can watch the entire and unedited video on YouTube, where Cox and his mother plan and execute their prank. There are also further irresponsible and reckless videos on his channel.
As of this writing, TikTok has had thousands and thousands of views and comments.
In an article about the video, The Drive remarked, “Tesla officially forbids the use of Autopilot without drivers’ hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, though Cox is either ignorant of or apathetic toward these rules, not to mention the fatalities tied to the misuse of Autopilot. In any case, he has filmed himself not only violating Autopilot’s operating instructions but breaking a slew of driving laws in the process.”
What does Tesla have to say about its Autopilot feature?
It appears to be a bit of a misnomer. Autopilot is not supposed to do the driving for you. It is meant to reduce your workload as a driver. Per Tesla’s website:
The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous… Before enabling Autopilot, the driver first needs to agree to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times” and to always “maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle.” Subsequently, every time the driver engages Autopilot, they are shown a visual reminder to “keep your hands on the wheel.”
In cases like Jonathan Cox, a smart car is only as smart as its driver.
If you were injured in a crash due to a reckless driver, the Maryland injury attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. can help you seek compensation. We dedicate ourselves to holding the right people accountable and ensuring you recover from your injuries. To schedule a free consultation about your case, give us a call today at 410-730-7737 or use our contact form.