A viral video shared on social networks has caused great outrage and unleashed an investigation for animal abuse, as apparently some young put a dog to “drive” a Tesla Model X vehicle on autopilot, endangering the animal and everyone else on the road, in an attempt to go viral.
The case could be considered animal abuse in addition to a serious traffic violation. Is a extremely dangerous practice as Tesla Autopilot is not an autonomous driving system, but rather a driver assistance system that requires the driver to have their hands on the wheel and be ready to take control at all times. If the driver is not in the driver’s seat, he obviously cannot take control quickly and, as a result, puts everyone in and around the vehicle at risk.
It was Blake Messick, an influencer who shared the video showing a Tesla Model X driving on the highway, apparently on autopilot, without a person in the driver’s seat, but instead there was a dog.
Influencer says he did not plan the viral video
When questioned about the video, the influencer revealed that it was not he who planned the video, but that he stumbled upon the scene and decided to record it.
“Yesterday around 3pm, I was driving down a highway in Austin TX with my friend when we saw him. At first it looked like a normal dog sitting on the driver’s lap or something, but my friend pointed out that he didn’t see the driver. So of course I started filming just out of interest. After the video was cut, we passed the car and kept driving straight because we were going well below the speed limit to match the speed of the Tesla. “
Never in the video or in his statement did Messick express any concern about the dog. or by anyone on the road. Instead, he talked about the opinions he was getting on social media.
While Messick did not admit that he was involved in the video of the dog driving, questioning how he stumbled upon the scene, he said that one of his friends could be behind it:
“A lot of my friends create videos for a living, so my best guess is that one of them is doing it for a project they’re working on and they turned to me for the ‘joke.’
The video also begins with a shot of Messick’s shoe that he wrote ‘sub 2 Blake’ on, showing that I intended to use this video as a promotional tool for himself.
Responsible for the video could face charges
The people behind this viral video of the dog could face reckless driving charges under Texas law. Additionally, it could fit the description of animal abuse and neglect, as Texas law has a clause to charge people for negligence when they “cruelly transport or confine an animal.”
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