By dressing up as the front seat of a Tesla Model S and engaging the self-driving autopilot feature, a YouTube prankster caused other drivers to lose their minds.
Rahat Hossain, better known by his YouTube channel name Magic Of Rahat, created an outfit which looks like the driver's seat of a Model S. The 26-year-old then put on the suit, stepped into the car with the seat pushed back to help him hide behind the B pillar, then drive down the motorway with autopilot engaged.
Several cameras recorded the reactions of passing motorists, which you can see in the video below. "Oh! Ain't nobody in that car!" one passing driver shouted. "Where's the driver?" she asked.
The Model S was shown starting and stopping in heavy traffic, using the car's array of sensors and cameras to keep itself in lane and a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Another concerned driver pulled alongside, opened his window and shouted: "Anyone there?", while another asked the driver of the car behind the Tesla if he was somehow driving both at once.
One, seemingly driving while on a video call to a friend and believing he'd found a fully autonomous Tesla, said: "Dude, no joke. This is the future. There is nobody driving this Tesla on the interstate."
Many leaned out of their windows to film the car, then were shocked as Hossain slipped out of the seat disguise and waved as if nothing had happened.
Autopilot works by scanning the road ahead and reading its lane markings. The system then takes control of the car's steering, accelerator and brake to stay in lane and a safe distance from other traffic, while obeying the speed limit. The system can also swerve to avoid other vehicles entering its lane, and switch lanes when the driver flicks the indicator stalk.