What would you do if you saw a car with no visible driver cruising down the highway? Well, if this video is anything to go by, freak out, point, stare, and then quickly Snapchat.
YouTuber Rahat built a clever rig that hides him while he sits in the driver’s seat of a Tesla Model S. It’s more or less a jacket that looks exactly like the driver seat, so Rahat can sit behind the wheel, don the disguise, and it looks spookily like the car is empty. Rahat then just has to put the window down, engage Autopilot, and rig a camera to catch the ensuing hilarity.
It’s an idea that’s been done by other people on YouTube, but this version is much safer. Rather than hiding in the back seat or a footwell — when he would be useless if the Tesla freaked out — Rahat was behind the wheel, ready to take control if he absolutely had to.
The reaction of other motorists is a good indication that although driverless cars might be a technological possibility in the near future, public opinion still has a long way to go before they’re socially acceptable. There’s something strange about seeing a machine pilot itself down a highway with zero human intervention. Even if the person is asleep behind the wheel, it doesn’t feel as spooky as a ghost car chilling in the right lane.
In any case, the video is well worth the two-minute watch, and there’s also a behind-the-scenes in case you have access to a Tesla and want to try it yourself.