This is the moment a stunned motorist passes a dog alone in a Tesla car on autopilot.
Online influencer Blake Missick, from the city of Austin in the US state of Texas, shared the video on social media.
In the clip, he is heard saying “this is crazy, there’s nobody in there! Is this legal?”
According to reports, the vehicle in the clip is a 2017 Tesla Model X.
However, despite being an influencer who posts stunts and pranks on his social media accounts, Missick claimed he had nothing to do with his latest video.
When asked if he knows anyone with a Tesla car, he said: “No, I wish I knew somebody with a Tesla, that would be pretty cool.”
He added: “But not involved with this one.”
There have been numerous incidents of influencers and motorists using Tesla’s automated driver-assist features to create videos for social media views.
It is considered a risky practice, as the autopilot feature is not a self-driving system and requires that the driver has their hands on the steering wheel to take over at any time.
He told local media: “I was just driving down a road in Austin TX with my friend when we saw it. At first, it looked like a normal dog sitting on the driver’s lap or something but my friend pointed out he didn’t see the driver.
“So of course, I started filming just out of interest. After the video cuts off, we passed the car and kept driving straight because we were going way under the speed limit to match the speed of the Tesla.
“I posted it a few places but didn’t expect it to get as much coverage as it ended up getting. I’ve watched the video countless times now and still can’t see anybody else in the car, but I still have a feeling it may have been a prank on us in some way.”
He added: “A lot of my friends create videos for a living, so my best guess is one of them is doing it for a project they’re working on and targeted me for the ‘prank’.”
However, the police have confirmed that their animal cruelty unit is now investigating the matter.