TikToker under fire for ‘criminal’ behavior

An 18-year-old TikToker is in hot water after he shared of video of himself misusing Tesla Autopilot.

Although Johnathon Cox posted the TikTok back in November 2020, social media users seem to have come across it just recently and are now questioning whether what he did was legal.

In the clip, Cox is seen sleeping in the front passenger seat of his 2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus as his Tesla Autopilot guides the car down a highway at a considerable speed. He is then seen sleeping in the backseat before the video jumps to a brief interaction between him and another driver. Throughout the entire TikTok, his mother, who records him, seems to encourage his behavior.


I love this car to much 😂##fyp ##foryou ##tesla had to re edit

♬ original sound – Mr. Hub

The TikTok has since been viewed nearly 70,000 times, but it had at least one user scared.

“Omg id be too scared to lay down while my car is speeding down a highway all by itself,” the person wrote.

Cox also shared a longer version of the TikTok on YouTube, where he openly admits that he wanted to do a video where he sleeps in the front of the car and shows up in the backseat. In the description of the video, he wrongly claims that the stunt was “done by professionals on a closed-circuit course.” In January, YouTube users largely criticized him and his mother for engaging in a reckless act before Cox turned the video’s comments section off.

Other publications have since similarly denounced the TikToker for his risky act.

In a blistering article, Electrek, for example, called Cox “dumb enough” to record himself misusing the Tesla Autopilot feature. It also suggested that the teenager had committed “a criminal offense.”

“We have all done dumb things when we were young, but this is crazy dangerous and endangering not just himself and his passenger, but everyone else on the road,” Electrek’s Fred Lambert wrote.

The Drive also called Cox out for his “incriminating video.”

For the record, Tesla forbids drivers from using its Autopilot feature without the drivers’ hands on the wheel. The company also requires that drivers be “fully attentive,” according to its website.

“While these features are designed to become more capable over time, the currently enabled features do not make the vehicle autonomous,” it said of its self-driving system.

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