On Friday, model and actress Hari Nef posted a video to Instagram that shows a Tesla headed down a freeway.
In the video, which has since been taken down, the Tesla’s operator, model Jacob Bixenman, is mugging for the camera, facing Nef — not the road.
Here, you can see Bixenman smiling for the ‘gram:
Here, seconds later, you can see he has his phone — not the wheel — in his hands:
In the video, backseat passengers can be heard nervously laughing as the Tesla's steering wheel appears to adjust itself without Bixenman touching it. It's unclear what model of Tesla the vehicle is, but it appears to be using the company's Autopilot technology to stay in the middle of the lane as it drives down the freeway.
But Autopilot technology isn’t the same as self-driving technology. It’s meant to assist the driver, not take over the job of driving for them. Tesla has said in the past that drivers should remain “fully attentive” when their Tesla is in Autopilot mode.
After reviewing the video, a spokesperson for Tesla said the driver’s behavior conflicts with Tesla’s instructions for using Autopilot, which include “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times," "maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle," and “be prepared to take over at any time.”
Tesla’s warnings to drivers — which the company says appear every time Autopilot is engaged — have at times gone unheeded. There's no indication that alcohol was involved in this instance, but drunk Tesla drivers using the Autopilot feature have been creating safety concerns. Occasionally, they have tried to tell police officers arresting them for DUIs that they’re innocent, because the cars were driving themselves. In one instance, an inebriated Tesla driver using Autopilot fell asleep behind the wheel.
More recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been investigating a crash involving Autopilot that ended up killing the driver behind the wheel of a Tesla. That driver’s family maintains that before his death he complained about problems with his Tesla’s Autopilot. Video evidence of Tesla vehicles making miscalculations while in Autopilot mode has since emerged.
In 2016, the NTSB found that a separate fatal incident partially resulted from a driver’s over reliance on Autopilot.
Nef and Bixenman did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.