A recent YouTube video showing a couple of German guys joyriding in a new Infiniti Q50 quickly turns into a dangerous stunt when the two mistake the car’s Active Lane Control system for an autonomous self-driving one.
According to AutoBlog, Infiniti’s ALC is designed to make small adjustments via the car’s fully digital (rather than mechanical) steering to help drivers stay in the same lane. It is not a self-driving feature meant to control a car barreling down a freeway at high speed autonomously.
The two literal backseat drivers in the video apparently didn’t understand the disconnect or didn’t care, and filmed the car cruising down the highway without anyone in the driver’s seat, putting themselves and those around them at serious risk.
Footage toward the end of the driver bumping the steering wheel while climbing out demonstrates how easily — and quickly — this could have gone wrong.
The addition of “Ride of the Valkyries” is clever — the rest of this isn’t.
The new Mercedes-Benz S class features a similar system, according to IEEE Spectrum, but smartly requires drivers to make contact with the steering wheel every 12 seconds or so — for those not-so-smart themselves.