Full Self-Crashing

In Netflix's latest apocalypse vehicle, a bunch of self-driving Teslas go haywire, seemingly trying to hit Julia Roberts and her family.

With a star-studded cast including Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Mahershala Ali, and Kevin Bacon, the new Sam Esmail-directed joint "Leave the World Behind" involves a mysterious auditory cyberattack that makes people — and apparently cars — go rogue.

In the scene, which like the film is set in a Long Island town near a peri-apocalyptic New York City, Roberts' perturbed character surveys a pileup of empty white Tesla Model 3s. She realizes that all the electric vehicles have dealer stickers still on them, meaning they're all new.

The camera zooms in to warnings about the cars' "self-driving safety features" just in time for her to realize that yet another white Tesla speeding towards her family's SUV is driving itself — and that it, and the ones behind it, plan to hit anything or anyone in their way.

Based on a 2020 novel of the same name by author Rumaan Alam, the film adaptation has a buckwild Tesla scene that's sure to ratchet up the already very substantial scrutiny onTesla's Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) modes, which offer plenty of dangers in the real world, too.

Trigger Warning

Following the film's release over the weekend, news of its chilling modern plot made its way around the site formerly known as Twitter. Soon after, the site's owner, who also happens to own Tesla and who doesn't seem to have watched the film or the clip, jumped into the foray.

"Teslas can charge from solar panels," Elon Musk tweeted, "even if the world goes fully Mad Max and there is no more gasoline!"

The issue with these cars, of course, isn't that they're electric, but rather that they are driving themselves, sometimes to deadly effect. That massive oversight was not at all missed by X users, who joked about how the film "triggered" the site's owner.

Triggers aside, Esmail, the director famed as the showrunner for "Mr. Robot," did admit to Rolling Stone that he didn't get permission from Tesla to use all those cars in the scene.

"Look, I wrote it in the script," he told the magazine. "I asked my amazing props guy, Bobby, to bring a bunch of Teslas out on the street. We shot the scene. I edited it in post, I showed it to Netflix, I crossed my fingers. And to this day, no one has said anything to me."

Now that it's on Musk's radar, that may not hold true — but then again, it seems doubtful that the ever-busy billionaire has or will watch the film, so who's to say?

More on Tesla: Experts Deeply Concerned About Cybertruck Safety

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