No, this video does not show a real self-driving car

A video of a car moving without a driver and performing various feats with robotic parts has been viewed millions of times in Facebook posts that claim it shows a real self-driving car. The claim is false; the car company whose logo features on the vehicle in the video told AFP that it shows a computer-animated car which is not in production.

The one-minute, 32-second video was shared in this Facebook post on May 10, 2019, by a Facebook page with more than 19,000 followers.

It has been viewed more than 7.3 million times and shared more than 116,000 times. Its caption states: “New Car Invention”.

Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:

A screenshot of the misleading Facebook post

Comments by some Facebook users on the misleading post suggested they believed the car was real.

The image below contains screenshots of seven of those comments, selected by AFP, with the users’ identities redacted:
 

A screenshot of some comments on the misleading Facebook post

The same video was also shared in this Facebook post, where it has been viewed around 10 million times since it was published on May 15, 2019 by an India-based Facebook page.

That post’s caption states: “Amazing car with self works..#instacrafts”. Its comments also suggest that many viewers believed the video showed a real car.

The video was shared elsewhere on Facebook with the same two misleading claims, for example here, here and here, and on YouTube with similar claims, for example here and here.

These claims are false; the video shows a computer animated car. 

The animated car shown in the misleading posts is a recreation of this Xpeng G3 model by Chinese car company Xpeng Motors.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the car’s logo (circled in yellow) seen in the video in the misleading posts (L) and the Xpeng G3 car on its official website (R):

A screenshot comparison of the car seen in the misleading posts (L) and the real Xpeng G3 car (R)

In an email to AFP on June 10, 2019, Marie Cheung, director of International Media & Communications for Xpeng Motors, said the video in the misleading posts was a computer animation and was not an official promotion for Xpeng.

She said: “We are aware of this series of animated videos featuring a robot vehicle carrying Xpeng G3 car plate. The vehicle featured in these videos is neither Xpeng’s production car nor the concept model.”

The official press release for the launch of the Xpeng G3 in China, dated December 12, 2018, is published online here.

It describes the car as a “remarkably intelligent and high performance 5-seater SUV” but does not mention its ability to climb walls, hold an umbrella with a mechanical arm or any of the other impressive features shown in the Facebook video.

A reverse image search and keyword searches found the video in the misleading posts has been created using five videos posted on TikTok by this user.

From 0:00 to 0:19 in the video in the misleading posts, the footage corresponds with this video clip shared by @lilliangebhardt5 on TikTok.

Between 0:20 to 0:32, it corresponds with this video shared by the same TikTok user; from 0:32 and 0:52 seconds, it matches this video from the same user.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the first three TikTok videos (R):

A screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the TikTok videos (R)

From 0:53 to 1:11, the video in the misleading posts shows this video shared by @lilliangebhardt5.

And from 1:12 seconds mark until the end, the video in the misleading posts shows this video shared by the same user.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the fourth and fifth TikTok videos (R):

A screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the TikTok videos (R)