But we wouldn't recommend it.
The furor surrounding Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot system seems to show no sign of subsiding. Consumer Reports (CR) elicited fiery responses from Tesla fans recently when it proved that a Tesla Model Y could be driven without a driverbehind the wheel. In that experiment, CR placed a weighted chain on the steering wheel to trick the system into thinking a driver had their hands on the wheel. In a disturbing turn of events, a third-party provider of Tesla accessories is now selling a cheat device that does the same thing, essentially fooling Autopilot into thinking the driver has more control over proceedings than in reality.
We don't need to tell you all the reasons why this cheat device is a dangerous idea. By using it, drivers risk even further distraction while the car is in motion. Obviously, if your hands aren't on the wheel for an extended period of time, it can be more difficult to take evasive measures in an emergency situation. Volvo is one of the automakers working hard to not only improve autonomous driving technologies but also to eliminate distractions from behind the wheel. As for Taptes, the Tesla accessories supplier, we weren't able to locate the part via the company's website, indicating it may have been removed.
However, Teslarati did manage to get a shot of the device with the description "Model 3 Y Counterweight Ring Autopilot Accessories." It's worth mentioning that Taptes is not affiliated with Tesla in any way and that Tesla itself has always maintained that its vehicles and the Autopilot system can only be used when an attentive driver is behind the wheel.
While operating a vehicle and its driver-assist features safely seems logical to the majority of drivers, a small minority will inevitably make bad judgment calls or find dangerously creative ways to operate their vehicles. Unfortunately, the aftermarket is making this easier and allowing some to circumvent the critical safety measures built into modern vehicles.