Police Arrest Man Who Rode in Backseat of Tesla With No Driver
A man was spotted riding in the backseat of a driverless Tesla Model 3 with the partially autonomous driving feature engaged was arrested after some other drivers alerted the police to the situation.
California Highway Patrol reported that 25-year-old Param Sharma was taken into custody when an officer at the Bay Bridge toll plaza in Oakland saw the car pass by without anyone in the driver's seat.
According to the report, the officer witnessed Sharma get into the driver's seat to bring the car to a stop. The vehicle was towed and Sharma was taken into custody with reckless driving and disobeying an officer.
The CHP said Sharma had previously been cited (on April 27) for similar behavior and that video of someone resembling him riding in the back of a Model 3 with no visible driver was posted to social media.
Sharma told KTVU that he ended up spending the night in jail and after he was released on Tuesday night he rode home in the back seat of a friend's Tesla with it driving itself.
"I’ve been brake-checked before really hard, and the car stopped. The car came to a complete stop. Elon Musk really knows what he’s doing and I think people are tripping and they're scared," Sharma said.
Tesla's Full Self-Driving feature is capable of driving in different conditions and following traffic directions. The mode requires someone to be buckled into the front seat and touching the steering wheel occasionally. Some drivers have gotten around this by adding weight to the seat and steering wheel to prove they are "paying attention."
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