Tesla Owner Arrested After Repeating Backseat Rides While On Autopilot | US news
A driver discovered in the back seat of his Tesla on a freeway in the San Francisco Bay Area has been arrested for reckless driving.
The California Highway Patrol said Param Sharma, 25, was also charged with disobeying an officer.
Police were alerted after receiving a series of calls describing a person sitting in a’s back seat Tesla Model 3 with no driver in the driver’s seat on Interstate 80 over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
A motorcycle officer spotted the Tesla, confirmed that the only occupant was in the back seat, took action to stop the car, and saw the person inside move to the driver’s seat before coming to a stop.
Authorities said they cited Sharma from San Francisco on April 27 for a similar offense.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Sharma said he had done nothing wrong and would continue to sit in the back seat with no one behind the wheel.
“It was actually designed to be driven in the back seat,” said Sharma.
“I feel safer in the back seat than in the driver’s seat, and I feel safer with my car on autopilot. I trust my car autopilot more than anyone else on the road.”
He believes his Model 3 can drive himself and doesn’t understand why he had to spend a night in jail.
He said he started driving in the back seat of a self-driving Tesla vehicle in 2018 and drove about 40,000 miles without sitting in the driver’s seat.