SAN FRANCISCO—The California Highway Patrol announced on Tuesday, May 11 in a press release Param Sharma, 25, was arrested for reckless driving while sitting in the backseat of a Tesla on “Autopilot” mode.
On May 10, around 6 p.m., the CHP’s Golden Gate Division Communications Center received several 9-1-1 calls reporting someone in the backseat of a Tesla Model 3 without anyone in the driver’s seat, according to the CHP.
A CHP Oakland officer located the Tesla heading eastbound on I-80 across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge towards the city of Oakland. The officer initiated an enforcement stop and watched Sharma move to the driver’s seat to pull over. The officer arrested Sharma for disobeying a Peace Officer and reckless driving.
“Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment,” according to Tesla’s “Autopilot” support page. “It is your responsibility to stay alert, keep your hands on the wheel at all times and maintain control of your car.”
Sharma posted many videos of himself in his self-driving Tesla on his Instagram account @goldcollarlavish. One post is a screenshot of a news account of him in the Tesla with the caption “I came outta the pandemic in a self driving car U blue collar peasants can’t understand my life.”
The CHP noted that the safety of all who share their roadways is their primary concern and they thanked the public for providing information that aided in the investigation and arrest.