The California Highway Patrol (CHP) arrested a 25-year-old man after he was caught riding a moving Tesla in the backseat of the EV.
The CHP identified the man in question, Param Sharma, and arrested him for reckless driving on May 12, posting the details of the arrest and indicent on its official Facebook page.
The actual incident took place on Monday, May 10 after the CHP's Golden Gate division received a number of calls from concerned locals stating they'd seen a man riding in the back of a Tesla in the Bay area with no one in the driver's seat. Sharma was identified and stopped at the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza after he had been seen moving to the driver's seat by an officer, after which he was arrested.
Not his first time
This isn't the first time Sharma has been believed to be caught riding a Tesla recklessly, and in a similar fashion.
Sharma's arrest comes just weeks after a fatal Tesla crash took place in Texas, which investigators believe happened because neither occupants of the EV were controlling the vehicle as it rolled through streets potentially on Autopilot mode.
There have been a number of instances where Tesla owners have not acted appropriately while their vehicle was on Autopilot. For instance, one driver dozed off while his Tesla was driving on Autopilot at 93 mph (150 km/h) on the highway, and in another instance, a group of inebriated Tesla occupants left the EV's driver's seat empty as it drove its course on Autopilot.
These are just a few examples of Autopilot being misused, which could have led to serious repercussions.
Tesla itself states on its website that Autopilot is "designed to assist" with parts of driving, and more importantly, it says that "current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous."
The EV company has even created a mechanism that immediately stops a Tesla if it's on Autopilot and the driver's seatbelt has been unfastened. This is Tesla's way of ensuring there is someone in the driver's seat at all times when the Autopilot feature is switched on.
However, engineers and amateurs alike have found ways of tricking the Autopilot feature, which can relatively easily be done by finding a way of clicking the seatbelt, and adding a bit of weight to the steering wheel.
This doesn't mean that Tesla owners should rush to dupe their EV's Autopilot system, because as you see, highway patrols and police officers are at-the-ready to safeguard the public by arresting those who misuse the feature.