Tuesday, 11 May 2021 19:56

Illegal Tesla Autopilot Use Incident Under Investigation by CA Authorities

Written by Maria Merano, Teslarati
Illegal Tesla Autopilot Use Incident Under Investigation by CA Authorities CHP Golden Gate Division/Facebook


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The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is investigating an incident involving a Tesla spotted on an Oakland freeway with no driver at the wheel and a lone passenger in the back seat. 

On May 8, CHP’s Golden Gate Division posted on Facebook about an “unusual incident involving a Tesla."


“The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has been made aware of an incident involving a man riding in the backseat of a Tesla traveling on Bay Area roadways, with no other person being seated in the driver seat. The CHP received a report of the incident as third-hand information, and it is under investigation,” wrote CHP in its post.


A commenter on CHP’s post reported seeing the man on I-80 near the Ashby exit the week before in the same position.


“He was the only person in the car, sitting in the back seat,” shared the commenter. The CHP asked the community to report similar unusual incidents in the future by dailing 911.


The young man was probably playing with Tesla Autopilot when he was spotted. Pictures from CHP show the driver’s seat belt was hooked up, hinting the young man was tricking Tesla Autopilot into working without a driver behind the wheel. 


Such a practice is in direct violation of Tesla’s Autopilot’s proper use, which requires drivers to stay alert and keep their hands at the wheel in case they need to take over the vehicle’s operations.


Strangely enough, Consumer Reports provided a walkthrough on how to trick Autopilot a few weeks ago using a defeat device and performing some irresponsible decisions. Some Tesla owners were concerned others may try to replicate Consumer Reports' “experiment,” and they seem to be validated based on the CHP’s current investigation. 


If found, the young man could be charged with...

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