On Monday evening, 25-year-old Param Sharma was arrested by Highway Patrol in Oakland, California after being spotted in the back seat of a Tesla Model 3 with Full Self-Driving (FSD) engaged, according to KTVU.
Arrested on two counts of reckless driving and disobeying a peace officer, Sharma spent the night in Santa Rita jail and was released Tuesday night.
The moment was captured on the cell phone of a passenger in a different car, and shows Sharma sitting in the back seat with no one behind the wheel.
After coming home, Sharma boasted to KTVU that his driving wasn’t dangerous and that he had made it home the same way he had been driving before being arrested – in the back seat of the car, this time alongside a friend who owned the Tesla Model 3.
Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD advanced driver assistance systems (ADASs), however, are meant only for use with a fully engaged driver who is prepared to take control over the vehicle, according to the company’s instructions.
“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,” said Sharma.
According to authorities, Sharma was cited on April 27 for similar behavior in his Tesla Model 3. He is due back in count on July 6. The defiant driver says he will keep riding in the backseat of his Tesla with FSD engaged, and claims by mid-2022, the practice will be commonplace.
It seems Sharma has no fear and is willing to put his life on the line and those of others. It’s a sad state of his judgment and character.
Tesla’s FSD is currently still in a beta mode and is only licensed for the operation of Level 2 autonomy, which requires the driver to be alert and prepared at all times. Earlier on Wednesday, Musk provided an updated timeline for the release of FSD V9 beta and also FSD subscriptions.
Zachary Visconti is a writer with a knack for electric vehicles, technology, and climate change. Currently residing in Fort Collins, Colorado, Zach loves his partner, his cat, and a good cup of coffee.