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Tesla driver snapped riding in backseat of car while it’s on autopilot

A Tesla driver from California has been caught on camera sitting in the backseat of his Tesla Model 3 car while being driven around on Autopilot.

The man, who sported a wide grin as he was being overtaken by a fellow driver in Berkeley, has been seen several times during the past week.

Despite the actions being both dangerous and illegal, he also appears to get a kick out of being caught on camera. 

In one picture taken in the Bay Area, the man could be seen with his foot resting on the steering wheel while he sat comfortably in the rear.

A Tesla Model 3 driver has been caught on camera sitting in the back seat while the car appears to be driving itself and on Autopilot

The man, who has yet to be identified has been spotted on social media in the Bay Area 

The man, who has not yet been identified seems to enjoy being caught on camera. He was spotted here in Berkeley, California

In another picture posted to social media, the man’s foot can be seen on the steering wheel 

The vehicle requires some sort of pressure on the on the steering column at regular intervals in order for the Autopilot to continue to function

The vehicle requires some sort of pressure on the on the column at regular intervals in order for the Autopilot to continue to function, although it does depend on speed.   

The driver’s seatbelt also needs to be fastened but the belt can be buckled without the driver sitting  in the seat.

Tesla promote their Autopilot system as a suite of driver assisted features and not as an autonomous driving system.   

Upon activating the system, Tesla warns drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and to be ready to take control at all times. Drivers should be seated in the driver’s seat. 

Autopilot deactivates if a drivers seatbelt is unbuckled and some have suggested that if no weight is detected in the front seat that the system should also switch off.

One Tesla owner posted pictures of themselves in various poses in their Tesla

The TikTok shows the driver doing everything from sleeping and eating to reading and working

The California Highway Patrol is investigating why the Tesla crashed into the overturned truck (above). It isn’t known if the Tesla was operating on Autopilot when the crash occurred

One man, 35, was killed and two were injured after a Tesla vehicle crashed into an overturned truck (above) on the 210 Freeway near Fontana, California, at around 2:40am on Wednesday

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has previously said a Tesla operating on Autopilot, which partially automates steering, braking and speed control, is safer than a car operated solely by a human driver

On Thursday it was announced the California Highway Patrol is investigating why a Tesla vehicle crashed into an overturned truck on a highway near Fontana on Wednesday, killing the Tesla´s driver. 

The patrol did not say whether the Tesla was operating on Autopilot or not.

The Mack truck, which the Tesla collided with, had crashed and overturned just five minutes earlier, blocking two lanes of the highway, the report said. Tesla have yet to comment on the incident.

The crash is the latest fatality involving a Tesla and comes just weeks after another Tesla smashed into a tree and burst into flames in Texas, resulting in the deaths of two men.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has previously said a Tesla operating on Autopilot, which partially automates steering, braking and speed control, is safer than a car operated solely by a human driver. 

Last month, a Tesla smashed into a tree and burst into flames in Texas, resulting in the deaths of two men – the car’s owner Doctor William Varner, and his pal Everette Talbot.

Police had said it was apparent that there was no one in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash in the wealthy The Woodlands neighborhood of Houston, on April 17.

But Tesla had refuted police’s claims, saying a deformed steering wheel suggested that someone was likely in the driver’s seat. 

Varner, 59, and Talbot, 69, both died in the fatal crash when the Tesla Model S  – bought second-hand off eBay in January – smashed into a tree and burst into flames. 

At the end of April, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office’s report revealed more details as to how the flames took hold. 

It reiterated local police’s assertion that no one was in the driver’s seat while the report classifies the crash as accidental.

Investigator Chris Johnson stated that the fire was caused by the collision. The report did not note the car’s speed or whether air bags and seat belts were used. 

Tesla had not commented. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are both investigating. 

It’s one of more than 20 accidents involving Tesla vehicles Federal highway safety regulators are looking into. 

Dr. William Varner, 59, and Everette Talbot, 69, both died in the fatal crash when the Tesla Model S smashed into a tree and burst into flames 

It also detailed how the vehicle’s ‘hood, front doors, front body panels, forward support pillars, trunk and roof were completely destroyed’.

Talbot was seated ‘in a forward-leaning position, with both arms rolled forward’, according to the report, while Varner was ‘in a rear-leaning position, with both arms rolled back and in a pugilistic pose.’ 

It added: ‘Multiple fire patterns produced by both the movement and intensity of the fire indicate that the fire originated from the vehicle’s power distribution system and related components located at the front end of the vehicle.’

‘Any extensive damage to the battery, the power distribution systems, or the systems associated with battery cell temp regulation can result in electrical arcing and/or thermal runaway of the lithium-ion cells, which are both competent source of ignition. 

Last month, a Tesla smashed into a tree and burst into flames (above) in the wealthy The Woodlands neighborhood, Houston, on April 17, resulting in the deaths of two men

‘The vehicle sustained a significant front end collision which damaged one, or many of these systems, leading to the development of fire within with the vehicle. 

Varner’s Model S crashed into trees just a few hundred yards from his $2million home in the gated community of Carlton Woods Creekside. 

Talbot is said to have been found in the front passenger seat and the car’s owner, Varner, in the back seat. Police said it was apparent that there was no one in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in the crash’s immediate aftermath data downloaded by Tesla indicate the vehicle was not operating on Autopilot, its semi-autonomous driving system. 

Police said it was apparent there was no one in the driver’s seat but Tesla refuted police’s claims, saying a deformed steering wheel suggested someone was likely in the driver’s seat

Varner’s Model S (pictured: remains of Tesla at crash scene) crashed into trees just a few hundred yards from his $2million home in the gated community of Carlton Woods Creekside 

Later in April, Tesla had again refuted police’s claims, saying a deformed steering wheel suggested that someone was likely in the driver’s seat. 

The Autopilot system handles some driving tasks such as keeping lanes and maintaining distances between cars, but experts say the term ‘Autopilot’ can be misleading consumers to believe that the car can drive by itself. 

Tesla says its features ‘require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous’.

To engage Tesla’s autopilot, the car must think someone is at the wheel by detecting the weight of their hands on the steering wheel. If it doesn’t, it’ll stop but it can take up to 30 seconds for it to do so. 

Autopilot must detect road markings before it can be enabled, according to Tesla. There are no markings on the private road they were on.

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