Photos of Man Riding in Tesla With No Driver Prompt California Police to Investigate

Vallejo, CA – Photos are circulating on social of a man riding in the back passenger seat of a Tesla sedan while traveling on a California roadway — with nobody in the driver’s seat.

Over the weekend, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Golden Gate Division posted it was “aware” of the unusual incident involving a Tesla passenger vehicle with no driver behind the wheel.


Few details were given regarding the time and exact location, but posted photos show the vehicle’s solo occupant riding in the back seat, smiling at cars passing by as the driverless vehicle travels down a Bay Area roadway.

CHP stated it received a report of the incident as “third-hand information.”

It is currently under investigation, CHP confirms.

Officials did not state if the occupant had been identified or if they are seeking the public’s help to identify him.

This is apparently not the first time the man has done this, however.


Neil Pauline commented to CHP he had seen the same man last week on Interstate 80 near the Ashby exit.

“He was the only person in the car, sitting in the back seat,” Pauline wrote. “He was holding up an iPad filming his surroundings.”

CHP asked motorists witnessing an unusual incident such as the one above to immediately report it by calling 9-1-1.

“The sooner the incident is reported, the better the chances of an investigation being completed,” CHP stated, reminding the public the importance to be aware of location when calling 9-1-1 to report any suspicious activity.

Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reached out to CHP and requested further information on the incident, but as of publishing, have not heard back.


Numerous recent crashes involving Tesla’s are once again putting the company’s self-driving technology — branded as Autopilot and Full Self-Driving — under scrutiny by both critics as well as some U.S. lawmakers.

A high-profile fiery crash in Spring, TX last month involving a 2019 Tesla sedan left two men dead.

Local investigators said no one was behind the wheel at the time the vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a tree before igniting in a residential neighborhood.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed Autopilot was not engaged at the time, while a new report from the National Transportation Safety Board offers a different explanation.

Click HERE to read more on the NTSB’s findings.

Still, Tesla maintains Autopilot should never be engaged without a driver behind the wheel and ready to take over if need be.

Take a look at CHP’s post below.

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