Indian American driverless Tesla backseat rider busted for stunt

Basking in social media notoriety, flaunts his luxury “gold collar” lifestyle.

An Indian American man arrested for riding in the backseat of a driverless Tesla in San Francisco, has been flaunting  his luxury “gold collar” lifestyle and trolling “blue-collar peasants” in social media posts.

Param Sharma was arrested over the weekend and identified as the man spotted riding across the Bay Bridge in the back seat of a Tesla Model 3 operating on “Autopilot” mode with no one in the driver’s seat.

He documented himself performing the stunt in videos posted on his Instagram account which is filled with other posts flaunting his wealth, according to CBS SF.

The California Highway Patrol said Sharma was arrested without incident and booked into Santa Rita Jail on two counts of reckless driving and disobeying a peace officer. Before his arrest, the CHP had posted images of a man doing the same thing in two other incidents.

Sharma himself posted videos on what appears to be his Instagram account @goldcollarlavish where he is seen apparently basking in his notoriety, CBS SF said.

In one video, he is shown in the back seat of a Tesla reading news accounts of the driverless Tesla passenger while trolling the CHP:“goldcollarlavish – Bitch tell the chp I bought my license.”

In another video, the point-of-view is of a person again in the back seat of a Tesla at night on a freeway while looking at a tablet, where a map appears to show the vehicle heading north on Interstate Highway 280 in Hillsborough.

Another post is a screen capture of a news account of his driverless exploits, with the caption, “I came outta the pandemic in a self driving car U blue blue collar peasants can’t understand my life.”

The @goldcollarlavish account is a celebration of Sharma’s lifestyle, where he flaunts his material wealth while also trolling those who are not at his level.

“You see this car? You peasants can’t afford this car.,” says Sharma as he smirks at the camera in one post.

“You guys r all cheap poor low class peasants that can’t afford lambo trucks and i11’s I purposely drive it in ur ghetto to make you feel small,” reads the caption in another post.

Other posts from previous years show him posing with stacks of cash, luxury items, and even pouring Pellegrino water down the toilet, CBS SF said.

In 2013, Sharma was featured in a Vice article documenting his rich brat persona and ability to troll celebrities on the internet, it said. The article referred to an Instagram account with a quarter-million followers, which is now inactive.

This was the second time Sharma had been caught pulling the stunt and he had been charged last month also, the Patrol said.

As soon as he was out of jail, he purchased another Tesla and repeated the stunt on Wednesday, KTVU Fox TV station reported.

Sharma came to a meeting with its reporter with the car on autopilot and him in the backseat, the station reported. He told the reporter he bought a new car, adding, “Yeah, I’m rich as (expletive). I’m very rich.”

A Telsa Model 3 car like the one that was confiscated costs upwards of $40,000.


Tesla driver killed in 2016 fatal crash ignored ‘Hands Required’ autopilot warning, NTSB report (June 20, 2017)

Tesla in India to remain as dream; Elon Musk puts India in queue after being ‘misinformed’ (May 25, 2017)

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