Two men died after a Tesla car was being operated without anyone in the driver's seat and crashed into a tree, officials believe.

The vehicle was destroyed after it burst into flames during the collision on Saturday night north of Houston in the US.

"There was no one in the driver's seat," Sgt. Cinthya Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 said.

She confirmed that the two victims were born in 1962 and 1951.

It's been reported that one of the men was in the front passenger seat while the other was in the back seat of the Tesla, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The vehicle was traveling at high speed along a curve before it hit a tree at night and burst into flames.

Flames completely ravaged the car after it crashed into a tree
Flames completely ravaged the car after it crashed into a tree

"Our preliminary investigation is determining - but it's not complete yet - that there was no one at the wheel of that vehicle," Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said.

"We're almost 99.9% sure."

Authorities were still investigating as of Sunday morning whether the front passenger airbag was deployed, the report added.

It's understood that Tesla's manuals say: “The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

"Tesla with Autopilot engaged now approaching 10 times lower chance of accident than average vehicle," Elon Musk tweeted Saturday evening, just hours before the crash.

But despite this warning, many Tesla fans share videos on social media that show people driving hands-free for prolonged periods.

The ability of cars and trucks to drive by themselves is the most significant change to vehicle technology in a generation.

The US government is just beginning a process that could result in new safety standards for autonomous vehicles.

The Mirror has contacted Tesla for comment.