"And now, some housekeeping. A warm Central Division welcome for Detective Cole Phelps."
Gordon Leary

The Driver's Seat is a Traffic case in L.A. Noire. This is the first case Cole Phelps takes on the Traffic Desk, after being promoted from the Patrol Desk.


Cole Phelps and his new partner, Stefan Bekowsky, are called up to investigate an abandoned car, which looks as if a murder was committed inside of it, at the P.E. Freight Depot in the Warehouse District. During the investigation, Phelps finds out that the car is registered to Adrian Black, who was reported missing the previous evening. Phelps also finds a receipt for a live pig in the trunk of the car, bought by Frank Morgan.

Persons of Interest


  • Investigate P.E. Freight Depot
  • Interview Nate Wilkey
  • Interview Mrs. Black
  • Investigate Black Residence
  • Trace Address of Cavanagh's Bar
  • Investigate Cavanagh's Bar
  • Interview Frank Morgan
  • Charge Frank Morgan or let him go
  • Investigate Morgan's Apartment
  • Apprehend Adrian Black

Detailed Walkthrough

P.E. Freight Depot

Once you arrive at the crime scene, talk to the coroner and then find the following evidence:

Stencil Details
Thedriversseat blood splashes.png
Inside a light blue Lincoln Continental Coupe.
Description Large splashes of blood, found inside abandoned vehicle.
Clue White.png Clues Blood splashes
Thedriversseat receipt.png
In the trunk of the abandoned vehicle.
Description Live hog purchase receipt, signed by F. Morgan, found in abandoned vehicle.
Clue White.png Clues Receipt for live hog
POI White.png P.O.I.'s F. Morgan
Thedriversseat wallet.png
In front of the vehicle, at the evidence A marker.
Description Wallet belonging to Adrian Black, found near abandoned vehicle.
Clue White.png Clues Wallet
POI White.png P.O.I.'s Mrs. Black
Objective White.png Objectives Interview Mrs. Black
Thedriversseat glasses.png
In front of the vehicle, at the evidence A marker.
Description Stenzel eyeglasses, broken and repaired, found near abandoned vehicle.
Clue White.png Clues Glasses
Thedriversseat pipe.png
To the left of the vehicle between the forked train tracks, at the evidence B marker.
Description Length of steel pipe, InstaHeat brand, stained with blood.
Clue White.png Clues Bloody pipe

Interview Nate Wilkey

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Purpose at scene Truth Good Cop
Knowledge of Adrian Black Truth Good Cop
Contents of wallet Doubt Bad Cop
Bloodstained pipe found Truth Good Cop

Black Residence

Stencil Details
Thedriversseat message.png
On the dresser in Adrian Black's bedroom.
Description Photograph of Adrian, message on reverse reads 'Hurry back, my darling, Nicole.'
Clue White.png Clues Concealed message
Thedriversseat glasses case.png
On the dresser in Adrian Black's bedroom.
Description Stenzel glasses case, found empty.
Clue White.png Clues Glasses case
Thedriversseat ticket.png
In the wardrobe in Adrian Black's bedroom.
Description Train ticket with receipt, Los Angeles to Seattle.
Clue White.png Clues Train ticket
Thedriversseat matchbook.png
On the table in the dining room, on the kitchen table next to the stove, and on the nightstand in Adrian Black's bedroom.
Description Matchbook marked Cavanagh's Bar.
Clue White.png Clues Cavanagh's matchbook
Objective White.png Objectives Trace Address of Cavanagh's
Thedriversseat instaheat receipt.png
On the kitchen table.
Description InstaHeat water heater installation receipt, dated recently.
Clue White.png Clues InstaHeat receipt
Thedriversseat instaheat flyer.png
On the kitchen table.
Description InstaHeat water heater promotional pamphlet, with assembly diagram.
Clue White.png Clues InstaHeat flyer
  • Inspect both photos of Mr. and Mrs. Black in their separate rooms, which suggests marriage problems.
  • In the dining room, there is a newspaper on the table.

Now, go outside and inspect the new water heater. You will find that you have to arrange the pipes, and once you do, you will find that the pipe that is missing is the same one found at the scene, covered in blood.

Interview Margaret Black

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Slaughterhouse receipt Truth Good Cop POI.png Frank Morgan (Updated)
Photograph signed 'Nicole' Lie Accuse Concealed message
Location of Adrian Black Truth Good Cop
Stenzel glasses case Truth Good Cop
Cavanagh's Bar matchbook Truth Good Cop
Alibi for Mrs. Black Truth Good Cop

Pay attention to the order of these questions, it depends on the order in which you gathered the evidence.

Once you are done, use the telephone in Black's home to find the location of Cavanagh's Bar, if you haven't already.

Cavanagh's Bar

Once you arrive at the bar, talk to the bartender.

Interview Frank Morgan

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Link to Abandoned Vehicle Lie Accuse Receipt for live hog Location.png Adrian Black Whereabouts (?)
Location of Adrian Black Doubt Bad Cop Location.png Morgan's Apartment (Updated)
Objective.png Investigate Morgan's Apartment

You will have the choice to arrest or leave Frank Morgan.

  • NOTE: If you fail the questioning, you will have to tail Morgan home to discover Adrian.
  • If you answer the questions correctly, arresting or leaving Morgan alone will not affect your case rating, and he will still appear in a Homicide street crime later.

Morgan's Apartment

During the drive to Morgan's Apartment, you will get another clue via the police radio letting you know that the blood in the car was not human but in fact swine blood (most likely from the hog Frank ordered). If you have your partner drive and skip the scene, you may or may not miss the clue. If you don't get the clue on the way, commandeer a police vehicle, and you should get it.

If you correctly answered Frank's questions, just find his apartment number, number 2, and walk up to the door. Adrian will answer the door, where he will tell you that he needed to leave L.A. for a while. He then tells you that he needs to pack his stuff. However, he slams the door in your face, prompting you to kick it down and go after him. Alternatively, If you didn't answer his questions correctly, Frank Morgan will answer the door after reassuring Black that they were "in the clear." He opens the door to find the detectives standing there. Cole will ask Adrian to come with him Downtown. Adrian flees out the window and tries to escape, while Frank Morgan gives himself up.

Apprehend Adrian Black

Climb out the window and chase Adrian up the fire escape, across the rooftops, and down the pipe and he will get cut off by Bekowsky.

Case Briefing

"Newly assigned to the Traffic Squad, Central Division. After a year in uniform, the Detective Bureau was starting to sound like the promised land. First case is an abandoned vehicle, recovered at the Pacific Electric Freight Depot. According to the reporting patrolman and witnesses on site there are signs of foul play. We need to track down the owner, see if anything untoward happened to him."

Case Notes

  • "Adrian Black can look forward to his day in court, and a beating from the LA press."
  • "Frank Morgan would have rolled over on Adrian Black with some tougher questioning."
  • "Mrs Black is no doormat - the right evidence and she would have spilled the beans on her husband."


  • This case is loosely based on the real-life 1947 disappearance of Eugene White. For information about the real case, see the 1947 project time travel blog
  • At the Black Residence, there is a receipt for the installation of an InstaHeat water heater with the name "M.Ryan," who appears in the later Arson case "The Gas Man."
  • The store to the right of Frank Morgan's apartment building is one "Geiger's Rare Books," referencing Raymond Chandler's famous hardboiled detective novel The Big Sleep.
  • "The Driver's Seat" and "A Different Kind of War" are the only two cases where all Cole's detective partners are seen. Herschel Biggs, Roy Earle and Stefan Bekowsky are introduced by Mel Fleischer, and Rusty Galloway can be seen sitting in the far side of the briefing room while Gordon Leary welcomes Phelps.
  • In a later case, Cole and Stefan discuss a follow up to this case, Stefan admitting hearing that Adrian Black went to Seattle but his mistress kicked him out, Adrian returned to L.A. and Margaret took him back.
  • Alonzo Mendez, the person of interesting in the Homicide case "The Red Lipstick Murder", may be a regular to Cavanagh's Bar, because there are 2 Cavanagh's matchbook located in Alonzo Mendez's Apartment, one matchbook found on the table next to the phone near the bedroom, the matchbook is also found on the table near the kitchen.


Video Walkthroughs


  • Beginning with this mission, calls for assistance regarding various street crimes will begin to be heard periodically. The player has the option of ignoring these calls (to investigate them later while in free roam) or taking on these mini-cases, even in the midst of investigating the main assigned case. If the player chooses the "partner drives" option to get from place to place, these calls will not be heard.
  • Also beginning with this case, amongst all others, the player does not need to immediately head to the scene of the crime or investigation destinations and may, effectively, free roam the city, finding landmarks, unlocking vehicles and searching for film reels.
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