A non-player character (or NPC) is a computer-controlled pilot or agent. These characters exist to provide a fuller feeling to the game world, although their interaction with the player is often limited. NPCs might include:

These vessels represent the police force, and will automatically respond to security threats. They are not present in 0.0 space.
Agents provide the player with missions, rewards for completing missions and occasionally blueprints. They can also provide information on player whereabouts (see locator agents).
NPCs can provide a combat experience for the player. Although this type of opponent is deemed easy because it does not use advanced artificial intelligence in combat, it can provide for an entire occupation within the game (see NPCer).
Other ships
Occasionally other types of ship, such as transport or cargo ships, can be seen flying through space. These are merely designed to fill the universe and give the illusion of a higher population, although they can be destroyed, yielding cargo.
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