Germany isn’t the only one who has come down auto manufacturers who use the word ‘Autopilot’ or its equivalent or one(s) with similar meaning, including but not limited to “self-driving” or “autonomous” in advertisements. A draft regulation by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has also taken a similar view.
A couple of days ago, Germany’s Federal Motor Authority sent letters to owners of Tesla cars stating the “Autopilot” feature in the vehicle should be treated as an assistance to the driver and should not be confused as a feature that entirely replaces the driver.
With this warning shot, the German government plans on taking on Tesla’s “autopilot” feature which it construes as misleading and liable to be misinterpreted by consumers.
Tesla’s spokesperson fired back saying the term “autopilot” has been widely used in the aerospace industry for years now; its usage was in reference to systems that assist pilots in flight and is not meant to replace them. Tesla has always been abundantly clear that the driver of its vehicle will still have to pay attention to road conditions.
Despite this counter, its pretty clear what German authorities are concerned about. In fact, Tesla Ceo, Elon Musk himself said last year, the company was striving to make fully autonomous cars by 2018. There is no iota of doubt as to Tesla commitments on autonomous automated vehicles.
Furthermore, it’s common knowledge that Tesla’s self-driving vehicles can auto-steer themselves and keep the vehicle running at a steady pace in the same lane. Furthermore, it can change lanes when the turn signal is activated and park itself in parallel to another vehicle.
However, probably to park itself in the correct lane of the law, the update Tesla issued last month, disables the Autopilot if the driver keep removing their hands from the steering wheel.
With Tesla at the forefront of this technological breakthrough, all eyes are on it, monitoring its every twitch and response to this situation.
In a similar development, as per a draft regulation released by the Department of Motor Vehicles in California, automobile manufacturers are prohibited to advertise their vehicles as “autonomous” or “self-driving”.