German Authorities Want Tesla To Stop Using The Word Autopilot In Advertising

Ahmed Bilal
Posted Oct 16, 2016
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Tesla’s autopilot has been under scrutiny since a driver of a Tesla Model S was killed while using the technology. The problem has gone so far that German Transport Minister; Alexander Dobrindt has specifically asked the company to stop advertising its electric cars having an Autopilot function. The reason is that driver’s start thinking of the semi-autonomous system as one that doesn’t require their attention at all. Even though Tesla has made no such claim and the cars’ infotainment system continually reminds drivers to keep their full attention towards the road even when the car is running on Autopilot mode.

Tesla’s Autopilot is a “traffic hazard”-German authorities

A report in the daily Bild am Sonntag (BamS) was confirmed by a spokeswoman from the ministry who stated that the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) had made a written request to Tesla about the Autopilot feature and its problem.

“It can be confirmed that a letter to Tesla exists with the request to no longer use the misleading term Autopilot for the driver assistance system of the car,” she said in a written response to a Reuters’ query.

tesla autopilott

Tesla made a statement too in which a spokeswoman for the company said that the company never hinted that the feature would require no attention of the driver. She stated that Tesla has a clear stance on the assistance system requiring drivers to pay attention all the time. The statement also gave the example of the Autopilot feature being used in aerospace since a long time.

“Just as in an airplane, when used properly, Autopilot reduces driver workload and provides an added layer of safety when compared to purely manual driving,” she said.

According to Automotive News, on Friday the KBA wrote letters to owners of Tesla cars and warned them about the Autopilot, they went on to say that the feature is purely a driving assistance system and requires full driver attention all the time. It further said that drivers should remain alert and in control of their vehicles at all times.

While BamS reports that the letter to KBA said: “In order to prevent misunderstanding and incorrect customers’ expectations, we demand that the misleading term Autopilot is no longer used in advertising the system.”

The Tesla Model S version 7.0 software update containing Autopilot features is demonstrated during a Tesla event in Palo Alto

Tesla has given a clarification on its behalf but the German authorities still want the misleading term removed from advertising. Let us know what you think about this matter in the comments below.

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