The issue of the safety of cars equipped with driver assistance continues to be of concern. In Germany, a court has just ruled on the Autopilot system of Tesla automobiles. The manufacturer will no longer have the right to use this term in its ads in the country!
An important decision
Any crash involving a Tesla car with Autopilot activated is bound to make the news. In June 2020 in Taiwan, an impressive accident involving a Tesla Model 3 in Autopilot mode and a truck overturned on the highway indeed made international news and relaunched the debate about the safety level of such systems. The investigation is still ongoing to find out why the system was unable to detect the presence of the truck.
In this type of accident, the driver is often responsible for his lack of vigilance. Tesla often reminds its clients of the importance of keeping an eye on the road and being prepared to get behind the wheel, just in case. However, the manufacturer is not without blame, recently accused of safety deficiencies.
A fateful accident
Remember that the system is called “Autopilot”, a term that can unfortunately be misleading. As Clean Technica explains in an article from July 15, 2020, a court in Munich (Germany) has just made a very important decision. Indeed, Tesla will no longer have the right to use this term in the country. This ban concerns both communication in Tesla Centers (brochures, posters, etc.) but also on its website.
Autopilot, false advertising?
The move follows a complaint from the Center for the Protection against Unfair Competition, a German non-profit organization. This is supported by several chambers of commerce, industry associations and individual companies. In its complaint, the organization claimed that the use of the term “Autopilot” was misleading advertising.
Elon Musk’s reaction was swift. On Twitter, the Tesla boss explained that he is working with European Union regulators to improve the rules. According to him, “the spirit of the rules is correct, but the exact language does not quite match the spirit.” Elon Musk reminded everyone that Autopilot navigation worked well in the rest of the world.
At the end of 2019, the Japanese manufacturer Toyota explained it very well, no manufacturer is currently able to put on the market a level 5 autonomous car. However, this is the level signifying a complete autonomy of the vehicle. As a reminder, current vehicles are at level 2, oscillating towards level 3 for Tesla vehicles. Even if Elon Musk recently mentioned an upcoming arrival of this famous level 5, security issues remain very present in some minds.