Tesla means to settle the autopilot debate it has been having with Germany after the country accused the company of releasing misleading advertising.
Tesla Motors is an American energy storage and automaker company and is amongst the forerunners of autopilot vehicles.
The first of the company’s cars to feature the autopilot option was the Model S vehicle, the option being later added to a number of other models.
The autopilot function could be basically described as a semi-autonomous feature which assist the driver in parking and driving.
The activities covered by the feature include changing lanes, steering the car, analyzing and controlling the speed and also breaking in case of need. Although the system is semi-autonomous, a driver is still required so that in case of need, he or she can intervene and take control of the car.
After Tesla started presenting the optional and additional feature in its vehicle’s campaign, it also seemed to have initiated an autopilot debate with German authorities.
Last month, the carmaker received a notice from Alexander Dobrindt, the German minister of transport, who asked that the company stop using the term in its advertising as it may mislead the public.
According to the aforementioned Dobrindt, the notion of autopilot could potentially imply that the respective car’s driver could operate the vehicle without paying attention to their surroundings as they would count on the system to do so.
Tesla did not fail to respond in the autopilot debate as it went to explain that the term has been in the general use for quite some time after being introduced by the aerospace transportation industry.
The automaker went on explaining that the general usage of the term implies the collaboration between a human operator and the system in controlling the specific transportation means.
They also conceded that when used as it should, the autopilot should ensure for a safer drive and a reduced workload for the respective driver.
As a means of settling the autopilot debate, Tesla reported to have conducted a study amongst its German car owners.
Tesla declared that it initiated the study so as to better understand how the German owners of their cars perceived the feature.
Following the third-party survey, the study’s results were reported to have shown that 98 percent of all those included in the survey were aware of the definition and limitations of the autopilot.
Although the results show a clear understanding of the term, the autopilot debate between Tesla and Germany goes to show that the semi-autonomous technology can still raise questions and debates.
Tesla recently announced that its vehicles’ autopilot system already numbers over 200 million miles on roads all around the world.
However, debates such as the one mentioned above draw attention to the need for more road-test and possibly even surveys so as establish if semi-autonomous and the future autonomous cars are, in fact, ready to hit the public roads.
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