Why Tesla’s Autopilot is drawing the wrath of American justice

Why Tesla’s Autopilot is drawing the wrath of American justice

Updated: 29 days, 7 hours, 36 minutes, 5 seconds ago

US justice accuses Elon Musk of misleading his customers about the real capabilities of his Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system. Tesla could then be condemned after the numerous accidents involving this device.

The soap opera is still not finished. For many years, the authorities have been quite suspicious of the Autopilot system developed by Tesla. Announced as a semi-autonomous driving device, it can in no way replace the driver, who must always keep his hands on the wheel. Indeed, it is a level 2 system, simply combining adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistance.

If the brand develops a 100% autonomous driving technology called Tesla FSD (full self-driving)it is still in beta testing in the United States.

A new survey

And truth be told, we shouldn’t see a Tesla driving without a driver anytime soon, for several reasons. The first is that Elon Musk is no longer planning autonomous driving for 2022. The other reason is that American justice continues to put obstacles in the way of the brand, whileshe has just launched a new investigation against him.

As the agency explains Reuters, the Ministry of Justice indeed accuses the American manufacturer of misleading its customers, by exaggerating the capacities of its Autopilot. In 2016, the new boss of Twitter declared that this one was ” probably better than a human driver, adding that ” the person in the driver’s seat is only there for legal reasons. She does nothing at all. The car drives itself“. Statements that could now cost the businessman dearly.

Indeed, for justice, these remarks could have influenced the drivers of the brand’s cars, who then thought they were really driving an autonomous car, thus increasing the risk of an accident. Charges that come as an investigation was already opened in August 2021 by the NHTSA, the equivalent of Highway Safety in the United States, following a series of accidents, including one fatal, when the Autopilot was activated .

Today, all Teslas sold in the United States would be affected by these investigations, which could lead to a ban on Autopilot across the Atlantic.

A risk of criminal sanctions

As Reuters explains, Elon Musk announced last week that his 100% autonomous driving system would further evolveallowing customers to get to “ to their work, to their friends, to the grocery store without touching the steering wheel“. Statements that should not please the authorities, even if the brand also warns that this device does not make the car autonomous, and that the driver must always remain attentive and keep their hands on the wheel.

Warnings allowing the brand to clear customs, but which would not be enough for justice.

This could then inflict heavy criminal penalties for the company but also for the managers of it, including Elon Musk. This summer, the California Department of Motor Vehicles also filed a complaint against Tesla, for false advertising.

For now, the firm has not responded to the accusations, while it continues to make improvements to its Autopilot to make it more secure. So much so that he sometimes has unnatural reactions, especially when he encounters pedestrians. In Europe, the device has meanwhile been more limited for some time, at the request of the German authorities.

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