Elon Musk rails against German court decision on Tesla Autopilot terminology – ProWellTech
Tesla CEO Elon Musk challenged a German court ruling issued today prohibiting the company from using terms such as autopilot or “full potential for autonomous driving” on its website or other advertisements.
In a tweet, Musk said: “Tesla’s autopilot was literally named after the term used in the aviation sector. Also, what about Autobahn !? “
Wettbewerbszentrale, an industry-sponsored organization that focuses on anti-competitive practices, brought the case to the German courts, arguing that the terms mislead the public about the capabilities of Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system.
Tesla vehicles are equipped as standard with Autopilot, an advanced driver assistance system that offers a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane steering. The more robust and more efficient version of Autopilot is called full self-driving, or FSD, which includes the Summon parking function and Navigate on Autopilot, an active driving system that navigates by car from an off-ramp highway , including exchanges and lane changes. The system now recognizes and also responds to traffic lights.
However, Tesla vehicles are not self-driving cars. The system requires a human driver to remain engaged at all times.
Wettbewerbszentrale also noted that Tesla’s announcements on its website imply that automated driving will work on the city streets later this year, which misrepresents the reality that some of the features mentioned are not yet legally permitted in Germany.
A Munich court has agreed.
And while Musk may disagree, it is unclear whether he will direct Tesla to appeal the ruling. Tesla did not make official statements nor did the company respond to a request for comment. ProWellTech will update the article if Tesla replies.
This is not the first time that the terms Autopilot and FSD have sparked criticism and controversy. Over the years, organizations, automotive industry and media actors have raised questions about the use of autopilot and FSD for a level 2 driver assistance system.
This ruling is much more than a simple observation. It has weight and now increases the stakes for Tesla and how it makes or describes ADAS on its vehicles in Germany. It could push other European countries, which tend to have stricter advertising regulations, to follow suit.