Tesla asked to rename Autopilot in Germany


Now we learn that the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) is going one step further and it is now asking Tesla not to use the word "Autopilot" when referring to its ADAS.

German transport minister has sent a letter to Tesla requesting the company stop advertising its vehicles' Autopilot feature as it may be misleading. 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 vehicle is running on Autopilot mode.

Germany's Transportation Ministry confirmed it asked Tesla TSLA, -1.86% to change the wording, according to a report Sunday by Reuters. In September, Tesla updated Autopilot's software to improve safety, switching from cameras to radar as the primary sensor system.

The KBA's biggest issue is that whilst Tesla's semi-autonomous technology requires the driver of a vehicle to be engaged and concentrating on the road at all times, its use of the term Autopilot could be interpreted to suggest otherwise. She also stressed that Tesla has always said that the autopilot system requires the attention of its drivers at all times.

The warning from German officials comes after media has pegged Tesla's technology a failure after several crashes.

It appears that the KBA thinks that drivers simply ignore Tesla's precautionary statements about Autopilot and assume that they can relinquish almost all control of the vehicle to the computer. No one was seriously hurt but the accident reminded numerous fatal one that happened last May involving another Tesla Model S. The accident resulted in the death of the driver.

Germany has been conducting an investigation into the autopilot system in vehicles made by electric carmaker Tesla, which has been available with its Model S series since October 2015.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has pushed back the unveiling of an "unexpected product" by two days, saying it needed "a few more days of refinement".

Tesla spokespeople in Germany did not immediately respond to requests for comment.