Germany has banned electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla from using ‘misleading’ vocabulary when describing its drivers assistance technology. Taking place in the same location as Tesla’s first European factory, the Berlin court ruling had a specific problem with the term ‘Autopilot’ saying that it “suggests that their vehicles are technically able to drive completely autonomously.”
Action was taken after criticism towards promotional material on Tesla’s website were made by Wettbewerbszentrale, an industry-sponsored organization that focuses on anti-competitive practices. Tesla recently claimed its vehicles had “full potential for autonomous driving” by then end of this year.
However, the Autopilot technology has already ran into several incidents, including crashes, caused by drivers misuse of the ‘self-driving’ features. Although some see it as fault of the driver, many suggest that the main problem is the mislabeled language used by Tesla in the first place.
Regardless of the fact that Tesla’s system has yet to prove it can perform a door-to-door trip successfully and reliably, several risk taking drivers have not been deterred from testing it, occasionally with ill-fated results.
It must also be noted that Germany hasn’t even authorized fully autonomous driving cars on public roads making it seem as those Tesla completely disregarded German Road law.
CEO Elon Musk, who is no stranger to Twitter, responded in a tweet confirming the term ‘Autopilot’ was derived from the system typically associated with airplanes saying “Tesla Autopilot was literally named after the term used in aviation.”
It appears that Tesla has already renamed the system to ‘Autodrive’ at least in the German market. Germany will likely be one of the first nations to normalize widespread public autonomous legislation and infrastructure. However, the country’s native manufactures are avid in terms of the safety of said technologies.