New York Tesla boss Elon Musk has spoken out clearly about the criticism of the driver assistance program “Autopilot”. The term is by no means misleading, the 49-year-old star entrepreneur told the journal “Automobile News” in an interview published on Monday. The excitement about it is “idiotic”.
Improper use of the system has resulted in a handful of accidents involving articulated lorries and Tesla– Cars hit barriers at high speed. These incidents prompted the National Transportation Safety Board not only to scold Tesla, but also to say harsh words to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and to ask the organization to regulate semi-automated driving aids.
After the accidents, Tesla was accused of suggesting by the name that it is a technology for autonomous driving and not just an assistance program. Musk sees it differently.
He described the objections that the name was imprecise in the interview as “ridiculous”. If something goes wrong with the program, “it is because someone is not using it correctly”. Nobody would assume that the car would drive itself based on the name, said the Tesla boss.
Musk emphasized that autopilot always reminded drivers to pay full attention to the road during operation, to keep their hands on the steering wheel and to be ready to take control at all times. Due to the clear rules, Musk is not convinced that a name change would make a difference.
Legal defeat in Germany
“People who misuse autopilot don’t do it because they don’t understand it,” Musk told the paper. “The people who use autopilot for the first time are extremely paranoid.” According to the CEO, a different name would not change the way users use the system. “If something goes wrong with an autopilot, it’s because someone is using it incorrectly, contrary to our instructions on how to use it. “
In Germany, however, Tesla recently suffered a legal defeat: The Munich I regional court prohibited the US company in mid-July from advertising its vehicles with the term “autopilot”, since it was misleading.
With agency material
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