Level 5 Autonomous Driving, Smart Mobility

Tesla Under Pressure from US Consumer Protection Organisations

When it comes to Tesla’s ability to drive autonomously, opinions are divided. The head of the company, Elon Musk, says that Tesla will launch highly automated vehicles in 2020. Thanks to the new chip, this will also work without lidar.

Large parts of the industry do not believe that Tesla can do this, and certainly not without Lidar and certainly not in the given time frame. Even if the system called autopilot becomes more expensive, which had also been announced, this is a challenging task. Even within the company the deadline brought criticism and some left the team for the development of the autopilot.

Consumer reports and road safety

Now comes even more headwind for the electric car manufacturer Tesla. The consumer protection organisation Consumer Reports from the USA tested the autopilot system in May and came to the conclusion that it was a road safety risk. In addition, data protection was also criticized.

At the beginning of August it was announced that the consumer protection organization “Center for Auto Safety” (CAS) intends to take legal action against the term autopilot. Especially considering the fatal accidents that have occurred, the fact of misleading advertising is seen to have been fulfilled here. When asked about the accident victims, Tesla constantly refers to the user manual, which states never to take your hands off the steering wheel. If this is nevertheless the case, a warning appears.

Regulatory documents

A few days later Consumer Reports spoke again about Tesla referring to reports of the US authorities that also see a considerable safety risk. In recently published documents, the authorities speak of Tesla misleading the public and false safety assessments.

The US Department of Transportation (NHTSA) has announced an omission and handed over the case to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for further investigation. Consumer Reports calls for a more open approach to such assessments, so that Tesla could acknowledge the errors and improve them.

About the author:

David Fluhr is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: www.autonomes-fahren.de