Claims pertaining to self-drive capabilities in Tesla cars may invite ire.
Recent accidents, possibly caused fully or partially, by Tesla AutoPilot functionality has resulted in increased scrutiny.
Elon Musk may have time and again backed the self-drive capabilities of Tesla vehicles but recent accidents possibly being caused by the technology - unconfirmed as these may yet be - have become a matter of concern for authorities in many markets. The latest example of such a concern is coming from California - Tesla's main HQ - where regulators are reviewing Tesla claims related to its AutoPilot feature.
Reporting from a statement issued by California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Reuters highlighted that the autonomous drive system on Tesla cars is under watch and that the DMV has underlined how regulations forbid a car maker from advertising a vehicle for sale or lease as autonomous.
The DMV statement further pointed out that violation of this rule may result in the occupational license of a manufacturer being revoked, apart from other actions. "We call on Tesla to stop using hyperbolic terminology to sell its already impressive technology," Jason Levine, executive Director at Center For Auto Safety, told Reuters.
CEO Musk has previously highlighted that self-drive technology is the future of driving and that Tesla cars equipped with it can be safer than others because these negate chances of human errors. He has also gone on to add that a number of sensors, radars and the multiple cameras on board make such a vehicle far safer than other vehicles.
But eyebrows have been raised and unwavering stares may puncture the claim.
Claims of Tesla about its autonomous tech has led a few owners plonk on the back seats of their Tesla while the car is on the move. One such incident involved a man of Indian origin in the US letting his Tesla drive on its own, getting arrested for it and then repeating the act once released from jail. (Read full report here)
There are also suspicions that recent accidents involving Tesla vehicles may have been caused because the driver engaged self-drive functionality. On its part, Tesla continues to point out that a driver must be paying attention to the drive system and surroundings at all times, even when self-drive or AutoPilot mode is engaged.
Tesla reportedly charges $10,000 to allow for semi-automated features which include lane changing and parking assistance under what it calss full self-driving software.