The state of California is looking to crackdown on how Tesla advertises its Autopilot system.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has formally issued draft regulation that demands Tesla cease and desist from using the terms “self-driving,” “automated,” or “auto-pilot” when it comes to advertising its vehicles, unless they are capable of driving themselves without any human backup.
Currently, the California DMV rates Tesla’s Autopilot as a “level-two version” of self-driving technology, and the draft regulations will only allow vehicles rated at levels three, four or five to advertise they are capable of self-driving while on any form of “auto-pilot.”
On the current five-step scale that has been adopted by the federal government and the auto industry, level three vehicles are able to drive themselves under limited conditions without a human occupant paying attention and ready to intervene. A level five vehicle must be able to operate fully autonomously under the most severe conditions.
A Tesla spokeswoman replied to the San Francisco Chronicle saying, “Tesla is reviewing the draft regulations and will provide input to the DMV as appropriate. Autopilot makes driving safer and less stressful, and we have always been clear that it does not make a car autonomous any more than its namesake makes an aircraft autonomous.”
Tesla’s Autopilot has become the center of controversy after numerous reports of accidents have surfaced, with at least one being fatal.
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