- a german court ruled that tesla cannot use phrases including "full potential for autonomous driving" and "autopilot inclusive" in its ads or on its website to describe its driver assist system.
- the court ruled that such phrases could mislead consumers into believing that the cars can drive without any human input.
- tesla can appeal the ruling.
tesla—and its ceo—has been known to liberally apply phrases such as "full autonomy" and "self-driving" to the driver-assist systems in its vehicles. and now, a german court has ruled that some of the ways the automaker described the capabilities of its driver assistance system in advertisements are misleading and has banned it from using certain phrases in its ads and on its website, according to a report from reuters.
the court ruled that tesla can’t use phrases including "full potential for autonomous driving" and "autopilot inclusive" as those phrases suggest to customers that the vehicles can drive on their own without any human intervention and that such a system is legal in germany. tesla can appeal the ruling.
a fair-competition watchdog, the center for protection against unfair competition, with the support of others in the industry, filed the case. "since autopiloted and autonomous driving at level 5 is currently neither legally permissible nor technically possible for the vehicle in question, tesla must also adhere to the rules of the game and must not make false advertising promises," andreas ottofülling, a lawyer for the group, said in a translated statement. tesla did not immediately respond to request for comment from car and driver.
currently, tesla's advanced driver assist system (adas), known as autopilot, comes standard on its vehicles and includes features such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and automated emergency braking. on the other hand, what tesla calls full self driving capability costs $8000 and includes the ability to navigate while on autopilot, automatically change lanes, use the smart summon feature, and be equipped for future self-driving capabilities.
earlier this month, tesla’s ceo elon musk said that he believes level 5 autonomous tesla vehicles are "very close," adding that "basic functionality" should be complete this year, according to the bbc. level 5 autonomy requires no human input by a driver. tesla made similar claims last year.
driver-assistance technology in vehicles that require no human input to function—albeit in limited situations—have received increased scrutiny as they are expanded into more and more vehicles. the insurance institute for highway safety (iihs) said in march that a driver-assist system should still require the driver's attention in order to function through tracking a driver's eyes and by other methods.