Tesla runs survey to prove "Autopilot" is not misleading

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Tesla have hit back at claims by the German government that the term ‘autopilot’ is misleading issuing a warning to drop the name on all Tesla cars, claim reports.


A new survey by Tesla found 98% of owners in Germany know the functions and limitations of the car’s semi-autonomous driver assist system.


German market research firm Puls conducted the report, after a call for a ban on the use of “Autopilot” in advertising due to the word being too misleading. Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) argued that the word “Autopilot” implies that drivers can sit back and relinquish any responsibility of the vehicle while it’s in motion.


The government sent letters to Tesla emphasizing that it is only an assistance feature, as opposed to a replacement. 


Unsurprisingly, Tesla disagrees with this summation releasing a rebuttal on its website stating: “98% of customers surveyed said they understand that when using Autopilot, the driver is expected to maintain control of the vehicle at all times.”


Out of the 675 German Tesla surveyed, 99% said they have used Autopilot, and 98% said they understand “that when using Autopilot, the driver is expected to maintain control of the vehicle at all times.”


However, 7% of respondents said that the name Autopilot caused them to believe that the car might be fully autonomous.


Drivers must agree that they have acknowledge a statement that the assist feature “requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all time,” when enabling Autopilot. Each time Autopilot is activated, the driver receives a reminder message to keep “hands-on-the-wheel” at all times.


The German government aren’t the only organisation that has expressed their disapproval of the Autopilot name. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has legislation in the works concerning the use of autonomous terminology in advertising.


This would ban carmakers from using phrases such as “self-driving,” “automated,” and “auto-pilot.”

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