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Germany asks Tesla not use ‘Autopilot’ in advertising

Germany asks Tesla not use ‘Autopilot’ in advertising

Germany is going to allow to Tesla to advertise its autos, but without ‘Autopilot’ in the text of it. The negative tone, which this word added to the advertising, is still has a great impact on the people. Tesla’s Autopilot has been the focus of intense scrutiny since a deadly incident with Tesla Model S in Florida this year.

Germany’s Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has asked Tesla to stop advertising its electric vehicles as having an Autopilot function as this might suggest drivers’ attention is not needed, his ministry said on Sunday.

A spokeswoman for the ministry, confirming a report in the daily Bild am Sonntag, said the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) had written to Tesla to make the request. She said:

“It can be confirmed that a letter to Tesla exists with the request to no longer use the misleading term Autopilot for the driver assistance system of the car.”

The term ‘Autopilot’ itself arises many questions, so, a Tesla spokeswoman said this word is just describing a system operating in conjunction with a human driver. Moreover, an autopilot had been used in aerospace for decades, and that the company had always made it clear to customers that the assistance system required drivers to pay attention at all times.

“Just as in an airplane, when used properly, Autopilot reduces driver workload and provides an added layer of safety when compared to purely manual driving,”

she explained.

On October 21, the KBA – which reports to Dobrindt – wrote to owners of Tesla cars, warning them that their vehicles could not be operated without their constant attention and that under traffic regulations they must remain an alert.

According to the Bild am Sonntag report, the KBA letter to Tesla said: “In order to prevent misunderstanding and incorrect customers’ expectations, we demand that the misleading term Autopilot is no longer used in advertising the system.”