Will Tesla be banned in California soon? Autopilot worries authorities

Tesla’s Autopilot and Advanced Autonomous Driving (Full Self Driving, or FSD) features continue to elude US authorities. A new threat is emerging to the point of banning the sale and production of Tesla in California.

A new conflict has begun between Tesla and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). At the heart of the controversy, documents of which have appeared on The Verge since August 6, is Tesla’s promotion of its Autopilot system and advanced Autopilot (Full Self Driving, or FSD). The California DMV is threatening to suspend Tesla’s license to operate in the state amid accusations of false or misleading advertising.

What is California accusing Tesla of?

The California DMV office does not approve of the way Tesla promotes its driver assistance systems in both name and description. For the DMV office, these items are misleading because cars cannot truly be considered autonomous vehicles.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has come under fire for the names of these features. The brand already faced this in Germany in 2016. Despite all the invitations to use other, less controversial names, Tesla has never changed its strategy, its autopilot and its function. “Full autonomous driving capability” continues to appear on the brand’s commercial sites.

Autopilot Features // Source: Screenshot from Tesla website

However, Tesla has recently adjusted its communications to define a framework for using these technologies. Thus, on the commercial website of the brand (available in various languages), we can read:

Current features require active monitoring by the driver and do not allow the car to drive itself. Some functions require turn signals to be activated and have a limited range. The activation and future use of these unattended features is dependent on reliability proven by billions of miles of testing to be significantly better than that of human drivers, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some countries. As these self-driving features develop, your car will be continuously upgraded through over-the-air software updates. »

That’s not enough, of course, in the eyes of the California DMV, which wants to reduce the abuse of Tesla driving vehicles that can lead to certain accidents.

Can California ban the sale and manufacture of Tesla in its state?

Tesla’s license expires on October 31, 2022, with the California DMV office having the option of not renewing the permit or even revoking it.

Does the DMV really want this? We can doubt it because Tesla is growing fast. This decision seems counterproductive for California, which is trying to develop electric cars. However, it remains a means of pressure to try to move Tesla, who tends to stick to his positions without ever questioning himself.

Remember, Tesla’s Autopilot system is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for an increase in accidents involving the brand’s vehicles, as well as for phantom braking.

As reports mount in the United States of drunk or drowsy drivers activating Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving features, authorities will no doubt want to take action. However, Tesla, and especially Elon Musk, is instead considering expanding the use of its autonomous driving system (FSD), even if it is still not perfect. Elon Musk expressed his satisfaction with this once again during the general meeting of shareholders. Road safety services are understandably concerned about the situation.

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