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Hurry up and bar Tesla from using the Autopilot name in marketing, consumer group tells DMV - 29 Nov 2016 12:07

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[[html]]The California Department of Motor Vehicles put forth proposed regulations that would, in effect, prohibitTesla from using theAutopilot name to market its vehicles. That was in September.<br><br>Now, a consumer group is telling the DMV to get on with it.<br><br>Tesla uses the word Autopilotto describe its driver-assist technology, which, when enabled, automatically steers, brakes andpasses other vehicles.<br><br>Consumer Watchdog, based in Santa Monica, contends Tesla is misleading consumers by exaggerating Autopilots capabilities.<br><br>The DMV should enact a regulation protecting consumers from misleading advertising that leaves the dangerous and sometimes fatal impression that a car is more capable of driving itself than is actually the case, John M. Simpson, privacy policy director at Consumer Watchdog, said in a Nov. 23 letter to the agencys director, Jean Shiomoto.<br><br>The letter points out the oft-citeddeath of a Tesla driver last May, who was using Autopilot when his car crashed into a big rig.The group also put out a videohighlighting what the group calls Tesla exaggerationswith clips that include Musk driving with hishands offthe wheel.<br><br>The rule the DMV is considering would apply to all carmakers. Under the proposal, words including self-driving and auto-pilot would be banned along with anything likely to induce a reasonably prudent person to believe a vehicle is autonomous that is, drivable without human interaction.<br><br>The proposal is part of a much larger package of rules andregulations drafted by the DMV and issued in September. The agency is considering public and expert comments on the proposals.<br><br>Simpson said because the regulations package wont take effect for at least a year, the DMV should address the marketing issue immediatelybecause it is potentially life saving.<br><br>Musk shows no sign of backing down from the use of the Autopilot name. In fact, the company continues to add to its capabilities, with a major software upgrade expected before the end of the year.<br><br>Tesla insists that, while crashes are inevitable, statistics show that semi-autonomous driving is safer than driving with no robotic assist. Thus far, the May crash is the only reported fatality involving Autopilot.<br><br>A Tesla spokeswomanresponded Monday:Tesla owners have communicated that they understand how Autopilot works and should be used, and this is clearly explained and reinforced every time a customer uses the feature. The inaccurate and sensationalistic view of Autopilot put forth by this group is exactly the kind of misinformation that threatens to harm consumer safety.<br><br>The DMV did not respond to requests for comment Monday.<br><br>moc.semital|llehctim.ssur#moc.semital|llehctim.ssur<br><br>Twitter:@russ1mitchell<br><br>[[/html]] - Comments: 0


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