California Legislature Passes Law That Would Force Tesla To Rename Fully Self-Driving
“Are we just going to wait for another person to be killed in California?
In July, the California DMV filed a complaint that electric vehicle maker Tesla posted “false or misleading” advertisements on its website in connection with its Full Self-Driving (FSD) and Autopilot technology. The DMV’s gripe, essentially, is that the technology is awesome — but because it still needs constant supervision, it’s neither fully self-contained nor anything close to true autopilot.
This complaint has not gone unnoticed, as this week the state legislature quickly passed a bill it would force Tesla to stop using the term Full Self-Driving altogether. The bill, which now only requires a signature from Governor Gavin Newsom, targets misleading advertising about self-driving technology in general and not just Tesla, but it’s clear the automaker is a major target.
With dozens of bills huddle on his desk starting with the late-season influx, Newsom will have until the end of September to formally sign or veto the FSD bill, which will pass by default if he takes no action. So far, Newsom has not indicated what his decision might be.
Improper call from automobile
You’d be forgiven if you thought the name “Full Self-Driving” meant that a car equipped with the technology could fully drive itself.
Even though Tesla’s FSD is of impressive capacity, the name is almost certainly misleading. The feature, still in beta and available to its more than 100,000 subscribers, requires drivers to be ready to take over at a moment’s notice.
Unassuming customers could easily be tricked into thinking their FSD-equipped cars are more self-driving than they really are and cause an accident. Although there is not yet much data on accidents caused by the FSD, its counterpart, the autopilot, has been at the center of scores accidents, some fatal.
“Are we just going to wait for another person to be killed in California? Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez, who sponsored the bill, say it Los Angeles Times. “Californians think fully self-driving is fully automated when it’s not.”
If Newsom ends up signing the bill, the law could be a serious blow to Tesla’s esteem. The Golden State is Tesla’s territory and San Francisco its backyard. That wouldn’t be a good idea, and it’s not unlikely that other states could follow.
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