Tesla CEO Elon Musk has proclaimed unfaltering adoration for his electric car company’s Autopilot feature on highways. But after a recent update meant to make it easier to use the semi-autonomous system, not everyone is so keen on the advanced-driving assistance tool.
Review service and publication Consumer Reports blasted Navigate on Autopilot on Wednesday following Tesla’s updates to the assistance tool last month. The automatic lane-changing and speed-suggesting system, which only works on certain highways, had several issues.
“We found that Navigate on Autopilot lagged far behind a human driver’s skill set,” the publication’s Keith Barry wrote.
Tesla has been told to drop the Autopilot brand name, which it uses to promote its driver-assistance software, in Germany.
The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) confirmed it had told Tesla to scrap the “misleading” term.
It said the term gave customers “incorrect expectations” that they could stop concentrating on the road and let Autopilot take over completely.
Tesla said it had always told drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.
Tesla’s Autopilot set of features — the one that basically let your Tesla drive itself (though you should still keep your hands on the steering wheel) — was initially only approved in the U.S., but now it’s ready to roll out globally.
Company CEO Elon Musk said as much in a tweet Saturday, claiming Tesla has received regulatory approvals to launch Autopilot in “all countries” except Japan, which is “under review.”
A $2,500 upgrade for owners whose Tesla was built after September 2014, Autopilot has several features that improve the car’s autonomy on the road. These include letting the car steer itself on the freeway, automatic lane changing and overtaking slower vehicles and automatic parking.
The features received a warm welcome from the media (read our review here), but Tesla hasn’t been resting on its laurels. In another tweet Saturday, Musk promised several new features in an upcoming version of Autopilot: “curve speed adapftion, controller smoothness, better lane holding on poor roads, improved fleet learning”.