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Tesla Can’t Say Its Cars Are Self-Driving in One US State

Alexei Potov/

Tesla is a controversial company for many reasons, one of which is the Autopilot feature available in some cars. The technology makes Tesla cars nearly self-driving, with mixed results. Now, one US state is changing the way Tesla describes its products to buyers.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has passed Senate Bill 1398, which sets out new rules on how self-driving capabilities can be advertised in the state. “Dealers or manufacturers selling new passenger vehicles with partial driving automation features” must accurately describe “the capabilities and limitations of those features.”

The law is primarily aimed at Tesla, which often touts Autopilot as a fully self-driving solution. The name alone might imply that it does not require the assistance of a human driver. “Just get in the car and tell them where you’re going,” the company says on its website. […] Your Tesla finds the best route as it navigates city streets, complex intersections and highways. Elsewhere, however, Tesla cites “full self-driving capabilities” as a separate, currently unavailable feature.

Tesla’s Autopilot feature is perhaps the most mature self-driving technology available today, but it’s still sometimes unpredictable.In June 2020, an Autopilot-equipped Tesla Model 3 crashed into a parked truck in China. , the driver was injured. In May 2021, a Tesla Model S crashed into a parked police patrol car in Washington state. Recently, a Tesla Model Y driver reported that Autopilot forced him into the wrong lane, causing a car accident. This is the first reported accident caused by “fully self-driving” (FSD) beta software.

The passed bill follows other recent California legislation targeting electric vehicles. A law passed earlier this year would require all new passenger car sales to be electric or hybrid by 2035, with the exception of used car sales. The state recently adopted new requirements for EV batteries. This is intended to ensure that factory capacity is not lost too soon. This is an issue that greatly affects the resale value of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

We’re still a long way from a future where cars can drive themselves, but now California is trying to make it clearer to potential car buyers what hasn’t happened yet. Enforced.

Source: California State Legislative Information
Via: Government Tech, ExtremeTech