Tesla is facing legal repercussions due to a video from 2016 that falsely advertised the vehicle's self-driving feature.
Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is once again in hot water. The automotive manufacturing company owned by Elon Musk has to answer questions about an advertising video for Tesla’s self-driving technology that was released in 2016. The footage showed that the technology had the capability to stop at red lights and then accelerate when the light turned green. But now it has surfaced that the self-driving technology possessed none of these features shown in the video.
To make this publicity even worse for Tesla, the video can still be watched on its website and has a personal message from Elon Musk, its founder and chief executive. During one of Tesla’s many lawsuits, a Tesla employee confirmed that the Model X was not driving itself.
Even the tagline for the advertising video is incriminating as it states that the driver does not have to do anything while the autopilot system is on. It even states that the car is driving itself. In contrast to this video, Telsa has always maintained that this system is not autonomous, and drivers still have to remain in control of the car and be prepared to step in and override the system at any time.
Tesla or Elon Musk declined to comment on the video or the claims being made against their autopilot system. During the manufacturing of this video, Tesla picked a specific route in California using 3D mapping. Even during the filming, the drivers couldn’t get the system to work on its own; some drivers had to intervene to ensure their own safety. When they were filming the sequence where the Model X had to park itself, the car actually crashed into a fence.
Apparently, the video aimed to show what the system could do in the future, not what it is capable of doing at the moment. This is not clear during the video that it is a future dream for Tesla’s automobiles.
This is not the first lawsuit Tesla has faced over its cars’ autopilot system. The US justice department began a criminal investigation into Tesla’s autopilot after it was involved in numerous crashes, some sadly fatal.
In 2020, the national transportation board concluded that one of the fatal crashes, involving one of Apple’s engineers, was caused in part by the autopilot system. It was dangerous for Tesla to release such a misleading video without any disclaimer or explanation. But senior management at Tesla still maintains that the self-driving system is still safe as long as the driver pays attention like they are driving. Some drivers can fool the system into thinking they are paying attention, but they are not.
It just shows how much Tesla does not care about their customers or their safety if they are willing to make these kinds of excuses. But why, then, would they need an autopilot system if you basically have to drive the car? Why have a system in a dangerous automobile that drivers can trick into thinking that it’s paying attention? Too many questions. One stupid video.