Business Senator asks Tesla to rebrand its Autopilot feature because...

Senator asks Tesla to rebrand its Autopilot feature because it can confuse drivers


- Advertisment -

A Tesla Model S car equipped with Autopilot

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) wants Tesla to rebrand and add safeguards to its cars’ Autopilot feature.

Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, released his recommendations to the company on Friday following his review of the feature.

“Autopilot is a flawed system, but I believe its dangers can be overcome,” he said in a statement. “I have been proud to work with Tesla on advancing cleaner, more sustainable transportation technologies. But these achievements should not come at the expense of safety. That’s why I’m calling on Tesla to use its resources and expertise to better protect drivers, passengers, pedestrians and all other users of the road.”

Markey said his two recommendations come after media reports that show Tesla drivers abusing the Autopilot system. The first recommendation is a re-branding of the Autopilot feature to clarify that it is not fully autonomous, meaning the driver has to remain in control of the vehicle while Autopilot is turned on. Second, Markey wants Tesla to build more safeguards into the feature that prevents users from working around the system.

Tesla representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Autopilot enables Tesla vehicles to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within their lanes, and move into different lanes. According to Tesla’s website: “Current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

However, those terms haven’t stopped users from mistaken over-reliance on, or deliberate abuse of the Autopilot system.

Markey criticized Tesla’s Autopilot feature at a Commerce Committee hearing on self-driving vehicles in November. He demanded then to know what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was doing to compel Tesla to stop Autopilot “cheats,” referring to individuals who workaround the safety features already in Tesla cars.

“In your inadequate and unconcerned June 2018 response, Tesla failed to recognize the potential harm your Autopilot system could cause,” Markey wrote after the hearing to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, referencing an earlier letter he had written expressing concern about the feature.

Tesla’s senior director of government relations responded to Markey’s criticism and requests for more information on Autopilot in December.

“Tesla fully shares your commitment to increase occupant safety and to reduce fatalities on U.S. roads,” he wrote in a letter. “We also share your belief in developing active safety features that promote responsible driving habits.”

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report

CNBC: Continue reading…

Latest news

Ja’Net DuBois dead: Good Times star dies at 74

Actress and singer Ja’Net DuBois has died at her Glendale, Calif. home. She was 74. According to the Associated Press, police responded to a call at her home Monday night; she appears to have died in her sleep overnight of natural causes. DuBois most famously portrayed the sexy and sassy Willona Woods on the popular…

Ben Affleck was warned against doing The Batman for health reasons

In a revealing new interview with The New York Times, Ben Affleck opens up about how his struggle with sobriety has impacted his work in film, including his high-profile departure as the current DC movie universe’s Batman. “I drank relatively normally for a long time,” Affleck says in the interview. “What happened was that I…

Scientists design innovative mechanical controller for robot-assisted surgery

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology designed a new type of controller for the robotic arm used in robotic surgery. Their controller combines the two distinct types of gripping used in commercially available robotic systems to leverage the advantages of both, reducing the efforts of the surgeon and providing good precision. Robotics has weaved its…

New ”Smart” Bandage To Help Heal Chronic Wounds

(MENAFN - Kashmir Observer) Representational Pic Scientists have developed a wirelessly-controlled bandage, and a smartphone-sized platform that can precisely deliver different medications to facilitate the healing of hard to treat wounds. The bandage is equipped with miniature needles that can be controlled wirelessly — allowing the drugs to be programmed by care providers without even…
- Advertisement -

Lockheed Martin launches JCSAT-17 mobile communications satellite

Lockheed Martin announced the launch of its third satellite based on the LM 2100 bus. The satellite was launched from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket and is traveling to its transfer orbit for a series of in-orbit tests before operations are handed over to owner Sky Perfect JSAT.…

Patterns of Life Generated by Random Gene Pulsing in Cambridge Lab

Time-lapse over 60 hours showing the growing biofilm and the pattern development. Credit: University of Cambridge A team of Cambridge scientists working on the intersection between biology and computation has found that random gene activity helps patterns form during development of a model multicellular system. We all start life as a single cell, which multiplies…

Must read

- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you