Tesla should change the name of “Autopilot”

Tesla should change the name of “Autopilot”

Tesla FSD 10.5 Beta Looks Like A Huge Improvement Over 10.4

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently expressed reservations about Tesla’s branding of its driver-assist system, Autopilot. The top US Transportation official stated that Tesla should not call its driver-assist suite “Autopilot” because it is still a hands-on system that requires driver supervision.

“I don’t think that something should be called, for example, an Autopilot, when the fine print says you need to have your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times,” Buttigieg said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Tesla’s Autopilot is a robust suite of features that allows a vehicle to stay in its lane, steer itself, and adjust speed as necessary. FSD, Tesla’s more advanced suite, is designed to handle both highway and inner-city street driving. Both systems, at least in their current iterations, are hands-on and require full driver attention.

Buttigieg also emphasized that the Transportation Department would hold Tesla, or any other company for that matter, accountable. While he acknowledged that self-driving vehicles have the potential to reduce the nearly 40,000 roadway deaths in the United States per year, he believes that the technology is simply not proven yet.

“We call balls and strikes. I view it as something where it’s very important to be very objective. But anytime a company does something wrong or a vehicle needs to be recalled or a design isn’t safe, we’re going to be there,” the Transportation Secretary said.

Elon Musk, for his part, responded to the official’s statement on Twitter. The Tesla CEO only provided a link to a Wikipedia page on Autopilot. Musk’s response is a cheeky reaction to Buttigieg’s comments about Autopilot not being a driverless system. By definition, after all, Autopilot systems are designed to handle the majority of operating tasks in airplanes, ships, and spacecraft. They do not replace human operators.

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