Germany Court Says Tesla's Use of 'Autopilot' is 'Misleading' as It Isn't What They Claimed It To Be

Many people claim that Tesla's Autopilot system that's in their vehicles in one of the greatest innovations in the automotive industry. But a court in Germany disagrees, where they think that the term Autopilot is a misleading one.

Inside a Tesla car
(Photo : David von Diemar / Unsplash)

The German news outlet Spiegel reported that the odds of Tesla winning the court case, which has Germany's competition commission suing Tesla over the alleged misleading advertising of the term Autopilot, aren't good after the commencement of the case hearing recently.

The court case's presiding judge Isolde Hannamann has stated that the law against unfair competition has rather strict standards.

The Wettbewerbszentrale, or the German Center for Protection against Unfair Competition, sued Tesla for claiming that its collection of systems that make up their Autopilot system what they claim it to be is misleading people.

What Is Tesla's Autopilot System?

The Autopilot system in Tesla vehicles is a combination of multiple technologies such as automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane centering. The electric car company has been adding new features to its Autopilot system. Over the past year, they have made it so that their vehicles can drive automatically efficiently in urban areas.

When all these automated driver assistance systems work together, it seems as if the vehicle is driving itself or on "autopilot." But the driver still needs to be paying attention while these are going on with their hands on the steering wheel and aware of their surroundings and such. In Germany, there aren't any laws or rules that permit people to take their eyes and hands off self-driving vehicles.

Lawyers of Tesla have stated that Tesla vehicles fulfill the promises that have been made and that the vehicles are constantly reminding people to stay focused on the vehicle. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk is confident in the Autopilot system's hands-off capabilities even if it's illegal to do so when in public.

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Tesla Has A Past With Germany

Tesla isn't a stranger to being brought up in regards to the marketing of their Autopilot technology in Germany.

A few years ago in 2016, the Federal Motor Transport Authority, or KBA, in Germany told Tesla that they had to stop saying Autopilot while stating similar concerns to what the latest court case is being fueled by. The KBA stated that using the term Autopilot is misleading customers into thinking they didn't have to stay focused while driving and that the Autopilot completely controlled every one of the car's moves.

As of this moment, the court case is ongoing in the district court of Munich and according to the report from Spiegel, the court seems to be siding with the competition commission. The outcome of the case is expected to be announced on July 14.

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