Germany is urging Tesla owners to use the autopilot function in a cautious manner. The authorities are emphasizing that drivers are still required to put their unrestricted attention to their car. The autopilot system used by Tesla has come under fire after a fatal accident earlier this year.
The Federal Motor Authority of Germany has sent out a letter to Tesla owners, urging them to take utmost care while using the autopilot feature. The letter categorically warned drivers against treating Tesla’s autopilot as a full-automated function. It recommended that drivers should consider the autopilot system as an assistance program.
The letter also asks drivers to read the owner’s manual prepared by Tesla, and pay attention to the chapter “Driver Assistance – restriction.” German road traffic regulations require drivers to remain fully alert while using the system. It also requires the driver to be completely in control.
German Transport Ministry is currently carrying out studies to determine the efficacy of Autopilot system of Model S Tesla cars. According to Der Spiegel, an internal report branded Tesla’s autopilot system to be a “considerable traffic hazard.”
Tesla echoes the same views, and the company claims that it has always been upfront about the capabilities of its Autopilot’s system. The company said that Autopilot is a driver assistance system and it requires the driver to be attentive all the time. The system can help drivers in steering and stay on the lane.
Apart from a fatal crash Florida earlier this year, there have been several other non-fatal accidents as well involving Tesla cars. However, the autopilot’s role in these accidents is yet not clear.