Starting in 2019, the case goes back to when a regional German court stated that the term “Autopilot” should not be used on the Tesla website. Now the recent final ruling by the court, showed that the case has been overturned and now Tesla is allowed to use the term “Autopilot”. It means the company can use it in marketing and on the website as well.
There’s a series of arguments for why Tesla should be allowed to use the term Autopilot for its semi-autonomous driving features, and there’s a series of arguments for why it shouldn’t. I personally side with the former, but I’ll present both of them below before coming back to the news and a similar case stateside.
As far as why Tesla Autopilot is completely legitimate and fine terminology for Tesla’s ADAS (advanced driver-assistance system) features. First argument is that “Autopilot, as used in the aircraft world, does not allow the pilots to just go to sleep or put on a movie and stop watching what is happening. (Notably, Elon Musk has a pilot license and used to fly a jet around — plus, he founded and is CEO of SpaceX — so he has extensive real-world experience of the tech.) ”
Secondly, it is said, “Nowhere does Tesla say that Autopilot can completely drive a person around or that drivers don’t need to pay attention.” Says that there are numerous notifications and warnings of all sorts that indicate that drivers must stay alert, monitor the road and the car, and take over from Autopilot whenever needed. Also, that also informs the driver he/she is fully responsible for driving the car.
Extra Autopilot features cost several thousand dollars, and the “Full Self Driving” suite now costs $12,000. Assuming that people would buy these extra features and not be aware of what they can and cannot do is a bit of a wild assumption. Taking all of those points together, I don’t see the problem with the term “Tesla Autopilot,” and I think it’s sensible the judge in the appeals court in Germany came to the same conclusion.
However, the other side insists that the term should not be used. Saying that “Autopilot” makes it sound like the car drives completely autonomously, and some people may assume they can go to sleep, watch a movie, or simply not pay attention to the road. A lot of hype around future completely self-driving Tesla cars and even robotaxis may make some consumers think those exist today.
Credits- Clean Technica