California passes law banning Tesla from calling software FSD

Tesla banned from calling its software FSD by California

Though Tesla never claimed to have full self-driving software, its driver assist feature is named “Tesla FSD (Full-Self Driving)”. California passes a new law banning the automaker from further calling their driver assist feature software FSD.  Currently, customers who make use of the software FSD should be alert and ready to take over at all times. Thus contradicting the name itself as “full-self driving”. While the name was not objectionable so far, the increasing number of users possibly led to the passing of the law.

California passes law banning Tesla from calling software FSD
Image credits- Teslarati

The name is already banned in Germany, stating that it could manipulate customers. California lawmakers disagree with the labels of FSD. Senate Bill 1398 was one of the hundreds that Governor Newsom signed into law. The new law takes effect in 2023 and specifically targets Tesla’s name for its software. The bill was sponsored by Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez, who claimed that Tesla falsely advertised its tech and that doing so was a safety issue.

The bill was sponsored after the California Department of Motor Vehicles claimed that Tesla’s FSD was “false advertising.” An excerpt from the new law reads as follows, “A dealer or manufacturer shall not sell any new passenger vehicle that is equipped with any partial driving automation feature or provide any software update or other vehicle upgrade that adds any partial driving automation feature, without, at the time of delivering or upgrading the vehicle, providing the buyer or owner with a distinct notice that provides the name of the feature and clearly describes the functions and limitations of the feature.” 

Tesla vehicles

On its website on Full Self-Driving Capability, Tesla says that all new vehicles have the hardware needed in the future for FSD. “The system is designed to be able to conduct short and long-distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat. The future use of these features without supervision is dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers, as demonstrated by billions of miles of experience, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions.”

“As these self-driving capabilities are introduced, your car will be continuously upgraded through over-the-air software updates.” In November, a Tesla owner involved in an accident on Thanksgiving Day claimed that FSD malfunctioned, however, police are still investigating the driver’s claims. In August,  Tesla’s Autopilot Software Director, Ashok Elluswamy, shared data showing how Tesla’s Autopilot software prevents around 40 crashes daily that would have been caused by sudden unintended acceleration. Several owner accounts are crediting Autopilot and FSD for saving their lives.