Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta test program under review by California DMV

Tesla gave full self driving demo to California DMV amid deceptive claims

Tesla gave a full self-driving demo to the California DMV and other FSD critics. In recent times the California DMV has been pressuring Tesla over the claims that the agency believes it could be deceptive. In Summer, both entities turned back and forth about the full self-driving (FSD) Beta rollout. It includes the marketing around the Full Self-Driving Beta package.

Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta test program under review by California DMV
Image credits- Tesla Drive

It came after the agency had been under some political pressure to force Tesla to report more data about its FSD program. Over the years, Tesla has been criticized for how it advertises its Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). One of the main concerns has been the actual names of the systems: Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability. Some people believe that the names suggest that the systems are autonomous, even though they are only driver-assist systems.

Tesla has also been using this description to avoid having to report data like disengagement like other self-driving programs in California under the DMV’s jurisdiction. Now it is known that there was a demonstration. As Bloomberg reported, “The demo of the system Tesla markets as Full Self-Driving was held last week at the Sacramento headquarters of the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to emails Bloomberg viewed via a public records request. Also at the Oct. 26 event were the head of the Highway Patrol, a deputy secretary with the state transportation agency, and three outside advisers for the DMV.”

Under pressure

Before the event, Tesla tried to have the DMV exclude some advisers from the agency who were scheduled to attend the demonstration. Jennifer Cohen, Tesla’s head of policy and business development in California, wrote in an email to Miguel Acosta, the DMV’s head of autonomous vehicles. “I question whether it is appropriate to include your consultants that have made negative public statements about Tesla. We have yet to receive any assurance that their bias does not influence DMV’s treatment of Tesla.”

To which, Acosta replied, “We appreciate Tesla’s continued assistance in providing information regarding the latest releases and expansion of the Full Self-Driving Beta program and features. Our consultants assist us with our ongoing examination of the technology available on California public roads.” Tesla apparently had particular issues with Steven Shladover, a transportation research engineer at the University of California at Berkeley. He was the one who previously called Tesla’s use of the term self-driving “very damaging.” Also, Bryant Walker Smith, an affiliate scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, has advocated, like many others, that the autonomous testing and reporting rules should apply to Tesla’s FSD Beta.

Credits- Electrek