A class-action lawsuit has accused automaker Tesla and Musk of misleadingly advertising its Autopilot and full self-driving features as fully functional or “just around the corner” when it wasn’t. case.
The lawsuit filed in San Francisco by a Tesla owner alleges the automaker has “deceptively and deceptively” marketed advanced driver assistance features Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving” since 2016.
Briggs Matsko, the named plaintiff, said Tesla did so to “generate excitement” for its vehicles, attract investment, boost sales, avoid bankruptcy, boost its stock price and become a “dominant player in electric vehicles, although he knew the technology wasn’t there yet.
“Tesla hasn’t produced anything yet that comes close to a fully self-driving car,” Matsko said.
Matsko reportedly spent $5,000 on the Enhanced Autopilot package in 2018, which was sold as a precursor to “Full Self-Driving” technology. $15,000 add-on software package that is still not ready to be shipped.
Tesla said Autopilot lets vehicles steer, accelerate and brake in their lanes, while full autonomous driving lets vehicles obey traffic lights and change lanes. He also said that both technologies “require active driver supervision”, with a “fully attentive” driver whose hands are on the steering wheel, “and do not make the vehicle autonomous”.
The trial deposit quotation Tesla’s feature terminology, including the name “Autopilot,” as well as Elon Musk’s public statements and tweets regarding the full self-driving system, such as his 2019 claims about implementing a a million robotaxis on the road, saying, “A year from now we’ll have over a million fully autonomous cars, with software…everything.
The file also refers to a 2016 video posted by Tesla and always featured on its website, which appears to show a Model X leaving a garage, driving through a town, dropping off the “driver,” then automatically finding a parallel parking spot to stall.
The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages for people who, since 2016, have purchased or leased Tesla vehicles with Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and full self-driving features, arguing that the ad is not only misleading but also dangerous.
The lawsuit follows complaints filed July 28 by the California Department of Motor Vehicles accusing Tesla of overdoing the operation of its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Since 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened 38 special investigations into Tesla crashes believed to involve ADAS, which resulted in nineteen deaths.
Last month, Musk said he wants the self-driving technology to be ready by the end of this year, with wide release in the US and Europe subject to regulatory approval, despite concerns from safety experts .
Despite safety issues with self-driving systems, many governments around the world have approved testing of ADAS systems, and even driverless cars and buses. The UK itself has started testing the first fully autonomous bus in Scotland and approved legislation to prevent drivers of self-driving vehicles from being considered responsible for crashes.
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