BERLIN Oct 14 Germany is warning owners of
Tesla vehicles that the use of the Autopilot function
in their electric cars requires the driver's unrestricted
attention at all times.
The Federal Motor Authority told Tesla owners in a letter
that the Autopilot function is purely a driver assistance system
and not a highly-automated vehicle that can be operated without
the driver's constant attention.
Under German road traffic regulations, the driver is
required to remain alert and in control of the vehicle at all
times when using the system, the letter adds.
Tesla's Autopilot, introduced last October, helps drivers
steer and stay in lane and is intended to assist - but not
replace - drivers. Tesla says it has always made clear that
Autopilot is a driver assistance system that requires the driver
to pay attention at all times.
But it has been the focus of intense scrutiny since a Tesla
Model S driver was killed while using the technology in a May 7
collision with a truck in Florida.
Germany's Transport Ministry is conducting studies into the
Autopilot function on Tesla's Model S electric car. An internal
report seen by magazine Der Spiegel called the function a
"considerable traffic hazard."
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Alexander Smith)