FRANKFURT Oct 16 German Transport Minister
Alexander Dobrindt has asked Tesla to stop advertising
its electric vehicles as having an Autopilot function, as this
might suggest drivers' attention is not needed, his ministry
said on Sunday.
A spokeswoman for the ministry, confirming a report in the
daily Bild am Sonntag (BamS), said the Federal Motor Transport
Authority (KBA) had written to Tesla to make the request.
"It can be confirmed that a letter to Tesla exists with the
request to no longer use the misleading term Autopilot for the
driver assistance system of the car," she said in a written
response to a Reuters' query.
Tesla spokespeople in Germany did not immediately respond to
requests for comment.
On Friday, the KBA - which reports to Dobrindt - wrote to
owners of Tesla cars, warning them that their vehicles could not
be operated without their constant attention and that under
traffic regulations they must remain alert.
According to the BamS report, the KBA letter to Tesla said:
"In order to prevent misunderstanding and incorrect customers'
expectations, we demand that the misleading term Autopilot is no
longer used in advertising the system."
Tesla's Autopilot 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
(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Mark Potter)