Tesla was hit hard again, accused of staging a self-driving promotional video

Tesla appears to be in trouble again, this time for allegedly producing a video to demonstrate the self-driving technology of its electric vehicles. Citing a senior engineer at the automaker, Reuters said the video Tesla used in 2016 to tout its Autopilot technology was to demonstrate features such as stopping at red lights and accelerating at green lights. He claims that Tesla vehicles were not able to do this initially.

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Updated on:
January 19, 2023 at 11:59 am

Tesla has been fishing in troubled waters lately.

The video was released in October 2016 and remains on Tesla’s website. Tesla CEO Elon Musk touted it on Twitter, citing the electric carmaker’s cars being able to drive themselves. However, Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla’s head of Autopilot software, said in a lawsuit filed against the automaker that the Model X shown in the video was not driving itself using the claimed Autopilot technology. This is the first time a Tesla employee has confirmed and detailed how the video was created to falsely demonstrate the capabilities of Autopilot technology.

Also read: Tesla could add more colors to its electric model range

A 2016 Tesla video featured a tagline saying, “The guy in the driver’s seat was only there for legal reasons. At the request of Elon Musk, he set out to design and record a demonstration of the system’s functions. He also said that the video was reportedly made using 3D drawing software on a predetermined route. Tesla engineers further revealed that when trying to demonstrate the Model X Electric car makers are swimming in troubled waters after a test car crashed into a parking lot fence when it could park itself without a driver.

Although Tesla claims that Autopilot is a radical technology that allows its cars to drive themselves, experts claim that the technology is actually software that wants to be self-driving software. Tesla itself has warned drivers that they must keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle when using Autopilot, making it clear that the technology isn’t fully autonomous at all. However, when demonstrating the technology, it claimed that Autopilot would allow the car to drive itself.

Tesla’s Autopilot technology is actually designed to assist drivers with steering, braking, speed and lane changes. But that doesn’t make vehicles with such systems fully autonomous.

First published date: Jan 19, 2023 at 11:59 AM CST


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