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German minister keeps ‘traffic hazard’ Tesla on the road

The autopilot function on Tesla Motors Inc’s Model S car represents a “considerable traffic hazard”, according to an internal report for Germany’s Transport Ministry seen by magazine Der Spiegel.

Experts in the German Federal Highway Research Institute carried out tests on the electric car and criticised it on a number of points, the magazine reported. For example, drivers are not alerted by the autopilot system when the vehicle gets into a situation that the computer cannot solve, Spiegel cited the report as saying.

German Minister Alexander Dobrindt, testing an autonomously driving Audi on Autobahn A9 in 2015. (Picture: VW).

In addition, the car’s sensors do not detect far back enough during an overtaking manoeuvre, while the emergency brake also performs inadequately, according to the report. Spiegel said German minister for transport Alexander Dobrindt was aware of the report but did not want to take the model out of service. The ministry told press agency Reuters a final evaluation had not yet been taken and further tests were being conducted.

Tesla said in a statement: “We have always been clear with our customers that autopilot is a drivers assistance system that requires the driver to pay attention at all times.” It said the system also included safeguards against driver misuse and that it was not aware of any safeguards as strong in any other car on the road. Tesla added its emergency braking system was also “state of the art” in the industry.

Source: Yahoo Finance

FEMA and its’ member organizations are calling for extensive testing with motorcycles before allowing so-called autonomously driving cars and cars with an ‘autopilot’ system on public roads. A number of accidents with cars on ‘autopilot’ have occurred. In Norway the motorcycle of a young, female rider was hit hard from behind by a Tesla, with its ‘autopilot’ in the ON position.

California tells Tesla: stop using the term ‘autopilot’.
In the United States, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has formally issued draft regulation that demands Tesla cease and desist from using the terms ‘self-driving’, ‘automated’ or ‘autopilot’ when it comes to advertising its vehicles, unless they are capable of driving themselves without any human backup. Currently, the California DMV rates Tesla’s Autopilot as a ‘level-two version’ of self-driving technology, and the draft regulations will only allow vehicles rated at levels three, four or five to advertise they are capable of self-driving while on any form of ‘autopilot’. On the current five-step scale that has been adopted by the US federal government and the auto industry, level three vehicles are able to drive themselves under limited conditions without a human occupant paying attention and ready to intervene. A level five vehicle must be able to operate fully autonomously under the most severe conditions. (Source: