Is Tesla violating California’s regulations?

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The Southern state is reviewing the full self-driving of Musk’s company. The government is investigation whether Tesla is meeting the legal definition of self-driving for its vehicles. In fact, the company advertises its cars as fully autonomous.

But are they? Specifically, legally.

The Tesla vehicles

The Associated Press first reported that “state regulation prohibits advertising vehicles for sale or lease as autonomous if they can’t comply with the regulatory definition.” And California isn’t sure Tesla is complying.

The company advertises its full self-driving option for its e-vehicles. However, the contradiction is already in the website. The cars can change lanes, navigate, and follow traffic sings. Furthermore, the autopilot feature ensures safety distance.

However, Tesla’s platforms write that these cars can’t drive themselves. This change is expected to happen by the end of 2021.

“The current enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous,” the website writes. So, which is it, Tesla?

The State’s reaction

California’s DMV regulates these issues. Currently, the case is under review. If Tesla isn’t complying with the regulations, there might be consequences. For example the suspension of the permits for these autonomous vehicles. Plus the revocation of the license.

In fact, Tesla does have a DMV permit. This permit allows the company to test these vehicles, but with human backup drivers. Absolutely no testing is permitted if there are no human drivers present.

So, Tesla has received state’s approval. Why the review? This step is due to the recent incidents involving these self-driving vehicles.

Doubts on Tesla’s autopilot

What happened in April 2021 made even bigger news. That’s when a 2019 Tesla Model S crashed in Texas. The car hit a tree, killing the two passengers. The investigations showed that no one was driving. Indeed, the vehicle was on autopilot.

While Elon Musk claims that his feature makes the chances of accident drop by 10%, not everyone is convinced. What happened in Texas is still under investigation. Since the tool with the vehicle’s data was burnt during the accident, investigators are having a hard time piecing everything together. While Tesla is collaborating, it’s also under scrutiny.

Especially after what happened on May 5th, 2021. That’s when a man driving a Tesla Model 3 died in a crash with an overturned semi. The truck driver was injured and so was a motorist who stopped to help. Investigations have showed that the vehicle was in autopilot mode. While officers aren’t confirming this, a TikTok video from the victim seems to prove the theory.

Allegedly, the victim Steven Hendrickson posted a message on his account: “”What would do I do without my full self-driving Tesla after a long day at work, coming home from LA after work, thank god, self-drive. Best car ever!”

So, there might cause for concern and California’s DMV might be right. Only the review will shed light on Tesla’s self-driving vehicles.


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