Over the past six months, Germany’s road traffic safety regulator (KBA) has been investigating Tesla’s Autopilot function. After the investigation, the regulator found that the Autopilot function is “abnormal”. The agency has ordered Tesla to make improvements and limit some assisted driving features. It’s unclear what the so-called “abnormal” means. Furthermore, there is no indication of the changes that Tesla needs to make. In addition, we do not know the number of cars that will need the changes. As of now, there are no comments from Germany’s road traffic safety regulator.
Tesla Autopilot function is controversial
However, the KBA may first be investigating the automatic lane change feature, which does not comply with European law. The agency forced Tesla to limit the feature and required drivers to use turn signals at all times. At the same time, the KBA is also investigating Tesla’s practice of selecting owners for “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) software tests based on safety scores. The agency believes: “The vehicle must be safe enough for all drivers to drive”.
A KBA spokesperson confirmed that the “unusual” situation described above was partially fixed by limiting the automatic lane change feature update. However, “further remedies are still being tested and validated”. The agency gave no specifics or provided a timeline for the fix.
If “exception” is a security hazard, why didn’t the KBA warn customers? If they’re not dangerous, why is the German safety regulator asking Tesla to improve Autopilot function? What must be changed? What else does Tesla need to tweak? Do these improvements only affect Teslas sold in Germany, Europe or around the world? None of these questions has been answered.
In fact, Tesla’s driver assistance systems are not identical across regions. That’s in part because Tesla has its own improvement plan, relying on data from its on-the-road fleet. Many of the data come from North America, particularly California, to improve assisted driving. This results in the Autopilot function performing better in some places than others. But regulations have also prevented Tesla from deploying its driver-assist features in certain markets, including Europe.