Tesla Motors reacted testily last week after Consumer Reports urged it to disable the autopilot function on its electric vehicles, following the death of a driver who may have been watching a video instead of keeping his eyes on the road.
“By marketing their feature as ‘Autopilot,’ Tesla gives consumers a false sense of security,” said the magazine’s vice president of consumer policy and mobilization, Laura MacCleery. “We’re deeply concerned that consumers are being sold a pile of promises about unproven technology. ‘Autopilot’ can’t actually drive the car, yet it allows consumers to have their hands off the steering wheel for minutes at a time.”
Tesla “said that while it appreciated well-meaning advice, the company would make its decisions ‘on the basis of real-world data, not speculation by media,’” Thomson Reuters reports. “The driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car,” Tesla stressed.