Tesla comes under fire once again for its controversial Autopilot feature

Tesla Model S
Tesla may have delivered more cars than ever in Q3 of 2016, but whether or not those cars are up to standard has yet to be determined. Recently, Elon Musk’s car company reached an important milestone, logging 222 million miles with its autopilot feature. But the controversial tool is still being called a “significant traffic hazard” by a German Transport Ministry’s internal report.

Late last week, German magazine Der Spiegel published excerpts from the internal report authored by the Federal Highway Research Institute of Germany’s Transport Ministry. In it, officials level a number of major critiques against Tesla’s autopilot feature. However, some say that the criticisms may not be entirely fair, as the Ministry appeared to test Autopilot as a fully self-driving system, which is not the case. And as a result, Tesla has issued a statement of its own to attempt to clarify how it’s branding its most contentious feature.

“Autopilot is a suite of technologies that operate in conjunction with the human driver to make driving safer and less stressful,” the carmaker said, adding that its use of the term is synonymous to that of the aviation industry’s usage — “to denote a support system that operates under the direct supervision of a human pilot.”

Musk’s company continued, “Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot is designed for use on highways or while in slow-moving traffic. Any vehicle can be misused.” Moreover, Tesla insisted that there are a number of safeguards in place to ensure that the human behind the wheel remains alert. For example, the statement read, “Before enabling Autopilot, the driver first needs to agree to ‘keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times’ and to always ‘maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle.’ Subsequently, every time the driver activates Autopilot, he is shown a visual message reminding him to ‘keep your hands on the wheel’ and ‘be prepared to take over at any time.'”

All the same, Tesla is being asked to clarify how it markets Autopilot, with AutoGuide noting that the company has been ordered to stop using the term “autopilot” in its ads. For Tesla, it looks like no good news can go completely unchallenged.

Cars

ABS brakes helped airlines make more money before they helped you stop

ABS -- a technology that prevents cars from skidding under heavy braking -- has been around since the 1950s, when it was first applied to airplanes. Chrysler and Bendix jointly get credit for developing four-wheel electronic ABS in 1971.
Cars

How selectable driving modes are able to turn your car from Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde

If you don’t have unlimited cash to spend on buying a whole stable of cars to fit every need and occasion, you’re going to need your current car to fill multiple roles.
News

Pablo Escobar’s brother pours fuel on the flamethrower feud with Elon Musk

Remember Elon Musk’s “Not a Flamethrower” from last year? Pablo Escobar’s brother Roberto recently launched his own eerily similar product, a device he said looks almost identical because Musk stole the idea from him and then beat…
Product Review

BMW gives the M4 CS additional performance cred, but it comes with lots of tradeoffs

Splitting the difference between the standard M4 and the hardcore track setup of the limited-production M4 GTS, the CS brings with it a sharper look to match its sharper performance, but there are some caveats involved.
Cars

Volkswagen and Ford confirm partnership on electric cars, autonomous driving

Volkswagen and Ford have confirmed a major tech-sharing deal. It will give Ford access to VW's MEB platform, which will underpin many of the German automaker's future electric cars. The Ford MEB electric car launches in 2023.
Cars

2020 Buick Enclave three-row crossover will give you a back massage

The 2020 Buick Enclave gets a number of small updates, including massaging front seats and a new infotainment system compatible with SiriusXM's 360L streaming service. The updated Buick Enclave goes on sale later this summer.
Cars

10 crazy technologies and innovations banned from Formula One

Formula One prides itself on being at the pinnacle of racing technology, but that means teams sometimes push things over the edge. Here are 10 examples of tech that was banned from Formula One.
Deals

Amazon Prime Day 2019 deal dishes 15% discount on the Garmin Dash Cam 55

Amazon Prime Day 2019 promises great discounts on lots of items. Aside from the usual gadgets and appliances, deals for the Garmin Dash Cam 55 and other automotive tech products are also popping up.
Cars

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.
Cars

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Drone lens, laser synth, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

You can unlock Lincoln’s massive 2020 Navigator with your phone

The 2020 Lincoln Navigator adds a phone-as-key feature that lets the driver use a smartphone in place of a traditional key fob. Other changes for 2020 include more standard convenience features, and some new trim packages.
Cars

Best automotive deals for Amazon Prime Day

Christmas in July has arrived again with Prime Day 2019, and we're here to be your Santa Claus for all things car tech. We scoured through all the best deals for this non-bank holiday to find you the very best swag to keep your ride on the…
Cars

The best Amazon Prime Day deals on dashboard cameras for your car

The dash cam market grows annually, so these devices are rarely on sale. Prime Day 2019 is a stellar opportunity to modernize your car, keep yourself safe behind the wheel, and possibly capture something hilarious on film.
Cars

Waze now tells you the cost of toll roads along your route

Navigation app Waze now tells you how much you'll be paying for toll roads, should you decide to take them. Enter your route and the app will display the various tolls you'll be paying on that particular trip.