California Bans Tesla from Calling its Driver-Assist Feature as “Full Self-Driving”

While the concept of a self-driving car is something out of a futuristic sci-fi film, technology is being developed to make it closer to a reality every day. However, given that this feature is still in its infancy, it hasn’t been fully perfected to the point where regular consumers are comfortable with its reliability on the road.

In the state of California, a new law regarding Tesla, and other EV automakers, will ban them from labelling their driver-assist feature as “Full Self-Driving.”

Senate Bill 1398 was signed into law in September 2022, taking aim at automakers for the use of false/misleading claims of vehicles to be self-driving, when they actually require the attention and operation of the driver. Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature is used as an example where the driver is needed to always be ready to manually take over.

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“A manufacturer or dealer shall not name any partial driving automation feature, or describe any partial driving automation feature in marketing materials, using language that implies or would otherwise lead a reasonable person to believe, that the feature allows the vehicle to function as an autonomous vehicle,” as stated in the bill.

An extension of Tesla’s Autopilot feature, FSD costs $15,000, or can be added with a subscription. The Autopilot operates as an adaptive cruise control that can automatically position itself in a single lane of traffic. The FSD feature allows the Autopilot to perform some more advanced maneuvers, like overtaking slower vehicles, respond to traffic lights and stop signs, solve certain parking issues, and even drive itself to its owner in a parking lot thanks to its “Summon” feature. Just as long as the owner remains in sight of the car.

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