Will changing the name help in any way?

Tesla’s Autopilot has changed the way cars are driven, and the automotive world will never be the same. While this was introduced as a technology to assist the driver, many people have taken it on its face value – or word value in this case. The company’s Level 2 self-driving system has come under scrutiny many times for various reasons, and it still haunts Elon Musk, who is tired of reiterating that people cannot rely completely on it as a full self-driving system. He recently spoke to Automotive News, and blamed the owners for not using it the way it was intended to be used.

”Autopilot” Is A Confused Terminology

Several cases of Autopilot causing fatalities have emerged in the past. Last month, a German court even ruled that the automaker is misleading customers about Autopilot and banned Tesla from advertising the system in Germany. A lot of folks believe that this is because people are taking Autopilot at its face value.

Elon Musk, as expected, isn’t happy with the decision. When asked if the system’s name should be changed, he said, “Absolutely not; that’s ridiculous,".

"The people who misuse Autopilot, it's not because they're new to it and don't understand it. The people who first use Autopilot are extremely paranoid about it. It's not like, If you just introduced a different name, I would have really treated it differently.' If something goes wrong with Autopilot, it's because someone is misusing it and using it directly contrary to how we've said it should be used."
Autopilot Woes: Owners Blame Tesla, Elon Musk Blames Lazy Owners High Resolution Interior Wallpaper quality
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Whether you like him or not, he’s got a point this time. The general notion associated with the term is an automated system that does the job for you. When you Google “Autopilot”, this comes up - An autopilot is a system used to control the trajectory of an aircraft, marine craft or spacecraft without requiring constant manual control by a human operator. Autopilot does not replace human operators. The last sentence itself clarifies it. Heck, even pilots don’t just let the Autopilot control the aircraft completely; so, why do people hand over the controls to the car?

Tesla tells the owners to use it as a system that helps them, but the drivers need to be alert and ready to take over in case of an emergency. They shouldn’t be using their smartphones or taking naps when the Autopilot is activated. It would be quite helpful if owners read about the Autopilot in the owner’s manual. Musk further added, "It’s not like some newbie who just got the car and, based on the name, thought they’d instantly trust the car to drive itself, That’s the idiotic premise of being upset with the Autopilot name. Idiotic."

Final Thoughts

Autopilot Woes: Owners Blame Tesla, Elon Musk Blames Lazy Owners
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I know this is going stir up the conversation here, but what do you think Tesla should do? Should it stick to the ‘Autopilot’ name, or change it to something that’s ‘not misleading’? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Source: Automotive News

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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