🛑 California's DMV Says Stop
Another story about Elon Musk? Yes. But this one isn't about Twitter, rather it centers on Tesla and what California's Department of Motor Vehicles claims is misleading and false advertising. See, when Tesla promotes its cars' self-driving/autopilot technology, it uses language like “All you will need to do is get in and tell your car where to go,” and, “Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigating urban streets, complex intersections and freeways.” Of course, not only is this false, it may have even led to several crashes (yet specific figures remain elusive).
The DMV has asked Tesla to change this advertising and threatens to revoke the company's license to make and sell cars in California if it does not.
Tesla has yet to make any public response to the DMV, notes the Los Angeles Times.
State Senator Lena Gonzalez, who chairs the Transportation Committee, said the DMV's case aims to make clear that autonomous “technology’s limitations are presented in the most intelligible way to best protect public safety on our roads across California.”
As California's DMV goes after Tesla's “misleading” advertising, the company is facing separate claims of discrimination at its factories. As we reported last week, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is alleging civil rights discrimination, including systemic race discrimination, hostile work environment, and pay equity claims, with reports that white workers were referring to the factory as a “slave ship” for how Black employees were treated.
This might be the end of the road for Tesla's wild claims about self-driving cars. Yes, the technology is gaining speed, but it's far from being fully autonomous. As such — and especially if it's causing deaths and accidents — Tesla should be forced to change its marketing language around the technology.