| 12.5°C Dublin

Tesla must pay for customer’s car due to ‘massive danger’ caused by self-driving Autopilot feature

Close

File photo of Tesla vehicles at a sales centre in California. Photo: Reuters/Mike Blake

File photo of Tesla vehicles at a sales centre in California. Photo: Reuters/Mike Blake

File photo of Tesla vehicles at a sales centre in California. Photo: Reuters/Mike Blake

Tesla has had to pay one customer back almost all that she paid for a car because of problems with its autopilot feature.

Elon Musk’s electric car company paid the German owner almost €112,000 for her Model S because a technical report showed that the vehicle did not recognise obstacles properly and would break randomly.

The court ruled that this could cause a “massive danger”, especially in inner cities, according to Der Spiegel.

Tesla’s lawyers contended that autopilot is not designed for city traffic, but the court said it was not feasible for drivers to keep switching the system on and off while driving – which would be distracting.

"Once again, it turns out that Tesla does not keep the full-bodied promise when it comes to autopilot," the plaintiff’s lawyer said.

Tesla has had a series of issues regarding its autopilot feature. Recently, the self-driving mode almost sent an owner into an oncoming tram.

Despite its name, Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving’ is not an autopilot system nor is it capable of driving itself, but is rather a driver assistance programme where the user must remain capable of always taking back control of the vehicle.

Tesla’s self-driving capabilities have been called into question repeatedly; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US has reported that from July of last year through 15 May, vehicles using Autopilot, “Full Self-Driving," Traffic Aware Cruise Control, or other driver-assist systems were in 273 crashes.

Tesla has about 830,000 vehicles with the systems on the road, giving it the highest ratio of crashes to self-driving vehicles.

Mr Musk has said that Tesla’s value is based on whether it can develop self-driving technology, that the feature was “essential” and the difference between Tesla being worth a lot of money or worth “basically zero”.

7 Things: Adrian Weckler on Tech

Tech’s stars and turkeys rounded up and served to you every Friday by Ireland’s No. 1 technology writer.

This field is required

The senior executive in charge of AI and computer vision, Andrej Karpathy, also recently said he is leaving the company. Nearly 200 other autopilot workers have been fired.

Tesla did not respond to The Independent’s numerous requests for comment.


Related topics


Most Watched





Privacy