Tesla ‘cheated’ in 2016 autopilot ad


A Tesla Model X video released in 2016 demonstrating the capabilities of autonomous driving technology turned out to be staged. Writes about it Reuters.

Ashok Elluswamy, ex-director of software for Autopilot, testified in the video that the driver was driving the car. Then the robocar did not support the function of stopping at a red traffic light and driving at a green one, he said.

In July 2022, Elluswami was a witness in court on business about the fatal accident that occurred in March 2018. An Apple engineer died in an accident.

The video that Tesla CEO Elon Musk used in 2016 to prove the autonomy of the robocar is still is archived on the company’s website.

“Tesla drives itself (without human intervention) along city roads to highways and streets, and then finds a parking space,” the billionaire wrote.

To create the video, the developers used 3D mapping of a predetermined route from their home in Menlo Park, California to the company’s then-headquarters in Palo Alto, according to Elluswami.

At the same time, during filming, drivers had to intervene and take control of the drone. Also during the demonstration of “self-parking” the test car crashed into a fence.

“The purpose of the video was not to show technology available to customers in 2016. It showed what could be built into the system,” said Elluswami.

When asked if the video showed the Autopilot capabilities available in production cars in 2016, the company’s former senior engineer replied “it’s not.”

According to attorney Andrew McDevitt, who is representing the wife of an Apple employee who died in the crash, the video “obviously misled” Tesla owners about the capabilities of Autopilot.

Recall that in December 2022, California authorities banned Tesla from calling the autopilot Full Self-Driving.

In October, the media reported on the US Department of Justice investigation into the manufacturer’s advertising promises about Autopilot.

In August, American consumer advocate Ralph Nader called for a ban on Full Self-Driving because of its “dangerous and irresponsible practices.”

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