LOS ANGELES – The California Department of Motor Vehicles is reviewing whether Tesla is violating state regulations by advertising its vehicles as fully autonomous and not complying with the legal definition of self-government.
The board approved the review in an email to the Associated Press on Monday. It is prohibited by state regulation to advertise the sale or lease of vehicles as autonomous if they do not comply with the regulatory definition, it says.
Tesla advertises a $ 10,000 “Fully Self-driving” version of its electric car on its website, but the same website says that vehicles cannot drive on their own. CEO Elon Musk has said he expects Tesla vehicles to be safer than humans this year.
“Currently enabled functions require active driver control, do not make the car autonomous,” the website said.
Tesla in the US is testing its “Full Self-Driving” program on cars owned by selected owners.
The company, based in Palo Alto, California, also calls its partially automated driver assistance system “Autopilot.”
Tesla, which liquidated its public relations department, did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. The Los Angeles Times first reported on the DMV review.
The DMV, which regulates the testing of self-driving cars on California roads, says violating the regulations could lead to the suspension of autonomous vehicle licenses and the revocation of the manufacturer’s license. It will not comment on the review, including when it started.
Tesla has a DMV license to test autonomous vehicles with human backup drivers. But it is not among the companies that are allowed to test without drivers.
The company says its “Full Self-Driving” program can move, automatically change lanes, turn on traffic lights, stop signs. The “autopilot” can keep the car at a safe distance from the concentrated “front” vehicles.
The investigation is being carried out in the context of a number of high-profile accidents across the country, including fatal devastation in California, involving an autopilot in recent weeks.
On Saturday, Tesla, which was in autopilot mode, plowed the patrol car of a Snohomish County MP north of Seattle, causing significant damage but no damage.
A 35-year-old man was killed on May 5 in the city of Fontana, California, when his Tesla Model 3 crashed at 2 p.m. On the 30th he turned on the highway from Los Angeles to the east.
The California Highway Patrol initially said that its investigation revealed that the pilot of the plane was “involved” before the crash, but withdrew his statement a day later. Investigators did not make a “final decision on what mode Tesla was operating in, or whether it was a contributing factor to the crash,” it said.
The victim, Steven Michael Hendrickson, had previously posted videos on social media showing him sitting in the car without his hands behind the wheel or his feet on the pedals.
DMV joins US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate Tesla automated systems. In the past, NHTSA has taken a proactive approach to regulating partial, fully automated systems for fear of hindering the development of promising new features.
But since March, the agency has stepped up its investigation into Teslas, sending teams into three accidents. It has studied 28 Tesla accidents over the past few years, but so far has relied on the voluntary safety of auto companies. At least three people have been killed in US car crashes involving autopilot, but neither the system nor the driver has taken action to avoid the obstruction.