Tesla Held a Full Self-Driving Demo for California Officials, Past Skeptics: Report

Tesla demonstrated its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta for California transportation officials and outside consultants that the automaker previously planned to ban from the event, according to emails viewed by Bloomberg under a public records request.

The demonstration took place at the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles headquarters in Sacramento on October 26, including a representative from Highway Patrol, a deputy secretary and three outside DMV advisers.

The news comes after at least two of those present at the demonstration made disparaging comments about Tesla’s FSD, with the California DMV accusing the automaker of misleading consumers about the software.

“I question whether it is appropriate to include your consultants that have made negative public statements about Tesla,” wrote the automaker’s California lead for policy and business development, Jennifer Cohen, to DMV autonomous vehicle head Miguel Acosta in an email in September. “We have yet to receive any assurance that their bias does not influence DMV’s treatment of Tesla.”

Others included at the demo included consultant Bryant Walker Smith, Michael Wagner and Steven Shladover, all of who have been publicly critical of Tesla’s FSD and Autopilot systems and the language surrounding them.

California’s DMV has been investigating Tesla’s FSD and regulations surrounding the software for about a year now, and the review remains ongoing.