Tesla Autopilot Name Lacks ‘Common Sense’, Says Pete Buttigieg

Image: @DirtyTesla

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said during an interview with Bloomberg that Tesla’s Autopilot naming convention is misleading and is lacking in “common sense,” as detailed in a report from Bloomberg on Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t call something ‘Autopilot’ if the manual explicitly says that you have to have your hands on the wheel and the eyes on the road all the time,” Buttigieg said during the interview. “That’s not saying anything about the NHTSA scope of investigation, I’m just saying at a common sense level. I think that’s a concern.”

The news comes as the NHTSA continues an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot after reports of the system claimed it would suddenly brake, and after several reported collisions.

The NHTSA began two separate investigations into Tesla’s Autopilot program, one opened in August 2021 while the other probe began in February 2022.

It also comes as Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta, an upgraded Level 2 semi-automated driving system, comes under scrutiny for concerns surrounding its naming convention, which some argue could cause drivers to overestimate the system’s self-driving abilities.

Both Autopilot and the FSD beta require users to keep their hands on the steering wheel while in use, and Tesla says the former system will “require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”