Tesla’s much-discussed Autopilot feature will be the subject of a lawsuit in a German court that’s scheduled to rule next week.
The Californian carmaker was sued by the Center for Protection Against Unfair Competition, a German non-profit organization funded by companies and industry groups, about the way the automaker is promoting their partially automated driver-assistance feature.
According to the lawsuit, Tesla is promising customers more than its Autopilot feature actually delivers, with a court in Munich indicating during a hearing last month that it might side with the non-profit organization.
“A legal framework for autonomous inner-city driving doesn’t even exist yet in Germany,” Andreas Ottofuelling, a lawyer for the group, said to Bloomberg. “And other functions aren’t working yet as advertised.”
The Palo Alto-based automaker has been making bold claims on the capabilities of Autopilot for some years now and even started charging customers for an optional “Full Self Driving” feature, starting in 2016. It’s 2020 and Tesla is still requiring drivers making use of the Autopilot system in its cars to be fully attentive and ready to take over the control of the vehicle at any time.
If the court sides with the fair-competition organization, Tesla will have to remove all the Autopilot-related claims from its website. That would add one more obstacle to the many Tesla has faced in Europe, where regulations have forced them to limit how the Autopilot feature can be used.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said recently that they are “very close” to achieve Level 5 autonomy this year with their technology. “I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for Level 5 autonomy complete this year,” Musk said on a video message at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai.