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California’s DMV is investigating Tesla for misrepresenting its self-driving capabilities

A Tesla can’t drive on its own, regardless of what the company calls the feature.

tesla model 3 steering wheel
Image: Unsplash

The LA Times is reporting that Tesla is under investigation by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, over the over-stated claims made by CEO Elon Musk about the efficacy of its Full Self-Driving technology.

It’s probably no coincidence that this investigation comes a week after Tesla engineers admitted that the FSD capabilities had been exaggerated by Musk.

If you’re not familiar with the Full Self-Driving moniker, know that in its current state, it’s a $10K ‘driving aid’ that can currently change lanes, stop at traffic lights or stop signs, and take offramps for you, in addition to the usual cruise control aids that almost every modern car has.

That’s equivalent to Level 2 in the scale for fully autonomous cars, which grades on a continuum from 1 to 5, with five being the highest level.

CEO Elon Musk has famously said that Tesla will be “in excess of human this year,” but that seems to be a wild exaggeration, according to a conference call between some Tesla execs and the California DMV.

I mean, even Tesla’s website says clearly “does not make the car autonomous” but obviously some Tesla owners can’t read because it seems like there’s a new Tesla crash attributed to some chucklehead driving from the passenger or rear seats every few months. I can see why they want a car to drive for them, since reading simple instructions is too difficult.

Depending on what the outcome of the California DMV investigation brings, Tesla could find itself losing the ability to test autonomous vehicles in the state, to even losing the right to manufacture or sell Tesla’s vehicles in the state. Ouch. Tesla owners could also find themselves in hot water with the police, should any officer notice that FSD is switched on while on a public roadway.

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