It seems like Tesla Motors might not have gotten all of the approval it needed before releasing its autopilot features to Model S owners in October.
Last week, the car company announced that it would suspend some of autopilot’s functions — including Autosteer and Auto Lane Change — for its customers in Hong Kong until the city’s Transport Department approves them. Those functions were remotely disabled as of Wednesday.
“Although vehicles may be equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, the roads in Hong Kong are extremely busy, and motorists should stay alert and maintain control of the vehicle,” said the Transport Department in a letter to Model S owners.
The automatic parking feature has already been approved, but steering and lane changes are still going through the process.
The move might have been prompted by evidence of drivers abusing the autopilot functions. Although the car company insists that drivers keep at least one hand on the steering wheel while autopilot is engaged, some drivers take both hands off the wheel.
In response to “people doing crazy things,” as Tesla founder Elon Musk put it, the company will soon impose more limitations on its beta autopilot software.
Do you think Autopilot will soon face similar legal challenges in other areas? Comment below or tweet @MNetKatie.