The UK Department for Transport is poised to ban the sale of Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) full self-driving technology under new driverless car laws.
The regulatory changes, expected as early as next year, will prohibit automakers from labeling vehicles as “self-driving” or “driverless” unless their systems receive official approval.
Despite Tesla’s longstanding practice of offering a “Full Self-Driving” upgrade for a premium price, the feature, currently only activated as a test version in North America, is not really fully self-driving as it requires continuous driver monitoring and is classified as an “assistance” system. This classification raises doubts that would pass the requirements for government approval under the impending Automated Vehicles Bill.
The government’s recent notes indicate a focus on regulating terms such as “self-drive,” “self-driving,” “drive itself,” “driverless,” and “automated vehicle” to prevent misleading marketing of the technology. These restrictions are slated to take effect in 2024 or 2025, soon after the bill becomes law.
Tesla has long faced regulatory issues over its misleading name for its driver assistance system — as well as for the audacious claims of CEO Elon Musk. This piece of legislation may be its biggest challenge yet.
Tesla’s Autopilot system, a less-advanced feature allowing basic autonomous driving capabilities, is not subject to the new marketing rules.
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