Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Machine Driver Vs. Human Driver in Possible FTC Action Against Tesla - JURIST

Last updated Thursday, August 26, 2021 10:14 ET , Source: NewsService

William H. Widen, Professor at University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida, comments on the US Federal Trade Commission's investigation into Tesla's autopilot technology and analyses the possible outcomes...

On August 18, 2021, Senators Blumenthal and Markey asked the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Tesla for a misleading advertisement about the capabilities of its “Autopilot” technology. The request follows high-profile accidents involving Tesla vehicles and prior requests for FTC action by others. The FTC ought to investigate by considering what evidence, if any, warrants the implicit claim by Tesla that its vehicles on autopilot, without attentive human supervision, are as safe or safer than the average human driver. It should not simply consider whether Tesla has any substantiating evidence for its claims about the capabilities of its technology.

If this claim is false, then Tesla’s branding, which implies full autonomy, and the statements in a Tesla video which asserts: “The person in the driver’s seat is only there for legal reasons. He is not doing anything. The car is driving itself” are misleading. Naming a product can be misleading even though it is not “false” because terms like “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving” imply fully autonomous Level 4 and 5 performance when, in fact, Tesla’s technology only merits a Level 2 designation in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) scale. The FTC may block future use of a brand name or...

Read Full Story: https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2021/08/william-widen-machine-driver-vs-human-driver-ftc-tesla/

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