AMSTERDAM Oct 17 The Dutch agency that approved
Tesla's "Autopilot" driver assistance system for use throughout
Europe is concerned the name could be misleading, a spokeswoman
said on Monday, after Germany asked the company to stop using
the term in advertising.
Therese de Vroomen added, however, she was not sure whether
the agency - the Dutch Road Traffic Service (RDW) - would take
any action to follow up its concerns.
Over the weekend, Germany's transport ministry said it had
asked Tesla to stop using the term "Autopilot" in
advertising because it might suggest drivers' attention was not
Tesla said in response to that request that autopilot had
been used in the aerospace industry for decades to describe a
system operating in conjunction with a human driver, and the
company had always made it clear to customers that the system
required drivers to pay attention at all times.
In 2015, the RDW approved Tesla's "Autopilot" feature for
use throughout Europe. The agency's concerns only relate to the
name and not to the system itself.
De Vroomen said there had been discussions within the RDW
about whether the name was appropriate, but was unsure whether
it would, like Germany, ask Tesla to stop using it.
The Dutch Advertising Code Authority, which oversees
standards in the advertising industry, said it had not received
any complaints about Tesla's use of the name "Autopilot".
The system has been the focus of intense scrutiny since a
Tesla Model S driver was killed while using the technology in a
May 7 collision with a truck in Florida.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Mark Potter)