In the video from 2016, it is suggested that the footage of a Tesla car halting itself when it encountered a red light was staged.
Tesla’s Autopilot has never indeed been the excellent feature that consumers were promised, and full self-driving mode (also known as FSD) was contentious for a long time before it was even deployed. Now, to make it even more difficult for the premier electric vehicle maker, a Tesla engineer has claimed that a 2016 demo film showcasing the car’s capabilities to drive itself and park itself was a work of fiction.
Ashok Elluswamy, the software director for Tesla’s Autopilot, reportedly stated in a statement that the video was a fake. This information was obtained via Reuters. This revelation seemed to confirm a claim that was published in 2021 by the New York Times. In that report, anonymous Tesla workers revealed that the route taken by the car in the video had been planned, and the vehicle even had an accident while it was being filmed.
According to a report from Reuters, Elluswamy’s deposition is the first time a Tesla executive has acknowledged or even outlined exactly how the video was produced.
According to Elluswamy, the Tesla Autopilot team developed the demonstration in response to a request from Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, for a “demonstration of the system’s capabilities.” On the other hand, he asserted that the video did not correctly depict Tesla’s purportedly autonomous driving capabilities at the time. The family of Walter Huang, a software engineer who passed away in a Tesla car accident in 2018, filed a lawsuit, and Elluswamy’s deposition was a part of that lawsuit.
Andrew McDevitt, an attorney for the Huang family, told Reuters that it was “clearly misleading” that Tesla showed “that video without any disclaimer or asterisk.”
Although driving assistance software is quite standard, Tesla has been mentioned in connection with several notable accidents employing the feature over the past few years. Now, Reuters is saying that the company is involved in several legal cases related to Autopilot, which puts it in a bad spot.
Due to the contentious nature of the feature, legislators in California have enacted legislation that prohibits Tesla from advertising its vehicles as being fully self-driving until such time as the company’s automobiles are actually able to engage in autonomous driving.