Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) recently delivered an update to the Model S and Model X that allowed the vehicles to drive themselves under certain conditions. The feature has been well received and many have been impressed with the latest addition. But Hong Kong regulators have not approved it yet and are blocking the technology from Tesla owners there. Tesla’s new feature lets its cars steer and change lanes without drivers having to do anything.
The Transport Department said the company’s new addition, which is easily downloaded to its electric cars, may not meet regulations and needs to be approved before being released. They asked Tesla to stop releasing the update and make the vehicles go back to the settings before it was made available.
The agency said to Tesla owners that the vehicles may be equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, but that the roads in Hong Kong are busy, and that drivers should stay alert at all times and maintain control of the vehicle. Tesla said it sent a letter to all the owners involved and is working with the department to get the thumbs up on the feature, which is currently available for 2014 Model S cars and up. The update is also for the Model X but the SUV has not been shipped around the world and only a few in the United States have received it.
More and more car makers around the world are offering features that let drivers watch the vehicle drive itself. The updates and advancements in technology have forced regulators around the world to come up with rules about what the companies can or cannot do. Tesla has been one of the companies that has worked on this technology for some time now. The Autopilot feature was tested for a year before it was available to Model S and Model X owners.
Videos and Approval
The feature has been called a public beta by Elon Musk in the past and they have told drivers to be careful when using it. The update was downloaded by 50,000 Tesla Model S owners last month. It has been talked about by tech sites around the world, with many recording their experience. But not all listened to what the company said about the update when it was first released and have actually tested the feature as if it was the final version, taking their hands off the wheel and using their phones to record or moving to the other seats.
The feature could be changed soon to keep drivers alert at all times and not take their hands off the wheel. The update was well received in the U.S and gained approval in Europe, but in countries like Japan, the company is still waiting for an answer. Tesla said recently that it would deliver new updates, will they add limitations? What do you think about this technology? Have you had the chance to try Autopilot on a Tesla car? Let us know in the comments.