Transport Department asks Tesla to hit the brakes following launch of software upgrade
Hong Kong’s transport authority has issued a warning letter to Tesla, following the launch of the maker of electric car’s Autopilot software update, reported SCMP.
Tesla rolled out its Autopilot feature last weekend, which helps Model S cars with “lane departure, blind spot detection, speed assist, collision warning, adaptive cruise and auto-steer”, according to the company. The features are enabled with the help of the cars’ wireless and computing capabilities.
Hong Kong drivers have begun testing Tesla’s latest software update, which was launched internationally last Saturday, although the Hong Kong government reportedly says it has yet to approve it.
The Autopilot software is not as completely automated as it is made to sound: drivers are still required to keep their hands on the steering wheel.
As Wired reported, “You can rest them on your knees (resting on knees, palms up, fingertips touching the wheel is advised), or keep one pinky on the wheel. And, okay, you can take your hands off altogether for a moment. But after a few seconds, your car will give you a little message, asking you to touch the wheel in some capacity.”
After the beta version was launched in the US, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company had received regulatory approval for the technology in 17 places worldwide, including Hong Kong. Japan was left out, as it was “under regulatory review”.
Around half of the 3,000 electric cars currently being used in Hong Kong are from Tesla. Hong Kong currently has the highest density of Tesla superchargers in the world.
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