Dutch Road Traffic Service reflects on Tesla's use of the term 'Autopilot'

Dutch Road Traffic Service reflects on Tesla's use of the term 'Autopilot'

On Monday, the Dutch Road Traffic Service (RDW) said in an emailed statement that it is reflecting on the use of the term ‘Autopilot’ used by US-based electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors for describing its driver assistance system.

The statement by RDW comes close on the heels of a Sunday move by the German Transportation Ministry, asking Tesla to discontinue the use of the terms ‘Autopilot’ in its vehicle advertisements.

The Ministry said that Tesla’s advertising of its electric vehicles as having an ‘Autopilot’ function can be misleading, because it can potentially suggest that the vehicles do not require the drivers’ attention when they are run in Autopilot mode.

The use of the ‘Autopilot’ term by Tesla was earlier approved by the Dutch RDW for use throughout Europe. However, in response to German Transport Ministry’s Sunday assertion that the use of the ‘Autopilot’ term in Tesla’s advertising can be misleading, the RDW is now considering what action to take.

In that connection, RDW spokesman Hans van Geenhuizen said in the email: "The RDW has no official opinion about the name Autopilot, as normally we only consider technical aspects and not names."

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