Germany wants Tesla to stop advertising the “autopilot” function on its cars because it leads to false customer expectations, as the system comes under scrutiny following two fatal crashes.
The German Federal Motor Vehicle Office (KBA) has written to the company, telling it: “In order to prevent misunderstandings and false expectations from clients, we are asking that the misleading term ‘Autopilot’ no longer be used in advertisements for the system.”
The KBA letter cited in Bild am Sonntag was confirmed to reporters by the German Federal Ministry of Transport.
Germany has been conducting a probe into the autopilot system in vehicles made by Tesla, which has been available with its Model S series since October last year.
Questions have been raised over the system after two fatal crashes, one in northern China in January and another in the US state of Florida in May.
In September, a Tesla electric car crashed into a tourist bus on a motorway in northern Germany, lightly injuring the driver who said he had activated the autopilot system.
At the time, Tesla said the driver had confirmed the autopilot was “functioning properly and... was unrelated to the accident.”
Last week, a Tesla spokesman told reporters: “We have always been clear with our customers that Autopilot is a driver’s assistance system that requires the driver to pay attention at all times.”
The system allows the vehicle to automatically change lanes, manage speed and brake to avoid a collision. The system can be overridden by the driver.
Consumer activists have called on the company, founded by PayPal billionaire Elon Musk, to disable the autopilot feature until it is updated to detect whether the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel during operation — as the company says should be the case.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
‘POSITIVE EFFECT’: Phison this year began shipping SSDs to Japan’s largest pachinko maker, which uses the components in its machines featuring high-resolution graphics Phison Electronics Corp (群聯電子), a designer of NAND flash memory controllers and modules, yesterday reported that revenue last quarter grew 11 percent from a year earlier on the back of new orders from Japan’s largest pachinko maker. Revenue last quarter expanded to NT$10.86 billion (US$366.82 million) from NT$9.79 billion a year earlier, Phison said. However, on a quarterly basis, revenue slumped 15.62 percent from NT$12.87 billion, it said. The Miaoli-based company said that it is benefiting from growing demand for solid-state drives (SSDs) used in devices beyond computers, which is stimulating growth for the NAND flash memory industry. Pachinko machines are one