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When will Tesla and its brash CEO, Elon Musk, learn to use names that aren’t inflammatory? Ever since the Tesla Autopilot system came to the market, it’s been under fire. Now, there’s an advanced package called Full Self-Driving Autopilot for some Tesla models; what are we supposed to do with this? Now, Tesla is facing lawsuits because customers feel they’ve been deceived by these names and the functions of the systems.

Tesla faces a class action lawsuit because of Full Self-Driving Autopilot advertising

The Tesla Model 3 is an electric car with efficient kWh metrics and DC charging capability.
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

Car Complaints recently reported a class action lawsuit against Tesla regarding advertising for the Full Self-Driving Autopilot system. This package is the most advanced version of the safety systems for Tesla, but it’s not quite what the name says.

Even though Tesla claims to be the self-driving technology leader, other automakers offer systems that regularly outperform the Autopilot system. When the Tesla Model X first went on sale, the most advanced system was offered with full self-driving in some situations with the same benefit in all situations to follow later.

Four years later, the system still does not allow drivers to “set it and forget it,” which is a bit of a misrepresentation of the system.

What is the difference between Tesla Autopilot and full self-driving?

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Tesla Model S Plaid | Tesla

Tesla tells us the Autopilot system is designed to assist you on the road but not take over. This system can drive for you on most roads by steering, accelerating, and braking without driver input. This sounds like full self-driving, but it does require active driver supervision. While named in a somewhat misunderstood way, this system is not a fully autonomous driving system.

What is Autopilot on a Tesla?

Most automakers have a specialized name for their advanced driver assist system package. Tesla chose Autopilot as their name, which has become problematic for drivers and the automaker. That said, the safety systems use a series of eight external cameras and vision processing to deliver additional safety to Tesla drivers.

The various safety and driving systems use information collected from the sensors and cameras to offer self-driving on some stretches of road. Unlike BlueCruise from Ford and SuperCruise from GM, the Tesla Autopilot system doesn’t rely on mapped roads to function.

How much does Autopilot cost for a Tesla vehicle?

Front angle view of white Tesla Model X, highlighing cheaper electric luxury SUVs that are cheaper
2022 Tesla Model X | Tesla

Stepping up to the Enhanced Autopilot package costs $6,000, while adding the Full Self-Driving Autopilot package costs $12,000 on top o the price of the vehicle. All new Tesla models come with standard Autopilot features. Can you see how Tesla might get in a little trouble with these names?

The video advertising this self-driving system used features not available to customers

Many car commercials have fine print and disclaimers to cover potential misrepresentation lawsuits. Unfortunately, when a specific feature is presented to work it’s hard to disclaim the experience presented. Tesla employees that made the video advertising the Full Self-Driving Autopilot version admitted the video used commercial mapping software unavailable to customers.

Strangely, during the video, with better systems than what customers can receive from Tesla, the vehicle still ran into a fence during filming.

Are Tesla customers being hoodwinked?

The Tesla Model Y is difficult to dethrone, but the Hyundai Ioniq 5 might stand a chance.
Tesla Model Y | Patrick Pleul, picture alliance via Getty Images

Only the decision from a judge in the class action lawsuit will tell us whether or not customers have been hoodwinked with this Tesla feature. That said, shoppers that paid $12,000 above the price of a Tesla for the promise of a Full Self-Driving Autopilot system that would do what the name suggests have a right to be upset. They have been waiting six years and still don’t have fully-autonomous driving in their cars.

Next, check out the new Ram 1500 EV, or learn more about the differences between the Tesla systems in this video below:


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