The German authorities said that they were looking to clarify some aspects on Tesla’ Autopilot, after the electric car maker made some over-the-air updates to the system.
If global manufacturers have been reluctant so far to adopt wireless software updates for safety-critical vehicle systems, Tesla has swiftly embraced this method. However, a recent over-the-air improvement on the automaker’s semi-autonomous Autopilot tech has caught the attention of German regulators. Der Spiegel magazine reported last week that the new upload had not been examined for security during regular approval proceeding, thus prompting an investigation by Germany’s Transport Ministry. Even if a ministry spokesman denied the inquiry, he said the Federal Motor Transport Authority wanted nevertheless to clarify some technical aspects. A spokesperson for Tesla in Germany later said that they were aware that the KBA were reviewing certain components of the Autopilot system and the electric car maker was fully cooperating.
Despite the fact that the European approval for the autopilot system was issued in the Netherlands, the German review on the matter is quite important, as the country is Europe’s biggest car market and the place where Tesla sold 1,582 Model S vehicles last year.
Tesla’s Autopilot has been lately under heavy scrutiny following a May 7 fatal crash in the US involving a Model S. Furthermore, soon afterwards, there was another report of an US accident possibly linked to a failure of the semi-autonomous feature on a Model X SUV.