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The idea that Tesla shouldn’t use the name “Autopilot” for its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) is quite popular with Tesla critics. The core argument, in short, is that people aren’t smart enough to understand that this is a driver assistance package, not a perfect replacement for a human driver. It’s all Tesla’s fault, of course.

There are massive double standards here, however. To say Tesla needs to stop using the term autopilot as a name for its software is silly, especially when other automakers are using similar names for their ADAS. Yes, unfortunately, drivers make mistakes. Some run over red lights, sit drunk in the driver’s seat and play on their phones while driving. People have been doing this since Tesla launched the autopilot. So I see no point in holding Tesla responsible for people doing what they would do with or without Tesla’s autopilot.

There is this strange double standard that Tesla defames “autopilot” as a “confusing name” ( although it works similarly to airplane autopilot), but these are A-OK:

🤔 Mercedes autopilot? Nissan’s ProPilot: Neither a Pro nor a Pilot? GM’s co-pilot: won’t take over a car in trouble?

Nissan has ProPILOT, a practical driver assistance system. GM has CoPilot. And Mercedes has Drive Pilot, a supposedly level 3 automated driving system. (Referring to the “Intelligent Drive Autopilot” screenshot above, which appears to be from a 2013 ad) They all have the same word, pilot, in them. </ The argument against Tesla is that customers get complacent or trust the car too much and are easily distracted. You will forget to pay attention. And yes, some have done this and it has resulted in accidents. So, drivers have abused cruise control, or just cars in general, and it has certainly happened to drivers who use these other ADAS.

The idea that Tesla should change the name of autopilot while other automakers have some form of it themselves using is clearly a double standard. All of these driver assistance systems require the driver to remain in control in one way or another. I think critics should focus on more important things instead of blaming Tesla for the name of its ADAS.

Is Tesla’s autopilot perfect? No, and everyone knows it’s not perfect because Tesla wouldn’t try to release new updates or work towards a major FSD beta rollout and continuous FSD learning and improvement if it were perfect. Instead of using their political power to combat alcohol use and driving a car or drivers who disobey the law, Senators Blumenthal and Markey would rather focus on Tesla terminology. The two senators claimed their concern is how Tesla is marketing and promoting the capabilities of its ADAS technology. Of course, Tesla doesn’t advertise. And in terms of marketing, Tesla specifically states that FSD is in beta and that drivers with FSD or autopilot must be careful and ready to take over at all times. That seems pretty well known and widely accepted.

Instead of asking Tesla to change the name of its software, let’s focus on actual solutions that would work. We know that drinking alcohol and driving a car are widespread in the United States. It is so common that the typical penalties like tickets, fines, and eventual driver’s license revocation or even jail sentences don’t seem enough to stop many people from driving drunk. Even the thought of accidentally taking a life, be it your own or someone else’s, doesn’t stop you from driving drunk. They think, “Oh, I’m fine. I only had 1 or 2 drinks. I can drive. “

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has proposed an interesting solution. Perhaps lawmakers could require ignition interlocks to be installed in the vehicles of people convicted of alcohol abuse and driving, including first-time offenders . These would measure the alcohol in the air the drivers breathe, and if their blood alcohol levels were above the legal level, the interlocks would prevent the vehicles from starting. I add, make the drunk driver pay to install this device. And make a note on their driver’s license that this device must be installed in their vehicle. If they are caught driving another vehicle without this device they should potentially receive a hefty fine or temporary suspension of their driver’s license.

The last bit may seem tough sound, but if you can’t trust someone they won’t drink u nd drives, then you can’t trust it to drive safely.

Johnna Crider is from Louisiana, loves lobster, gemstones, minerals and electric vehicles and is a sustainability advocate. Johnna also hosts, a jewelry maker and shareholder of $ TSLA.

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