After more than six months of investigation into Tesla’s driver-assisted driving system Autopilot, Germany’s road traffic safety regulator KBA has found “anomalies” in the software. The agency has ordered Tesla to make improvements and restrict some of the assisted driving features. It’s not clear what the “anomaly” is, what changes have been made to Tesla’s over-the-air (OTA) updates or how many vehicles have been affected. So far, KBA has not responded to these questions.
Information map (from Tesla official website)
The first thing the KBA investigated, however, may have been the automatic lane change feature, which does not comply with European law. The agency forced Tesla to limit the feature and require drivers to always use the turn signal.
At the same time, the KBA is also investigating Tesla’s practice of testing owners of “fully automated driving” (FSD) software based on safety scores. The agency believes that “the vehicle must be safe enough for all drivers to drive.” Currently, FSD is not available in Europe.
In an interview, he said he wanted to know what changes Tesla made before deploying these updates. “If we have not received any information, we cannot exclude the possibility that the system does not comply with the rules.”
A KBA spokesperson confirmed that the “anomaly” was partially fixed by limiting the automatic lane change feature to an update. However, “further remedies are still being tested and validated. The agency did not give specific details or provide a timeline for the fix.
If “anomalies” are a security risk, why didn’t KBA warn customers? If they are not dangerous, why is the German safety regulator asking Tesla to improve Autopilot and what must be changed? What else does Tesla need to adjust? Do these improvements only affect Teslas sold in Germany, Europe or around the world? None of these questions have been answered yet.
The fact is that Tesla’s driver-assisted driving system is not identical from region to region. This is in part because Tesla has its own improvement program that relies on data from its on-road fleet to improve the Assisted Driving feature, much of which comes from North America, specifically California.
This has led to the system performing better in some places than in others. But regulatory requirements have also prevented Tesla from deploying its Assisted Driving feature in certain markets, including Europe.