Report: Older Tesla Autopilot Demonstration Video Was Faked by Engineers
Regardless of how you feel about Tesla, there’s no amount of wishful thinking on anyone’s part that makes its “full self-driving” technology work as advertised. The company’s cars cannot drive themselves, do not operate without a human watching, and cannot safely manage complex situations on the road. That hasn’t stopped Tesla from trying to convince everyone, though, and as we’re now learning, its efforts haven’t always been above board.
Automotive News reported that the automaker’s director of Autopilot software, Ashok Elluswamy, told lawyers that an early Tesla promo video was a clever bit of cinema magic. The testimony was part of a deposition taken in July related to a lawsuit over a 2018 fatal Tesla crash.
Though the video states that “the person in the driver’s seat is only there for legal reasons,” the Model X shown followed a predetermined route and used 3D mapping software. Elluswamy said that one vehicle crashed into a fence on Tesla’s lot while trying to demonstrate self-parking.
Elluswamy told the attorneys that the video was not meant to portray an available feature and was instead meant to demonstrate what is possible. That’s obviously different than the message sent by the text at the beginning of the video, and it’s certainly different than the legions of Tesla stockholders would have you believe on social media.
[Image: Screenshot from Tesla via Vimeo]
Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.
More by Chris Teague