KBA Finds Abnormalities in Autopilot, Demands Tesla Fix It in Germany

KBA asked Tesla to change some things about Autopilot in Germany, but what, exactly? 8 photos
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German’s equivalent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is known as KBA. The Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Motor Transport Authority) started investigating Autopilot at the beginning of 2022 and found “abnormalities” in the software. According to WirtschaftsWoche, KBA ordered some changes, and some have already been performed.
The German outlet probably did not discover which these abnormalities were, what changed with over-the-air (OTA) updates, or how many vehicles were affected. The fact is that we have no idea about these aspects, which made autoevolution contact KBA. So far, we have not heard back from the German safety regulator.

Apparently, the first thing KBA criticized was the electronic lane change function, which would not be legal in Europe. Curiously, the German safety regulator also did not like that some functionalities are only available to people that “achieve a certain number of points depending on driving skills.” It seems that KBA is talking about Safety Score Beta, an app associated with Full Self-Driving (FSD). The German safety regulator believes “a vehicle must be so safe that it can be operated by all drivers.”

As far as we know, FSD is not available in Europe. Tesla sells “Volles Potenzial für autonomes Fahren” in Germany, which means “full potential for autonomous driving.” We are just not sure if it delivers anything, as it doesn’t for most FSD “buyers.” As we already discussed here, whatever people pay Tesla is just a use license, not a proper purchase.

KBA is not very fond of OTA updates. WirtschaftsWoche said that the German safety regulator’s president, Richard Damm, stated in an interview that he wanted to know what Tesla would change before these updates were deployed. "If we do not receive any information, we cannot rule out that systems do not comply with the rules."

If the “abnormalities” are a safety hazard, why hasn’t KBA warned customers about them? If they are not dangerous, why has the German safety regulator asked Tesla to modify Autopilot? What had to be changed? What Tesla still has to adjust? Are these modifications affect only Teslas sold in Germany, in Europe, or all over the world? We hope to get these answers from KBA soon.
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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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