Autonomous vehicle regulation controversy as it pertains to Tesla in the golden state seems to boil down to whether a "reasonably prudent person" would be induced to believe that the term "auto-pilot" means the vehicle is autonomous as defined by California lawmakers in draft legislation.
A bit to unpack there. A lawyers field day I imagine.
This doesn't prevent Jeff Bezos's Wa Po to declare the headline below.
Jalopnik seems to take a more up-beat approach.http://jalopnik.com/california-may-soon-let-autonomous-cars-roam-without-hu-1787313400
The passage in question reads as follows.
" Autonomous Vehicles
Page 35 of 35
§227.90. Statements About Autonomous Technology
(a) No vehicle shall be advertised as an autonomous vehicle unless it meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The vehicle meets the definition of an autonomous vehicle specified in Vehicle Code
section 38750 and section 227.02(d) of this Article.
(2) The vehicle was manufactured by a manufacturer licensed pursuant to Vehicle Code
section 11701 also holding a valid autonomous vehicle manufacturer’s permit issued pursuant to this Article at the time of the vehicle’s manufacture.
(b) Terms such as “self-driving”, “automated”, “auto-pilot”, or other statements made that are likely to induce a reasonably prudent person to believe a vehicle is autonomous, as defined, constitute an advertisement that the vehicle is autonomous for the purposes of this section and Vehicle Code section 11713.
NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 1651 and 38750, Vehicle Code. Reference: Sections 11701, 11713, and 38750,
The entire draft is here:https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/211897ae-c58a-4f28-a2b7-03cbe213e51d/avexpressterms-93016.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
The vast majority of the proposed legislation appears to be directed at things like the Google car.
This will be interesting to follow because as California goes so eventually goes North America.
California residents can provide input here.https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/newsrel/newsrel16/2016_31
" DMV Seeks Public Comment on New Rules for Autonomous Vehicles
Public Workshop to be held October 19, 2016"
My personal feeling is that the term Auto-pilot would not induce a reasonably prudent person to believe an airliner could fly from New-York to Los Angeles without pilots in the cabin, so it is with autos.