Renaming Tesla Autopilot? That’d be ‘idiotic,’ Elon Musk says

Long live Autopilot, as long as Elon Musk has a say.


Tesla’s Autopilot system receives its fair share of press, positive and negative. On one hand, it’s a sophisticated driving aid for the highway. On the other hand, numerous owners have misused the system with sometimes deadly consequences.

The negative, including a recent lawsuit in Germany banning Tesla from advertising the system, has led to conversation surrounding a possible name change. But that’s not happening if Tesla CEO Elon Musk gets the last word.

He called the idea of changing Autopilot’s name “idiotic” in a Sunday interview with Automotive News. Musk said the name isn’t why drivers choose to misuse the system, and changing it would have no affect.

The system’s misuse has led to a handful of crashes involving semi trucks and Tesla cars striking barriers at high speeds. These incidents led the National Transportation Safety Board to not only scold Tesla, but to aim harsh words at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, calling on the organization to regulate semiautomated driving aids.

The CEO underscored Autopilot always reminds drivers to pay full attention to the road while it’s in use and shot down the idea “some newbie” who climbs into a Tesla instantly thinks one of the company’s cars will handle every aspect of driving with Autopilot.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

We’ve already detailed why Autopilot isn’t dangerous, as long as you use it correctly. Please don’t play video games while Autopilot’s running. Don’t sleep either. Just enjoy the technology while you pay full attention to the road ahead because, remember, there are no self-driving cars on sale today, nor will there be tomorrow.

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