Tesla has reportedly removed references to “self-driving” from its website for customers in China, after a traffic incident in the People’s Republic.
A Model S driven by a Chinese driver crashed while operating in Autopilot mode, according to industry paper Automotive News.
The driver is said to have publically complained about Tesla’s Autopilot, claiming the carmaker has overstated its ability to control the vehicle.
The incident involved a Model S travelling on a Beijing highway which collided with a parked car. The car was off to the left-hand side (shoulder) of the road but was partially on the roadway.
Both vehicles were damaged but no injuries were reported.
"At Tesla we are continuously making improvements, including to translations," a Tesla spokeswoman said, speaking with Reuters.
"We've been in the process of addressing any discrepancies across languages for many weeks. Timing had nothing to do with current events or articles."
True to her word, the Chinese Autopilot term was reinstated on the website a few days later, but the meaning now translates to ‘auto-assisted driving’.
Staff at Tesla stores in China are reportedly being informed to emphasise the new angle to potential customers, stating that drivers must keep their hands on the wheel while operating in Autopilot mode (which is also required under Chinese driving regulations).
Previously, customers had reported staff conducting test drives without either hand on the wheel to demonstrate the feature.
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MORE News & Reviews: Tesla | Autonomous | China