Unpopular update: Tesla autopilot for Europe is no longer allowed to change highway without being asked

When Tesla sends updated software for its electric cars over wireless connections, most owners are happy because it fixes bugs or introduces new features. This is also the case with version 2022.16.1.1, the introduction of which began last week: among other things, the interval prediction is said to be more accurate and that driver profiles are now linked to Spotify accounts. However, especially in Europe, the update also contains a regulatory restriction for the autopilot system, which causes annoyance.

Navigation of the autopilot requires confirmation

It was already clear that he was coming. In early June, a German Twitter user reported a test drive with a Model Y with software version 2022.11.102. “The Navigate Autopilot feature has been updated,” the notes state. It is only available in Teslas whose owners have purchased the FSD option for future autonomous driving or their economy version Europe EAP. The function, abbreviated to NoA, in addition to the normal autopilot aids, allows you to make automatic highway changes when necessary to follow the route based on the navigation system. It still does. But unlike before, the person behind the wheel must first touch the turn signal lever.

So the change isn’t huge, but the unconfirmed highway change is said to have prevented deliveries of Tesla electric cars with FSD or EAP options to Europe since the last week of May because authorities noted it was not compliant with the law. applicable is. According to reports, an update to fix it is expected to be ready days later, but it wasn’t initially seen on customers’ cars. The distribution of the software from 16.2022 onwards also started outside Europe only last week, but already contained the reference to the restriction of the autopilot “in the markets where the European regulations (ECE) apply.

For once, European customers would have been happy to wait longer, but as of this week many of them have also been offered the update to 2022.16.1.1, Twitter reported. The trackers also showed a growing distribution of this version in Europe. Basically you can decide not to install the new software, but then not even the improvements contained in it will be available. Additionally, the term “recall” is used in the notes on the modified autopilot functionality at NoA, which suggests that Tesla shouldn’t leave the decision to its customers, at least in the long term.

Has KBA reached Tesla’s limit?

Tesla’s reference to ECE regulations is another indication that government intervention preceded this update. As early as February, the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) was rumored to be in contact with the Dutch authority RDW, where Tesla does its approvals for the EU, on issues related to lane changes. So customers across the continent may have to thank the new autopilot restriction for the German agency, which pushed for stricter enforcement of international regulations.

As far as is known, they have not been modified recently at Tesla’s expense. On the contrary, the UN Commission UNECE is working on new rules that could allow beta testing with the new FSD software in Europe, as is already being done in North America. However, one software industry observer does not assume that this will be possible from a regulatory perspective this year. Tesla had already limited the autopilot functions with a software update in 2019 (even the normal ones at the time) and had justified it with UNECE regulations.

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