Tesla tries to make sure nothing lost in translation following Chinese autopilot accident

Image: Reuters

Tesla has removed mentions of vehicles being “self-driving” from its Chinese website and instructed salespeople to make it clear the cars are not fully autonomous, following reports of an accident in Beijing last week.

The ABC reports that the words “zidong jiashi” (self-driving) were removed from the site, as was the word “autopilot”. “Self-assisted driving” is the new term used instead.

Last week a Model S hit a parked car while in autopilot, with Tesla saying data showed the driver’s hands were not on the wheel, contrary to instructions. There were no injuries as a result of the accident, the first of its kind in China.

The driver, Luo Zhen, said the company had given him the impression the vehicle was self-driving.

Chinese staff told Reuters that they have been instructed to emphasise that drivers must keep two hands on the wheel while the car is in autopilot mode.