Morgan Stanley: Maybe Tesla shouldn't call it 'Autopilot'

Tesla pressured to stop calling technology 'Autopilot'
Tesla pressured to stop calling technology 'Autopilot'

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas thinks Tesla might want to reconsider the name "Autopilot" for its self-driving technology.

In a research note, Jonas wrote:

The name 'Autopilot' could create a consumer expectation problem and a potential moral hazard. When you hear the world 'Autopilot,' you may think of technology for commercial airline pilots which temporarily relieve the human operator from using the aircraft controls. In fact, Tesla Autopilot is meant to be a driver assist and when activating the system, the driver is presented with a warning that is meant to keep his hands on the wheel at all times to ensure safe operation of the vehicle. Unfortunately, some drivers may be tempted to explore the novelty factor of the system in ways that expose themselves, fellow passengers and other vehicles on public roads to great danger.

Tesla's Autopilot is under fire after a Tesla driver died while using the technology. Since that story broke, more stories of people getting in accidents on Autopilot have emerged.

Now, consumer watchdog Consumer Reports is telling Tesla to disable autopilot.

Jonas argued that Tesla's Autopilot isn't really autopilot, it's more like cruise control on steroids. By calling it Autopilot, Tesla is creating a false sense of safety among users, which can be dangerous to everyone on the road.