Tesla under pressure for full self-driving confidentiality clauses


Tesla is repeatedly criticized for testing its self-driving functions in the “wild” or, better said, for having customers test them. Anyone who agrees to use Full Self-Driving (FSD) as a beta must sign special declarations. But is that legal?

Tesla and traffic authorities keep clashing because the electric car manufacturer’s vehicles are repeatedly involved in accidents. Publicly it is said again and again that the responsibility lies with the respective driver, but it is always difficult to explain, because Tesla is not exactly cooperative when it comes to technical aspects.

Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is increasing the pressure, because the US Federal Agency for Road and Vehicle Safety has asked Tesla to release information about the confidentiality clauses. Because according to the latest media reports, Tesla owners who want to test full self-driving have to agree to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) so that the media, and possibly also the authorities, learn as little as possible.

Request to Tesla

As Electrek reports, the NHTSA now wants to know from Tesla what exactly this is all about. In a letter to the automaker, it was said that these NDAs had been found to allegedly prevent FSD participants from “passing on information that is negative for the function or from talking to certain people about FSD.”

The NHTSA continued: “Given that the NHTSA relies on reports from consumers as an important source of information in evaluating potential security deficiencies, any agreement that may prevent or prevent participants in the beta early release program is: Reporting security concerns to the NHTSA is unacceptable. In addition, even restrictions on the disclosure of certain information to the public affect the NHTSA’s ability to obtain security-related information. ”

From the confidentiality agreement that Vice has published in parts, it is not clear whether Tesla explicitly instructs its testers not to share any information with authorities. However, Electrek also thinks that the formulation can be read as a call for self-censorship.



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