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Tesla Motors Inc Gives in to Autopilot Fears, Cancels HK Program

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

Tesla Motors Inc has disabled the autopilot feature on its Model S owing to the pressure from authorities inHong Kong. The authorities believe that the feature distracts drivers.

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Authorities ask Tesla Motors to disable feature

The Hong Kong Transportation Department asked the US firm to disable the Autosteer and Auto Lane Change feature on its Autopilot mode. Message received by the local Tesla Motors owners suggests the feature has not been approved by the nation’s Transport Department.

“To ensure we comply with the country’s regulators, we will be temporarily turning off these two functions on all Model S in Hong Kong effective immediately,” says Tesla Motors. The firm also confirmed to IB Times that the authorities asked the US firm to take out the feature.

Even though Tesla has warned the drivers to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel, when in Autopilot mode, but the Hong Kong authorities are worried that drivers will not be very cautious with the feature as has been seen in some of the YouTube videos.

Honda and Mercedes also offer similar features, but their system makes it necessary for the drivers to keep their hands on the wheel even when the feature is in use.

In all this, many are upset with the removal of the feature from their luxurious Model S. On Tesla Motors Club forum, many expressed their disappointment over Tesla Motors Inc altering the software without even asking them. Another user says the situation is similar in Japan.

There have been no comments from Tesla Motors if there are similar problems in other regions also.

Hiring to better Autopilot

Meanwhile, Tesla is working to make its software more advanced. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recently took to Twitter to post a requirement for the engineering positions. As per TechCrunch, the new hires will work on the autopilot software.

Informing on the positions, Musk tweeted that he want his cars to “achieve generalized full autonomy.” “We are looking for hardcore software engineers,” Musk tweeted, adding “No prior experience with cars required. Please include code sample or link to your work.” Terming it as a “super high priority” Musk said, he will personally oversee the hiring process.

On Friday, Tesla Motors Inc shares closed down 0.81% at $220.01. Year to date, the stock is down over 1% while in the last one-month, it is up almost 4%. The stock has a 52-week high of $286.65 and 52-week low of $181.40.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.