In documents that emerged earlier this year, Tesla confirmed to the California DMV that the Full Self-Driving Beta will never be full self-driving. Related documents that emerged last night include the hilarious detail of a Tesla engineer telling regulators that a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk was out of touch with engineering reality.
Now, that could apply to many an Elon tweet but the tweets the engineer, CJ Moore, who is Tesla’s director of Autopilot, appears to have been referring to are below.
Or perhaps it was this tweet:
It’s hard to know for sure, but the non-profit PlainSite got its hands on a California DMV memo via the California Public Records Act. That memo, embedded at the bottom of this post, describes a March 9 meeting between California DMV and Tesla officials. It contains the following paragraph, with one sentence redacted:
The redacted sentence, as it usually is, is the best part:
It’s important to note that Moore is not saying anything controversial here, or wrong, he is merely doing what a lot of workers with incompetent bosses do, which is try and clean up their messes after the fact. Elon can tweet a lot of things, in other words, but behind closed doors his own employees are telling regulators a different story. Well, the real story.
In a follow-up letter to a Tesla lawyer dated April 21, also obtained by PlainSite, a California DMV official wrote the following:
The DMV encourages Tesla to continue to provide clear and effective communication to customers, buyers, and the general public about the CityStreets feature, which includes describing the capabilities and intended use, and the importance of actively monitoring the vehicle. As Tesla is aware, the public’s misunderstanding about the limits of the technology and its misuse can have tragic consequences.
That is something that Tesla already knows, of course, and so does California, and so does Elon, and so do you. I emailed Tesla for comment but do not expect a reply since they no longer have a PR team.