Tesla Responds To Mobileye Criticism, Says Former Camera Supplier's Departure Was Motivated By Business

Sep 16, 2016 04:13 AM EDT | Julie Bedas

Tesla Motors Inc. dismissed Mobileye's statement on the safety of its Autopilot as a result of discontinuing to use the camera supplied by the latter company. In a statement released on Thursday, Tesla accused Mobileye of disparaging its products' safety when it learned that Tesla will start producing its own vision system. 

Tesla Bites Back

According to a representative from Tesla once Mobileye gained knowledge that the EV company will start making its own vision system for upcoming Autopilot models, it  "attempted to force Tesla to discontinue this development, pay them more and use their products in future hardware."

This response came in the day after Mobileye's Chairman, Amnon Shashua, claimed in a Reuters report that they had broken ties with Tesla because the company has been "pushing the envelope in terms of safety" with the design of its Autopilot. This prompted Tesla to respond that they have been constantly educating drivers to always be prepared to take full control of the vehicle. 

Tesla's Autopilot Safety Controversy

Tesla's Autopilot has been facing heavy criticisms after the death of a Tesla driver in Florida on May when a Model S slammed into a tractor while Autopilot was engaged. A few months after, another Tesla driver from China died when it crashed into a cleaning truck. 

The Chinese father which was the owner of the Model S sued Tesla in July saying that his son was relying on the Autopilot feature, which was the reason why he was not minding the road when the accident happened. However, Tesla responded that there's no way to learn whether Autopilot was engaged as the car was unable to transmit any logs during the crash. 

Issues on the Autopilot led the company to put limits on the design in January. On Sunday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that an update would temporarily prevent drivers from using the system if they fail to heed audible and visual warnings to take back full control.

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