Tesla’s 2016 video promoting its self-driving technology was designed to show features its system lacked, according to testimony from a senior engineer.
The video, which is now hosted on Tesla’s website, shows the company’s Model X driving around the city on streets and highways with the driver’s hands moving under the steering wheel.
“The person sitting in the driver’s seat is there for legal reasons. They are not doing anything. The car drives itself,” the text reads before the four-minute video begins.
Electric car maker Elon Musk shared the video on Twitter with the caption: “Tesla drives itself (no human input at all).”
“When searching for a parking space, the car reads the signs to see if it is allowed to park, that’s why it jumped the disabled space,” he added.
However, testimony from Ashok Elluswamy, head of the company’s Autopilot program, said the video was shown in limited detail, Reuters reported.
The evidence comes from 2022 which is being used as evidence in a lawsuit against Tesla after a car accident involving former Apple engineer Walter Huang.
In his testimony, according to Reuters, Elluswamy said the video was designed to “not accurately reflect what customers had in 2016.”
“It was explaining what could be implemented in the system,” he said.
In the background of the video, the drivers intervened to control the car during the test and Tesla says that it also passed the predetermined route.
A test car also crashed into a fence in a parking lot in an attempt to demonstrate that the Tesla Model X can park itself without a driver, he said.
While Tesla did not immediately respond The Independent’s In a request for comment, the company says on its website that “until driverless cars are proven and approved by regulators, drivers are responsible and must monitor their vehicle at all times”.
Tesla’s self-driving technology, according to its website, is designed to assist drivers with steering, braking, acceleration and lane changes, but its features “do not make the car autonomous”.
The company has been under legal scrutiny for its claims about its driver assistance systems.
Last year, the United States Department of Justice began a criminal investigation into Tesla’s claims that its EVs could drive themselves after a series of accidents involving autopilot, some of which were fatal.
When Mr Elluswamy was asked if the video showed how Tesla Autopilot appeared in a production car at the time, he said “no”.