After Tesla introduced its Autopilot update (7.0) with the ‘Autosteer’ and ‘Auto Lane Change’ features for Model S in October last year, the automaker had to quickly rollback and disable the features for owners in Hong Kong after a formal request from regulators at the Transport Department.
It took about 5 months for Tesla and the regulators to sort it out and reintroduce the features to Model S owners in Hong Kong. Now the Transport Department is at it again and in a very strange move, it forced Tesla to rollback its Calendar app in its vehicles.
Tesla announced the news to Model S owners in Hong Kong in the release notes of the latest update:
At the request of the Hong Kong Transport Department, the Calendar app has been removed with this release. The Hong Kong Transport Department has determined that the Calendar app has no bearing on the drivability of the car and therefore should not be offered in Tesla vehicles in Hong Kong. Tesla Motors regrets that this feature – which is available to customers in the rest of the world – will no longer be available to Hong Kong customers.
Arguably, there are plenty of features with “no bearing on the drivability” and Hong Kong has already made Tesla disable its in-car internet browser, which might explain the somewhat passive-aggressive tone in the release notes with the emphasis that the feature is available everywhere else. This is now the third reported instance of Hong Kong regulators making Tesla disable a feature in its vehicles.
The Calendar app in Tesla’s vehicles allows users to sync their calendar to their vehicle and quickly access it through the 17-in touchscreen. If a location is attached to an event on your calendar, you can easily select it as a destination for the navigation system.
The Transport Department is in charge of regulating the auto industry in order to make it safer and it seems that in this case, they are worried about the use of the feature while driving. Interestingly, the MIT recently launched a new research study to look into the use of technology in vehicles and they are using Teslas especially because their vehicles are equipped with a lot of tech features.
Featured Image: via bign00dle on Reddit