Skip to Content

Tesla Disables Autopilot in Hong Kong

A member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc., Model S car equipped with Autopilot at the Tesla Motors Inc. headquarters in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Tesla Motors Inc. will begin rolling out the first version of its highly anticipated “autopilot” features to owners of its all-electric Model S sedan Thursday. Autopilot is a step toward the vision of autonomous or self-driving cars, and includes features like automatic lane changing and the ability of the Model S to parallel park for you. Photographer: David Paul Morris/BloombergA member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc., Model S car equipped with Autopilot at the Tesla Motors Inc. headquarters in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Tesla Motors Inc. will begin rolling out the first version of its highly anticipated “autopilot” features to owners of its all-electric Model S sedan Thursday. Autopilot is a step toward the vision of autonomous or self-driving cars, and includes features like automatic lane changing and the ability of the Model S to parallel park for you. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Tesla Model S car equipped with autopilotPhotograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tesla reportedly said Tuesday it would be temporarily disabling automatic steering and lane-changing on all Model S vehicles in Hong Kong.

The company had enabled the feature for all Model S owners without first retrieving approval by the city’s Transport Department. The Wall Street Journal reports that the agency is now saying the new software might not meet regulations and has requested that Tesla stop releasing it to more vehicles and disable the function on ones that already have it.

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has previously referred to the electric car’s autopilot as a “public beta.” The company continues to refine the function as drivers use it. Hong Kong’s Transport Department has issued a warning to Tesla Model S owners stating the following:

Although vehicles may be equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, the roads in Hong Kong are extremely busy, and motorists should stay alert [and] maintain control of the vehicle.

The South China Morning Post writes that the agency has approved Tesla’s autoparking function, but not automatic steering or lane-changing. Tesla is currently working with the department to get the necessary approval.