Chinese authorities prohibited the latest Model S software update

The Hong Kong Transport Department has officially issued Model S software version 7.0 and demanded from Tesla Motors to remove the update and take follow-up action to the owners who have already updated the software to roll back to the previous version without autopilot feature.

11/16/15 4:00 am chumakdenis 1

Tesla drivers all over the world were in seventh heaven after Tesla Motors released 7.0 software update.

However, it turned out that it was too early to celebrate.

After less than one week after the official release of version 7 update in China, the Hong Kong Transport Department has officially issued a press release and sent a warning letter to the vehicle manufacturer.

The letter requested the manufacturer to remove the update and take follow-up action to the owners who have already updated the software to roll back to the version without all-new autopilot feature.

Not the first time

Just to remind you: this is the second time Tesla Hong Kong has been requested to remove the feature that is not approved by the regulatory authority or against the existing laws since the launch of Model S in July 2014. Tesla has been requested to remove the web browser feature for all vehicles sold in the city shortly after the first batch of Model S has been delivered.

The law regulating the web browser use does not differentiate a moving vehicle from a stationary vehicle in P gear. Hence, unlike in Australia, it is illegal in Hong Kong to use the browser to surf for information (except for certain information such as weather or map directions) either when the vehicle is moving or stationary.

Tesla’s response to officials

Tesla Hong Kong did they best to reassure the Hong Kong Transport Department in safeness of the latest update, but the end results were not successful.

Likewise the first time, the Hong Kong Transport Department didn’t go for compromise.

Here’s what the latest letter from Tesla says:

“Driver safety is Tesla’s top priority. 

 Tesla’s Autopilot is designed to assist drivers by adding intelligent safety features. This is not autonomous driving. Functions, including Autosteer, are intended for highway use only and still require drivers to have their hands on the steering wheel and be in full control of the vehicle. We emphasize drivers maintain responsibility over the safety of the car when Autopilot features are enabled and must be fully aware of the surrounding road conditions. The Tesla 7.0 Software update is a functional update; it is not a physical change in design of the vehicle. Tesla is currently working with the relevant authorities to ensure a proper understanding of this new update.”











Well, it seems that Elon Musk should add China along with Japan in the exception list.

Sadly enough, drivers of these countries will not see Autopilot feature – at least by now.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of Tesla Model S owners who have already updated their software to the version 7.0.


Unconfirmed reports that there are less than 100 out of 2000+ Model S updated to version 7 in the city.

What will be with them – no one knows.

Some owners have been alerted with another update after the press release from the Transport Department that takes 1hours 40 minutes to complete which is quite similar to the time it takes the version 7 to complete. It is unsure or no confirmation yet by any owners if this is actually a roll back update.

Anyway, we do hope that these people will happen to be the corner stone in this awful bureaucracy system and the Hong Kong Transport Department finally allow Autopilot feature in China.


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