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TD's response to media enquiries on removal of Tesla calendar function

     In response to media enquiries on the removal of calendar function from Tesla vehicles, the Transport Department (TD) said today (June 8):

     Regulation 37 of the Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulations (Cap 374A) prohibits any person from installing a visual display unit on a motor vehicle at any point forward of the driver's seat or where the screen is visible to the driver whilst in the driving seat, unless those visual images are permitted under the law, i.e.

(a) information about the current state of the vehicle or its equipment;
(b) the current closed-circuit view of any part of the vehicle or the area surrounding the vehicle;
(c) information about the current location of the vehicle; or
(d) any other information which is only for the purpose of navigating the vehicle.

     The above requirements were made having regard to driving safety considerations. In processing an application for type approval of a new Tesla model recently, the TD found that the visual display unit on the vehicle has displayed the calendar functional images. The TD then reminded Tesla that the new model must comply with the above legal requirement, otherwise it would not be able to comply with the requirements for type approval. We understand that subsequently, the manufacturer removed the function on its own initiative so as to comply with the legal requirements.

     In fact, the TD clearly conveyed to the Tesla in 2014 the clear requirement that the installation of visual display unit on vehicles must comply with the above requirements under the Hong Kong legislation.

     Hence, the decision made by Tesla this time to remove the calendar app from the new model and Tesla vehicles in use is based on legal requirements, instead of what Tesla told vehicle owners recently that "The calendar app has been removed as the Transport Department determined that the calendar app has no bearing on the drivability of the car".

     If any other vehicle models are found to have contravened the above legal requirements, the TD will also take follow-up actions in accordance with the law.

     For driving safety reasons, many jurisdictions such as some states in the US, Japan, Australia and Singapore impose different levels of restrictions on the use of visual display unit while driving.

Ends/Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:58


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