He also calls on the automaker to improve its driver monitoring setup to ensure 'no one falls asleep at the wheel'.
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Edward Markey, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, has called on Tesla to rebrand and change the marketing around its Autopilot driver assistance suite.

In a statement released last week, Markey, a member of the Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, called on Tesla to improve Autopilot in light of videos appearing online showing drivers how to fool the system's driver monitoring processes.

His recommendations include "rebranding and remarketing the system to reduce misuse, as well as building backup driver monitoring tools that will make sure no one falls asleep at the wheel".

Currently the Autopilot system, at least in some countries, is capable of lane centring, adaptive cruise control, automated parking, autonomous lane changing, and self-navigation on limited-access highways.

It, however, is not an a Level 4 or 5 fully autonomous driving system, and the driver is required to remain awake, alert and have their hands on the steering wheel at all times.

Markey's letter sent to the electric car maker highlights videos showing owners how to circumvent Autopilot's driver monitoring systems, including strategic placement of hands on the wheel, or weighing down the wheel or blocking its movement.

In response Tesla says these strategies "may be able to trick the system for a short time, but generally not for an entire trip before Autopilot disengages".

Tesla also describes these videos as being from "a few bad actors", and said they represent only "a very small percentage of our customer base".

As for adding additional monitoring systems, Tesla says: "No driver monitoring technologies available on the market today, including driver-facing camera monitoring, are immune from misuse.

"These driver misuses are not flaws attributable to the auto manufacturer, just as abuses of Autopilot technology is not a flaw attributable to Tesla."

The automaker has also worked with Amazon and others to prevent the sale of devices designed specifically to trick Autopilot's monitoring setup.

It also seems unlikely Tesla will be changing the name of Autopilot in the near future, as it claims throughout the purchasing and ownership experience the company "explains that Autopilot is not an autonomous system and does not make our vehicles autonomous", but is an "advanced driver-assistance system (“ADAS”) that is representative of SAE International Level 2 automation".

At least three fatal crashes have occurred in the US since 2016 when the Autopilot system was active.