Sunday 12 June 2016

Auto & Technology: Who needs Tesla Calendar when you got this? (Summary)

Image from Locky's English Playground
I couldn't have stopped myself from making this video:

I could have used a more sarcastic tone, but I guess it is best to remain calm and rational.

This week I have really done amazing things.

On 5th June, I tweeted Elon and Electrek,

Then on the next day, 6th June, Electrek wrote an article on it, titled Hong Kong forces Tesla to update its software in order to walk back an innocent feature.

Image from Electrek
On the 7th June, I took a photo of a paper calendar and made the above video, which then Electrek "liked".
Image from Locky's English Playground
I shared my video on several Facebook groups, Tesla Worldwide, Hong Kong and Singapore, LINE, WhatsApp and they are still generating tonnes of discussions as of today.

On 8th June, the Transport Department of Hong Kong released an official response about the removal of Tesla Calendar,

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


There are many flaws in the arguments, but top threes are:

  1. TD has type-approved Tesla Model S back in June 2014 and Calendar was already there, they couldn't have not noticed because they banned Browser back then, which is on the same 17" screen.
  2. TD took action towards Tesla Calendar, which is 2 years old in Hong Kong but not this, which has been around since the days of mobile phones,
  3. US, Japan, Australia and Singapore impose different levels of restrictions on the use of VDU while driving, but Hong Kong's level is the highest in the world, selectively highest (see photo in 2).

On the same day, my video caught LegCo member Hon. Charles Mok JP's attention and he shared it on his Facebook page:
Image from Locky's English Playground

On 9th, a fellow Charged Hong Kong member Wilson Chung asked me if I wanted to meet Hon. Charles Mok to talk about the issue and of course I agreed. I gathered comments and information, compiled it into a PowerPoint presentation and emailed it to Charles.

On 10th June, we had that meeting.and we talked about ‎EV‬, First Registration Tax waiver , Tesla‬ Calendar ban, Tesla Summon ban,‬ ‪rear-facing seats ban, BYD‬, BMW‬ ‪, Car park EV charging‬ ‪, roadside meter charging‬, ‪driving assistance system,‬ ‎Environmental Protection Department‬, Transport Department‬ ‪, Kai Tak Cruise Terminal management, ‎EV health benefits,‬ ICE pollutions‬ and emissions‬, innovation‬ in ‎HongKong‬ and ‎Hong Kong Council for Technology & Creation (HKCTC).

After that, Charles' assistant and I had several email exchanges about the issues we have discussed at the meeting.

On 11th June, I shared an article in which Charged Hong Kong chairman Mark Webb-Johnson was asked about his views on the current regulations. As of now, the post has earned over 4800 views!

Let's pay attention to the development of this case. Should be ridiculously fun to follow!

PS: My video is at 1010 views now, let's see how many it can go.

Locky's English Playground Facebook page

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

Transport Department forces Tesla to remove Calendar app @HarbourTimes