Updated: Jan 15
The company was only permitted to import 20 cars to Israel this year and the Ministry of Transport forbade the cars to operate its "autopilot" system.
Tesla still does not meet the regulatory requirements set for large car importers, and therefore can only import a very tiny number of cars.
In addition, Tesla importer is required by the Department of Transportation to make clear to its customers that they must not use the manufacturer's autopilot system on the country's roads. The system currently installed in all models of the company is considered one of the world's most advanced autonomous driving systems.
The Ministry of Transport said: "Traveling in an autonomous vehicle is not authorized in the State of Israel. Therefore, Tesla cars sold in Israel will not use autonomous driving."
It is interesting to ask why the regulator acted that way. As you probably know or have experienced Israeli drivers aren't the safest in the world and Tesla autonomous system could greatly improve our road safety. But safety isn't the real issue, the car market in Israel is over-regulated in order to protect the interests of a few car importers and insurance companies. In our High Tech nation, we cannot enjoy most of the technologies we help create because our leaders have no vision and prefer to bend to special interests than taking the lead in autonomous driving and bring a driving revolution.
For now, we will have to contend with tough rides and massive traffic jams.