Uber vs. California - Robot cars not ready for roads?


Meh, I think 7 seconds while actively controlling the car vs 7 seconds while passively controlling the car are different things.

“She said it was like 2 seconds” is pretty meaningless. People usually suck at estimating the duration of time that has passed.


Her testimony was, “I looked down, pressed a button and looked up. Then I hit him.” How long do you think that was? 2 seconds? A minute?


Autopilot is the worst of both worlds.

It doesn’t stop accidents, but it distracts you from actively controlling things. Everytime something happens with autopilot the first thing I see people say is “Well why are you not watching the road?” Probably because you have an autopilot which is supposed to handle cruising along at a regular rate without anything going on.

It just doesn’t work. Hell, it CAN’T work. Its very existence is anathema to it’s purpose.

Autopilot works on planes because you have a ton of time to react to things. It takes time to drop from 30k feet. It takes no time at all to slam into an object near you while going 60 mph. If a plane suddenly drops, you feel it. If a car is about to hit something… there is no internal warning from your body that it’s about to happen. You’re just cruising along and then you’ve hit something at high velocity in the next instant.


What are you basing this statement on? While there are obviously some crashes involved with Tesla’s autopilot feature (and other similar features in other cars), I highly suspect that they have data of it taking action to avoid collisions, too. Whether those collisions would have also been avoided by a driver on manual is, of course, unknowable, but I don’t think it’s fair to say “it doesn’t stop accidents”. If we take Tesla’s claim at face value that there are statistically less accidents (e.g., compared to the average driving data) while Teslas are on autopilot, that’s something that has to be taken into consideration.


It would be interesting to see good data about whether actual drivers have more or less accidents than the autopilot per hour driven, and the severity of those accidents. From what I see of people texting while driving, it wouldn’t surprise me if the autopilot does a better overall job of preventing accidents.


On Tesla saying it’s not supposed to stop accidents?

Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents – such a standard would be impossible – but it makes them much less likely to occur. It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists.

So basically Tesla Autopilot prevents “human stupidity” accidents… in theory, but not really. And if an actual accident is going to happen, it wont do anything about it. Other than nearly guarantee you aren’t watching the road or ready to react to what is happening.

I mean compared to someone texting and driving, it’s probably incredible. Same for a driving drunk. But if anything goes awry… you aren’t watching the road or actually driving. Which basically guarantees you’ll have an accident when it occurs.


That’s not what it says, at all.

Again—if you take this at face value:

“In the US, there is one automotive fatality every 86 million miles across all vehicles from all manufacturers. For Tesla, there is one fatality, including known pedestrian fatalities, every 320 million miles in vehicles equipped with Autopilot hardware. If you are driving a Tesla equipped with Autopilot hardware, you are 3.7 times less likely to be involved in a fatal accident.”

You can’t just throw out the unequivocal statement that it doesn’t stop accidents. If you mean “it doesn’t stop all accidents”, sure. Now, I get that the paragraph that I quoted above doesn’t make clear what the fatality rate is per mile of the autopilot feature being active (versus just “equipped with Autopilot hardware”), but I don’t see any basis for your statement in Tesla’s own release.

As it stands, I haven’t seen data supporting that it is the “worst of both worlds”. It may, or may not, be worse than your bog standard human, on average.


The part you quoted from them says pretty much the opposite of what you said. It’s weird to me that you’re reading it that way.

Edit: I think someone posted an article or something here or in another thread about self driving cars a few months ago about the different types of self driving and how Cadillac was a lot better than Tesla because it watched the driver too to keep their attention. Does anything have that link again? That was a good article. That’s one part I agree with the naysayers about. In some ways it is worse to expect a driver to suddenly have to take over rather than just drive the damn thing themselves and I think that article might have summarized that to some extent.


The Cadillac system seems better because it assumes that someone using an autopilot isn’t paying attention and makes efforts towards dealing with that. Which is kind of the point of an autopilot for most people.


Tesla seems to be going all in



Bad timing Elon


I read a really great explanation on reddit of Tesla’s overall corporate situation and what led to the abortive stockholder revolt against Musk. Will try to dig up a link when reddit feeds their hamsters.


Well if you just have years of cars slamming themselves into cement dividers… that’'s not going to help them either. They’ve gotta do something.


No shit. Having that story coupled with this quote in it (bolding mine):

“It’s super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the (approximately) 40,000 people who died in US auto accidents alone in past year get almost no coverage,” Musk said last month.

All this just after a Tesla auto-piloted into a concrete divider killing the driver is very, very stupid. The report on that crash was released just days ago.

Edit: Sorry, the fatality was last year, the concrete divider crash was the one they survived.

Edit2: Look at the pictures: https://www.cars.com/articles/ntsb-reports-tesla-model-x-accelerated-into-barrier-in-fatal-crash-1420700268938/ That’s scary.


My current favorite Elon Musk story.


Is there a word for something that you want that you know you shouldn’t ever have? Possibly in German? They have words for everything.


Yes but they won’t let us have the word.