Off-Topic US opens investigation into Tesla after fatal crash

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by jimjams, Friday 1st Jul, 2016.

  1. jimjams Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    Tesla is being investigated following a crash in which a man died in Florida after colliding with a lorry.

    Under scrutiny is the electric car company's Autopilot feature, a function which automatically changes lanes and reacts to traffic.

    In a statement, Tesla said it appeared the Model S car was unable to recognise "the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky" that had driven across the car's path.


    US opens investigation into Tesla after fatal crash - BBC News

    So all the nay-sayers about this technology becoming widespread soon could be correct
     
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  2. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

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    It was only a matter of time.
     
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  3. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

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    1 fatality in 100 million + autonomous miles travelled. Average is 94 million for regular cars in USA.

    Neither the driver nor the car saw the trailer that entered the freeway almost perpendicular to the car against a very bright sun.

    I wouldn't think too much of it but it's a regular probe so nothing to worry about I guess.
     
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  4. Zebster Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    Maybe it simply took a dislike to the person driving it?
     
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  5. bijomaru Premium Member Club Supporter

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    And this is where petroleum industry will pour money into lobbying to get this classified as a Tesla fault to kill off their progress. The same can happen if you leave the car in cruise control and lane-keeping mode, and then stop paying attention to the road. The driver is at fault for not adhering to manufacturers instructions to ALWAYS keep hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the road. It's a driver-assist feature, not a driver-replacement.
     
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  6. Zebster Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    Maybe we shouldn't have 'driver assist' features that can readily lead to disaster?
     
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  7. Harvey Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    maybe we should have driver assist features at all. Like mandatory stability control and all that stuff, and only keep the most basic thing of ABS, basic cruise control and that's about it. As a lot of this stuff is unessacery adds more cost to make and also makes the driver less aware of their surroundings and or size of their vehicle, what happened to good honest cars like the original Civic and Accord that had very little in the way of driver aids. I bet half of people nowaways would freak out if a car didn't have those things and would be confused by the simple reverse park and god forbid, opening their own tailgate with a key!
     
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  8. jimjams Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    where does it say that this ?

    For me, the issue is that if these autonomous vehicles require continual attention from the driver, then they are not autonomous, so no point having them. Imagine if there's a car where the passenger has the pedals and a steering wheel, and they drive the car ....but they're aged 12 years. The 12-year-old has been driving you around for a year, and you haven't put any attempt into driving the car, but after a year you are still expected to have been applying, and still continue to apply, the same quality of attention as if the 12-year-old had never been driving the car. I don't think so.
     
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  9. bijomaru Premium Member Club Supporter

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    Tesla's cars are not autonomous. They have driver-assist features. It's the same as me switching on Cruise Control on my 7th Generation where there is no ACC, and then proceeding to drive into a slowly moving traffic because I was not paying attention.
     
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  10. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

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    'What we know is that the vehicle was on a divided highway with Autopilot engaged when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S. Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied.'
    https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tr...g_063016&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social



    Also according to the Verge Tesla driver killed in crash with Autopilot active, NHTSA investigating | The Verge
    'Preliminary reports indicate the vehicle crash occurred when a tractor-trailer made a left turn in front of the Tesla at an intersection on a noncontrolled access highway. The driver of the Tesla died due to injuries sustained in the crash.'
    [emphasis mine]

    He has had a near miss before this crash.. he regularly records himself using Autopilot. This was a near miss he recorded earlier ..Autopilot was engaged but he wasn't paying attention and never saw it coming.


    As @bijomaru says, Teslas are not autonomous and Autopilot is best suited for 'clear conditions' so he regularly took liberties with the capabilites of the system.
    'While truly driverless cars are still a few years away, Tesla Autopilot functions like the systems that airplane pilots use when conditions are clear. The driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car. What's more, you always have intuitive access to the information your car is using to inform its actions.' https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/your-autopilot-has-arrived
     
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  11. jimjams Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    If you don't use Autopilot then you're going to be paying more attention all the time, so you'll see more.
    The big point of driving a car (and riding a bike) is to be pre-emptive , to anticipate.
    IMO if he had not been driving a car with that "feature" then in all likelihood he would have anticipated what happened ....or maybe he was a rubbish driver which was why he was relying on a rubbish system to "help" him. Either way I would never drive a car with this system turned on, and I don't think they'll have anything like enough capability for decades. The human brain is far superior for things like driving a car, the failing of the brain is fatigue but, in 42 years of driving, fatigue has never happened to me.

    For me, Autopilot = Autonomous plus a cop-out excuse from the manufacturer ....oooh you have to be paying attention all the time
     
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  12. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

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    Like it or not tech is already here to make us all dumb. LKAS, parking sensors, city braking (which is now mandatory AFAIK), TPMS (mandatory) and speed zone recognition are already available and people are relying on them more and more. The old school drivers who learnt to pay attention won't be around for long and car manufacturers want the the new gen to keep buying their cars even though they have attention span of a grass hopper. Mind you the guy was a Ex-Navy personnel so I guess he knew very well how to manage risks.

    Telsa specifically instructed that this is a beta (which is to protect them from lawsuits) but I also clearly remember that when they launched and people started doing stupid things with it, they clarified that you should only use it on a motorway and not exit ramps or intersections.
    - - - Updated - - -
    I guess this explains the difference between truly autonomous Google car and the Auto pilot equipped Tesla better:

    Google's system uses an expensive 64-beam LIDAR to localize itself to within 10cm on a detailed pre-existing map. It's incredibly precise. It also uses the LIDAR data to build a 360 degree world model that tracks and predicts movements for all nearby vehicles, pedestrians, and other obstacles, so it's able to plan intelligent paths through complex highway or urban environments.

    Tesla's system is reportedly based on monocular forward-looking camera technology from Mobileye. This means it's very unlikely that Tesla's system can localize itself on a map, at least to the degree needed to accomplish lane keeping (GPS isn't reliable enough). However, the forward-looking camera can pick up the location and curvature of highway lane makers, which is more than enough to simply keep the car in its lane and accomplish basic lane change maneuvers.

    Each of these systems excels in its own domain. Tesla's is low-cost and will likely be effective at accomplishing Elon Musk's goal of automating 90% of driving within a few years. But handling the last 10% of driving situations is very, very hard. Google created the 90% solution years ago and accurately predicted others would follow soon after, so they decided to focus on solving the really hard problems that will give them a major, potentially even monopolistic advantage in the long run.

    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-d...-Autopilot-system-and-Googles-driver-less-car
     
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  13. bijomaru Premium Member Club Supporter

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    In this case Honda is to be blamed as well for fitting ACC and LKAS to our cars ... I use those extensively in right conditions, but also pay attention to the road. If someone uses those recklessly and plays games while driving, they're a crap driver anyway, and would cause an accident with the aids or not.
     
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  14. jimjams Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    I'll bet that even Google state that the driver must be aware at all times, in which case it's still an Autopilot but slightly more advanced than the junk in the Tesla.

    For example, when I passed my test 42 years ago and started to drive autonomously, there was no GPS, no satnav, etc. So you found your way around by looking at the map before you set off, and using signs and indications of the way the roads were laid out, to get to your destination. As you got to know the roads more and more, you needed a map less and less. I've also driven on the continent and in the Middle East and got by very well using those techniques.

    As the years pass, your skill at predicting something improves. If bright headlights or bright sunlight obscure your view of the road ahead, then (as mentioned in the highway code) it is best to slow down. If you don't then you are taking a gamble. Like most people I have sometimes gambled and sometimes not, but I'd hate to be in a car where a computer makes the wrong assumption and pulls my car onwards into disaster.

    Below that video clip in #10, it is written "I actually wasn't watching that direction" and at the end "I'm listening to an audiobook". He had clearly come to trust the 12-year-old driving the car.

    If anyone gets this technology in their car, turn it off .....and don't rely on TPMS or LKAS or anything similar.
     
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  15. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

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  16. jimjams Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    that is an excellent description of what went wrong, and as far as I can read into it, most attentive drivers would have at least slowed down and been prepared to take avoiding action.

    There's a also a link to this article We're All Wrong About Autonomous Cars, So Get Away From The Wheel which basically says that driving a car is "all or nothing" (my words) i.e. there is no half-way house (my interpretation). So the issue is, how do we get to fully-safe fully-autonomous vehicles without using humans as guinea-pigs in the driver's seat, until the fully-safe fully-autonomous vehicle finally emerges (in a few decades).
     
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  17. Nighthawk Guest

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    Reportedly drove for 300 yards after the driver was dead by itself and that a movie was playing on the info screen.
     
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  18. jimjams Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    "she was passed, and she said she was doing 85, and when this car just passed her she was just like wow, I wonder how fast that car's going" ....so their system doesn't switch itself off above the speed limit, it doesn't see a trailer, it doesn't slow down and anticipate something that could potentially kill you ....because it doesn't understand death.
     
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  19. Nighthawk Guest

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    An example of what happens when you trust technology too much - owner even admits he was complacent with the technology



    Whilst I can see the amusing side of this video, its still far too much trust. I ask myself this - would you trust this vehicle stopping in time if its about to hit your car with your kids in it?

     
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  20. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

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    There was no one to blame but the driver. Stop blaming the tech. The law doesn't ask oh your LKAS malfunctioned or city braking didn't work or autopilot went mad. You as a driver is responsible.

    If your auto wipers don't come on and you fail to switch them on manually and crash due to no visibility can you blame the wipers or manufacturer? No it's your responsibility!
     
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