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Germany Hits Tesla, Raises Bigger Issues

10/17/2016 10:46 AM EDT
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Bert22306
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Re: Seems like tempest in teapot
Bert22306   10/20/2016 1:59:22 PM
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Whether we like to call the move "political" or not, the simple fact is that German politicians are saying exactly the same thing that Tesla is telling its customers. So what's all the fuss about? In autopilot mode, the driver has to be alert. No one, except perhaps some of the customers, disputes this point.

Furthermore, I disagree that there's any implied "autonomous" in the term "autopilot. You do not see both pilots leaving the cockpit of an airliner in flight, whether "autopilot" is engaged or not. If the layman knows anything at all about "autopilot," he at least must know this much. The pilot is always at the controls.

Where is the controversy? There is none. German politicans are telling Tesla what Tesla has been warning its own customers about, from the start. Autopilot is not autonomous driving. Maybe Tesla will have to come up with different name for that mode, but let's not make too big a deal about a mere semantic point. If German politicians were insisting that Tesla disable autopilot altogether, MAYBE there would be reason to think there's something going on here. But they can't very well do that, as their own auto companies are offering, or will be offering, much the same feature.

realjjj
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Re: ... Necessary but not Sufficient
realjjj   10/20/2016 1:50:53 PM
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The car only shows you what it can see, thus you know what it doesn't see.

Users keep an eye on the road and on the instrument cluster, in a relaxed way. Since the system is often used during commute, people quickly learn where the system can't handle the road. They also easily notice when the system gets better with fleet learning.

 

 

Some Guy
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Re: ... Necessary but not Sufficient
Some Guy   10/20/2016 1:47:31 PM
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Self-nomination for a Darwin Award. I'm OK with that as long as they don't take the rest of us with them.

realjjj
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Re: ... Necessary but not Sufficient
realjjj   10/20/2016 1:44:35 PM
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Natural selection!

It's useful and usable but the driver must stay alert,  i am not disputing the fact that level 1 and 2 are problematic in that way, any such system not just Tesla's.

Some Guy
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Re: ... Necessary but not Sufficient
Some Guy   10/20/2016 1:34:38 PM
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And if I'm watching Harry Potter?

 

Seriously, the absence of a "safe" indicator is inherently dangerous compared to the presence of an "unsafe" indicator. It ignores everything we know about human factors. That's absent here because the car can't tell you about what it *doesn't* see. Rumsfeld's famous Unknown Knowns.

realjjj
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Re: ... Necessary but not Sufficient
realjjj   10/20/2016 1:01:36 PM
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No not exactly. It displays the markings and the other vehicles, when it doesn't see the markings ,it doesn't display them.  Pretty sure it also shows when it locks onto a vehicle in front by turning it blue. A short video so you can start to understand the UI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ1KtANIjmc

In this video the user tests the radar's ability to see 2 cars in front https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cG3Jp5GyPoc


There are plenty of videos on youtube with people using Autopilot, if you are curious. Ofc a lot has changed last night with the introduction of the new hardware https://www.tesla.com/blog/all-tesla-cars-being-produced-now-have-full-self-driving-hardware

 

 

Some Guy
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Re: Seems like tempest in teapot
Some Guy   10/20/2016 12:55:43 PM
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To assume it's not political risks being naive. At the very least this is a marketing move by a local industry through its government. Whether overt or tacit, future employment of German citizens in the future undergirds this as a motivator (especially given how far behind the German automakers are from Tesla with luxury electric vehicles). They have a rich history of regulatory attacks on foreign manufacturers, and you don't have to go any farther than the billion euro fine that AMD got the them to impose against Intel, even though there was no evidence of harm to consumers. The AMD fab was in Germany, the Intel fab wasn't.

Some Guy
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Re: ... Necessary but not Sufficient
Some Guy   10/20/2016 12:42:46 PM
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Showing the driver what the car sees is necessary, but woefully insufficient. You are liable to get into trouble because it can't addequately communicate to the driver what and when it *can't* see. In other words you have feedback when its working but no feedback when it isn't. Gotta have both.

dt_hayden
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Re: Seems like tempest in teapot
dt_hayden   10/19/2016 12:07:47 PM
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"there is nothing inherent in the term "autopilot" that makes it any more or less autonomous-sounding than "cruise control." These are just semantic arguments, not terribly convincing one way or the other."

I disagree with that.  Those words are chosen (by marketers?) for a reason.  Modern society has decades of familiarity with airplane autopilots.  We  know in general what they do.  We know they work.  We know they are safe.   To say an automobile has autopilot implies the same.  I imagine the engineers and safety professionals wince when they hear how their designs are going to be marketed.

 

"The driver suddenly has to become focused on driving, not daydreaming."

100% agree.  In my experience, watching/tending a machine performing a fast process with potentially catastrophic mis-operation is nerve racking.

 

"Assisted driving is not autonomous driving. If uninformed drivers assume the two are the same thing, they do so at their own risk."

The problem is, we know people will make this assumption, and they are doing it in a shared environment with the potential to harm more than themselves.  Witness folks using cell phones while driving as an example of someone willing to push risk onto others for their own confort/enjoyment.

fragro
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What can go wrong...
fragro   10/19/2016 11:07:49 AM
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... will go wrong.

The issue at hand has more far reaching stakes at hand than the simple question of "car manufacturer vs. car manufacturer" or nation against nation. We need to become aware of the fact that by applying autonomous mode to machines which are in public environments we actually transfer authority about the lifelihood of ourselves and our children to a complex system with an uncertain "fault tolerance". 

So far we have always at the end found a human factor. We have relied on human common sense, and laws to engulf human actions within the democrtatically founded given limits of a society.

However, now we are on the path of gradually giving up this principle with potentially devastating results to the humans impacted and maybe society as a whole. 

We will either need to first come to a democratically legitimized agreement to really walk this path, before it is decided by a lone bureaucratic committee or simply sheepishly walk into a future which is as yet completely uncertain with respect to our all ability to decide our welfare on our own.

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