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Comment Re: Yes, definitely assholes (Score 1) 440

"This is not good," Musk said on an earnings call this week

Meaning that people are intentionally abusing the system. Not that the system is inherently unsafe or that we are marketing it wrongly. The headline is 'People doing ‘crazy things’ with Tesla’s autopilot are spoiling it for everybody'. The people who are eventually ruining it are/is you! A few idiots killing themselves will cause other idiots like yourself to panic and pull a useful technology that saves lives.

That's not some clueless idiot; that's a paid test driver who was trained to do his job. Human nature.

A person who took a risk, like millions of people every day. What could you possibly think this proves other than that cars should be banned outright until there are no more traffic fatalities? Please tell me you have never changed a radio station, reached in the backseat for a water bottle or some other action that momentarily took your full attention off the road. Then I can completely disregard everything you say, as opposed to thinking you are just a well meaning alarmist with no practical math skills.

I'd pull the feature until it can drive itself.

So you would pull a feature that saves lives, that causes fewer crashes, less property damage because ...? Demonstrate that the feature will cause more deaths by being enabled than if it were disabled. Then you would have a serious point. Until then it is just fear mongering, luddite bullshit.

Comment Re:Fleet Learning could lead to... (Score 1) 440

Reassuring point #1: even after learning the road it will (almost) never do something spectacularly stupid if conditions are now different.

Reassuring point #2: autonomous cars can quickly communicate to others changes in the environment (for now this is very slow, but it will get steadily faster)

Reassuring point #3: when there is a critical mass of autonomous cars such changes will either a) be sent out as alerts by those construction workers, or b) marked in a new clear way that is easily identifiable to autonomous cars (could be as simple as a single sign "ALERT!" that autonomous cars know to throw out their optimized routes and be extra cautious)

Reassuring point #4: humans are spectacularly bad at this and even the occasional computer failure will be much better than the status quo. A human who has driven down the same road every day for the last year is often going to not notice a new stop sign. Further, every other human will make that same mistake as their communication system is far slower.

Comment Re: Yes, definitely assholes (Score 1) 440

Okay, I read another of the articles that you think proves your point. You quote the summary:

The feature itself has gained a lot of fame in the recent months thanks to its obvious novelty value and the fact that it is the first hands-off, self-driving technology on the market today.

Except the actual article goes into much more detail to explain what that means:

The second milestone is Semi-Autonomous driving, something only Tesla can claim at the moment, and consists of the car driving itself (hands-off the steering wheel) with the driver being a necessary requirement for regular monitoring. In this case, the car will handover control to the human in various scenarios. The element of the human driver is assumed to be an active participant in the process – albeit one which doesn’t interfere for some (if not most) of the time. Basically, if you crash the car while on Autopilot – you are responsible.

It is absolutely clear in that article that the autopilot works as Tesla officially claims and that any reasonable person would expect. Any person who bought a Tesla thinking it would let them take a nap while driving from SF to LA is either insane or a pathological liar. There are certainly thousands of people who have only vague ideas and think Teslas are self-driving, these people don't own them and are not serious customers. Most people are superficial idiots, what are you going to do?

You are holding Tesla responsible for every tweet that could possibly be misinterpreted. It's a f*king tweet! It has to be short and almost always is a bastardized executive summary. That is like holding VW responsible for tweets that say "the new Porsche has 500 horsepower and can go 195". Good lord man, why are they telling people to go 195 mph on a public highway!

Have you test-driven a Tesla? Do it, test the auto pilot and ask your "advisor" about it. I guarantee he will not mislead you into thinking you are getting a self-driving car. At best you can manipulate him into saying "I guess you could play Jenga while going down the highway, but we would not recommend that and it would be a seriously dumb thing to do."

Comment Re: Yes, definitely assholes (Score 1) 440

If you read "between" the lines and take statements out of context you can make their press conform to any preconceived notion that you want to. Which is exactly what you did. The first example I looked at, the gizmodo reference shows to what great lengths you'll go to to exaggerate your point. The full quote from Musk is:

The probability of having an accident is 50% lower if you have Autopilot on. Even with our first version. So we can see basically what’s the average number of kilometers to an accident – accident defined by airbag deployment. Even with this early version, it’s almost twice as good as a person.

It is absolutely clear that he is talking about autopilot on with a reasonable driver behind the wheel. He is definitely not talking about how well the system works if the driver is asleep or non-existant.

The author of this article you seem to be so inflamed about goes on to mention all the reasonable caveats that Tesla (or I) would make. No reasonable person would read that article and assume that Musk or the author thought you could drive completely hands off. Did you even read the whole article or did you just google for random one sentence quotes that could be twisted to support your argument.

Every Tesla employee and on every test drive they have stressed that it is NOT hands free, set it and forget it, driving. I don't know what your grievance is against Tesla, but you are completely wrong.

Comment Re: Yes, definitely assholes (Score 1) 440

Do you have an example of such marketing? I've never seen it.

There is no data to suggest that Tesla is putting the general public at increased risk. It may shift the risk to idiots who abuse the system, but the average sensible driver might very well be better off. Adding too much of a deterrent might actually cost lives because it will limit how often sensible people engage the system.

Comment Re:Yes, definitely assholes (Score 1) 440

Self-driving cars need a couple of things before they become safe

Who says they're not safe now? You're going to have to define "safe" a lot more explicitly if you're going to make demands on what technology needs to be in place before we deploy it. If you mean perfectly safe, then we will never get there. So why isn't the bar just safer than current human drivers under normal conditions?

1. An effective deadman switch that will assure that the car will come to a safe stop if the "driver" is not paying attention

If the goal is just to be safer then why wouldn't you make this a requirement for all cars? You don't need special rules for self-driving or autopilot cars.

2. Software that can handle the ethical questions that arise constantly when driving.

These are not ethical questions, they are purely technological and statistical problems. You have a hard time wrapping your head around how different such technology is compared to humans. We don't program the software to understand Bavarian festival rituals, we program it to detect that there are a lot more obstacles on this road today, some of which are moving erratically. The speed limit is irrelevant to a self-driving car, the only requirement is that it goes under it (for now). If a self-driving car can navigate such a busy street at 25 with the same safety as you when you have slowed down to 15, then why force it to go 15 as well?

Comment Re:Saving time... (Score 1) 379

If you are only going 3 blocks it might be more efficient to walk than to take a train.

If you are going from New York to L.A. it might be faster to take a plane than a bus or a train.

The point is that you made an unqualified statement that public transportation is more efficient than a single person in a car. That may be generally true for the city where you live, but it is not a universal truth everywhere. I would bet that it's not even always true where you live; I've been in countless cities throughout the world and there are always times and routes where it is more efficient to drive.

So please, don't disparage the usefulness of self-driving cars or driving in general. Let people pay the fair cost for their travel and let them choose whether they would rather be driven door to door or deal with public transportation or even some other option. Not everyone is exactly like you.

Comment Re:There had to be a first case... (Score 1) 379

Look, you can make absurdly strict definitions to suit your predisposed obnoxious opinions, but when the conclusions that result are so "obviously" absurd you demonstrate that you have no idea what you're talking about and are just being an ass.

My car has a number of safety/convenience features such as adaptive cruise control, lane change warning indicator, parking assist and proximity indicators, emergency crash avoidance, .... Every single one of those has edge cases and limitations that I am not fully aware of. Even if they don't know exactly which cars are being detected, it is "obvious" to most people how they are used and generally what they are doing. I cannot just change lanes whenever my warning indicator is not lit.

By your ridiculous standard every one of those features should be yanked from the vehicle until they are complete. Your absurd semantic torture leads to ridiculous conclusions, which means you're just being a dick. Bye.

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