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Comment Re: Traffic Tickets (Score 1) 162

Seconded. While I like the 5 over, I typically don't use it so I wouldn't miss it. Autopilot shines most in heavy traffic. It keeps a safe distance (which is configurable, I prefer to keep it at the further end). Since it is radar based, it helps reduce the catapiller effect in stop-and-go, while also avoiding the "hug the bumper and slam the brakes" trap.

Comment Re: Even the students are smarter than that... (Score 1) 400

Not to mention that you can fail out of Computer Science Engineering because of a bad grade in Middle Eastern History. That actually almost happened to me. I had a 3.9 on my Calculas and Computer Science classes, but because I got a D+ in Chemistry and a D in Middle Eastern History (mostly because I just didn't give a damn about those classes), I had to apply for an excemption and personally argue my case to avoid being removed from Ohio State University's engineering school.

Comment Re: The technology is not ready yet (Score 2) 154

It's pretty ready now. I use it all the time and love it. Living in FL means it makes me a safer driver, not a lesser one. Our highways often have no merge lanes. The entrance ramp ends directly in the highway with no dashed line. That presents you with two choices... 1) ride the lane until it ends, and expect you or the car next to you will slam on your brakes; coin toss to who does. 2) look behind you and see if it is safe to cross across 20 feet of "don't merge" zone; risk running into the car in front of you because they lost the "break coin toss". Mirrors are useless because the other lane is too far away. Autopilot is safer here. I can engage it and trust it will react to what is in front of me and keep me in my lane. That leaves me free to look behind me for a safe merge point, take over, and merge. I can do so in a way that doesn't surprise anyone, and doesn't force anyone into quick decisions, something that should be avoided on the road at all costs. Sure, sane highway design would make everyone safer. But... I live in Florida, and #floridaman isn't a meme because my state is known for thinking consequences through.

Comment Re: call an ambulance (Score 3, Informative) 153

I happen to own a Model S, so have more experience with Autopilot than most. As someone who has never used it, I understand and appreciate your concern. As someone who had experienced Autopilot over a length of time, your worries are overblown and the bigger concern would be if he passed out before the final stretch. That concern isn't because he would have hurt someone else. It's because without him being aware, he wouldn't have made it the final stretch.

Comment Re:So just rename it then? (Score 1) 330

I'm genuinely curious about your experience because I bought a Model S and took delivery of it two weeks ago. I've used Autopilot a ton, and have been quite happy with it. I've never had it once give up because it got confused, though on somewhat sharp turns it will beep and tell me to put my hand on the wheel (there's a pressure sensor in the wheel, so when it pops the warning you actually have to firmly grasp the wheel as opposed to lightly holding it like I typically do; autopilot or no).

However, I also don't push it to the limits. I notice when the lines are fading and check the HUD to see if the car can see the lines or not; if not, I disengage myself. Likewise, in stop & go traffic (where I think it really shines), I watch for jerks who try to cut me off and disengage if one does so. I've never felt unsafe using the feature. Instead, I actually feel safer because of all the feedback the car gives me about what it is sensing around it.

Comment Re: Yes, definitely assholes (Score 3, Informative) 440

From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

* Drunk driving crashes continue to represent roughly one-third of fatalities, resulting in 9,967 deaths in 2014.
* Distracted driving accounted for 10 percent of all crash fatalities, killing 3,179 people in 2014.
* Drowsy driving accounted for 2.6 percent of all crash fatalities; at least 846 people died in these crashes in 2014.

Autopilot killed 1 person; ever. And it did so on a location where it was not intended to be used. The safety record doesn't mean nothing, but there is still room for improvement. The difference is now the improvement can be shared to all cars via an update. In a standard fatal accident, the improvements are much harder to act upon. Reference:

Comment Re:A simple solution to part of the problem (Score 3, Interesting) 105

This. I'm a relatively well off white male, and I have encountered exactly this happening. Twice...

The first time, I was riding in my car with friends. Had we been drinking? Absolutely. But the driver didn't. He was a heart surgeon at OSU Hospital who was on call. He offered to drive the group because of the fact that he could not possibly drink anything. This was back in 2002. Why is that important? Oh, I don't know. Maybe because a few people crashed some planes in a some buildings, and the entire US turned against anyone who wasn't white. See, my friend, who was a well known heart surgeon, happened to look middle eastern. He was sober. Hadn't drank so much as a drop of alcohol... and he was forced to pull over to a parking lot.

In said parking lot, we were surrounded by 6 police cars and 3 paddy wagons. I was in the back seat, behind a window tinted so you couldn't see me. I had 5 other friends with me. An asian, the middle eastern who drove, an african american, and two other white friends. Every... single... minority was put in handcuffs in the backs of the cop cars. Not one of the whites were. I was mildly drunk, which means I was stupid enough to have no fear of what was happening. I yelled at the cops because of how they treated my friends. I scolded them for how my minority friends were treated differently than we were. I was given "fantastic" answers like, "would you like us to handcuff you too?!?!" to which I "smartly" replied, "yes, and lets explain to the courts why."

It turns out an asshole neighbor of mine saw a bunch of minorities getting into a car (my car!!!!), and reported it being stolen. Having nothing better to do, the entire Columbus, OH police department responded to the theft of a 1984 Chevy Suburban that had more rust than metal. They pulled my friends out, at gunpoint, by their necks and handcuffed them in the back of police cars.

Had things gone slightly different, I might be attending a friend's funeral. It frightens me both in how close I was to having a friend murdered by the police, and looking back and seeing how easily they would have justified it. Only because my friends did not assert their rights are they alive, and ironically, only because as a white male who did assert my rights were they freed.

There are bad people out there. There are great cops out there. The problem is, the police unions are so "pro cop" that any / all attempts to remove the bad cops from the force is null and void. They will protect a "bad cop" at the expense of 1,000,000 "good citizens" and won't think twice about it. I did file a report about what happened to my friends and I, and received a response that the police pulling my friends out at gunpoint was 100% justified because random citizen X reported my car as being stolen.

That was the first time... The second time... was even more "unfortunate". I'll simply say, I understand why poor people do not trust the police. I'm fairly well off, and have personally seen the abuses they are willing to do. The only difference is that I'm well off enough to be able to retaliate via the courts, and my friends often are not.

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