NTSB public hearing via Webcast 1 PM (EST)

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JasonF

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#22
That's because SuperCruise relies, in part, on LIDAR mapping that GM has previously done in order to facilitate the system. I think this is belt and suspenders personally.
Possibly, but there are issues with that: First, it won't understand construction, accidents, traffic reroutes, GPS outages, etc, while Tesla's system would because it treats every road the same and doesn't depend on maps and GPS. Second, during development of the systems, General Motors had the staff and infrastructure to map every single controlled-access road in the entire world, but Tesla did not. So Tesla had to forgo the suspenders and try to make the belt a little better.

Third, and much more controversial, is Tesla had to bring out Autopilot first, which means they had to be clever. Since they didn't have the data gathering capability of General Motors, or even BMW, they had to design a system that can handle most of what the roads tossed at it. Because if they didn't, they would have had to sell the Model 3 without Autopilot, and then introduce it 5 years later, after even a low-end Kia has auto-steer.

Was it the right decision? I guess we'll find out when the NTSB finally makes a decision. It could have worked out, or perhaps it will be one of the country's worst examples of technology-too-soon. The good news is, a year and a half ago a negative decision against Tesla by the NTSB would have destroyed the company, now it would just be a nuisance.

And that brings us to the next related topic:


See, feeding me links like that imply that there is exactly one way to do driver monitoring. Whether that's true or not is up for debate until Tesla comes up with something. But the point I'd like to make is, if the NTSB believes the same thing, that those links are the way to do driver monitoring, it leads directly to that particular system becoming mandatory for auto-steer - hardware and all. Which means Tesla would be required to disable Autopilot in all existing cars.

As I noted above, if Tesla is required to remove Autopilot until they install specific driver monitoring hardware, they will then be stuck with the choice of apologizing to previous customers and only making it available on newly produced cars, or paying out a fortune to retrofit every Tesla that was ever Autopilot capable with a new piece of hardware. Whenever a feature you paid for is in the hands of corporate numbers people (does it cost more to stiff them, or to retrofit?), it's never good.

Adding to that is the fact that Tesla really would like to make the leap to Full Self Drive. If Autopilot becomes enough of a nuisance and impedence to making cars and producting FSD, there's a strong possibility they'll turn it off and leave it off, encouraging their customers to wait for FSD ("right around the corner!") instead. It may be cheaper to do that as well, just give everyone who had AP active a credit toward FSD.


Eh, I don't know about that. Is it really all that hard to have a map know what a limited access road and say "that's where you can use it"?
Every time traffic is heavy on the main road home from work, the GPS tries to reroute me onto this small road beside it for a few blocks. That small road is a private road owned by the JW Marriott hotel, and they now invite police to park alongside it and ticket people who drive through and have no business with the hotel. So now what does it look like the answer to that question is?
 

John

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#23
My thoughts—and I do have some.

The argument that Tesla needs to modify Autopilot because "The Tesla Autopilot system did not provide an effective means of monitoring the driver’s level of engagement with the driving task" is correct but lacks proper perspective:

1. 25% of crashes of all other cars are caused by inattention
2. No one is proposing that all other cars have attention monitoring systems
3. There have been relatively fewer crashes while on Autopilot than normal cars (accidents per mile driven)

Yes, inattention is a big problem.

Starting to address that by going after Autopilot first—rather than the more dangerous population of all other cars—is a public disservice, because it will slow adoption of one thing that's already HELPING the problem, and distracts from the larger problem.

One of my neighbors getting into my car last year: "Don't put it on that Autopilot thing while I'm in the car! I heard how dangerous that is!"

(She changed her mind after actually experiencing it while she was driving it herself.)

NOTE
The report also states: "The crash attenuator was in a damaged and nonoperational condition at the time of the collision due to the California Highway Patrol’s failure to report the damage following a previous crash and systemic problems with the California Department of Transportation’s maintenance division in repairing traffic safety hardware in a timely manner... If the crash attenuator at the US Highway 101−State Route 85 interchange had been repaired in a timely manner and in a functional condition before the March 23, 2018, crash, the Tesla driver most likely would have survived the collision."

Was the attenuator taken out previously by a Tesla? No.
What percentage of attenuators are damaged by Teslas on Autopilot? Essentially none.

OBSERVATIONAL RANT
The NTSB is proposing restrictions on Tesla (the car maker) and Apple (the maker of the phone AND the employer that bought the phone for the driver) presumably because unlike the California Highway Patrol and California Department of Transportation they are politically-acceptable targets for criticism.
 

JasonF

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#24
Yes, inattention is a big problem.
That's actually why I considered that Tesla might ignore any attempt to "fix" Autopilot right now; because the root problem is inattentive drivers.

Extremely inattentive ones. And that problem is getting worse, to the point where I see drivers without any sort of auto-steer or collision avoidance systems watching television shows on their phones in heavy traffic.

So Tesla might be thinking Autopilot isn't fixable because the drivers aren't fixable - and they really need to concentrate on making the car do 100% of the driving, so people can watch Netflix, Facebook, and text to their heart's content without crashing.
 

John

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#25
And that problem is getting worse, to the point where I see drivers without any sort of auto-steer or collision avoidance systems watching television shows on their phones in heavy traffic.
Tru dat.

Autopilot lets me pay more attention to other cars.

In the California Bay Area traffic sometimes it appears that roughly 10% of people are holding their phone up in front of the steering wheel. Kinda horrifying. Go after that, NTSB!

(Oh, wait. There's already a law about that. Oh, well. Let's go after Tesla.

My last car was totaled by someone not paying attention, probably on their phone. I was stopped and the driver rear-ended me at full speed.