Senator Ed Markey wants to disable autopilot

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#1
Time to contact your Senator or Senator Ed Markey directly. https://www.markey.senate.gov/contact

In response to YouTube videos of people asleep at the wheel of Teslas that aren’t crashing Senator Ed Markey wants Tesla to disable the Autopilot feature. Presumably it’s better to fall asleep behind the the wheel of a car without autopilot than with it.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...eeping-on-autopilot-u-s-senator-idUSKBN1XU2D4

The unfortunate reality is people fall asleep behind the wheel every day in every make and model of car.

Talking points when calling your Senator:

https://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdrowsydriving/index.html
“Did You Know?
  • An estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers (aged 18 or older) report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days.1,2
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013.3 However, these numbers are underestimated, and up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.4-6”
 

GDN

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#3
The sad part is the idiots making the videos as most of them aren't asleep and making shock videos to get likes. Even worse is that the senator doesn't know the difference either.
 

garsh

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#4
Presumably it’s better to fall asleep behind the the wheel of a car without autopilot than with it.
Exactly. :rolleyes:

Or reading text messages.
Or putting on makeup.
Or drinking a coffee.
Or talking on the phone.

We need to accelerate the adoption of half-backed self-driving features rather than disable them until they're perfect. Human drivers suck.
 

Bokonon

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#7
Guess this helps sway voting to Joe Kennedy to bring in some young blood.
I just came back to this thread to finish a draft reply from earlier, but I see you've summarized my point in fewer words. :)

[removed political comments]

It's as though someone convinced him that Autopilot (specifically) posed a threat to public safety, and that he should execute the generic "public safety hazard" playbook: ban it, extract concessions with the manufacturer, and lift the ban if they comply.

The other dimension that feels out-of-touch (apart from the basic logical flaws discussed in the posts above) is the fact that he's proposing a retroactive ban on a durable good that many of us purchased for $5K-8K over a year ago. That feels very different from a proactive ban on a smaller consumable (like e-cigarettes), and I imagine it will not sit well with the exploding Tesla population in eastern Massachusetts.
 
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JasonF

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#8
One of the biggest automotive regulation annoyances in the U.S. is that the government doesn't just regulate car safety, it has extremely specific requirements for how a car should be built that can't be changed without lengthy and painful changes to legislation. For a current example, the surface area of car taillights is regulated, which both makes little sense with how bright LED's are, and prevents more creative integrations of taillights into the rear of the car.

That's why regulation of Autopilot is scary. Because the government will look at current autosteer systems (in their infant state, rather than future ones) and determine what they believe is the safest system, and then require all automakers to do it exactly the same way.

For instance GM's Cruise system hasn't had any accidents yet, so the government may consider that "safe" (not to mention GM would probably heavily lobby for them to do that), and require that all autosteer systems use eye recognition to detect if the driver is watching, and be hard-coded to only drive on mapped interstate highways. They may even go further and require that the eye recognition sensor be mounted close to the driver, on the steering column or dash, which actually would force Tesla to disable Autopilot until they can retrofit all of their cars with a steering column mounted camera.
 

MelindaV

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#11
I did not realize that drinking coffee was a driving hazard.

My bad.
Washington state's latest distracted driver law specifically lists various things, including drinking & eating. others were phones, pets, kids, other occupants, etc. essentially, if the cop pulling you over feels you were not properly paying attention to driving, you could be ticketed for being distracted.
 

JasonF

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#12

Bokonon

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#13
I discovered this today at Ars Technica:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy...forever-share-it-with-anyone-amazon-confirms/

According to the article, the same senator going after Autopilot, Ed Markey is spearheading the effort to take Amazon to task about its connected cameras.

So yes, it appears he's trying to make a name for himself as the anti-tech senator.
Looks like I have a couple of letters to write when I get back to Boston... One to Sen. Markey, and the other to my House rep.... Who happens to be his primary opponent. 🤔