back to article Tesla Autopilot is a lot dumber than CEO Musk claims, says Cali DMV after speaking to the software's boss

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's public statements about the state of his automaker's Autopilot assistive driving technology overestimate the system's capabilities, according to documents released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Legal non-profit PlainSite obtained the DMV documents via the California Public Records …

  1. Mark 65

    Musk rat

    Elon needs to be prosecuted for what I believe are essentially lies, misrepresentations and at times market manipulations. He needs to understand that he is not above the law.

    A subsidy seeking parasite maybe, but not immune.

    One of the issues seems to be the number of dreamers believing his high priced low quality toys are the future. Only in that they’ve pushed real vehicle manufacturers to change.

    1. doug_bostrom

      Re: Musk rat

      It's true that he's flirting with disaster. Should the company falter in the shares market, discrepancies like this could really cost.

      Grow the tree of talk, no way to climb down because unreasonable expectations have been set for customers of both the shares and the product, so "grow more tree" becomes inexorable.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Musk rat

      Elon 'The new Messiah' Musk is a grifter much like his idol Trump.

      Yes, he has some good ideas but most of his public statements are full of bovine excrement.

      He has a great team of people at Tesla and SpaceX behind him that do the real work.

      I fully expect his appearance on SNL tonight to be one long free ad for Tesla. That's how grifters work.

      I hope the SEC are watching. He knows not to make false statements but...

    3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Musk rat

      The drivers being killed aren't using the system as they have been instructed to do.

      I'm sure they have agreed to do so to use the system.

      Of course, anyone who knows anything about human nature (ask the air safety people) knew this would happen.

      And it's USA, so all bets are off on what any court case will result in.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Musk rat

      I agree. I have two siblings with Tesla's. My Subaru's Driver Assist system does 95% of what their Autopilot system does, including alerts if I let it drive with my hands off the steering wheel for any length of time.

      Neither is anything close to self driving.

      1. JonJoeH

        Re: Musk rat

        You piqued my interest about the Subura system, so I had a look at from recent video's of it. It does probably about 20% of what Autopilot can do.

        However, that is irrelevant since the letter is about the next system that Tesla is developing, commonly called FSD , and in the letter referred to as Navigate by Ap on City Streets ,by their Regulatory lawyer.

        Your Subura system can do about 1% of what it can do. If you don't believe me, then take a look yourself, there are many videos of it in action, this is just one pretty much randomly chosen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REcBsg93YIM

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Musk rat

          Ooooh, look! A commentard who joined 10th May 2021 and has made precisely two posts, both supporting Tesla! That's not suspicious at all!

  2. six_tymes

    to be fair, CJ Moore is a regulator of sorts. And, I am sure he did not like Elons tweet. That said, L5 has not been released yet, and there is no guarantee it will be any time soon. Elon's statement reads like it implies that it will, but, he never said guaranteed. Maybe Elon will revaluate advancements by the end of the year and say differently, doing so would not be unusual, that happens often with new technologies. I ignore the hate fest.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Musk's bragaddacio and distant proximity to the truth reminds me of someone. Maybe one Donald Trump would like to consider him as his running mate at the next US presidential election. There again, Trumpy may resent associating with a real billionaire.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fully Automatic my arse!

    L2 to L5 eh?

    I’m just glad the Muskmobiles are so expensive, helps keeps them off the public roads.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

      I’m just glad the Muskmobiles are so expensive, helps keeps them off the public roads.

      Eh? Where have you been? They are everywhere. Now commonplace, and I mean in the UK, not even Norway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

        Everywhere? Really. That’s quite a reach. I see a fair few in Henley-on-Thames but I don’t think my home town is a good approximation for the UK as a whole.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          I see a fair few everywhere I go. The amazing thing about cars is that they travel about, not just stay in one town.

        2. Persona Silver badge

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          They sold about half a million world wide last year. Apparently the Tesla model 3 was the UK's best selling car in December (why?) so you do see them pretty much everywhere.

        3. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          If you live in urban California then they're everywhere. For people who can afford new cars they're a reasonably priced option, competitive with other sporty luxury saloons. For people who can't afford new cars, Teslas hold their value so they're not a good option for the low end of the used market.

          1. quxinot Silver badge

            Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

            If you live in the snow belt, you see distinctly fewer electric cars of any description.

            Wonder why that is.

            1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

              Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

              Like them or not they are a common site in Toronto and on the roads to Barrie and farther north.

            2. JonJoeH

              Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

              It's probably not the reason you think. Here's a Tesla at -36C ! https://youtu.be/capOgUHPz9Q?t=872

        4. Robert Grant Silver badge

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          Come down the road to Oxford and you'll see a reasonable number here.

        5. hoola Silver badge

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          You would be surprised, in the last year I think an awful lot have been bought by those with extra money in their pockets by not having to commute. Whether they have disposed of a vehicle to buy these contraptions is another thing. One factory unit I cycle past every day had 3 or 4 chargers put in an a fleet of Teslas turn up.

          Now for those who are using them to commute to work this is probably ideal as they can sit and be recharged all day instead of at home.

          Where a live the council is in the process of taking a significant number of parking spaces out to put electric car charging spaces in. Now I don't have a problem with that if:

          As an EV driver you can actually park there and charge

          As a normal driver, your spaces are not reduced.

          Unfortunately they are incompatible with each other. In this case one of the car parks is short-stay only and has 16 spaces, 4 of which are now EV only or you will incur the wrath of the parking contractor. As it is short stay (30 minutes) and most people are going into the Post Office or chip shop, why the hell would you bother plugging in the charger?

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

        "Everywhere" ? Really? How does the automatic driving software work on the roads in Wales?

        When you meet an oncoming car, one of you will have to pull to the side of the road or even reverse to reach a section of the road that's wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other once you get into the countryside.

        1. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          Also a lot of Cornwall too, away from towns

          1. gobaskof Silver badge

            Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

            I think it currently can only drive if there are lane markings. Lane markings!? Plenty of lanes here in Somerset, can't think of many that have any markings, unless you count the horse poo in the middle.

            What worries me most is that they will be designed to drive the speed limit. Which means that they will probably try to drive 60 down a single track lane, not realising that national speed limit means "drive at an appropriate speed, we have not assessed every bend and blind spot. Saying that, city dwellers with a SatNav do the same.

            1. Def Silver badge

              Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

              No, it can handle unmarked roads. Watch DirtyTesla on YouTube for videos showing the current state of the FSD Beta.

              Sometimes it does ok. Other times... not so much.

            2. Shadow Systems

              At Gobaskof, re: SatNav...

              My StepFather & I were on a road trip from the American West coast to the East one. Being blind & unable to drive for some schtoooopid reason (those reflective bits are the source for the phrase "driving by braille", so why can't I drive? *Cough*) which meant he did all of it. He relied entirely on a SatNav gadget for the entire trip, every damned bit of it, and I got so sick & tired of the voice it used that I wanted to chuck the fucker out a window. (StepDad or SatNav, either one.)

              Anyway, we're going along when the device tells us to turn right for no apparent reason. There's an offramp ahead, he turns off, and the device leads us on a *FIVE FUCKING HOUR* long detour through the countryside. We're in a truck hauling a camper ("Caravan Trailer") & some of the roads it's directing us across are either unpaved, badly maintained, too narrow for a pair of cows to walk side by side, or all of the above. By the time we're about || close to finding the next farmhouse & asking how the hell to get back to civilization, the device tells us to take a final right on to a freeway...

              The same one we'd been on in the first place.

              Via an onramp within sight of the offramp it had told us to take in the first place.

              My StepDad swore a blue streak so venomous that I nearly wet myself laughing. I didn't, I was afraid he'd kick me out & make me walk, but I've often slipped with comments about "driving directions from supposedly ''smart'' devices" that gets him to swear again.

              They're out to kill us all, it's that simple. Either by leading us across rickety wooden bridges that can't hold the weight of a car, or down forgotten trails to hide our dessicated corpses in the backwoods, or send us off cliffs into long abandoned quarries for our bodies to dissolve among the quicklime. =-)p

              1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                Re: He relied entirely on a SatNav gadget

                Ah, he bought the cheaper version, the one sponsored by Farmhouse Tearooms.

              2. Steve K Silver badge

                Re: At Gobaskof, re: SatNav...

                To be fair here, most car SatNavs i have used offer you a "fastest", "shortest" and a "most efficient" or maybe "non-motorway/freeway" option, so it sounds like the SatNav could have only been doing what it has been told (e.g. in this case it wasn't told which one to take so took the default).

                I agree that they are out to get us, but are using human nature (and not usually RTFM) against us....

            3. Richard Jones 1
              WTF?

              Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

              It must love local roads round here, where the 'lane marking' are no such thing, they are just the edges outlining repairs. They may be in any location from the nearside of the lane to the offside or anywhere in the middle. I have to turn off 'lane assist' or as I call it 'distraction enhancement'.

        2. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          And of course in many rural roads here in Scotland. I would love to know how it will manage getting from say Glasgow to some lochside high rank hotels I know about relying on the systems when the last 15 or so miles are along single track roads to with passing places.

          Does the Tesla system know about passing place etiquette in Scotland? Can it measure the distance of itself from the nearest place vs that of the vehicle approaching?

          Can it recognise an endangered Scottish Wildcat vs a crossover with a moggy? Will it’s sensors get clogged by clouds of midgies in August?

          As a Kilted Kiwi I must add NZ roads too, wider with more shoulder width than in Scotland but running through a geologically younger landscape. There is a genuine railway spiral for eg. Some roads even now are gravelled. All the major routes are not, sadly, any more. I’m still not sure how road motorbike with top heavy pack on the back I negotiated the corner on the Haast Pass road with thick gravel on the left but not on the right which was heavily cambered. There were and still are large tourist buses on that road.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Hedging your bets on narrow roads

            As an American used to our overly wide roads, it requires about 4x more concentration to drive in rural Scotland because of how narrow the roads are - even where there are technically "two lanes" the road is barely wider than one lane in the US. The natives are so much more comfortable with driving those narrow roads they'll shoot by you going 50-60 mph with only a couple of inches separating the mirrors. I always arrive at my destination highly stressed, which doesn't make for good golf scores if I've got a tee time on the other end of that rural Scottish road!

            When I was driving with a girlfriend in England (trying to get from Wroxton to Bath, took a wrong turn somewhere and got lost, then saw a sign for Salisbury so decided to go to Stonehenge instead...sad that smartphones make that kind of spur of the moment plan change a thing of the past) it wasn't quite as bad since the ubiquitous hedgerows on the sides of the road offered a bit of a bailout for my nervous American driving. After about the three dozenth time I scraped her side of the car against the hedges she yelled "quit hedging!" which then left us both idly wondering if that's where that meaning of hedging was derived from - safer to scrape the hedges on the side than to scrape a car/carriage going the opposite way lol

            1. gobaskof Silver badge

              Re: Hedging your bets on narrow roads

              I spent 4 years in America. And growing up with single track roads, trying to navigate 7 lane each way highways, and super wide roads with tonnes of stop signs and traffic lights you can turn through on red unless there is a sign saying you can't...... Man, it stressed me out no end. As always, better the devil you know. But that worries me is that those who program and test this stuff will do the testing on US roads and assume it is applicable in places it is not. And we can be sure it won't be truly intelligent enough to adapt to a new and unknown situation.

          2. Ian 55

            Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

            A fully intelligent self-driving car in NZ would know when to stop to look at the view!

            The closest I came to an accident was on Coromandel - not the gravel roads at the top, but on the main coastal road, where some road works had left some gravel on the tarmac on a corner. I was in a hurry (all those viewing stops) and came close to going off a 10m drop into the sea. No barrier to even slightly reduce the chance of that happening, obs.

        3. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          To get a five star safety rating form the EU a car must be fitted with certain safety systems. Highest rating requires that they cannot be deactivated, at least not beyond a switch off/switch on by the driver. The "lane keeping" auto driving part seems to be a particular problem and the more sensible parts of the motoring press await the first accident caused by a vehicle avoiding crossing a lane/carriageway white line and mowing down a cyclist.

          (Apparently the "lane keeping" is switched off when an indicator has been activated. BMW/Audi drivers take note.)

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

            In my car (SEAT Ateca) there's a bit of steering resistance to crossing a lane line if you aren't indicating. I find it pretty well balanced - not nearly enough to interfere with (or even distract from) any deliberate manoeuvre , but not so subtle that you don't feel it. It's certainly not going to drive me over anything I'm trying to steer around.

        4. J27 Silver badge

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          It only works on roads with lane lines, so it wouldn't be suitable for huge swaths of the UK. It's mostly designed for motorways.

          1. Shadow Systems

            At J27, re: lane lines...

            For some odd reason that makes me want to take a Spirograph, a bucket of paint, & go doodle swirls, spirals, loops & whorls all over the place to see if it drives a Tesla insane.

            1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

              Re: At J27, re: lane lines...

              That's an interesting point - makes me wonder how the car reacts if it's faced with a patch of road that utility companies have been marking up with paint to show where various pipes and cables are before starting streetworks. I've spotted a few cases around town over the years which look more like a modern art installation than a roadway.

            2. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

              Re: At J27, re: lane lines...

              I want to market a line of T-Shirts with road signs printed on them. I expect the STOP sign to be the most popular. Cross the street anywhere, no more waiting for the traffic lights to change.

        5. Mark192

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          Version 1.0 said: ""Everywhere" ? Really? How does the automatic driving software work on the roads in Wales?"

          I see enough in my part of Wales that they no longer stand out. Your comment makes me think you may have mistaken them for purely self-driving cars?

        6. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          Rural South East England is no different if you go off the A roads.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

        Very expensive in Oz

        Rare as hens teeth mate!

        1. Scoular

          Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

          The cost in Australia is dropping and there are a fair number of Teslas around including my model S.

          It is a great car to drive and I feel no need for the NOT nearly FSD.

          Why bother paying $10000+ to get a software package which does not handle the real roads nearly as well as I can. If I have to sit and watch it terrified to take over when it cannot handle a situation I would prefer to drive myself. This is dead easy and fun.

      4. iron Silver badge

        Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

        I've seen 2 in Glasgow, that was about 3 years ago now. So I'd hardly describe them as "everywhere" in the UK.

      5. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

        They're everywhere only in the more well to do parts of the world where virtue signalling is virtually a matter of life and (social) death (ie, it really doesnt matter but somehow people care). In parts of the world where people care about things like cost/benefit balance, range, carrying capability, durability, service cost, etc, you very very rarely see them around.

    2. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

      > Fully Automatic my arse!

      The alternative album name REM eventually rejected.

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Fully Automatic my arse!

      There are a lot of them in Dundee and the surrounding area. At least one being used as a taxi.

  5. corestore

    Is the market voting with its feet?

    This prompted thought:

    "The US National Transportation Safety Board in its report [PDF] on the incident said the probable cause of the crash "was the truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way to the car, combined with the car driver’s inattention due to over-reliance on vehicle automation…""

    I'm sure this - drivers not paying attention - happens a fair bit more often than Tesla would care to know or admit. And yet the stats show that, even now at level 2, letting Autopilot do the driving is significantly safer than doing the driving yourself.

    Could this be a case of the market anticipating the regulators, and drivers feeling comfortable enough with the automation to let the car do the driving and not pay attention? At least on the highway? It's marketed as level 2, it's intended to be used at level 2 - but at least some drivers seem to be comfortable using it at a higher level than that, in a way that was not intended, and the resulting accident rate is within the bounds that people (rather than regulators) find acceptable?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

      I would say the enough of market is voting out of ignorance to cause a few disasters. There are plenty of programmers around here so the common perception of driver assistance software is to assume it requires constant supervision. At Teslarati they twist reality into a corkscrew and thoroughly believe that all real Tesla owners know that driver assistance software requires supervision.

      Driver assistance is good (up to a point) below 30mph because the stopping distance is (mostly) short enough to deal with surprises. It is also good over 50mph because the roads have better visibility and fewer complications. People can get a false impression from the situations where driver assistance is (mostly) reliable and assume it is safe to not pay attention even in areas where driver assistance struggles.

      For example the locals know about the junction where this collision occurred. The road can be clear as far as a truck driver can see but that is not far enough to complete crossing the road before an unseen car travelling at the speed limit can arrive at the junction. Locals slow down and do not assume that sky visible between a trailer and the road is a new bridge not on the map that their car will fit underneath.

      Part of the reason such stories make the news is because many people have far greater expectations of something called 'autopilot' than something called 'level 2 driver assistance'. It would help if Elon understood that he also needs adult supervision - for using Twitter.

      1. YARR

        Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

        For example the locals know about the junction where this collision occurred. .... Locals slow down

        If Tesla have been monitoring drivers for years they ought to have a big database full of this kind of data about local road conditions. They ought to be able to train a new high-level / governor AI to combine mapping data and driver / accident data to instruct the low-level AI that handles realtime driving about where to be extra cautious.

        1. Not also known as SC

          Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

          Why does this conjure images of a robotic Hyacinth Bucket?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

            Mind the cyclist Richard…..

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

              'What cyclist, Hyacinth?'

              'The one putting his bike in the garage'

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

          "They ought to be able to train a new high-level / governor AI to combine mapping data and driver / accident data to instruct the low-level AI that handles realtime driving about where to be extra cautious."

          Unless they start buying up accident statistics databases from everywhere which bothers to keep them, then Tesla can only act after the fact. ie people continue to get injured or die in the process of building that new database

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: Tesla can only act after the fact

            Absolutely.

            The "fail-safe" method that I feel should be used is to have low-powered beacons emitting a "safe for auto" signal along roads that have been cleared as being safe for auto-driving. All auto cars would be designed to sense the presence of the signal and refuse to operate in auto mode if not present. If a vehicle comes to the end of a beacon-equipped section of road there needs to be a transition phase to warn the driver to take control before the last beacon. Alternatively the auto system brakes in an orderly fashion until at rest, in the same way that similar systems do on the railway network. Road works or an accident along an equipped section of road should have the beacons turned off on the affected stretch, or set to a different code. This would be operated much as existing temporary signage would be. Different codes could denote different speed ranges perhaps. This kind of system has been in operation on the Victoria line of the Underground since 1967, and how many incidents (of any kind, let alone involving fatalities) have been attributed to failure of that system since commissioning? I'll give you this link as a starting point:-

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_London_Underground_accidents

            I'm sure people would argue about the cost, but road signage, street-lamps, road markings are everywhere, and they have been provided for exactly the same purposes: safety and informing the driver. Power for these beacons could be provided in a green way too, which would be less onerous than powering a street lamp or illuminating a road sign.

            Another thing: Extra indicators would be helpful on cars with auto drive capabilities to show other road users that the car may be susceptible to doing irrational manoeuvres.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Tesla can only act after the fact

              they have been provided for exactly the same purposes: safety and informing the driver

              That's also the reason I dislike the urinating indicators: why on earth would you want to delay visibility and registration by other road users of the second most important light signal* by adding animation?

              This is the same industry that was selling us LED brake lights as being fractions of a second quicker to light and thus saving xx meters of braking distance, now animating indicators.

              Maybe it's my risk management background, but in my world you do not mess with safety, certainly not for some stupid animation that adds little (safety) value**.

              And yes, I know you'll now see them urinating too. That visual will be with you forever, bwahahahaa, cough, splutter, sorry, got carried away there. Where was I? Oh yes, just get me normal indicators, thank you. LEDs, naturally, but just on/off is fine.

              * Most important are the brake lights, of course

              ** Maybe the only value they add is that the tribes that have never used an indicator in their life may now get into the habit because it's pretty. I really can't think of another reason

              1. Def Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Tesla can only act after the fact

                You could also argue that changing front indicators from white bulbs with orange glass to orange bulbs with clear glass made them much harder to see in bright daylight*, but that hasn't stopped anyone.

                Pissing indicators are here to stay, sadly.

                * Doubly so when you live in a country that mandates headlights must be on at all times.

                1. Pete B

                  Re: Tesla can only act after the fact

                  And indicators that are wrapped round other lights - far less visible than when they use to be a separate light in it's own discrete space.

            2. YARR

              Re: Tesla can only act after the fact

              Unless they start buying up accident statistics databases from everywhere which bothers to keep them, then Tesla can only act after the fact. ie people continue to get injured or die in the process of building that new database

              Potentially more important than accident data is near-accident data - gathered by monitoring driver journeys.

              The "fail-safe" method that I feel should be used is to have low-powered beacons emitting a "safe for auto" signal along roads that have been cleared as being safe for auto-driving.

              Way too expensive, the safe-for-auto status would be included with the mapping data, like geo-fencing data is built into drones nowadays.

              1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                Re: the safe-for-auto status would be included with the mapping data

                The proviso being that if say a contra-flow is setup on a stretch of road, the mapping data gets updated ahead of the event, in a way that does not give a false impression of current state. For example,

                (1) road works are planned

                (2) mapping data is updated to say "disable auto"

                (3) road works are put in place

                (4) if auto driving is permitted during the road works: mapping data is changed to allow auto under revised road layout

                (5) road works are signalled as being complete but traffic rerouting still in place: mapping data changed to disable auto

                (6) road works rerouting removed

                (7) default "enable auto" status is restored to the mapping data.

                Each stage is important, the only "safe" out of step stages that can be made are to skips steps (4) and (5).

                If this is one hell of a palaver, the answer to that is: well, this is the consequence of wanting auto-driving capability. It is not needed if we continue without that capability.

                London Underground deal with safety as if it were a military campaign. Bringing automation onto the roads needs to be dealt with under exactly the same conditions. If not then eventually legislation will be brought in to make it mandatory... in exactly the same way that the rail and air industries have been forced to do historically.

          2. IWVC

            Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

            UK Dept of transport releases accident data regularly. Originally the "Stats 19" forms were filled in by police whenever a personal injury accident occurred and included the location of the accident. Some of the required information was reduced during the 1990s I believe - to reduce police paperwork - but now enhanced datasets are freely available which has location, type of road, junction layout etc.

            https://data.gov.uk/dataset/cb7ae6f0-4be6-4935-9277-47e5ce24a11f/road-safety-data

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

        "The road can be clear as far as a truck driver can see but that is not far enough to complete crossing the road before an unseen car travelling at the speed limit can arrive at the junction. "

        So it's really a "blind" junction. Maybe there should be a warning sign or drop in speed limit at that point. Locals won't care, strangers may slow down and Teslas on "autopilot" should recognise and adhere to the speed limit when it either appears on the GPS map or the cameras "see" the road signs.

    2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

      ...the stats show that, even now at level 2, letting Autopilot do the driving is significantly safer than doing the driving yourself.

      Citation needed. I have never seen any justification for this statement. If anyone can provide that I'll be grateful. Seriously.

      I usually try to figure such things out myself, but it turns out that last time I did a Fermi estimate and reported it in these pages was close to 3 years ago. Given that over about half of the elapsed time not much actual driving was done, apparently, it is not too bad, but maybe there is new information.

      Based on that estimate I'd say that human drivers are waaaay better than (then) industry-leading autonomous cars. That's autonomous cars, not Teslas, but the context here is whether one can rely on Autopilot more than on a human driver. It is not clear to me what meaningful statement can be made on "a human with the aid of Autopilot" in this regard. One fervently hopes that any ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist System) makes things safer, so it's a moot point. The important point in the context seems to be how smart it is on its own.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

        Upvoted because I came here to say much the same thing. As far as I can tell, the claim for Autopilot safety is -- like the claim that the November 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump -- based on nothing other than repeated assertion. But if T.F.M.Reader and I are wrong, please provide us with some CREDIBLE references to material that demonstrates the exceptional safety of Autopilot.

        Seems to me that it's past time to acknowledge that automated vehicle control is a tremendously complex problem that is going to be solved slowly and piecemeal. I think level 2 autonomy needs to be fully validated first at low speeds where a human driver has some chance of figuring out what the car's digital brain has in mind before it does something dumb. And we probably should not allow anything higher than level 2 autonomy on public highways until level 2 can pass rigorous independent tests. No matter how devastating that is to some folk's business plans.

        The marketing people -- including Elon Musk -- should not be allowed anywhere near the concept of vehicle autonomy until its safety is solidly established. Those folks are crazy and irresponsible. We all know that. If they want to lie about how well their detergent works or how much money they can save you on insurance, I suppose that's OK. But really, it's a dumb idea to let them roll out and sell control systems for massive objects traveling at high speed through shared public spaces.

        1. corestore

          Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

          Briefly, those numbers ARE subject to a certain amount of woo, mainly because Autopilot is primarily engaged on highways, which are subject to lower crash rates anyway. So that's a little beside the point.

          My main point was all about the *human* factors; the *perception* amongst at least a subset of drivers that using Autopilot at a higher level than SAE Level 2 automation on highways is 'safe enough' for them - despite that use leading to occasional spectacular, and generally fatal, wrecks.

          And this is by no means confined to self-driving; there's a substantial difference between the levels of safety that highway and vehicle engineers consider acceptable and attempt to deliver more generally (in terms of fatalities from whatever cause per million miles etc), and the *range* of levels of safety different members of the public find tolerable.

          This isn't about what we should or shouldn't 'allow' or what marketing people do or don't do; this about how the end users actually *use* whatever products we give them.

          On a purely personal level, I'm... uneasy... about the existence of any level of automation between Level 1, adaptive cruise control, and level 4 FSD. Either you take full responsibility for the course of your vehicle, or you take none, and doze off happily.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: uneasy about any level of automation

            I agree with you about automation of normal operation but would add a caveat about assistance systems focussed purely on safety in exception circumstances.

            My front collision avoidance system hard-braked my car as I pulled out of my office on a green light onto a 40mph dual carriageway and a vehicle coming at high speed from the right shot the lights as I entered the junction. There is no way my reaction times would have prevented a pretty unpleasant collision at that point - I may only have been travelling at about 10-15mph but a fraction of a second later and 1-2 metres further forward I'd have suffered a serious side impact at speeds which may have resulted in life-changing injury.

            1. Marshalltown

              Re: uneasy about any level of automation

              This is the point that really should be looked. Are Teslas as presently sold as safe as a normal, human operated vehicle or not. There's a lot of fuss when a Tesla is in an accident, but mile per mile, just what are the accident rates perTesla vs say a Lexus? All this personality jabber is just that, and irrelevant to what is really at stake. What Musk says is irrelevant. What does the actual data say?

              1. Malcolm Weir

                Re: uneasy about any level of automation

                Yes they are, and they are amongst the safest vehicles out there, mostly because of their low center of gravity, but also because of the assistive devices that are standard (and not really any different than those on, say, a high-end BMW, but better than that of a mid-range Ford which leads to the shocker than expensive cars have better safety systems!!).

                One of the peculiarities of Tesla is that by choosing to call their assistive systems "autopilot", a bunch of idiots who don't know what an autopilot is think it's an autonomous driving system... which it isn't, any more than the autopilot on a commercial airliner is autonomous. "Autopilots" basically keep a aircraft heading in the right direction at the right altitude (sound familiar?), although of course there are those that can follow a more complex route ("Turn left at Greenland", for example) and, yes, there are other autonomous systems (like Autoland) that can do more.

                But exactly like Tesla's autopilot, only a fool would trust an autopilot/autoland system not to put you on a runway just as another aircraft decided to cross (because the ATC voice traffic isn't available to it, it won't "hear" a go-around command).

                Unfortunately, there are a lot of fools around, and as there are more cars than airplanes, there are more fools on the roads than in the skies.

                Autopilot/cruise control/lane following/predictive braking are all great tools. But the whole point of the report is that it's a very, very long way from that ("Level 2", apparently) to "Level 5".

                Now, if Tesla _did_ have something with higher capabilities (say, "Level 3"), why would they put it in a passenger car? What's the value proposition there? Yes, it's nice, but...

                On the other hand, putting it in a _semi truck_ makes a lot of sense. Consider a convoy of tractor-trailers following each other nose-to-tail, with the driver in the lead vehicle driving the whole convoy, completely networked amongst each other. Yeah, there are lots of details to consider, but on the long stretches between towns, this seems like a reasonable (if not perfect) idea. Kinda like a train.,..

                (It's also worth noting that Tesla has true self-driving cars in the Boring Tunnel system. Of course, this is a controlled environment with only other Teslas to worry about, and they can all be networked, but it's possible that Musk's comment had more to do with this -- public transportation using autonomous vehicles in a closed system -- than anything else).

      2. Persona Silver badge

        Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

        I've had three people drive into me in the last 35 years. I was stationary all three times. Had their cars automatic braking or perhaps just reversing camera and parking sensors for the last two, they would not have hit me as they would have had an eye on the road. Car safety automation reduces the cost of accidents. The actuarial evidence shows this is true because insurance premiums are less when those system are fitted.

  6. skeptical i
    Meh

    not a particularly high bar, is it

    re: "Full Self-Driving will work at a safety level well above that of the average driver"

    I guess the amount of work required to achieve this goal will depend on where one lives (local driving habits, quality of drivers' ed in school, and so on). Says one who lives where speed limits are generally interpreted as suggestions and local gubmint is loathe to interfere with the convenience of automobilists and their precious cars for something as silly as pedestrian safety. Clearly FSD will not outperform humans in all tasks that are part of driving, but maintaining at or below speed limits and recognizing that there are other things nearby (pedestrians, trees, bicyclists, street signs, hydrants, utility poles, &c) which should be given wide berth would, based on my observation and experience, tip the game to FSD.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: not a particularly high bar, is it

      Yes, safety level above that of the average driver is a very low bar. Especially if the driver is an Audi driver.

      1. kat_bg

        Re: not a particularly high bar, is it

        In my part of the world, that would be BMW drivers, but yes, you are on point here

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: not a particularly high bar, is it

          Wasn't BMW that was offering a complimentary driving course titled 'How to drive like an asshole'?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: not a particularly high bar, is it

            Isn't that the genetic aspect that drives (sorry) someone to buy a Beemer in the first place?

            Asking for a friend.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Its even lower than you think

      Tesla touts its accidents/fatalities per mile with Autopilot engaged versus the overall stats of the same for people.

      Problem is, people only engage Autopilot in the most favorable conditions - expressway driving or stop and go traffic in good weather. Both are the very easiest scenarios for computers to handle. The human total is across all locations and conditions, from snowy mountain roads, to pouring rain at night, to windy hilly exurban roads with hidden driveways, to rural roads with construction detours.

      It also includes all conditions for the driver, including being drunk, goofing around on their phone, yelling at their kids, etc. which aren't representative of how well humans can drive, just the overall average including the ones who drive in an unsafe manner who are responsible for the bulk of the problems.

      Autonomous driven vehicles IMHO need to beat human drivers by a bare minimum of 10x across ALL conditions before I think they should be unleashed upon the public at large. That would then probably mean they are as good as the best human drivers when paying full attention.

      1. Marshalltown

        Re:10X

        Seriously? Even 2X would be a very significant improvement. Why set your bar that high?

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Re:10X

          The problem is the "average" driver includes a lot of serious asshattery by a few which greatly skews the results. If you as a responsible sober adult is going to swap control for a computer then you want it to be better than yourself by some measurable amount.

          Think of how dumb the average voter is. Now remember half of them a dumber...

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Re:10X

          I explained why 2x is not nearly good enough.

          Plus you have to account for the fact that humans will be VERY resistant to technology that kills them in ways they would never kill themselves. Self driving might someday eliminate all the "drunk/distracted driver" type mistakes, as well as accidents that would be avoidable if humans had superhuman senses by using radar/LIDAR/V2V, etc. but there will be software bugs WILL kill people in stupid ways that they would never kill themselves. There will have to be a lot of benefit for people to accept that.

          Just look at Tesla's stupid autopilot driving into stopped vehicles or under trucks crossing the road for examples. A human driver who isn't on his phone would never make those mistakes.

          1. Malcolm Weir

            Re: Re:10X

            The article explicitly explains that the truck should have given way....

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: Re:10X

              That's irrelevant, no human driver would have failed to brake in that situation. It wasn't like the truck pulled out and left the car too little time to brake - the car didn't see the truck AT ALL and ran into it at full speed.

              People complain about Apple fanboys making excuses for them, but Tesla fanboys are 100x more detached from reality.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Re:10X

                "That's irrelevant, no human driver would have failed to brake in that situation."

                NO human driver at all? I recall a number of fatal accidents where someone totally plastered/high rammed something hard and it was determined he/she never hit the brakes...

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Holmes

    failure to yield the right of way to the car

    And they do say that the graveyards are full of people who had the right of way.

    It is *always* the driver's responsibility to avoid an accident. Anyone who relies on having right of way is an idiot, and anyone who programs a robot on that basis is worse.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: failure to yield the right of way to the car

      What is this right of way? Round here it’s the designated footpath across the rich people’s land.

    2. Jc (the real one)

      Re: failure to yield the right of way to the car

      I learned to drive around 1970 and I can still remember a quote from my driving instructor. "it does not matter who is RIGHT, it is who is LEFT that matters"

      Jc

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: failure to yield the right of way to the car

        Yes, many driving instructors are good with memorable homilies. Mine told me "It's a speed LIMIT, not a speed TARGET"

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: failure to yield the right of way to the car

          My driving instructor told me, after testing me on emergency stops by saying STOP, that in the actual exam the tester won't actually say STOP... at which moment I hit the brakes and he mashed his forehead on the windscreen. I guess my young reactions were better than his. In retrospect, not sure why he wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

          -A.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: failure to yield the right of way to the car

            My first HGV lesson: get on the road, heading for a point where I had to brake. My experienced instructor immediately grabbed the dash, which made me wonder why. Less than a second later I knew.

            Nowadays you don't have to think about this, but then, the lag of compressed air brake lines took some getting used to :).

            My examiner told me a simple thing when I passed: "Congratulations, you are now a beginning car driver. The real learning starts now. Please be careful, and good luck".

        2. Stork

          Re: failure to yield the right of way to the car

          "you don't have right of collision"

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: failure to yield the right of way to the car

        Don't forget the rule that says...

        Don't argue with a bigger 'thing' than you. Because they are bigger, they are stronger than you. Guess who will come off worse in an accident?

        {Does not apply to Caravans naturally) :) :)

  8. Jonathon Green

    I wonder what would happen if you ran an unassisted Tesla over a UK practical driving test with an examiner in it?

    Once they can reliably and consistently do that across a wide range of centres from the West Midlands (pass rate ~40%) to Orkney (pass rate ~70%) without a DVSA examiner recording a serious fault I’ll believe we’re ready to start *thinking* about recognising autonomy...

    1. David M

      Completely agree. In fact I'd go further. If anyone tries to sell me a car that claims to be L5, I'll ask them to put their children in it, without a driver, and send it across London. If it can be trusted to do that, I might consider it.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Send them across Paris with a few transits of the Arc de Triomphe just to be sure.

        1. bpfh

          Christ Almighty…

          Porte Maillot and The Étoile roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe are scary enough as it is, on 2 or 4 wheels and you need your head on a gimball and even that mag not be enough. I’d love to see a fully automatic car navigate that at 8:30 on a Tuesday morning…

          1. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: Christ Almighty…

            During the public transport strike in 1996 I found myself gridlocked on l'Etoile on my motorbike. Facing head on an artic cab, nowhere to go. Vive la priorité a droite !

            -A.

            1. bpfh

              Re: Christ Almighty…

              About 10 years ago, stuck in a jam at 9 AM at Porte Maillot on a Pacific Coast. Car in front about 10 cm from my front wheel, and the car behind 10 cm from the boot. Suddenly my bike starts falling over, as one guy starts to gently push my bike over and try to get a head start into the jam... Good days... :(

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Christ Almighty…

            I’d love to see a fully automatic car navigate that at 8:30 on a Tuesday morning…

            From what I recall it's mostly a matter of fitting visibly more robust bumpers to get priority there. Doing a couple of rounds there is actually on my bucket list, it's something you must have done as a driver.

            Well, insured, of course, and don't count on it being paid out quickly.

        2. captain veg Silver badge

          Paris is easy. Try Athens.

          -A.

          1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

            OK, now I'm curious, Worse than what used to be called Place d"Etoile in Paris?

            What are the challenges in Athens? Genuine question.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              I can pull one better. Metropolitan Manila between 5 and 8PM local time. Let's just say crowded is an understatement, to the point road lines cannot be relied upon even in regards to direction of travel. And forget mass transit there, as the lines to the el-train there run down into the street, compounding the problems of the buses and jeepneys that are gridlocked with the rest of the traffic, leaving you ripe for the cyclists, street peddlers, and beggars at least.

              My basic rule of thumb is that, any trip through Metro Manila must account for at least two hours if you plan to use the toll roads there that happen to cut through, at least three if you plan to use the surface streets (as the buses there do) or (God forbid) your destination is somewhere within the metropolis.

    2. a pressbutton

      Elon says you need the 'Cry Freedom' upgrade if you want autonomy.

      And that will come real soon, currently targeted for the eleventieth of julember

  9. Nick Ryan Silver badge
    Stop

    Marketing lies

    Marketing lies ...that's all it is. It should never have been called "autopilot" as that it very definitely not what it is. A quite clever, but also quite limited, set of driver assist capabilities but absolutely not "autopilot".

    1. Pink Duck

      Re: Marketing lies

      Is it though? Not a frequently improving/evolving system heading towards actual interpretation as a safer-than-human driving auto-pilot? Perhaps you should take a look at some of the multi-hour zero-intervention FSD Beta drives on YouTube.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Marketing lies

        No, definitely just "driver assist". Having a limited forward facing sensor that can detect something in the way (as long as it has a presence around road height) is useful but that's not "auto pilot".

        "auto pilot" for a car is when the driver doesn't have to be there at all. The car can navigate from one location to another with no assistance whatsoever and to do this without having to be constrained to specific road types or simple road layouts. There are enough examples of junctions that are barely interpretable by humans, can it cope with them? No. Then not "auto pilot".

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Marketing lies

          In other words, it's not autopilot unless it's Otto.

  10. Scott Broukell
    Joke

    On a lighter note

    Have you heard about the plans for a Tesla stretch limo . . . . it's going to be elongated!

  11. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Intelligence takes time

    Nature had over 500 million years, starting in the Cambrian geological era, to develop intelligence. Various people, the type Damon Runyon described as promoters, claim they can do it in five years. And nature had a few dead ends: trilobites, dinosaurs, ...

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Intelligence takes time

      Pedantry note: Dinosaurs weren't a dead end. A lot of them were around for 10s or even 100My, and the birds are still here. And when people ask me if I'm sceptical of AI because I work in IT I reply, no, it's because I was once a biologist. Show me an AI that matches a Corvid (crow) brain and I'll be impressed.

      Now run it on a Raspberry Pi 4 and you've got the Brainpower per Watt about right, you just need to shave about 90% off the weight and the volume to be competing with biology.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Intelligence takes time

        The key difference is that brains are massively parallel pattern matching engines. Each component may not be very fast but when there are millions/billions of them then that doesn't matter so much. By contrast attempting to approximate neurons using procedural computers is entirely different and the "AI" chips don't have anything to compare either.

  12. sreynolds

    Musk is a lot dumber than the markets think.

    Smoking weed during a broadcast, getting involved in so called insults (paedo guy) and buying bitcoin by a company that isn't in anyway a finance company and the market still pumps money into him?

  13. steelpillow Silver badge

    Musk's public statements

    Musk's public statements ... overestimate the [take your pick]'s capabilities,

    This also applies to statements about himself.

    In my humble opinion.

  14. Trollslayer

    Not a surprise

    Tesla does tests in Arizona for one reason.

    Different states have different standards and guess which has the lowest standards.

    I cannot be certain but I would expect California to have the highest.

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: Not a surprise

      Tesla, Waymo (Google) and Uber when they had an autonomous car division all test in Arizona because it has the easiest legal requirements. It also has good weather, is flat and I believe Pheonix has a grid system.

      I'd love to see them try the cobbled streets of York, Glasgow in the rain or the single track roads of the Highlands. LOL

  15. A random security guy Bronze badge

    I live and work in an area infested by Google, in Mountainview, California It has the highest concentration of ADAS cars around. From many different companies. Late at night (2am) I see more autonomous cars than people driven cars.

    I have always wondered if they can see my dachshund but I have decided not to test my theories. Dogs are better than humans.

  16. Persona Silver badge

    UK driving test

    I wonder if one could pass a UK driving test? If it could does that mean that the driving test should be made harder until it couldn't pass?

  17. captain veg Silver badge

    I don't get it

    I don't like even my car cancelling the indicators for me. Automatic handbrake? How will I do handbrake turns? Automatic headlight dipping? Oddly enough, everyone else shows their appreciation my furiously flashing theirs.

    Who actually wants self-driving cars?

    I get that there is a different culture in the US, but in Europe we even prefer to change gears manually.

    Ask yourself this: if you were in danger of missing a plane (or train, or whatever), would you (a) press on, turning up the spatial awareness so that you can stretch the rules a little bit on speed limits, or (b) accept that the computer won't go any faster no matter what.

    If (b), which is a perfectly valid choice, why have a private car at all?

    -A.

    1. a pressbutton

      Re: I don't get it

      After 6 years, I am just about able to accept that an auto gearbox is better than me except when

      I am going downhill

      It is snowy or icy

      I am going too fast towards a corner

      and possibly other times.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't get it

        Oh, I can assure you that automatic isn't always best.

        If you do not kill off traction control and any other gadget that can interfere with your control and senses when you're driving in the snow you can be assured you'll be in a ditch in no time at all - worse, that same cr*p that got you into trouble by killing power when you wanted to make a turn so you totally lose grip will also block any attempt to extract yourself from the snow heap you landed in by killing the required wheel spin.

        Been there and done that with a loan car where I didn't know where that kill switch was.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it

      "Automatic headlight dipping?"

      Worse is automatic headlights switching on. They are overly sensitive and the automatic system has no awareness whatsoever of when to use side lights. It's headlights or nothing. Drive through a cutting near sunset and the headlights come on. But even though the sun is still shining as you emerge from the cutting, the headlights don't go off. It's not even dusk yet, not dim enough to even require sidelights, but you'll see a line of cars with at least half of them coming towards you with headlights on. If the car manufactures can't even get ambient light sensing right, why would I trust them to take over control of the car?

    3. Spamfast
      Thumb Down

      Re: I don't get it

      Ask yourself this: if you were in danger of missing a plane (or train, or whatever), would you (a) press on, turning up the spatial awareness so that you can stretch the rules a little bit on speed limits, or (b) accept that the computer won't go any faster no matter what.

      If (b), which is a perfectly valid choice, why have a private car at all?

      If (a) then you're a self-admitted criminal sociopath who considers your own desires more important that others' safety. You've also admitted that you don't pay attention when you normally drive.

      The (a)s shouldn't even have driving licenses, let alone private cars and are likely to be a menace when being a pedestrian too. Just take a taxi door-to-door when you need to leave the house, eh?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't get it

        "If (a) then you're a self-admitted criminal sociopath who considers your own desires more important that others' safety. You've also admitted that you don't pay attention when you normally drive."

        And a big contract, and perhaps your job (not to mention the whole company) are on the line to boot? At some point, the reward can justify many risks, especially when it's life and/or livelihood, especially when it's not just you on the line (a spouse and a bunch of mouths to feed, on top). Is it really sociopathic to think about the spouse and kids, or is society prepared for a bunch more widows and orphans?

        1. Spamfast
          FAIL

          Re: I don't get it

          Is it really sociopathic to think about the spouse and kids, or is society prepared for a bunch more widows and orphans?

          Wow, I'm impressed. Invoking 'think of the children' to justify dangerous driving. What about the children and those of the adults killed in the accidents caused by driving too fast?

          Rather than risking having to drive dangerously to meet my commitments, I factor in contingency if it really is that important to my livelihood or the lives of my loved ones. If road conditions were so dire that even this didn't work I still wouldn't take risks as I'd have a good justification for missing the appointment. At the end of the day I would like to think my loved ones would prefer me to lose employment or money than risk losing my life. "Better late than never."

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: I don't get it

            "Rather than risking having to drive dangerously to meet my commitments, I factor in contingency if it really is that important to my livelihood or the lives of my loved ones. If road conditions were so dire that even this didn't work I still wouldn't take risks as I'd have a good justification for missing the appointment. At the end of the day I would like to think my loved ones would prefer me to lose employment or money than risk losing my life."

            Consider yourself fortunate to even have that agency. For others (consider Amazon workers--remember the stories of peeing in bottles in hidden corners and cutting out GPS trackers to meet impossibly-high standards), they're one and the same because the job prospects anywhere near them are just that cutthroat. Unless they thread the needle and do everything rightfast, they're dead...or worse (and yes, I have seen such conditions--they also have local and/or regional governments in thrall, thus my questions on how long before the biggest tech companies pull a Sprawl and declare sovereignty).

    4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: we even prefer to change gears manually.

      Electric Cars (other than conversions) don't have manual gearboxes. The huge torque range of an Electric Motor makes them redundant.

      Sorry to spoil your dream of being able to change gears.

      If you must do it then get a classic car converted from ICE to EV. May I humbly suggest that you start with a Ford Anglia or Prefect?

      1. Hairy Spod

        Re: we even prefer to change gears manually.

        Mostly true, but people who like changing gears in ICE cars often turn into people who like playing with and manually adjusting their regen settings in an EV.

  18. DrXym Silver badge

    Well obviously

    Driving in the real world is filled with scenarios that are intractable for autonomous vehicles and the car would do something dangerous and/or dumb. Even if a car could drive by itself 99% of the time, that's not good enough if there is no human supervising the car for that 1% of the time when it can't. Nor is it any good if the driver is off in la-la-land and not alert and attentive to the conditions of the road.

  19. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    "WTF"

    May be in time, there will be a requirement for continuous loop cabin sound recorders in autonomous cars, just like cockpit voice recorders for airliners, accessible to crash investigators.

    "WTF" may well turn out to be the most frequent last words uttered by the "drivers" of these vehicles

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The transition period to fully automated vehicles may be hazardous

    Since there are very few automated vehicles on the roads then the currently immature AI will encounter far more unpredictable human driver behaviour than it will in say 10 years. Also, semi-autonomous systems are inherently dangerous because they still require the driver to be alert, which is against human nature. You tend to lose concentration when in charge of a system that does 90% of the job itself. Microsleeps at the wheel will turn into macrosleeps!

    Unfortunately I think we're about to enter a period where we'll see a rapid rise in tragic accidents from this type of tech.

  21. fodell

    I see a fair few everywhere I go. The amazing thing about cars is that they travel about, not just stay in one town.

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