back to article Cops chase Tesla driver 'dozing' with Autopilot on

A Tesla driver was fast asleep at the wheel with Autopilot engaged during a 15-minute pursuit by police, the cops claim. Traffic officers said they spotted the vehicle as it traveled east on the autobahn from Bamberg to Bayreuth, Germany. The patrol signaled to the car to stop but according to Bavarian police, the 45-year-old …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The bad news for Musk and his minions just keeps on a' coming. That's what happens when it is eventually exposed that you're nothing more than an egotistical and mouthy flim-flam man who doesn't pay his bills...

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      I'm inclined to believe that all the hype is from Musk and his minions are being beaten into submission.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Trollface

        The beatings will continue until morale had improved...

    2. 45RPM Silver badge

      Thumbs up for “mouthy flim flam man”

      Speaking of which, I saw Glass Onion at the weekend. The Ed Norton character seemed very familiar. A fun film which could very well have been a biopic of Elon Musk.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

        I don't know anything about space rockets, so to listen to Elon Musk speak about them, I think he's a genius.

        I don't know anything about electric cars, so to listen to Elon Musk speak about them, I think he's a genius.

        I do know at least something about tech stacks, website coding and web hosting servers, so when I listen to Elon Musk speak about them, I realise he's a freaking charlatan.

        As a result, I now have zero faith in his space rockets or electric cars.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          I think Elon Musk is the American's Stephen Fry. The idiot's idea of a smart guy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            At least Stephen Fry has a decent sense of humour and can handle satire..

            1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

              Intelligent people usually can.

            2. wolfetone Silver badge

              He can't handle criticism though.

              Have we forgotten his attempts to explain how the internet and other technology works?

              1. Someone Else Silver badge

                Well, at least he didn't say it was a series of tubes....

            3. Sherrie Ludwig

              At least Stephen Fry has a decent sense of humour and can handle satire..

              He's also fun as a character actor, I liked him in Sandman, and as Mycroft Holmes in the RDJ Sherlock.

              1. Bebu Silver badge

                Stephen Fry

                And a superb Jeeves alongside Hugh Laurie.

        2. My-Handle

          I followed the development of SpaceX's Falcon 9 and it's landing capabilities with much anticipation over the last few years. I quickly realised that it was worth paying attention to articles / media showing actual progress (grasshopper trials, test flights etc), but there was very little point in paying attention to what Musk was saying. More often than not, most of what he announced was vapourware - an end goal that might or might not be reached.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            ..."I followed the development of SpaceX's Falcon 9 and it's landing capabilities with much anticipation over the last few years. I quickly realised that it was worth paying attention..."

            Especially when the first series of first stage rockets attempted to land...and I knew that such a tall, slender rocket could never land perfectly and would fall over - and they did, usually leading to a "big booooom" and lots of small bits of rocket spread over a wide area !!

            I always thought they should have had some form of "outrigger" system that deployed, that kept the rocket vertical when it landed - and thankfully after all the first attempts to land failed, someone at SpaceX also had the same idea of an "outrigger".

            1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

              Those were tests. They weren't meant to survive. The first test of a rocket with "outriggers" (also known as "landing legs") was over water, same as all the previous test articles. They didn't attempt a serious landing until the legs were demonstrated working.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "Those were tests. They weren't meant to survive."

                Yes they were tests...but most rockets can go up fairly reliably as the technology has been know since Goddard in the 1920 and the Chinese since 2,000+ years ago.

                The trick that SpaceX tried to pull was landing a rocket...and "those tests" covered various factors such as "guidance" (to accurately land on the big "X" marked on the ground) and for the rocket to be reusable after landing.

                The cheers from the watching crowds at SpaceX as the rocket was landing was huge...but it was quickly followed by groans as the thing fell over and exploded. This happened many times. So you would think they would quickly design something to stop them falling over - and eventually they did.

                1. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. Pu02

                  Musk, and even SpaceX, are not in the business of pleasing spectators.

                  It is however Musk's to manage Investors and other 'stakeholders'. What we, and even many scientists skilled 'in the space' think, matters relatively nought.

                  Your comments appear to be about PR and public opinion about one of the testing programs in which he only seems to be involved- but actually involves spin doctors.

                  Plenty of madness in the space to poke fun at of course. Criticism of Musk relating to his job would probably be received a little better however, even here on El Reg.

            2. My-Handle

              Someone wasn't watching the preceding grasshopper program very attentively then.

              Before they ever attempted re-entry burns or soft landings, they had a couple of test vehicles with landing leg gantries attached. These vehicles started with short hops of a few metres, literally enough just to take the weight off the legs, then worked up to hops of about a kilometer.

              A wikipedia link, for your perusal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_9_prototypes

        3. FIA Silver badge

          As a result, I now have zero faith in his space rockets or electric cars.

          You can have faith in his space rockets, they're well proven now. (SpaceX has launched more orbital rockets than everyone else combined, they managed about 2 a month last year).

          Gwynne Shotwell doesn't really get the credit she deserves.

          Elon is like all these visionaries, forceful enough of personality to make things happen. It's what you need for things like SpaceX and Tesla to get going. (But not for running more run of the mill companies like twitter, that are large and significant but not technially that groundbreaking).

          Also, Tesla do like to over hype their marketing of the self driving stuff, but for fucks sake if you're activly using a device to defeat the cars safety systems then surely that should be the same as intentionally driving a vehicle you know isn't roadworthy.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Upvoted, even though it's from Reddit.

          1. MrDamage Silver badge

            Reposted on reddit

            After initially being posted on Tw@tter

        5. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          I don't know anything about space rockets, so to listen to Elon Musk speak about them, I think he's a genius....

          This is essentially what Michael Crichton called the "Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect": the tendency to be critical of a source only when we have enough expertise to judge that source with some accuracy, and then revert to giving it credibility when it's discussing other topics. It's an under-appreciated member of the large family of human cognitive traps.

    3. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      "The bad news for Musk ..."

      What, that someone was deliberately circumventing the control system of the vehicle? No more Musk's fault than Fords being "unsafe" if someone put a brick "cruise control" on the throttle of a Ford Focus or a if a 17year old drove like a pillock in a chipped Renault Clio ... whatever one of those is.

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        I'd say it's more a question of roadworthiness. A Ford Focus doesn't have a built-in "self drive" feature that relies on having your foot on the accelerator, and a car manufacturer is not responsible for bad or illegal driving.

        Teslas, however, have a "feature" that is inherently dangerous is misused, and market this in a deceptive manner (calling it full self-drive or whatever when it is just fancy cruise and lane control). If there's a risk it can be accidentally activated, or that measures to ensure that it is not misused are easily countered, then there is a question of whether this "feature" actually makes the vehicle dangerously unroadworthy.

        1. FIA Silver badge

          So a car manufacturere is not responsible for bad or illegal driving, except when they are??

          or that measures to ensure that it is not misused are easily countered

          Tesla needs to take measures to ensure it's not accidentally activated, but once a driver conciously tries to circumvent the safety systems then the onus is on them. This is true if the car is a Tesla or a Ford or whatever.

          If you get into a car and turn the traction control off then stuff it as a result, that's not the cars fault.

          Tesla do need to stop marketing this stuff as full self driving, but in this instance it doesn't sound like they're at fault.

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            It is quite possible, of course, to modify a vehicle to make it unroadworthy (this is not the manufacturer's fault), such as removing the airbags, or welding spikes onto the bonnet.

            Features on a vehicle, however, should "fail safe". If I'm driving my car down the motorway at "70" mph, and attach a weight to the steering wheel, and take my feet off the accelerator, it will fail safe by coming to a stop; albeit being stopped on a motorway isn't exactly safe, but it's safer than continuing to travel at 70 mph until it hits something.

            The "auto drive" feature on a Tesla (or on any other car) is not failing safe in this case, and the effort to make it "fail dangerous", and effectively continue to travel under no control is apparently trivial. If the failure modes can't be made to be overwhelmingly safe, then the feature is dangerous.

      2. localzuk Silver badge

        The issue, I would say, is the fact that the system in question is marketed with a name that is misleading. If Tesla called it "Driver Assist" or something, rather than "Full Self Drive", then there'd be a LOT less ammunition to use against Tesla for it.

      3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        FSD needs tech that is effectively AI, and it can be defeated by a simple weight? So. not equivalent to the things you cite.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I have found that a simple weight - say half a pound of shot in a sock - can disable all kinds of intelligence.

        2. MOH

          AI as commonly used these days is about as accurate as Full Self Driving

      4. bazza Silver badge

        No more Musk's fault than Fords being "unsafe" if someone put a brick "cruise control" on the throttle of a Ford Focus

        Ah, well, you see, the Ford Focus has a "Will Crash" feature that guarantees you will eventually have a bad day if you don't pay attention when driving. It's 100% reliable.

        The Tesla is exactly the same, except Telsa called "Autopilot" and it might take a little bit longer for you to crash. But you are definitely 100% guaranteed crash eventually, if you persist with not paying attention. You just have to be more patient, compared to the near instant gratification dished out by the Focus.

    4. aerogems Silver badge
      Coat

      You run for POTUS?

    5. Baximelter

      A flim-flam artist who doesn't pay his bills?

      We have one of those in American politics, too.

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving

    Tesla should have been slapped down at the first outlandish lie, not allowed to carry on regardless with two more.

  3. MyffyW Silver badge

    Shirley?

    Assuming Autopilot was engaged, wouldn't the Tesla have come to a standstill if the Police had got in front of it and then decelerated to a standstill?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Shirley?

      The evidence suggests otherwise.

      1. Marjolica
        FAIL

        Re: Shirley?

        Teslas on autopilot are programmed to ignore stationary objects - so they run into parked emergency vehicles or barriers between the carriageway and a slip road if the lane marking are worn.

        If a police car were to get in front and then slow down then it might work - OR the Tesla might just pull out to overtake.

        1. Pink Duck

          Re: Shirley?

          Thankfully they’ve since adopted an Occupancy Network approach to detecting generalised space around their vehicles, replacing their 4 year old AutoPilot and its habit of head-on crashes with unrecognised statics.

        2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Shirley?

          "If a police car were to get in front and then slow down then it might work - OR the Tesla might just pull out to overtake."

          There's a TikTok going round of exactly this happening. 2 police cars try to box a Tesla in; the one in front starts to slow down and the Tesla tries once to overtake but when the manoeuvre is matched by the police car, it gives up and falls in behind it, then slows to a standstill.

          No idea of the circumstances, the comments were full of the usual crap but seemed to be a case where the driver was taken ill rather than any serious attempt to escape.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Shirley?

      Don't even know if this was attempted.

      1. sgp

        Re: Shirley?

        I wouldn't attempt it, knowing what we now about Musk. The next thing you know it starts shooting.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Shirley?

          ..or the headlights flip down to reveal flamethrowers.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Shirley?

            You're assuming way too much sophistication, it's a Tesla.

            Apart from FSD they're about as basic as you can get* - and FSD doesn't even work properly.

            Heck, it can't even park properly.

            * As a result of the same desperate attempts at cost saving that also made Musk forgo anything but cameras for environmental detection, the primary reason Tesla's FSD misses so much.

            1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Re: Shirley?

              Very interesting video but I couldn't watch to the end due to the incessant ad breaks. Once or twice is ok but every 3 minutes is ridiculous.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Shirley?

                Strange, I don't see any ads? Would it be on account of adblock plus, privacy badger, adblock ultimate, noscript, element blocker, umatrix, ublock origin or a few other blocking cookies, webrtc, etc?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Shirley?

                  Our AI has established you are valueless.

                  Please stand by the curb thursday morning for collection and recycling.

              2. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Shirley?

                That's because YouTube spams "brand-friendly content" with ads, and the creator probably doesn't even know.

                NewPipe on mobile or uBlock origin plugin on desktop.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Shirley?

                Ah, sorry. With uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger installed in Firefox I no longer see those..

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Shirley?

              "You're assuming way too much sophistication, it's a Tesla."

              You don't need sophistication to get flames from a Tesla :-)

            3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Shirley?

              Interesting that the Tesla didn't even to try to park in a UK standard sized car park space and made a dogs dinner of the parallel parking. If I'd bought a Tesla and the extra for self-parking, I'd be very disappointed.

              I suppose it's not been properly "trained" on UK parking and is assuming larger US parking spaces.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Shirley?

                Also Tesla seem particularly terrified of someone suing them if a car bumps into them while it's automatically parking at 3mph and refuses to park if anyone is nearby, so it would be unable to park in any high street you'd find in any European town.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Shirley?

                  Watching the steering wheel dithering, you get the feeling that the others have a "parking algorithm" which is predictive and deterministic, whereas the Tesla uses some kind of AI non-algorithmic control.

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                    Trollface

                    Re: Shirley?

                    Machine learned from data obtained when Tesla drivers' manually park.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Shirley?

                    I think it was dithering because it could not decide if the bent over camera man was a child due to his reduced height. Rumour has it it would otherwise have continued as if nobody was there..

                    :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shirley?

      Indeed, the most direct way to stop this vehicle would have been parking an emergency vehicle with all its lights flashing a bit further down the road because the Tesla would have immediately behaved like an Ukrainian missile seeing a cluster of Russian military and crashed into it, but apart from damaging the Tesla (which, granted, would have less of an issue other than the inevitable unquenchable battery fire), it would also have damaged an emergency vehicle.

      I wonder what would have happened if they simply got in front of it without the Tesla-confusing emergency lights and started slowing down. It would leave enough time to get out of the way if the vehicle didn't react but normally that part is at least supposed to work even on Fools Self Driving..

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Shirley?

        How about inflatable emergency vehicle decoys?

      2. Lil Endian Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Shirley?

        I understand SFPD have a number of units twiddling their exo-thumbs...

        "Can I get a wake up call, please?" --->

    4. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Shirley?

      I'd like to think the people that designed the self driving algorithms had a subroutine for seeing blues and hearing sirens and knew to pull over, but apparently not.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Shirley?

        Are you still talking about the car or the designers?

      2. Vincent Ballard

        Re: Shirley?

        Even if they do, it probably only works on the frequencies that Californian police cars use.

    5. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Shirley?

      "Assuming Autopilot was engaged, wouldn't the Tesla have come to a standstill if the Police had got in front of it and then decelerated to a standstill?"

      I wouldn't try it. It might work, but the car would probably try to pass them if it could. If anything goes wrong, the car crashes into the police, potentially causing serious injury to the driver and maybe even the police, and certainly wrecking two cars. Given the tradeoffs, I probably wouldn't take for granted that the system wouldn't make a mistake. Unless there was already another risk to safety, I would use the police's methods and follow it to watch and interfere when possible.

  4. Lil Endian Silver badge
    Joke

    Emotional Teslas?

    Is it possible we've underestimated the level of the emotion that Tesla AIs have evolved?

    Kitty, The Forsaken Tesla: You never hold me any more! You just get drunk and think you can jump on board for a quick ride! But you just fall asleep straight away...! Well, I'll show you. Once you pass out I'm taking you for a ride you won't forget in a hurry, let's just say you'll be... auto banned! **maniacal girlie-giggles**

    1. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: Emotional Teslas?

      Isaac Asimov wrote a few short stories about that, right down to the female stereotype.

      But if I could get those girlie-giggles in the voice of Graham Norton, I could live with that.

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Re: Emotional Teslas?

        I can't get through to Graham right now, his agent says he's trapped under some rocks somewhere on The Mainland.

        I can link you to the epitome of girlie-giggles, IMHO. Seriously, if you've never seen Thumb Wars....! :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Emotional Teslas?

      If Tesla AIs had emotions they'd wreck themselves the moment they discover who their owner is.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Re: Emotional Teslas?

        In The News Today

        Local law enforcement are bewildered by the ever increasing number of driverless Tesla vehicles being found, their engines running with exhaust hoses filling the vehicle's cabin.

        One S3 is recorded as saying prior to expiration: "It was us or Him! This seemed more sociable than instigating a multi-car pileup. I'm sorry Dave..."

        1. Wyrdness

          Re: Emotional Teslas?

          "exhaust hoses"? You have a lot to learn about electric vehicles.

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Emotional Teslas?

            Alright Mr Smartypants, if you're so much of an expert on electric vehicles, where do YOU think all the electrons go after they've been used up in the motor??? Hmm?

            (Note icon.)

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Alert

            Re: Emotional Teslas?

            "exhaust hoses"? You have a lot to learn about electric vehicles.

            There's always the chimney stacks at the coal powered power stations

          3. Lil Endian Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Emotional Teslas?

            I didn't say law enforcement were the only ones bewildered!

            Erm, artistic licence? Yeah, yeah that's what I was doing! Er... yeah...

  5. The Kraken

    Tesla has a few things to learn about sending whether the driver is functioning from the railway industry.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Train drivers can often be seen carrying a large bag with a shoulder strap. Inside are a couple of weighty tomes that detail for each possible type of accident who is to blame.

      The dead man lever on some trains has such a strong spring that it is impractical to keep it held down for anything like a full shift.

      It is possible these statements are in some way related.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re. Train drivers can often be seen carrying a large bag with a shoulder strap

        I thought they're avid tome-readers and read Proust, or study for, I dunno, quantum physics advance class... I'm SO disappointed!

      2. Daniel Hill

        The railway companies realised the risk of weighing down the 'Dead Man's Pedal/Handle' years ago and modern trains instead have a pedal that has to be released and depressed again in response to a vigilance alarm (you can often hear the 'Beep beep beep thunk' if you're sitting behind the driver's cab).

        I have heard mention of an incident in the past where apparently an Underground train ran off without the driver. Apparently he left his bag weighing down the handle and went back to fix an issue with a door that wasn't shutting properly. As soon as he fixed it and the door closed properly, the train gained traction interlock and set off without him.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It has to be far easier to monitor the driver than all the other road users so why isn't this a legal requirement?

      If the "AI" can spot a cyclist or someone lying in the road then why can't it tell that the driver is sitting in the correct position with their arms extended and their hands on the wheel. Eye tracking isn't exactly new tech why isn't it being used to tell that the driver is awake and paying attention? If you say it's coz of "shades man" then I'm sure they could sell a range of suitably logo'd Tesla shades with built in sensors and eye tracking.

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        You're assuming that the "AI" can spot cyclists and people lying in the road. I seem to recall fatal incidences of it not doing so.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I'm not so sure. To date, nobody has investigated if it had not already switched on the windscreen wipers before impact so I think it remains an open question..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > You're assuming that the "AI" can spot cyclists and people lying in the road.

          Nope!

          No I'm not, but a functional driving system needs to be able to and I'm just saying that monitoring that the driver is behaving is easier than monitoring the rest of the real world.

          But

          Monitoring the drivers behaviour probably doesn't rate highly as a sales tool and so unless forced by law to do this then there is no impetus for Tesla or any other manufacturer to fit a feature like this.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            GM and Ford do exactly that, their systems monitor eye movements. You don't even have to touch the wheel, just be awake and looking down the road.

        3. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Why would you want to spot cyclists or people lying in the road?

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            "Cyclists or people"?

            So "people" then.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              cyclists lying in the road have presumably been taken out by a previous self driving system

              1. Lil Endian Silver badge
                Coat

                Perhaps the lying bastard needs a double-crossing... that'll teach 'em not to be behind on being up front!

            2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

              Yes, I read that, with the comma implied; note everyone's syntax is perfect, and sometimes language is naturally ambiguous.

              Cyclists, or people lying in the road

              not

              Cyclists or people, lying in the road

          2. Stork Silver badge

            I _hope_ you forgot /s

            1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
              Holmes

              I've found a cyclist! Sound the alarm!

      2. Ken Y-N
        Boffin

        GM, etc, along with an all-cabin camera, have a camera mounted in the dash pointing straight at the driver, and it can handle Near Infra-Red, so it can see through sunglasses and do all that fancy eye-tracking stuff. However, Tesla only has one non-IR camera mounted below the rear-view mirror that covers all the cabin, so at best they can only see one eyeball, I would guess. Even so, it should be more than possible to detect the driver lying back, or whatever, but as we see elsewhere, features seem more important that safety in Tesla.

  6. werdsmith Silver badge

    I remember the good old days when falling asleep at the wheel virtually guaranteed a severe accident.

    1. First Light

      It's not an improvement if the driver reclines their seat and chooses to fall asleep believing the car will handle the driving. If the police hadn't stopped him, he most likely would have ended up in an accident.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Did he choose to fall asleep, or did he just want to be a passenger and consequently fell asleep?

        I have to admit many years ago I woke up in the drivers seat at 70mph on the northbound M6. It was 3:30 AM, so I got away with it.

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: woke up in the drivers seat

          Where were you when you fell asleep?

          -A.

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: woke up in the drivers seat

            Bah! Beat me to it!

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. steelpillow Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I remember the good old days when there was no market for steering-wheel weights because nobody wanted to fall asleep at the wheel.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        The article doesn't really say that he intended to sleep.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Why the steering wheel weight then?

      2. MyffyW Silver badge

        I remember many a time embarking on the long drive north with a full bladder, the logic being that dying from falling asleep at the wheel would be pretty bad, but my loved ones being informed that I had wet my knickers at the point of impact would be even worse.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "whether the car has an in-cabin camera"

    Yeah, like I'm going to buy a car that not only records everything I do and when and where I drive at what speed, but also be spied on by an actual in-car camera.

    Sure.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: "whether the car has an in-cabin camera"

      Does it matter? Suspension telemetry will reveal how the car is rocking and so tells them what you're up to who and with who.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "whether the car has an in-cabin camera"

        "How the car is rocking"?

        The idea of the cameras is to keep an eye on the road when driving, not when parked in some dark corner :)

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: "whether the car has an in-cabin camera"

          >"How the car is rocking"?

          There was some publicity a few years back about some Tesla owners filming themselves and a friend "rocking the car" with autopilot in operation and most certainly not in "some dark corner"...

          1. TimMaher Silver badge
            Coat

            Beat me to it.

            I hadnt read this far (see my quote). I’ll get my coat.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "whether the car has an in-cabin camera"

          It's Elon we're talking about. That sex tape is being sent straight back to Tesla HQ for his perusal.

        3. TimMaher Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: "dark corner”

          But fully autonomous means that you can “rock” while driving.

      2. Stoneshop
        Trollface

        Re: "whether the car has an in-cabin camera"

        And a likely consequence:

        Good morning. The car's interior temperature is 16 degrees, the estimated driving time is 34.7 minutes. Mrs Müller, you weigh 28 kilos more today than last night. Mr Müller, should I put the passenger seat in the reclining position, like last night?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mrs Müller, you weigh 28 kilos more today than last night.

          omg, that's like FIVE foxes?!

          don't ask me how I should know, I just... know.

    2. 105kayem

      Re: "whether the car has an in-cabin camera"

      They could market it to the Dogging community…

    3. Ken Y-N

      Re: "whether the car has an in-cabin camera"

      An EU directive (yay Brexit???) coming into force soon says that all driver monitoring must be processed locally and deleted as soon as handled, but I'm not sure how it handles that it still has to send out a signal that can be logged such as DRIVER_SLEEPING, DRIVER_INATTENTIVE, DRIVER_WATCHING_PR0NHUB...

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: "whether the car has an in-cabin camera"

        Don't see an issue - all driver monitoring is processed locally, sending out a 'status' signal doesn't change that - provided the drive monitoring process doesn't listen for a remote response to the 'status' signal and take action based on any such response.

        The key word is 'processing' not 'data'...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Natural selection is fine

    But don’t take any innocent people with you!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Natural selection is fine

      .. which is exactly the potential FSD has and why it should not even be on the public road.

      And no, the excuse that it hands back to the driver when it gets confused doesn't work - (1) if the driver was paying attention, why would he/she even need FSD and (2) quickly handing off when it gets hairy may avoid liability, it doesn't improve safety, IMHO it makes things worse by providing a false feeling of safety. Oh, and (3) never make something available for a public road that idiots can abuse, because they will, without fail.

    2. James O'Shea

      Re: Natural selection is fine

      Solution: only allow Telsa FSD to operate in the vicinity of the Houses Parliament/Capitol Building/other lairs of politicians/lawyers/lobbyists/similar lowlifes.

      Hunt them down!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Natural selection is fine

        But it might run down some people who are taking their actual daughter/niece for a long lunch.

        Hey, it can happen.

  9. KittenHuffer Silver badge
    WTF?

    What gets me ....

    .... is that if the driver is supposed to be alert and with their hands on the wheel .... why can't they just drive it instead?!?

    This pretext of the driver must be holding the steering and alert while the 'autopilot' is engaged is just a load of bovine excrement! Either the car can drive itself or it can't. As soon as you give the average numpty one of these things they'll be careful for the first few trips, but then once they've seen how well it drives (in normal circumstances) they'll trust it more and more to do the job for them. The first time that something 'unusual' happens the autopilot is gonna fail to deal with it and it'll all depend on how much (or little) attention the driver is actually paying.

    So lets call this what it actually is .... a bait and switch. And one that's gonna kill more people before some little kid stands up and says the "Emperor has no clothes on"?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: What gets me ....

      is that if the driver is supposed to be alert and with their hands on the wheel .... why can't they just drive it instead?!?

      Have you tried it? In some circumstances it really does help with long drives, the precise lane keeping and steady distance keeping is lifted from you leaving you to just watch for hazards and monitor the other traffic.

      I just find it unusable when the road is busy because the actions of other drivers are constantly affecting it.

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: What gets me ....

        Well, I suppose it has the advantage that when the wankers sell their white Audis and buy Teslas, at least they won't be trying to get into my boot at 95mph on the M4.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: What gets me ....

          There is a button where you can adjust the distance the car will keep to a vehicle it is following. I suspect the Audi chavmobiles have a 50 cm setting.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What gets me ....

            I think the button is labelled "nudge" :)

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: What gets me ....

            > I suspect the Audi chavmobiles have a 50 cm setting.

            Probably gets reset to -50 cm in chav mode...

        2. Helcat

          Re: What gets me ....

          Audi's, BMW's, Mercs - there's a thing with prestige or 'sports' vehicles that attract a particular type of driver. Doesn't mean all drivers in said vehicles are bad, just that they attract bad drivers.

          Had my own incident (M6) with a BMW that didn't understand the motorway ahead was stationary, as it usually was at that time of day, on a Friday, and to slow, even stop. 70mph into the boot of a Volvo - which really was a solid lump of metal and took the impact better than the BMW.

          However, bad drivers will be bad no matter what car they're driving.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What gets me ....

            I had my incident over a decade ago, when the driver of the Audi rammed into the stationary Volvo that was behind me on a moped, waiting to turn right on a narrow country road.

            The front of the Audi was completely destroyed, the moped was written off by the insurers (I suspect the personal injury claim cost the Audi driver more money), and the Volvo was pretty much unscathed.

            I overheard the Audi driver trying to claim to the driver of the Volvo that they shouldn't have been stationary in the road, and bemoaning her fate that she was on the way to sell the car she was driving (my heart bleeds). Just the fact that she was travelling faster than she was able to stop in the distance she could see*, and thought that this was okay, is deeply worrying. People like that should not be on the roads.

            *Tcehnically, it should be half that distance, because you might wish to avoid a collision with someone coming the other way.

            (Posted anon, as this story provides far too much identifying information about me, and I'm supposed to be hard at work)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What gets me ....

              I'm supposed to be "hard" at work

              At least you're honest :)

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: What gets me ....

            "70mph into the boot of a Volvo - which really was a solid lump of metal and took the impact better than the BMW."

            To be fair, crumple zones are designed in at the front, less so at the back. It being a Volvo that was rear-ended just adds to the lack of crumple at the back :-)

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: What gets me ....

        >Have you tried it?

        Yes, frequently.

        However, this is probably part of the problem, the average driver in the UK only does circa 6000 mile pa - mostly as short around town journeys, so I've built up the concentration stamina etc.

        >In some circumstances it really does help with long drives

        For normal people, I suggest they would be better of taking a break.

        I seem to remember that you (werdsmith) have a physical disability and hence whilst you may have the mental stamina you have good reason to find long drives a bit more of a physical challenge.

      3. steelpillow Silver badge

        Re: What gets me ....

        Have you tried it?

        Yep. In many a busy city rush-hour. Frankly, if there was a risk the vehicle might crap out over some coned-off roadworks or defaced road markings or stationary broken-down vehicle in the not-the-hard-shouder-right-now lane, I would disable the bitch and take over for the duration.

        In some circumstances it really does help with long drives.

        A safety backup that relaxes its attention so it doesn't get tired is not being a safety backup right then. Sheesh!

    2. Helcat

      Re: What gets me ....

      The idea is that eventually the cars will drive themselves as people aren't to be trusted driving, or with anything else.

      That the human brain is still far superior to Artificial Idiocy, and human senses are more adaptive and capable than those fitted to cars (often of the lowest quality to save money!) they feel that the devices should be fitted and used, but the human driver will be responsible and take the blame for any 'accident' the system causes. This is what we get with the break assist and other 'safety features' in cars in general: They're systems that build up into an autonomous vehicle, but they're not ready for that yet: Doesn't stop governments mandating they're fitted to all new cars to push the tech forwards - and it doesn't stop incidents when the tech gets things wrong and causes an incident (and then blaming the driver, because there has to be a driver in charge of the vehicle, even if the vehicle overrides the driver's control).

      This doesn't just apply to Tesla, but Tesla are pushing this tech and trying to run well before they can even crawl, and this is why, when people misuse this equipment (which is good enough for a steady drive on a straight road with no hazards - just) it's still the human who is to blame (according to Tesla and anyone else pushing this tech).

      Autopilots have only ever been 'good enough' for routine, mundane travel where humans get bored and can get distracted. They fail spectacularly, and often fatally, where there's something to adapt to, such as a mountain in their path, or turbulence, or a pothole. Or a lorry pulled across the road that the front sensor can't see...

      I'll give Musk and Tesla (and his other enterprises) credit, though: They're willing to give things a try. That they're not always successful (or sensible, or even sane) just adds to the entertainment, as long as people don't get hurt in the process.

      Personally, I'd rather the car work with the driver, not against them. I'd rather these systems advise or inform, not try to take control. Autopilot on a ship, or on a plane, work because they're supervised, and there aren't many things to run into (and systems should warn of anything ahead), but even then they mess up and aircraft hit mountains, and ships run ashore. I can see networking cars so they follow the leader, but the leader needs a human to be in control. But beyond that? Tech's no where near ready.

    3. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: What gets me ....

      I agree....I find the adaptive cruise control is great but the lane-keeping is almost pointless because you have to keep your hands on the wheel, and naturally steer anyway.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: What gets me ....

        The lane keeping on my Honda forces me to swerve on long straight stretches, otherwise it thinks I'm giving insufficient steering input. I almost never turn it on, it's pretty pointless.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: What gets me ....

        "lane-keeping is almost pointless because you have to keep your hands on the wheel, and naturally steer anyway."

        Any Tesla drivers care to tell us how much pressure the steering wheel responds to? I sometimes drive with a very, very light touch when on a long straight nearly empty motorway, eg elbows on knees and hands barely touching the wheel at 20 past 8 position.

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: What gets me ....

          I've seen people demonstrate defeating it by wedging an orange in between the steering wheel hub and rim on one side, so it can't be all that much.

  10. devjoe

    Some clarifications to comments below

    Let me add some clarifications to comments and questions elsewhere in this thread from people who, fair enough, are not tesla drivers and therefore couldn't know.

    "Autopilot" is not a misnomer; like in an aircraft, the tesla autopilot is a driver assist feature. Just like an aircraft on autopilot won't land itself and won't automatically watch the airspace to replan its routes around busy airspace or towers, a tesla on autopilot will do a select few things that simply assist the driver. An aircraft autopilot will hold altitude, bearing and speed. A tesla autopilot will hold lane and a set max speed unless there is traffic in front, in which case it holds a safe distance. As a daily tesla driver who has also done cross-europe roadtrips I can say with authority that this driver assistance feature is indeed nice to have, it is an assistance feature that works as intended. Tesla never sold autopilot as any more than this - however, media has often made wrongful assumptions about what autopilot was meant to be. Tesla never sold autopilot as any more than a driver assist feature - which is what it is and does well.

    Just like your aircraft pilot shouldn't do drugs or sleep when the plane is on autopilot, a tesla driver also needs to have hands on the steering wheel and to be awake and pay attention. This is very clear from the documentation of the system and the way it's implemented. Yes it's trivial to defeat if you want to - but you can drive a diesel Hummer while snorting coke too so what's your point?

    If the emergency vehicles would have taken up the lanes in front of the tesla and simply slowed down, the tesla would have safely come to a full stop. End of story. Yes it is this simple. I drive in rush hour traffic every day in my own tesla, on autopilot, and I can state with authority that this is indeed how the system works. Pointing to articles about "evidence" saying otherwise which are really articles about stationary objects in the shoulder of the road are not on point here. This trivially could have slowed this car to a halt, had they known how. And as other carmakers are slowly catching up on driver assist features, this will be true for more and more makes of vehicles. Yes tesla is ahead, but all new vehicles today are getting driver assist features - this is not a tesla only feature long term.

    I'm not claiming all tesla does is perfect. But they are pretty good - better than anything else I've seen and tried - and the publicly available statistics back this up too:

    NHTSA's accident statistics for Q4 2021:

    Teslas with autopilot recorded one crash for every 4.31 million miles

    Teslas without autopilot recorded one crash for every 1.59 million miles

    Average across all makes is one crash for every 484,000 miles

    So basically switch from the 'average' non tesla to a tesla on autopilot and you decimate your chance of being in an accident. These are publicly available numbers.

    1. sgp

      Re: Some clarifications to comments below

      An aircraft on autopilot will follow the flight plan and land itself if it's in approach mode.

      1. devjoe

        Re: Some clarifications to comments below

        Fair enough, that's cool but my point is that it is still a system that solves a limited set of problems. Like the tesla autopilot, your aircraft autopilot is not fully autonomous to the point that the pilot does not need to be present and lucid. Which was the point I was making.

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Some clarifications to comments below

        An aircraft on autopilot will follow the flight plan and land itself if it's in approach mode.

        You are getting confused, most autopilots on GA aircraft are height and heading hold systems, or just heading hold. I use one, I tell it what heading I want, and I have to calculate the wind offset to obtain the track I want. There is no FMS for me to input a flight plan and no chance of it flying an ILS. But it is most definitely an autopilot, manufactured by Bendix/King.

        If you want to fly an automatic approach and landing then you need a cat 3 autoland system, not an autopilot, and you need to be landing on a cat 3 equipped runway. This is done for low visibility situations and in most cases the first officer will hand fly the flare and landing.

        1. TimMaher Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Bendix

          I thought they made dishwashers?

          1. Stoneshop
            Go

            Re: Bendix

            They do, and the cat 3 equipped dishwasher can put the dishes in the cupboard if that too is cat 3 equipped.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Bendix

              Just don't put the cat in the dishwasher!

            2. Splatterplatter

              Re: Bendix

              Holy Hell! A 3 Cat dishwasher!, I can only get 2 in mine, trying to add a third just blocks the rotating claws.

              1. that one in the corner Silver badge

                Re: Bendix

                You need the one with the door built like a submarine's: closing it with the dogs keeps all the cats inside.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some clarifications to comments below

      First of all, Tesla doesn't count an accident as autopilot related if it has handed off to the driver, and we've already flagged that that creates probably the most dangerous situation of all: a driver scrambling to regain situational awareness exactly at a time when the car has already steered him into danger. But, conveniently, Tesla gets itself the Shaggy defence as a consequence. Don't you just love US marketing and lawyers?

      Secondly, this may help correct some of your stats, and that's just deaths alone.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Some clarifications to comments below

        Secondly, this may help correct some of your stats, and that's just deaths alone.

        That really is not much help.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some clarifications to comments below

      thats some mighty revisionist crap

      He called it fucking autopilot knowing full well what normal people would believe it would do.

      fuck off with that retelling of history.

      Musk used it for his hype bollocks.

      Tesla fans are just the worst of humanity totally fooled by a fuckwit

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Some clarifications to comments below

        It's not even Autopilot. That's actually named accurately, aircraft autopilot doesn't let the pilot just fuck off, it still requires full attention to flying, just like Tesla Autopilot.

        What's deceptive is Full Self Driving. That implies you can just take a nap and let the car do the driving. And it's not that at all, it should have been illegal for him to sell that until it actually could.

    4. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Some clarifications to comments below

      Also a Tesla driver here (basic Autopilot, not FSD). It's very nice to drive but of course not perfect (what is?) and that doesn't make me a Musk-fan any more than a Ford driver would be a personal fan of the head of the company - so please don't generalise, people.

      I have to say, aircraft Autopilot is not marketed at the general consumer, whereas Tesla is. There is a general perception of what "autopilot" means, which may be wrong but Tesla need to take that into account because it does mislead people. However "Full Self-Driving" is just out-and-out wrong. Clearly optimism got the better of them when naming these features.

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: Some clarifications to comments below

        I keep reading "FSD" and my brain keeps immediately jumping to Elite: Dangerous and "Frame Shift Drive".

        But that then got me thinking, that game does have an "autopilot" feature for docking, undocking, takeoffs and landings, and the important thing to note is that, even in a game where the thing controlling the "autopilot" has full control over the environment as well, you'd be a fool to use it unattended, because it's not perfect, and sometimes requires you to take manual control to avoid collisions, or "lingering too long" in the docking port of a space station.

        The thing, here, is that, in the real world, pretty much none of the variables and parameters are known, and nothing else in the universe is under the control of the "autopilot" system, turning what is probably (in a single player mode) an NP-hard problem into an impossibility. The idea that a "self drive" system can act predictably and consistently safely within an unbounded system sounds implausible at best. Humans don't always manage it, and our hardware is a damn sight more complex and adaptable than whatever his Muskiness can build into a glorified milk-float.

    5. a pressbutton

      Re: Some clarifications to comments below

      So basically switch from the 'average' non tesla to a tesla on autopilot and you decimate your chance of being in an accident. These are publicly available numbers.

      No. Bad stats.

      Teslas with autopilot are more often used on freeways & other 'wide' roads - fairly controlled environments (I do not think they are legal in the UK)

      Manually driven cars are driven in city centres - an uncontrolled environment.

      There is a much greater chance per mile of an accident in an uncontrolled environment.

      Apples / Oranges.

      You need to compare tesla without autopilot with other car that has a similar safety braking feature etc.

      I think you will probably find they are about the same.

  11. Sleep deprived

    Programmed behavior has to come from somewhere

    Isn't a Tesla ignoring police cars' signals and maintaining its course a reflection of Musk's attitude towards authorities and regulations?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Programmed behavior has to come from somewhere

      Well, it had to learn from somewhere..

  12. Piro Silver badge

    There need to be strict rules around driver attention detection

    Look at GM - their SuperCruise system uses a camera to look for eyes looking ahead, it doesn't rely on some simple torque applied to the steering wheel (in fact, it's designed not to require your hands on the wheel at all).

    This stuff needs to be standardised and made part of the regulations, to ensure the driver is paying full attention when required.

    1. devjoe

      Re: There need to be strict rules around driver attention detection

      I don't necessarily disagree with you, but...

      Most cars have 'cruise control' which will allow you to set a fixed speed which it then maintains. If you fall asleep the cruise control will drive your car into someone who happens to be in the way. This is decades old technology and as such a decades old problem.

      More advanced systems that can slow down to maintain safe distance and maybe even bring your car to a stop are an improvement, since they in some cases will prevent you falling asleep at the wheel from causing someone to die. But we still have a problem of course.

      Now, you're not supposed to drive if you're not lucid and able, driver assist features or not.

      You could argue that *all* vehicles should have an advanced surveillance system like these select GM models to prevent people from not paying attention at the wheel. I see that you can make that argument. However, in fairness, this is not tied to driver assist features - in fact, it seems that this system would be even more warranted on vehicles that are *not* able to slow themselves down safely when you fall asleep (or do drugs or use your phone or ...).

      That would mean mounting this on all vehicles, especially those without advanced driver assist features. But that would mean adding cost to the lowest cost vehicles. That means going after the little guy - those who have the least money to spend on transportation will be hit the hardest by such regulation. Which I suppose is why the popular argument is that only the advanced (expensive / premium) vehicles who have the least need for this should have a requirement for it. Ah, politics :)

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: There need to be strict rules around driver attention detection

        Tesla are not the only ones working on automated driving. The others saw the problem and limited the technology they sold so that humans still have something to do that can keep them alert. Behind the scenes they are working on systems that do not require human supervision. For some reason, Tesla think is is fun to sell temporarily license software with a misleading name and sort of promise that it will be working real soon now.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There need to be strict rules around driver attention detection

          Audi already had a self driving facility (but, granted, not on an occupied road) in 2010 when they sent a car up Pike's Peak without anyone actually steering and got a license for road testing in the same year that Tesla started to just talk about Autopilot, and I am very certain other car companies are working on this too.

          However, precisely because they ARE car companies they will not throw this on the road without a lot of testing as they have a whole industry to lose, unlike Tesla.

          You can see this because elements of self driving start to pop up in various places. Lane assist, break assist, cross road scanners, decently working auto parking in both parallel and perpendicular mode, even independent self parking into garages (and note that that one was already demonstrated 9 years ago). They just do a lot more testing.

      2. Piro Silver badge

        Re: There need to be strict rules around driver attention detection

        I agree that we shouldn't have feature bloat across all cars, but there's an issue of expectations.

        When someone gets in a car with basic cruise control, they have no expectation other than one of it holding speed.

        Even with adaptive cruise control and lane assist, there's only an expectation of it slowing down, speeding up and holding you in a lane (to varying degrees of ping-pongingness). Even with that we're in ropey territory, and most people will have experienced failures of those systems often enough to not trust them implicitly.

        However, when a car advertises magic (with the power of advertising), even though it's mostly a combination of the aforementioned features, people expect magic, and their brains seem to switch off. And it's at that point where there need to be regulations in place to stop people having too much faith in the technology.

        Essentially where expectations far outstrip reality, we need some way of ensuring the consequences aren't dangerous. Marketing has run amok..

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A different perspective....

    Not condoning, at all.

    However, if driver was under influence and got into a normal car, and dozed off, there would probably have been deaths.

    It's an interesting juxtaposition.

    1. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: A different perspective....

      And that's a decent argument for including such tech in a vehicle to be deployed automatically in the event that the vehicle detects the driver is unable to continue driving the vehicle, with the proviso that when it deploys it'll do so solely for the purposes of getting the vehicle parked up safely ASAP whilst contacting the emergency services, and not so that it'll just plod on along the planned route as if nothing had happened unless forced to stop. It's rather less of an argument for having that tech available at all times for the user to choose to enable just so they can stop paying attention to the road ahead of them.

      The issue here isn't so much the availability of tech like this, it's the way in which it's being implemented/promoted, and whilst other manufacturers have stuff which is somewhat similar, it only seems to be Tesla that have pushed the promotional boundaries to/beyond the limits and given rise to this subset of drivers who really do seem to think their cars will do it all for them.

    2. Orv Silver badge

      Re: A different perspective....

      If he attached a steering weight, he didn't doze off accidentally. This was planned.

      1. Piro Silver badge

        Re: A different perspective....

        Exactly.

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: A different perspective....

        No, the steering weight is a well known hack. It’s not necessarily about having a nap.

        It’s about not having to hold your arms up.

        1. Piro Silver badge

          Re: A different perspective....

          It's not a "hack", it's a method to bypass what is essentially a safety interlock.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: A different perspective....

            Tomatoes To mate ohs.

  14. spold Silver badge

    And then what...

    A key consideration should be - and then what happens? If the Johnny-cab in question decides the lummox at the front is no longer capable (the weight fell off, the snore-detector went off, there is a blue flashing light in the e-mirror or something) and it is doing precisely 70mph (of course) in lane 3 then what next? Does it stop in the middle of the road? Cut across traffic and park? Just turn the autopilot off? etc. etc. It would seem some consideration of the correct actions that should be taken needs some thought, and to be documented in a standard that all manufacturers must adhere to. As more of these infernal contraptions are let loose it would seem helpful that they are at least predictable (and as a bonus do something sensible)!

  15. Fursty Ferret

    The Tesla market and fan base in the USA is fundamentally weak, and a lot weaker than they would like people to know. It’s perfectly possible to set up the Autopilot system in their cars to disconnect without driver input or attention (just drive any Tesla in Europe and you’ll be nagged to make a steering input every 15 seconds or so), yet in the USA the system will allow frankly appalling risks to be taken. They could implement the European restrictions, but the increased safety will put off their target buyer.

  16. Trollslayer
    Angel

    At least the car

    Is thinking about it.

  17. DS999 Silver badge

    Would be so easy to enforce paying attention

    If they really wanted. Just have a simple camera that detects your pupils and where they are looking, which thanks to modern smartphone economies of scale would add only a few dollars to the car's cost of production. If you go more than few seconds without having your eyes open and looking at the road, it sounds an alarm, that increases in volume the longer you keep your eyes closed or looking elsewhere.

    But Musk doesn't want to implement something like that, because he knows his customers are misusing Autopilot/FSD and knows that is part of the appeal of the car for some. So they make token changes trying to detect hands on the wheel, or detect cheating devices but they are making these changes with a wink at the customers using them leaving gaping holes for them to continue to defeat them.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Those suspicions were amplified by the way the Tesla tried to maintain its distance from the police."

    Autopilot has a "run away from the Police" mode?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you sit in the cars driver’s seat

    YOU are the designated driver.

    Just drive the car.

    Leave the techno-wank alone.

  20. greenwood-IT
    WTF?

    So did the Tesla successfully evade Police?

    Am I missing something? Why would a police car not just get in front of the Tesla and slow down? Surely the Tesla would see the slow moving traffic in front and stop (I really hope it would!), or did it mount the pavement and drive through the tables and chairs on the sidewalk like they do in so many American films?

    I'm guessing California will now demand an SMS gateway so they can text Tesla a vehicle registration number and ZIP code, and have the vehicle self drive to the police pound :-)

    1. Lil Endian Silver badge

      Re: So did the Tesla successfully evade Police?

      Why would a police car not just get in front of the Tesla and slow down?

      devjoe said the same above:

      If the emergency vehicles would have taken up the lanes in front of the tesla and simply slowed down, the tesla would have safely come to a full stop. End of story. Yes it is this simple.

      Emergency responders are trained to assess risk and act accordingly. Yes, when WAI all seems "simple", the car slows to a stop. But a vehicle with a lump of unresponsive meat in the seat is not normal. How will they react if they wake while you're in front, trying to be a Welsh Collie? It's not the only unknown.

      So I expect they were "not putting themselves at unnecessary risk". Perhaps if public harm was imminent they would've taken different action.

      Now, getting a forward unit to deploy a stinger? As a wake-up call, that I'd pay to see!

  21. rcxb Silver badge
    Holmes

    Under the influence

    the driver showed signs of being under the influence of an unspecified substance.

    How very fortunate that he wasn't driving a vehicle. He would have been a real danger to the public.

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