Tesla Autopilot Stirs US Alarm as ‘Disaster Waiting to Happen’

By Craig Trudell and Keith Laing | April 20, 2022

  • April 20, 2022 at 10:55 am
    Baggins, D. says:
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    We need legislative action on this, and needed it yesterday. Any company that releases unfinished/buggy self-driving software for use on public highways should be liable for any injuries that result. The C-suite and anyone else who approved public distribution of beta self-driving software should also be personally liable, along with the software engineers themselves. If the company charged its customers for the privilege of using said unfinished software, it should also face statutory damages of $25,000,0000 minimum per incident. What a menace.

    Imagine if we let companies that make surgical robots or air traffic control software or half a million other dangerous instrumentalities take this same tack… “Here’s what we have so far. It might malfunction at any time and kill someone, but you can and should use it though! Plus, we need the data we capture from you using the prototype to help us finish the work.” .

  • April 20, 2022 at 8:58 pm
    Bill B says:
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    This article and many others do a great disservice to the topic by conflating two entirely different products. Autopilot and FSD are two different products. Neither claims to be able to currently drive without user supervision. This may not be clear in casual conversation but any Tesla owner would need to ignore MANY written and systemic warnings making it clear that the driver is 100% responsible for controlling the vehicle at all times. We will get back to FSD later but first..

    The “Autopilot” feature in a Tesla is essentially an adaptive cruise control combined with a few other modern safety features commonly available on many newer cars. I drive a 2019 Mazda CX5 with most of these features. It’s great and FAR safer to drive than a car without adaptive cruise control but I still have to watch the road.

    If I was driving under cruise control and plowed into an emergency vehicle like the Tesla it wouldn’t make the national news. Autopilot is no different. It has better lane keeping than my Mazda and will manage a lane change for you automatically if you put your signal on. Other than that AUTOPILOT is the same as my Mazda. The driver drives it and is responsible for watching for obstacles in the road.

    Both my Mazda and any Tesla are far safer with these features than any car without them when used by a non-fool.

    Originally airplane autopilots merely kept a plane on a straight course and altitude between take-off and landing. Nobody would blame the autopilot if the plane crashed during landing. It was not designed for that. That would be on the pilot. same with the driver on autopilot.

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