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"We learned yesterday evening that NHTSA is opening a preliminary evaluation into the performance of Autopilot during a recent fatal crash that occurred in a Model S. "

https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tragic-loss

This is another event where the forward collision detection can't 'see' above the hood of the car. The collision with the side of a semi-trailer impacted the windshield killing the driver.
 

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After reading link, combined with my recent 1400 mile (mostly autopilot) trip in my new Model X, I have the following observations:

- this is one case where taller is better. I have to believe that X would have had greater ability to sense and save driver than S

- my own use of autopilot might have given me GREATER ability to see obstacle crossing in front of me. As autopilot relies heavily on good paint on pavement, your field of observation happens to look farther out to ensure autopilot will not be misled. I had one case where the autopilot crapped out and required immediate takeover- where there was no paint on a bridge I crossed. I also learned to be wary of exits on curves. For those who think autopilot gives the ability to ignore your surroundings, they would be wrong.

I can draw no conclusions. We have all had close calls and we have all been blinded by the sun. However, it would definitely be premature to assume that autopilot bore significant responsibility with respect to the described incident.
 

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Tesla jumped the gun to be the first with autopilot, but this could likely result in loads of regulations if they determine the autopilot at fault.

As I have said previously, you can't release a beta safety critcal product and try to waive liability with a form. Even if the driver of the tractor trailer was at fault, it could cause a legislation backlash. Even though I hold the view people are responsible for their own actions, the media might not think so.
 

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At the least I suspect that vehicles with autopilot will initially see higher rather than lower insurance rates.

KNS
 

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I'm sort of surprised it took so long. Tesla apparently already understands and can explain why it happened. From one perspective that's good news, but SOMEBODY DIED.

I've felt for some time that autopilot or whatever you want to call it isn't ready and there will be problems. Some issues will come from users just not taking into account the system's limitations regardless of what the manufacturer tells them. Maybe the major automotive companies understand that better than the newbies.
 

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Tesla jumped the gun to be the first with autopilot, but this could likely result in loads of regulations if they determine the autopilot at fault.

As I have said previously, you can't release a beta safety critcal product and try to waive liability with a form. Even if the driver of the tractor trailer was at fault, it could cause a legislation backlash. Even though I hold the view people are responsible for their own actions, the media might not think so.
From what I've read so far it could easily be argued that the system was at least partly responsible for the accident. The radar "ignored" the semi-trailer because it looked enough like an overhead road sign. That excuse I think would be unlikely to fly if a human used it.
 

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The forward detetion should had been higher, even at roof level. The self-driving cars being tested by Ford and Uber use LIDARs mounted on the roof of the test Fusions. They do detect such items and even humans.
 

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Re: negative comments above, specifically insurance-

In the realm of insurance, statistics matter greatly. Don't forget air bags being pushed by insurance companies. If, as pointed out in article, statistics show that there are fewer fatalities with autopilot, quite the contrary to above statement, insurance companies will PUSH for this type of technology in cars...not charge higher premium for it.

Vehicles turning in front of other vehicles cause fatalities all the time. Since Tesla is able to show no driver braking, it will be hard to conclude much of anything. There is a 'dead man' mechanism that requires acknowledgement every few minutes, so you simply can't fall asleep behind the wheel, without the car coming to a complete stop (with hazard lights flashing).

...as I said in thread a couple days ago, I am seeing need for greater objectivity amongst Volt owners. Until you have driven with auto pilot...and see that it reduces driver fatigue, as I have experienced, you really can't draw any conclusions.
 

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Re: negative comments above, specifically insurance-

In the realm of insurance, statistics matter greatly. Don't forget air bags being pushed by insurance companies. If, as pointed out in article, statistics show that there are fewer fatalities with autopilot, quite the contrary to above statement, insurance companies will PUSH for this type of technology in cars...not charge higher premium for it.

Vehicles turning in front of other vehicles cause fatalities all the time. Since Tesla is able to show no driver braking, it will be hard to conclude much of anything. There is a 'dead man' mechanism that requires acknowledgement every few minutes, so you simply can't fall asleep behind the wheel, without the car coming to a complete stop (with hazard lights flashing).

...as I said in thread a couple days ago, I am seeing need for greater objectivity amongst Volt owners. Until you have driven with auto pilot...and see that it reduces driver fatigue, as I have experienced, you really can't draw any conclusions.
Funny thing though if the Bolt offered autopilot it would be revolutionary. Plus there are others out there with autopilots that don't even come close to what the Tesla can do.

It has been proven again and again that the autopilot can save lives as I am sure it has already done but those don't make headlines. The fact the driver wasn't paying attention to a large truck turning in front of him is what caused this because I have yet to see anyone think the autopilot is ready for autonomous driving.
 

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Wow. Can you just feel a little bit of empathy for this person's family rather than jumping on the "Defend Tesla At All Costs" bandwagon? You're as bad as the people who clamor to ban all ******s after a terrorist attack or those who ask to ban all guns after a crazy person/criminal shoots people.

Someone died. And others lost someone important in their lives. We can sort out blame (and defend the mothership) later.
 

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Very sorry that someone died. Thoughts to the family, loved ones, and business associates.

My comment is that Model S owners love their cars to death. Not trying to be sarcastic, just an observation. It's really been something of an exercise in self delusion. On one hand Tesla has hyped what is obviously not a completely finished feature as being safer than a human driver. On the other hand Model S owners have willingly drunk the Kool-Aid and deluded themselves into thinking it was a complete product. The result seems depressingly unexpected.

This is more on Tesla than on the available technology. How many miles have been driven with various forms of adaptive cruise control and how many fatalities have we had? Seems like ACC from other manufacturers works well. I find it very hard to believe that ACC systems on the vehicles I've owned would not have detected the tractor trailer. Seems like a failure of the Tesla system, which was apparent when the Model S in summon mode ran into the back of a tractor trailer. Obviously looking at the ground is not sufficient.

Almost guarantees we'll see more regulation in this area. I've been surprised about the lack of testing and I suspect this will usher in new scrutiny, which won't necessarily be a bad thing.
 

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Wow. Can you just feel a little bit of empathy for this person's family rather than jumping on the "Defend Tesla At All Costs" bandwagon? You're as bad as the people who clamor to ban all ******s after a terrorist attack or those who ask to ban all guns after a crazy person/criminal shoots people.

Someone died. And others lost someone important in their lives. We can sort out blame (and defend the mothership) later.
3,287 people die in an car accident everyday. This is sad as to all the families that lose loved ones. The fact that you and DonC along with the normal Tesla haters seem to almost delight in this accident because it somehow will give you more ammo to sling mud at them is what is really lacking in empathy.

Just look at the previous post as before any real facts come out DonC has already ruled exactly what had happened and why it was Tesla fault.
 

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Very sorry that someone died. Thoughts to the family, loved ones, and business associates.

My comment is that Model S owners love their cars to death. Not trying to be sarcastic, just an observation. It's really been something of an exercise in self delusion. On one hand Tesla has hyped what is obviously not a completely finished feature as being safer than a human driver. On the other hand Model S owners have willingly drunk the Kool-Aid and deluded themselves into thinking it was a complete product. The result seems depressingly unexpected.

This is more on Tesla than on the available technology. How many miles have been driven with various forms of adaptive cruise control and how many fatalities have we had? Seems like ACC from other manufacturers works well. I find it very hard to believe that ACC systems on the vehicles I've owned would not have detected the tractor trailer. Seems like a failure of the Tesla system, which was apparent when the Model S in summon mode ran into the back of a tractor trailer. Obviously looking at the ground is not sufficient.

Almost guarantees we'll see more regulation in this area. I've been surprised about the lack of testing and I suspect this will usher in new scrutiny, which won't necessarily be a bad thing.
I guess we can compare this to the battery fires when the Volt was first introduced. Even though we know that EV are safer than traveling with a bunch of highly volatile fuel around in a liquid form that will spill all over everything in an accident. Still the one battery fire made national headlines making all those who don't like EV go on forums and spew moronic BS saying how they will never own an EV because they don't want to get burned to death.

This was early in the EV adoption and most people were afraid of the change. Now that EV are getting more common and fires are not breaking out in every garage or fender bender the misunderstanding has subsided and we can move forward with EV without the irrational fear of getter all burnt up.

Shame on you for jumping the gun and adding to this misinformation about the Tesla. You just like those who had no experience in EV would tell us how unsafe they are. Are now telling us how unsafe the Autopilot is when you have no experience with it and are ignoring the vast majority of the studies that have shown that Autopilots save lives a hell of a lot more than taking them.

I know your Tesla hate runs deep as any negative news about Tesla you seem to be more than happy to rub it in. But as Ladogaboy said a person died in this and it is sad to see how fast you can kick Tesla without any facts and while ignoring the studies that show an Autopilot system with a driver behind it is much safer than just the driver alone.
 

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What a senseless and tragic loss of life, condolences to his family and friends.
 

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If the tech failed then Tesla needs to disable it across the board until they prove it cannot fail under the same scenario again. Accident statistics don't matter here, what matters is that a company is basically using volunteers as guinea pigs and they lost the bet.

Kind of like the old saying, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Meaning one wreck under these conditions Tesla can probably work it out, get another like it soon that is similar and they won't be able to weasel word their way around it
 

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This crash occurred on May 7 and we're just hearing about it now because of NHTSA. In the meantime Tesla continues to tout the safety benefits of Autopilot, even in the very blog post where they announce this tragic death.

Elon tweeted a video of this same driver being "saved" by Autopilot just two weeks after it was posted to YouTube in early April. But he dies in an accident involving Autopilot and we don't find out until 8 weeks later. That original video was still generating comments about the wonders of Autopilot, after he had been killed.
 

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Funny thing though if the Bolt offered autopilot it would be revolutionary. Plus there are others out there with autopilots that don't even come close to what the Tesla can do.

It has been proven again and again that the autopilot can save lives as I am sure it has already done but those don't make headlines. The fact the driver wasn't paying attention to a large truck turning in front of him is what caused this because I have yet to see anyone think the autopilot is ready for autonomous driving.
Auto pilot is coming everywhere. And there is certainly going to be risks as no system is perfect. Auto pilot certainly has the potential to make driving safer. However Tesla's using it's customers as beta testers simply to be first and show that they are apparently technologically advanced somehow. That is certainly okay to do with some systems. But for a system like auto pilot it's a little risky. If you look at GM they are running small controlled fleets of cars to test autopilot before introducing to the public. Not to mention phasing in technology like adaptive cruise control. GM is taking several steps to demonstrate due diligence. Because this will be a lightning rod for litigation.

How many controlled fleets did Tesla run before introducing this to the public? Will a court of law see that Tesla did due diligence in testing this system before introducing to the public?

I guess we can compare this to the battery fires when the Volt was first introduced. Even though we know that EV are safer than traveling with a bunch of highly volatile fuel around in a liquid form that will spill all over everything in an accident. Still the one battery fire made national headlines making all those who don't like EV go on forums and spew moronic BS saying how they will never own an EV because they don't want to get burned to death.
Battery fires? What battery fires?
To my knowledge there was only one fire and it happened in a storage lot two weeks after a very severe case simulated crash on a test vehicle.

You might want to get off your high horse. Because making stuff up to attack GM and Volt owners isn't going to help your credibility here.

I'm a fan of Tesla. I criticise Tesla because I want them to do better and succeed. And what you are doing here is a disservice to Tesla.
 

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But he dies in an accident involving Autopilot and we don't find out until 8 weeks later. That original video was still generating comments about the wonders of Autopilot, after he had been killed.
Tesla reported the accident promptly, my guess is NHTSA (nitsa) decided to make it public now after collecting more information or something?

The driver of the truck implies the Tesla was speeding and watching a movie, but I suppose this one will go to court.

http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2016/07/01/tesla-driver-harry-potter-crash/86596856/
 

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Tesla reported the accident promptly, my guess is NHTSA (nitsa) decided to make it public now after collecting more information or something?
It wasn't reported publicly. Unless I missed it, there has been no mention of any fatal accidents while Autopilot was engaged, and I think Tesla has been content to allow people to assume there hadn't been any.
 

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I guess we can compare this to the battery fires when the Volt was first introduced.

Shame on you for jumping the gun and adding to this misinformation about the Tesla. You just like those who had no experience in EV would tell us how unsafe they are. Are now telling us how unsafe the Autopilot is when you have no experience with it and are ignoring the vast majority of the studies that have shown that Autopilots save lives a hell of a lot more than taking them.

I know your Tesla hate runs deep as any negative news about Tesla you seem to be more than happy to rub it in. But as Ladogaboy said a person died in this and it is sad to see how fast you can kick Tesla without any facts and while ignoring the studies that show an Autopilot system with a driver behind it is much safer than just the driver alone.
I can't see any similarities to fires. If you can then you might want to share that.

On Tesla's marketing, you've missed the point, which I've made before. That point is that in order to create a narrative that its technology is more advanced, Tesla has marketed its autonomous product as being far more complete than it is. Many other auto manufacturers have autonomous technology as good or better than Tesla's. The difference is that they haven't rushed it out in an unfinished state. (One Volvo engineer has observed that AutoPilot is designed to appear twice as advanced as it is.) The problem of course is that when you market it as being safer than a human driver, some customers will actually believe you and, thinking they have a safety net, will drive less attentively and less carefully than they otherwise might. That's not a good thing.

The established car companies have been very responsible about rolling out autonomous products. Unfortunately I think we'll see more government regulation to rein in those who might not be so responsible.

FWIW I see very little connection between EVs and autonomy. Completely separate technologies. One can easily exist without the other.
 
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