Slow Down Edition

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July 8, 2016


Slow Down Edition


Slow Down Edition


I’ve said it before, but in light of recent developments, I’ll say it again. Slow down with the autonomous drive tech already. 

Tesla and its Autopilot program is under NHTSA scrutiny for a second crash that might involve the autonomous drive program:

Tesla’s system is already under investigation for a fatality accident on May 7th in which a Model S’s Autopilot system failed to see the white side of a tractor trailer which had turned in front of the vehicle. As a result, the car maintained its speed and crashed into the tractor trailer killing the driver. (On a side note, Tesla found it important to point out that the driver was very pro-Tesla. But also: if the fatal crash occurred on May 7th, how come we found out about it around June 30/July 1st? Curious.)  The newest investigation is the result of a July 1st collision involving a Model X on the Pennsylvania turnpike.

The driver said he had Autopilot engaged before the crash, Tesla says no crash report was sent to Tesla HQ to confirm that. I am not saying Tesla’s tech is at fault as we have no real facts other than that you can read in the article.

What I am saying is that as NHTSA is preparing to issue guidance on self-driver safety, and the auto industry and our government is preparing to dump billions of dollars into research and expedite this great and wonderful, safe technology maybe we should slow down, just a bit.

Sure, Tesla points out that the one fatal crash in 130 million miles is an anomaly. But isn’t it just a little ironic that a technology—as a whole, not just Tesla’s—that is meant to prevent traffic fatalities caused one? In clear weather conditions, during the daylight.

I shudder to think what would happen to any vehicle put on the road in adverse weather conditions. How will sensors react to white out conditions? Or a sudden downpour? Or dense fog?

Maybe I am being a Luddite here, but I just feel that we are moving this along much too fast without the right questions being asked, the right scenarios being practiced and anticipated for and it may do more harm than good.  I guess the flipside is these bugs, anomalies, what have you are being discovered now and not when thousands of self-driving vehicles are on the road, right?

But what do you think?

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Final Thought:

Thievery has evolved with the times it seems  You can watch the video of thieves in Houston, Texas break into a car with a laptop.

Interestingly, enough, Houston police think that more cars have been stolen this way.

I’m so glad that cars aren’t vulnerable to being hacked or stolen via laptop like the auto manufacturers and “experts” said.

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Love Your Car! See you next week!

–Lauren Fix

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