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Autopilot and Speeding

In a true autonomous car, like the little Google toy car thing, that would be true. In the case of Tesla, they are very clear that the driver IS in control at all times, whether the autopilot is on or off.

I'm a pilot, and if I bust a speed limit or an altitude restriction, no one cares if the autopilot was on or off, or if it malfunctioned. If it malfunctioned, I might argue that it wasn't my fault, but I would lose. That's true even in situations where autopilot use is mandated.

Interesting point but I would argue the difference is that with autonomous driving, the car, not the driver, is in control. It accepted the override to speed and continued onward. It is relying on the programming and features built by the manufacturer and therefore moves responsibility to the Manufacturer. While the current capabilities introduced this week are far from bleeding edge, Elon's desire to lead will likely put Tesla in the forefront and will therefore have to deal with this issue. Clearly this will play out in the courts once something unfortunate happens.
 

JohnQ

Active Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,612
76
Redding, CT
There's an interesting event in Ontario where a man got a speeding ticket for driving 17 km/h over the limit. He asked the judge whether there was an acceptable speed above the speed limit and the judge said even 1 km/h over the speed limit is illegal. In protest, he and a friend drove at exactly the speed limit across both lanes of the 401, backing up traffic for >4km. He and his friend were promptly ticketed for obstructing traffic and their licenses were suspended. This was back in 2002.

Do we really think that every car should travel at exactly the artificially low speed limit set on certain highways? I'm the "pilot in command" of my vehicle. If I choose to drive faster than permitted, even with autopilot, then I am responsible. Period. I can't imagine a judge would rule differently given @deonb's point about my car being able to far exceed any existing speed limit in the US.
 
Come on people - this is the US legal system we are talking about. I fully agree with each of you and I too am willing to take accountability for my actions. I have two boats with autopilot. Doesn't mean I leave the helm while underway.

However, people here sue when their coffee is too hot and it spills on them or when they trip and fall while breaking into someone's home. Idiots unwilling to take responsibility for their own stupidity ruin it for the rest of us.

Question regarding the two guys in Canada. If they were traveling the speed limit, how were they obstructing traffic since no one would have been able to legally pass them?
 

JohnQ

Active Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,612
76
Redding, CT
Yes, yes, people will sue. It doesn't mean they will win. Cars have been capable of driving faster than the speed limit for quite some time. Just because there's autopilot (which is really just cruise control with the car knowing the speed limit) doesn't mean that years of legal precedence will be thrown out the window. My car can already know the speed limit based on the nav database. Can you imagine the lawsuit if my car was always limited to the speed limit and it prevented my from completing an emergency maneuver that would have gotten me out of trouble?
 

green1

Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
4,548
1,495
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Question regarding the two guys in Canada. If they were traveling the speed limit, how were they obstructing traffic since no one would have been able to legally pass them?
And that's the fun part. by driving side by side at the speed limit they prevented anyone else from breaking the law and passing them, and yet somehow that too is illegal, not because they were driving too slowly (you can't get a ticket for that unless the road is signed with a minimum speed and you're below it) but because they weren't letting other people pass who wanted to...

The laws don't necessarily make sense. Honestly if it were up to me there'd only be one illegal action for drivers, "unsafe driving". If you're in control of your vehicle, and you aren't affecting anyone else, I don't see any reason to ticket you. I don't care if you are driving 15 or 150, as long as you don't affect anyone else and maintain control.
Unfortunately "unsafe" is too subjective, and they love things that are black and white, hence speed limits, distracted driving laws, etc. Not because it's the better way, but because it's the easy way.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,208
25,870
Texas
And that's the fun part. by driving side by side at the speed limit they prevented anyone else from breaking the law and passing them, and yet somehow that too is illegal, not because they were driving too slowly (you can't get a ticket for that unless the road is signed with a minimum speed and you're below it) but because they weren't letting other people pass who wanted to...

The laws don't necessarily make sense. Honestly if it were up to me there'd only be one illegal action for drivers, "unsafe driving". If you're in control of your vehicle, and you aren't affecting anyone else, I don't see any reason to ticket you. I don't care if you are driving 15 or 150, as long as you don't affect anyone else and maintain control.
Unfortunately "unsafe" is too subjective, and they love things that are black and white, hence speed limits, distracted driving laws, etc. Not because it's the better way, but because it's the easy way.

With that kind of law every time there was an accident both drivers would get an unsafe driving ticket (unless one car was clearly stopped at a traffic light or something similar and became collateral damage) because safe driving implies no accidents. There wouldn't be any "hey, you'd better watch it" tickets to curb behaviour.

As for the current speed limits, I observe that some are too low, some are too high, and some it's not possible to determine because I don't know what's just outside of my vision.
 
That used to be the law in Montana, until a few years ago. Then, someone was ticketed and went to court and argued that law was too vague, and won... so they were forced to put in a 75mph speed limit to avoid the "too vague" argument.

The laws don't necessarily make sense. Honestly if it were up to me there'd only be one illegal action for drivers, "unsafe driving". If you're in control of your vehicle, and you aren't affecting anyone else, I don't see any reason to ticket you. I don't care if you are driving 15 or 150, as long as you don't affect anyone else and maintain control.
Unfortunately "unsafe" is too subjective, and they love things that are black and white, hence speed limits, distracted driving laws, etc. Not because it's the better way, but because it's the easy way.
 

gsxdsm

Member
Aug 31, 2015
712
515
CA
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2015/12/16/tesla-to-limit-self-driving-functions.html

"The update will only allow the system and its Autosteer feature to engage when the Model S is traveling below the posted speed limit. Cruise control will still operate at any speed."

Both that article and its source (Teslarati) are interpreting things incorrectly. They are seeing the auto pilot speed restrictions for certain roads as a global rule. This isn't the case. For non highway roads it looks like auto steer won't enable above 45 mph. For highway roads it will enable at any speed. It has nothing to do with the posted speed limit on the road you are on
 
I do not know about the US, but here in the Netherlands the speed limit the Tesla thinks to see is wrong over 75% of the duration my trips. For instance it does not at all interpret signs like '07-19h' or 'when wet'. And it keeps picking up speeds signs applying to the exit and not to the main highway, or for the parallel road next to the highway. Nor does it pick up the overhead speed limitations if they do not have a red circle. Nor does it pick up the small-size max speed indicators on the road number signs. Nor does it understand the meaning of a green line on a motorway, which communicates the legal maximum speed.
So any automation based on the speed limit as the Tesla sees it is totally not realistic at all with current SW that does not understand European road signs very well.
 

green1

Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
4,548
1,495
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I do not know about the US, but here in the Netherlands the speed limit the Tesla thinks to see is wrong over 75% of the duration my trips. For instance it does not at all interpret signs like '07-19h' or 'when wet'. And it keeps picking up speeds signs applying to the exit and not to the main highway, or for the parallel road next to the highway. Nor does it pick up the overhead speed limitations if they do not have a red circle. Nor does it pick up the small-size max speed indicators on the road number signs. Nor does it understand the meaning of a green line on a motorway, which communicates the legal maximum speed.
So any automation based on the speed limit as the Tesla sees it is totally not realistic at all with current SW that does not understand European road signs very well.
Our speed limit signs are much simpler, they all look the same, but the car still misses about 50% of the time.
 

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