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AutoPilot - note to drivers and Consumer Reports

Discussion in 'Model X' started by xkwizit, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. ToddS

    ToddS Member

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    Seems to me that the speed limits on rural roads need to be adjusted to flow of traffic rates. This is something you can do something about. I'm not foolish enough to think it will happen easily. But that would solve a lot of these issues. It's either that or greater law enforcement (the age old response to regulations).
     
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  2. EinSV

    EinSV Active Member

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    #142 EinSV, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
    Yes, we can agree to disagree. I stand by my position that CR's shrill press release in July insisting that Tesla "disable hands-free operation until its system can be made safer" Tesla's Autopilot: Too Much Autonomy Too Soon, its prominent role in whipping up a media frenzy and fear about Autopilot, and its continued use of a "black box" warning against the use of Tesla's "Beta" Autopilot are a black eye to CR's reputation as a consumer watchdog.

    If Consumer Reports had had its way, consumers would not have a "better product," we would have had no product at all, despite Tesla owners' unanimous disagreement with CR's recommendation that Autopilot be disabled. Poll: To disable Autopilot or not?

    CR is supposed to advocate for consumers -- its insistence that this very popular and potentially life-saving feature be taken away from consumers was not only unscientific and wrong-headed, but contrary to its mission.

    Finally, Tesla's Autopilot team, not CR, is who I give credit for continuing to improve Autopilot. And they will continue to do so despite CR's misguided and ongoing objection to Tesla's whole approach of releasing "Beta" software that can be further improved through fleet learning.

    So yes, we can agree to disagree. I stand by my position that CR should retract its warnings on the use of "Beta" Autopilot features, and that it owes Tesla and Tesla owners an apology for publicly insisting that Tesla "disable Autopilot," which is not only a wonderful convenience for owners but an important safety feature.
     
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  3. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Yet everything identified by Consumer Reports with the exception of renaming AutoPilot was enthusiastically endorsed and quickly implemented by Tesla several weeks after publication. If there ever was proof of the value a free press, particularly one with such a long and storied history of consumer protection as CR, this is it. I also credit Tesla for recognizing that they had work to do here and getting it done expeditiously.
    As a side note, many of us were convinced enough by CR's 2014/2015 "Tesla best car ever" reviews to buy our cars which, at least for me, has proven so far to be a great decision. Thank you CR and thank you Tesla!
     
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  4. EinSV

    EinSV Active Member

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    This is not correct. Tesla (and the NHTSA) followed essentially none of CR's advice, at least not to CR's satisfaction:
    • CR insisted that Autopilot be disabled. Tesla said no.
    • CR insisted on time-consuming and cumbersome "expert, independent third-party testing and certification" before self-driving features would be allowed on the road. Not followed.
    • CR objected and continues to object to any release of "beta" features. Rejected.
    • CR objected and continues to object to the use of the name "Autopilot." Tesla said no.
    Tesla's Autopilot: Too Much Autonomy Too Soon

    And even though Tesla added nags (most likely to placate the regulators, not CR), Consumer Reports is still complaining and insisting that the nags must be more frequent (how many owners think that's a good idea??).

    And most problematically, instead of encouraging use of this safety feature, CR still has a "black box" warning consumers that it "still has real concerns" regarding Autopilot because of these issues:

    "Someone can drive hands-free for about a minute and even longer on highways. The system still is called Autopilot. It also remains a beta release, a term used in the technology world when essentially unfinished software is rolled out to the public."
    Tesla’s New Autopilot: Better But Still Needs Improvement

    So we will have to agree to disagree. I do not think CR has played a constructive role in this process. Quite the opposite. Instead of calmly educating the public and working in the interests of consumers, it has helped whip up a media frenzy with unscientific fearmongering about self-driving technology. And if it had its way, CR would have put up roadblocks to adoption of technology that already is reducing accidents and has the potential to save many lives.

    Thankfully, Tesla and the NHTSA ignored most of CR's recommendations, and kept Autopilot in the hands of consumers, who can continue to enjoy its convenience and safety benefits.
     
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  5. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    @msnow - CR essentially asked Tesla to disable autopilot and perform only lab testing. I am so glad Tesla rejected that recommendation. And NHTSA proved Tesla was correct in their decision.

    The article CR published last summer was nowhere close to being balanced, or designed to protect the consumer. It was clearly written to improve their click ratings and generate buzz for a failing publication. They have lost any credibility they had by repeatedly publishing articles without fact checking and/or twisting facts to meet their objectives.
     
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  6. vandacca

    vandacca ReActive Member

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    I find it amusing/ironic that you quote an unscientific and statistically irrelevant poll (To disable Autopilot or not?), and in the next paragraph you accuse CR of being unscientific. :) I actually LOLed.

    BTW, I agree that CR was being unscientific and succumbed to click-bait tactics. Just felt like pointing out the irony in that post. :D
     
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  7. EinSV

    EinSV Active Member

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    I would normally agree with you that on-line polls should be taken with a very large grain of salt. But I don't think a unanimous online poll of owners and reservation holders -- with 189 votes opposed to CR's position, zero in favor, and 3 undecided -- can or should be dismissed so easily.

    But glad I provided a laugh -- hopefully you weren't drinking coffee at the time ;)
     
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  8. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    @EinSV and @xkwizit - let's start with the facts rather than your shortened and incomplete bullet points that leave out what was actually written and said. Let's also leave out the hyperbole. It's really not needed if you have the facts.

    CR did not "insist" that Autopilot be disabled. Here's what they actually said
    "Disable the Autosteer feature of Autopilot until the company requires that drivers keep their hands on the wheel. Autosteer allows the car to steer itself with minimal input from the driver." Tesla added nags and other timing software to address this - recommendation followed.

    CR did not "insist" "essentially" or otherwise on "time-consuming and cumbersome" testing. Here's what they actually said
    "Test all safety-critical systems before public deployment; no more beta releases." Elon, in an interview right after the CR comment and after the NHTSA got involved said (I'm paraphrasing)...we are working with the NHTSA to improve our testing processes before releasing the software to our customers... Elon also explained after that comment, that by calling AP "beta" he was trying to bring attention to the fact that people shouldn't put their full and complete confidence in the software. Elon further hired a new AP team including new management and increased the EAP group from 700 to 1000 users. Parenthetically, new hardware was deployed to all new cars a couple of months ago - recommendation followed.

    CR did object to the name "Autopilot" and that was not agreed to or followed. - we agree on this one item.

    You both failed to mention the fourth recommendation which was:

    "Issue clear guidance on how to use the system and its limitations." Tesla revised both their click through acceptance screens in the car and updated the Owner's Manual to accomplish this. - recommendation followed.

    I'm sure you have some motive behind this narrative you are presenting (dislike of CR or any negative media, worry about shorts, whatever it is) but let's at least get the facts and quotes right. ;)

    In the end between the press and the regulators we got a better product. You should be rejoicing in that rather than slamming the sources of improvements.

     
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  9. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    lol here too. I didn't even mention the poll because it was absurd to quote a poll of Tesla enthusiasts with less than 200 votes out of what 200,000 cars? Really @EinSV - spinning and hype is one thing but worthless polls? Please. Really would like to understand your agenda on this particular issue because as I recall we normally agree on most postings.
     
  10. EinSV

    EinSV Active Member

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    I find it odd that you would dismiss as "spin" and "hype" the unanimous opinion of 189 TMC members who identified themselves as Tesla owners and reservationists.

    I find it even more odd that CR seems to ignore the opinions of Tesla owners, who have a great deal of knowledge and experience with the vehicles.

    And I have no axe to grind with CR -- for many years I was a subscriber. I am very disappointed in their approach to this issue, which I think was more about "hype" and getting media attention to promote their magazine than protecting consumers. Obviously, you are a big CR fan, which is your prerogative. I used to be, so I get that.
     
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  11. EinSV

    EinSV Active Member

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    #151 EinSV, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
    You are ignoring much of what was and is on CR's website, all of which was outlined/quoted in my earlier posts.

    • CR insisted that AP be disabled not only until Tesla ensured hand on wheel, but until it completed time consuming, "expert, independent third-party testing and certification."
    • CR objected and continues to object to any release of "beta" features. For example, CR complains that AP "remains a beta release, a term used in the technology world when essentially unfinished software is rolled out to the public." Thankfully, Tesla has not succumbed to CR's insistence on a "perfect is the enemy of the good" approach.
    • CR is still objecting and complaining that the nags are not frequent enough: "Someone can drive hands-free for about a minute and even longer on highways." Great, just what we need -- more nags!
    • CR still has a "black box" warning to consumers that it "still has real concerns" regarding Autopilot because of these issues, instead of providing even-handed information and encouraging use of this new technology.
    Tesla's Autopilot: Too Much Autonomy Too Soon
    Tesla’s New Autopilot: Better But Still Needs Improvement

    You are entitled to your opinion, but I personally am thankful that Tesla continues to follow its approach of releasing features in "beta," and am delighted that it declined CR's insistence on disabling Autopilot until it could be validated by "expert, independent third-party testing and certification."

    And I am especially happy that Tesla has declined CR's invitation for more frequent nags. Perhaps you disagree, but I don't need a poll to tell me that most Tesla owners agree with me on that one.

    Finally, feel free to continue to engage in personal attacks if you like -- I will continue to express my opinion.
     
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  12. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    @msnow - not sure what the personal reasons for your unconditional support to CR are, but to respond to your accusations of my interest in Tesla for "shorts", please pay attention to the disclaimer at the bottom of my original post.
     
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  13. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    The poll is entirely unreliable. Unanimous or not, it suffers from an extremely strong variety of selection bias (TMC selects for a certain type of user, poll selects for a certain type of responder) among other problems. Leaning on it at all is not supportive. That's not to say there aren't cases to be made, just that this is not evidence in support of a case.
     
  14. vandacca

    vandacca ReActive Member

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    You would probably get the same results if you attended a AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting and asked how many were alcoholics. :) It would be wrong to extrapolate that everyone in America is an alcoholic (at least prior to today's inauguration).

    This Tesla forum is hardly a good sampling of the population and of course you'll get a pro-Tesla bias here. But I understood and agreed with the concept of your post.

    Sorry to momentarily derail this thread. Now back to the discussion (...slowly reaches for the popcorn...)
     
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  15. EinSV

    EinSV Active Member

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    #155 EinSV, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
    No question there is selection bias of various types, but in my experience, people on TMC are not exactly shy about criticism and safety concerns.;)

    Whatever you make of the poll itself, I stand by my position that Consumer Reports' advocacy of disabling Autopilot was contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of Tesla owners, for reasons so eloquently expressed in @xkwizit's original post.
     
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  16. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    First of all, there's no "personal attacks" nor was any implied. If you perceived there was I apologize, it was unintended. Opinions are fine as long as they are not represented as facts.
    Second, by restating your same interpretation of CR's comments two, three and now four times (but not quoting them as I did) you are not adding anything new so I can only assume you are conceding that facts win. That's a start, thank you.
    Finally, so you think CR's motive was to make money through new subs by writing incendiary comments about a company they have RAVED about for years? Sounds like a reach but then you'll have to say the same thing about the New York Times, L.A. Times, Fortune, Road & Track, AP, and dozens upon dozens of other media/news outlets that published similar, somewhat critical reports, of the same exact thing. Aren't we all getting tired of the "biased media" argument? I know I am. Sunlight is the best disinfectant and the proof is these same media outlets are publishing the NHTSA report with just as much enthusiasm as they did the fatal crash and negative AP news and, most importantly, AP is safer and better now than before. Thank you media, thank you NHTSA, but most of all thank you Tesla for listening!
     
  17. EinSV

    EinSV Active Member

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    #157 EinSV, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
    @msnow -- thanks, I appreciate a good discussion. I don't agree with your characterization of my posts, but am comfortable having my posts (quotes and all) speak for themselves.

    In terms of CR's objectivity -- I do look forward to hearing from CR now that it has the NHTSA's report.
     
  18. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Me too and if I'm right about them they will present the complete picture.
     
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  19. EVie'sDad

    EVie'sDad Member

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    I wonder why nobody has requested that we should have access to the data, what percentage of the time am I manually driving my Tesla versus what percentage of the time am I using Auto-Steering?

    Also if Tesla Motors were to publish data monthly about how many miles/hours of driving are done under each mode and what percentage of accidents are occurring in each mode. This would go a long way in helping to curb any public anxiety towards more semi-autonomous driving technology.
     
  20. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    I was at the Tesla 'D' Event and I was floored by a very limited demonstration of Autopilot. It has advanced considerably beyond that since then. I am not convinced that the 'improvements' you attributed to Consumer Reports' criticisms of Autopilot would not have happened anyway.

    As others have pointed out time and again, the name 'Autopilot' is entirely appropriate as compared to what the system actually does. That people don't bother to read the instructions, or even read a dictionary definition of the term, has nothing to do with the name being precisely correct -- no matter their 'perception'.

    As has I'm sure already been noted in this conversation, it is similar to those who thought cruise control would operate a motor home on its own while they went in the back to fetch a cup of coffee. No. It doesn't do that. But people tried anyway. With disastrous results, that were somehow allowed to be blamed on the technology, instead of the foolish operators.

    Well, now Autopilot, if it existed in a motor home, could actually do that -- steer the vehicle with lane keeping while you grab a coffee... But honestly, I'd just make sure I had a full mug, and a full thermos within arms reach before I left my last stop and stay in my [DURNED] seat. I do have a handful of I.Q. points to rub together though...
     
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