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Autopilot saved our lives

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Basic Autopilot

In a rush, I left my electric razor and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine at home. In a world of disposables, the razor was easily fixed (Barbasol still tastes crappy) but a CPAP is not an off the shelf item. Used to treat sleep apnea, it ensures my sleep is not interrupted by short airway blockages. Then my wife spent seven days in the hospital.

Easily confused by strangers, my presence anchors her in a safer reality to avoid more aggressive restraints. But her 24 hour care requires my sleeping in that abomination called a 'reclining chair.' It has two positions, seat parallel to floor or raised ~20 degree back. There is an extendable leg lift but the 90 degree, seat-to-back angle is fixed. Reclined, it is like sleeping in a bucket with the legs and knees above the rim. To mitigate, I filled the seat-to-back hole with spare sheets, blankets, and a pillow filler so I can 'cat nap' and be available to help the staff. My wife was discharged after IV antibiotics reduced the hand swelling and pain. So I took a nap at my Mom's home, packed the car, and we were off to home in Huntsville.

'Micro sleep' is a thing that my narcoleptic wife (and late aunt) suffered. Involuntarily, the victim goes to sleep for 2-5 seconds with no warning and the most effective treatment is uninterrupted sleep. After seven days cat napping in a bucket chair and one post release nap, I was primed.

Tesla's Autopilot has dynamic cruise control and automatic emergency braking to avoid running into things. The optical and ultrasonic sensor based, lane steering keeps the car from darting into a ditch or into on-coming traffic. It was on the leg to Decatur there were at least five micro sleep events that I was aware of and Autopilot kept us safe. I stopped in Decatur for a pee, stretch, and coffee break before driving the last 20 miles home.

Micro sleeps are involuntary and detected only when the individual recognizes having woken up. When driving, it becomes either a head-on collision or single car accident. Autopilot gives them a chance to survive.

Home again, I have my CPAP sleeping aid, my wife has her dogs, and me in familiar settings. Life has returned to what passes for normal ... but it is life thanks to Tesla's Autopilot.

Bob Wilson

Bill Price

Active Member
Sep 23, 2018
Five micro-sleep events? Did you think to maybe not be driving, say, after one? Or even before one? How do you even have a license to drive? You could have killed someone.

While I’m sorry for the condition affecting you, reading this flat out pisses me off.

Thank you for coming up with some of the words that had escaped me. :p

On another note, is "G" your middle initial? Just asking because it's mine.
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Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
This is hardly the first post by this guy proudly discussing his misuse of Teslas driver aids- last time he was claiming he was "testing the boundaries" of how well the system works, by doing things the manual explicitly states it does not support....and got mad at anyone who pointing out how nonsensical and useless his "analysis and testing" were because "he is an engineer and knows better!"
I'm comfortable with using new safety technology. If I've scared you enough to stay off the public roads that are filled with even less aware drivers, mission accomplished. If you insist on other drivers being perfect, sober, attentive, and skilled drivers . . . sell your cars today.

Basic autopilot is already good enough to safely offload driving tasks for many whether they are aware or not of their biological limits. Personally, I want it in every car, a mandator requirement, along with seat belts, air bags, and crash testing.

Bob Wilson
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Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
Seattle, WA
I’ve reported this thread. Hopefully it gets closed. It’s a joke, like the idiot who openly admits on a public forum to driving while physically or physiologically impeded.

There’s no difference between driving while knowingly drunk (or otherwise under the influence), - and driving while knowingly impeded in any other way.

This thread is a disgrace. I’m disgusted.
. . . I’m disgusted.
I'm happily alive and well with my wife and her dogs:

The forum has an excellent "Ignore User" function. You might try it on my account. As a retired engineer, my future posts may cause you grief. Avoid it by ignoring my postings.

Bob Wilson
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As a cyclist my two biggest fears are people texting and people sleeping.
While driving of course.
On either bike or motorcycle, I always rode as if I were invisible . . . and I'm still here.

I had one motorcycle accident, rain slick oil patch that I slid across the intersection. Tore up my trousers but my wife discovered the 'road rash' and that was it for motorcycle commuting.

Bob Wilson
My friend used to get short-duration seizures and they took his driver's license away until he was able to prove his meds/surgery had made it safe for him to drive.

He took taxis during that time.
My sleep doctor in Nashville reviews my CPAP usage every year, April 17, and continues to give me a clean bill of health. There was more leakage that I've addressed by tightening the straps after losing ~15 kg.

It was just ordinary forgetfulness that left the CPAP machine home. This was complicated by taking care of my wife in the hospital. The micro-sleeps were unexpected but quickly recognized on the last legs home:
This is after the pee, coffee, and stretch break in Decatur.

Bob Wilson
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