TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Autopilot vs Airbags

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by ahaer, May 1, 2018.

  1. ahaer

    ahaer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Brunswick, Maine
    There have been lots of discussions of the cases in where Autopilot has been implicated/blamed for the death of a occupant. I recently realized that I have yet to see anyone make a comparison to deaths caused by airbags.

    When they first came out, short/small people were being injured/killed by bags set for full size adults. Then there was (is?) the rear-facing child seat issue and even 20 years after airbags were made mandatory and "fixed" airbags are still killing some people unnecessarily, thanks mostly to Takata (sp?)

    It seems that this comparison is completely valid. Thoughts?
     
  2. chillaban

    chillaban Active Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    3,638
    Location:
    Bay Area
    I think there still is a distinction. Compared to Autopilot (or other advanced collision avoidance / driver assist systems), I think it's much much less likely for someone to think "oh I got airbags/seat belts, so I'm not afraid of dying and can afford to pay less attention and do more reckless things"

    Neither of those technologies has the same ability to tempt a driver into being inattentive/reckless the way that a car that does the right thing 99% of the time.
     
  3. ahaer

    ahaer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Brunswick, Maine
    I see your point, but also remember people being concerned that people would stop wearing seat belts and/or drive more recklessly because airbags would save them, seems similar to being lulled by autopilot being so good most of the time...
     
  4. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,474
    Location:
    Canyon Lake,CA
    Biggest issue with air bags is that they are calibrated and designed to work most effectively on un-belted occupants. This makes them way too strong and violent for properly belted occupants.

    People have gotten eye damage, broken arms etc due to the violence of the deployment.
     
  5. chillaban

    chillaban Active Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    3,638
    Location:
    Bay Area
    I do agree that there's some parallels. ABS is another example, where it's meant to be an improvement to safety, but had a rough road to adoption (early versions increased braking distance and increased the chances of electronic failure resulting in brake failure, etc).

    But I think there is something especially problematic about L2 driver assist systems as they become so good that people confuse them with L3. And that's a bit ironic. It's the fact that a Tesla doesn't try to kill you every 2 minutes like competing "ping ponging" LKAS systems that makes it more likely that a user will naively overestimate its abilities.

    You can find examples of that here, posts where people describe being so confident of their Autopilot that they don't think they have to supervise it on certain kinds of roads.


    Humans are terrible and flawed. I think a lot of people really do think "unless I personally see Autopilot doing something dangerous, I don't believe it. Other people have defective Autopilot or are using it on the wrong kind of road". And if the failure rates go from 1 in 100 miles to 1 in 1000 miles, it seems more likely people are going to learn the really hard way why you're supposed to supervise it.


    (NOTE: I'm saying this but I'm also a huge fan of Autopilot and would not consider going to a car with lesser capabilities. Of the 25,000 miles I drove last year, probably 20,000 of them have been on Autopilot)
     
  6. Xminus6

    Xminus6 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    Messages:
    617
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    I specifically tell my wife not to put her feet up on the dashboard of the passenger side when we're on road trips. An airbag deployment that catches your legs would be pretty catastrophic.
     
  7. Fellsteruk

    Fellsteruk Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,002
    Location:
    North West, UK
    I agree they are similar however...

    Airbag are there... when was the last time you got into a car and thought about, you don’t “generally” because it’s there as a safety net and added security.

    AP needs your monitoring, thought and consideration constantly, don’t get me wrong I think we can put a certain level of trust in it but not to point of hand off driving like the tool from here in the UK recently who climbed into passenger seat :(

    I guess the point I’m makin is that you cannot really compare them until we have FSD and AP is just something that happens in the background with no thought from you needed.

    Also I 2nd and 3rd, people are stupid! AP is great when used as it was designed, sadly people become too trusting and end up in a crash or sadly dead!
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC