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BBC Autopilot video

Discussion in 'Model S' started by electronhauler, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. electronhauler

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    This was shown on the BBC and on CBS news yesterday. The video demonstrates a situation that the Tesla advanced driver assistance features (Autopilot) cannot deal with alone.
    Insurers warning on 'autonomous' cars
    I would like to know what AP following distance setting was used. This demonstrates why a safe following distance must be maintained at all times. I have witnessed this situation on more then one occasion both in the US and in Europe. The evasive maneuver of the vehicle in front did avoid the collision with the stopped vehicle, but if it is done as a pure reaction, without situational awareness it will cause another collision. The driver in front, nor the Tesla, were unable to bring the vehicles to a stop, safely, and without drama.
     
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  2. Economite

    Economite Member

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    I think the demonstration shown in the video is a good demonstration of a real weakness in AP (and likely in all similar systems, including most advanced cruise controls). The demonstration is very useful, as it makes easily understood the situation that Tesla warns about (rather abstractly) in the boilerplate in the manual. People who use driver's assist features need to be more aware of this weakness, so that they can be more on-the-lookout for the hazard (or simply choose not to use the driver's assist feature).

    I find Tesla's response totally disingenuous. According to the article:

    "A Tesla spokeswoman said: 'When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times. 'Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the car impervious to all accidents and the issues described by Thatcham won't be a problem for drivers using Autopilot correctly.'"

    The question is, how does Tesla advise driver's to use AP in a manner where "the issues won't be a problem." What does Tesla think the appropriate follow setting is (and why does Tesla allow the user to choose lower settings than are appropriate). Also, the only way a Tesla with AP (even with a perfectly attentive operator) is not less safe in this situation than a manually driven car is if Tesla expects AP users to begin slowing down (or at least covering the brakes) the instant the driver sees the lead car begin to do a maneuver that could be a last minute lane change. Good drivers operating a car manually do that now. With AP, I suspect that even attentive drivers usually don't start breaking until they actually see that the Tesla isn't stopping for the stopped car. That's a delay, and a degradation of the car's response as compared with a manually operated car.
     
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  3. unbelievable

    unbelievable Member

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    I wonder whose Tesla that was.

    I've read about how if autonomous driving systems took notice of every stopped object they wouldn't be able to function. What I don't understand is how this exact scenario is hard to accommodate in code. It is effectively an almost flat surface that the car is travelling directly towards. To some extent I understand the accidents involving fire trucks parked at an angle, as the radar won't get bounced back. Presumably in this situation the problem is that the rear of the stationary car isn't flat with enough of a continuous flat parallel surface to be read by the radar.
     
  4. Snowstorm

    Snowstorm Member

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    Did the Tesla slowed down at all in the 2nd scenario where it crashed into the dummy car?

    Is this a limitation due to current software implementation? Or is it a fundamental flaw that can never be fixed?

    I am not an expert in this area, but I do not understand why a vision based system won’t be able to see that there is a large object in the way that is approaching rapidly (pattern that is getting larger in all dimension proportional to vehicular speed) so it needs to check with radar and confirm.
     
  5. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    I believe Subary's system will actually stop to a stopped car (if within breaking distance).


    It's not that it's impossible, it's the fact that Elon seems to want to reinvent every single "wheel" himself. Maybe he find it boring to use proven tech. He's been working on blind spot monitoring since 2014 (i.e. there are proven systems deployed in the market today that work much, much better than Elon's genius parking sensors idea).
     
  6. R.S

    R.S Active Member

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    No I think it won't. The problem shown in the video is, that none of those systems have evasive steering (Mercedes says they have evasive steering, but I'm not sure how capable it is and at which speeds) . So if the car in front changes direction very late, your car will not see the stopped, or slower car, or stationary object in general until it's too late.

    At that point all the car does is brake, but that might be way too late. What the car should do is try to avoid the accident by steering to another lane. Since the system is not capable to do that you will either have to do it by yourself, or crash.

    This should be another reminder, that you should always be prepared to step in, even if AP seems to handle the situation. Always monitor what the car is doing and the environment. In the end driving with AP might not be as relaxing anymore, but you won't end up as another "Tesla crashes into XY" headline.
     
  7. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    That's why I qualified "if within braking distance" - that said, Tesla EAP doesn't even initiate braking.
    But, your point is very valid for any FSD (non-human-supervised) driving solutions.
     
  8. Axael

    Axael Member

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    Weren't Tesla with AP able to monitor the car in front of the car in front? (we already saw some dashcam footage were the Tesla is seeking driver's attention with a noise and is applying brakes, not because of the car right in front, but the next one in line, isn't it?)
     
  9. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    Only if the lead car in front is moving when it comes "into view " of the Tesla radar.
     
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  10. Burnt Toast

    Burnt Toast Member

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    Have you guys really watched that video? It's sensationalism at it's best.

    1. They have other brands of cars there with lane holding functions, but only demonstrate the Tesla.

    2. They perform an emergency manoeuvre, which would result in a crash if a human driver was in the same position

    3. The Tesla brakes hard, and comes to a complete stop, negating the severity of the accident. The way the video is edited however, does not portray this.

    There are some serious short comings with autopilot, which require driver vigilance, but this video does not demonstrate them. This video demonstrates a veiled attack on the Tesla autopilot. If it was a genuine demonstration, they would have performed an identical test with the Mercedes drive pilot. They didn't. (Or they didn't broadcast it, because the result would have been identical).
     
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  11. R.S

    R.S Active Member

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    But then the Mercedes zealots would have screamed out that they should have tested the Audi. They would have called it pure sensationalism.

    The point of the video was to show the limitation of modern drive systems, not hating on Tesla. They just picked the most known one.
     
  12. croman

    croman Active Member

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    They actually reviewed the BMW and said it was so bad it can't handle curves and the Autopilot was the only one inspiring confidence enough to deceive people into trusting it too much.
     
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  13. Snowstorm

    Snowstorm Member

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    Did the Tesla brake at all? Or did the human drivers brake?

    In a different segment of the video, not on the BBC site, it showed how the Mercedes left its lane during lane keeping test on a slight curve.
     
  14. GeorgeSymonds

    GeorgeSymonds Member

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    All cars using active cruise control would have crashed in the scenario and would require drivers to be prevent it. No news there and all as bad as each other.

    A good driver should be positioned on the road such that they could look further down the road than the car in front or even two cars ahead. The issue for Tesla is this is AP doesn't do this so doesn't optimize the positioning to read the road that far ahead, it struggles at times to simply stay between the lines,. and as its the basis for full self driving and as such, its not good enough.
     
  15. R.S

    R.S Active Member

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    They are in bed with Audi and just want to harm BMW! Sensationalism at it's best! The only publication I trust is BMW magazine.
     
  16. bandido

    bandido Member

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    The biggest problem with Autopilot is the name and marketing. Autopilot implies it WILL drive itself. Tesla's marketing implied 2 years ago the car WILL drive itself. If the name was just "Tesla Enhanced Cruise Control" fewer people would be annoyed and attacking. Every person that test drives my car wants to try the Autopilot and they all like to see handsfree driving. The simple reality is the Tesla system is no where close to autonomous autopilot function. The accidents aside, the phantom braking in AP 2.5 is unacceptable and dangerous. Mobile Eye could have Tesla close, but until Tesla gets it better it should not use the name Autopilot and if that was clearly marketed, few would be attacking it regularly...
     
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  17. jorobsand

    jorobsand Member

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    Be careful what you ask for. This would be equivalent to saying that any other car on the road should limit the maximum cruise control setting to "safe speeds". At the end of the day, there is nothing Tesla can or should do to try to replace personal accountability.
     
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  18. Burnt Toast

    Burnt Toast Member

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    No, they pointed out the limits of physics. A human driver would have done the same thing in the same circumstances.
     
  19. R.S

    R.S Active Member

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    Since the Audi in front was able to steer into another lane and the Tesla followed at a distance, it should have been able to do the same thing.

    Are you implying the Model S doesn’t handle as well? Because if you do, then look up some handling tests of both cars. That’s the only thing here linked to physics.
     
  20. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    Was that dummy car equipped with radar reflector?
     
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