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Co-Pilot vs Auto Pilot

Discussion in 'Autopilot & Autonomous/FSD' started by turnem, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. turnem

    turnem Member

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    On my drive/ride home tonight from dinner with a friend something occurred to me. What we actually have right now is a VERY good co-pilot system, not an autopilot system. It seems to me that if Tesla simply called it a co-pilot system that most folks would be beyond thrilled with the features that they get instead of constantly moaning about what they don't yet have.

    Now I get it... Elon is a visionary so his eye is intently focused on the end-game. He's pushing the boundaries of how folks think about things and I truly applaud him for that. The majority of folks just won't get it though. That's the problem with being a visionary. You're typically living ahead of your time. Anyway...

    So tonight, upon leaving the restaurant, it was POURING down rain. As I exit the restaurant I think hmmm... there's a nice little awning here and my car is just about 200 feet away, let me summon it to me. And low and behold it literally pulls up to within inches of my feet all while I stay dry under the awning. No hiccups, no stutters, it pulls right out of the parking spot and confidently drives over to where I'm standing. Epic.

    As I get into the car and start my drive home I notice that it's raining so hard that it's truly difficult to see the lane markers on the road. (side note - wipers are working great!). I put autopilot on (TACC and auto steer) on city streets (sorry Knightshade but that's just how I roll) and it does a really nice job of HELPING me drive home. Was it flawless? Nope. I had to take over twice during my 12 minute ride home and one of those times it flat out gave up (full on beeping at me to take over) but since I was attentively holding the wheel with two hands it was very easy to pitch in while it was struggling.

    The key is that the car HELPED me drive home in conditions that were less than ideal. At no point did I expect the car to handle the drive home 100% or even 75%. I was in control and responsible but I was comfortably using my car as tool to help me navigate home with less stress. And for that purpose it worked beautifully.

    We are a LONG way from having a true autopilot. But we already have a very capable co-pilot and we are close to having an even better co-pilot.

    Just my $0.02
     
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  2. DrtyJrze

    DrtyJrze Member

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    This posts makes too much sense. Prepare to be flamed and comments to go on tangents about FSD
     
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  3. MexiCanuck

    MexiCanuck Member

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    OP’s post reads like my experience this evening on Vancouver Island, Canada.

    (I thought of the line in the song, “Rainy Night in Georgia”. i.e., “It feels like it’s raining all over the world.”) :)

    Smart summons didn’t get to within inches of me, but it did get within feet.

    Autopilot helped me get home with a less stressful drive in pouring rain with both hands on the wheel, listening to streaming music.

    All in all, a far more pleasant drive than in any other vehicle I have owned.
     
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  4. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    Tesla takes the terminology "autopilot" from the aviation industry according to its function and its legal implication as well.

    As pointed out by the article below:

    Pilots and Copilots. Who are These People? - AskThePilot.com

    Co-pilots can be older, and even more, experienced than a Captain.

    Both Captain and Copilots passed licensing tests. They can both competently fly an airplane.

    It's a ranking system so it's like assuming since a General is higher ranking, that must mean the General can shoot with a handgun much better than a Private can!

    The aviation terminology of "autopilot" means the system requires a competent licensed human pilot before the plane can take off.

    For Tesla, it's the same requirement.

    The aviation terminology of "autopilot" means when something goes wrong, it's the job of pilots to take over the automation system and manually make it right.

    That's the same for Tesla and that is the legal implications: When there's an autopilot accident, the driver is responsible.
     
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  5. turnem

    turnem Member

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    Makes sense. But most people don't understand it that way because it's not marketed that way.

    It's only a slight chain mindset but it can have a major impact on people's satisfaction ratings and/or perceptions.
     
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  6. PoitNarf

    PoitNarf My dog's breath smells like dog food

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    This. Many hear the term “autopilot” and think that means the car can do everything on its own. Tesla is using the term autopilot correctly when using it to describe their current driver assist system.

    Autopilot - Wikipedia:
    “Autopilots do not replace human operators, but instead they assist them in controlling the vehicle. This allows them to focus on broader aspects of operations such as monitoring the trajectory, weather and systems.”
     
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  7. DopeGhoti

    DopeGhoti Active Member

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    I don't get this argument. AP, even in the marketing copy, does not present the car as being completely autonomous.

    This is from Tesla.com, on the "sell me a car" section of the site, talking about Autopilot:

    upload_2020-1-3_0-41-7.png
    upload_2020-1-3_0-41-36.png

    Full self-driving capabilities in the future (emphasis mine).

    upload_2020-1-3_0-41-7.png upload_2020-1-3_0-41-36.png
     
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  8. boriszima

    boriszima Member

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    I agree on treating auto pilot like a co-pilot. During what I deem perfect conditions it does superbly. During rain - I am more hesitant to use it. Nearly marked lanes - no way since one can see old and new markings. Either way I love using it especially during long commutes - a lot less stressful.

    would I have bought Tesla if it did not have autopilot? Not likely.
     
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  9. ngogas

    ngogas Active Member

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    Haha. Co pilot.... nah...
     
  10. holmgang

    holmgang Active Member

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    legal protection isn't derived from simply co-opting nomenclature. i can't change my first name to ambassador and be granted immunity.

    as tesla sells its wheeled vehicles to the driving public, the prevailing connotations are: auto=auto, and co=assistant.
     
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  11. Knightshade

    Knightshade Well-Known Member

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    Naah- as the other 2 guys explained it's exactly the opposite.

    When I'm flying an actual plane with a co-pilot, I could get up and do something else if I needed to. Hell if I fell asleep or died the plane still has a way to get to its destination and land safely.

    With just autopilot however I have to remain available to take the controls 100% of the time, should generally be paying overall attention, and the plane is likely going to crash by the end if that's not the case.


    Tesla is using the term exactly correctly, and co-pilot would be far less accurate a description of what it can do presently.





    "connotation of the ignorant" isn't "actual legal definition"

    In this case Tesla can easily point to the one other major use of the term in transportation- aircraft- and again, autopilot is far more accurate describing the systems capabilities than co-pilot would be.
     
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  12. holmgang

    holmgang Active Member

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    if you're talking legal definition, denotation is worse in this case, since piloting has nothing to do with operating a car.
    the suffix co- is still far more appropriate.
     
  13. PoitNarf

    PoitNarf My dog's breath smells like dog food

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  14. Tezlaowner

    Tezlaowner Member

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    Totally agree with OP. Only way to view "autopilot" at the moment.
     
  15. Knightshade

    Knightshade Well-Known Member

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    That's not worse at all, since both terms contain pilot.

    But autopilot is far more correct in matching how the term is actually used in other aspects of transport than co-pilot is.

    Again- as used in aircraft Autopilots do not replace human operators, but instead they assist them in controlling the vehicle.

    Exactly like in a Tesla.

    A co-pilot however is entirely and fully qualified to entirely replace the nominal actual pilot.

    Likewise on a ship an autopilot reduces work load for the watch officer, it doesn't, and can't, replace him.


    If you guys wanna keep insisting on using the terms wrong go ahead, but it doesn't change how the terms are actually used or what they actually mean everywhere else in the transport industry.
     
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  16. turnem

    turnem Member

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    Take 100 people off the street (or heck - pick out active buyers on any car lot) and have them read that and then have them tell you what they think it means.

    This post isn't about legal definitions or fine print or any of that. It's about typical consumer impressions and what they THINK based on what they are hearing/reading.

    Tesla's autopilot features are amazing. I LOVE my car and I'm extremely happy with it. My only point is that a slight change in expectations via better, more accurate marketing would help Tesla an awful lot with managing expectations.
     
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  17. turnem

    turnem Member

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    I don't disagree with you honestly. But you're missing the point entirely. The point of my post isn't about legal definitions or fine print or what the generally accepted nomenclature is in the transport industry.

    My point is that what Tesla has currently delivered in terms of their car technology is amazing but it gets overshadowed by folks that are constantly disappointed in what the car can't do (yet... maybe) because the marketing tends to lead people to a different view on what to expect.

    General consumers don't care about legal definitions and fine print and all this legal sparing you are engaging in. They just don't. They want to know what a product REALLY can and can't do. That's why there's a HUGE internet culture so heavily focused on real consumer reviews of just about every product on the face of the earth. It's why there are youtube channels and amazon reviews and forums, etc.
     
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  18. Knightshade

    Knightshade Well-Known Member

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    If they're unable to parse that "in the future" means "not yet"... yikes.





    But calling it co-pilot is less accurate based on its actual capabilities.

    The 'random poll of people discovers ignorance' bit won't change that.
     
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  19. Knightshade

    Knightshade Well-Known Member

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    I'm not engaging in that at all.

    I'm talking about what the actual term autopilot means in every other place the term is used in transport.


    It's exactly the same way Tesla is using it.



    And the manual will happily tell them.

    Heck the actual stuff from tesla.com cited tells them too.

    And even makes clear that actual self-driving is a FUTURE feature, and not a TODAY feature.
     
  20. holmgang

    holmgang Active Member

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    what matters is what these terms imply to potential operators of these cars - the licensed drivers, of which there are over 200M+ in america.

    what it means to the 200k pilots is inconsequential, because it's not an airplane.
     
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