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Co-Pilot vs Auto Pilot

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

  1. HighZ

    HighZ MDNT SLV M3

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    The OP was talking about how he views the current system operating, which is as a Driver's Assist. While we can certainly argue about the language, the perception in the non-aviation world is that autopilot means that the driver could not pay attention, more so than co- or as an assist. I am a pilot, so I understand the implications of what a co-pilot is, which is also another set of 'eyes'. The OP is not wrong in how he mentally tasks the current Tesla system in being a help while he acts as the primary driver.
     
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  2. Occar

    Occar Member

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    So... You want them to rename the system from something that denotes an assistance feature to something that is a fully redundant extra human that is just as capable as the pilot? That's an interesting point of view...
     
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  3. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Many years of debates about the term Autopilot and what that implies to the non-aviation public.

    Of course Tesla now sells an option called “Full Self Driving” which still requires driver monitoring (and probably will for a very long time). It is like they looked at the name Autopilot and the confusion it causes with the public, then doubled down.
     
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  4. HighZ

    HighZ MDNT SLV M3

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    Just to be clear, I don't want to rename it. I was just pointing out that there is confusion to what it means for many new drivers and the OP had the right intention. The fact is Autopilot is way sexier than Driver's Assistant. As someone else stated, it was one of the main reasons I wanted to buy a Tesla.
     
  5. holmgang

    holmgang Active Member

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    I nominate Sometimes Assisted Driving
     
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  6. turnem

    turnem Member

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    No - I don't want them to rename anything. Was just making an observation.
     
  7. Bladerskb

    Bladerskb Senior Software Engineer

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    This is incorrect because Autopilot in airplanes don't require instantanous active supervision. Infact many times the pilots leave the cockpit with autopilot on and most times are not paying attention to AP during the flight while AP is on. Aka they don't monitor autopilot moment by moment and have to take over in a split second.

    On the other hand Tesla's "Autopilot" Requires instantaneous active supervision and monitoring of everything. Autopilot in Airplane sounds like a L3/L4 highway system which would require a competent licensed human driver to drive it to the highway and then turn on AP and then not monitor it but then require the human driver to take it off the highway. Similar to Autopilot in airplane requiring humans for take off and landing.
     
  8. HighZ

    HighZ MDNT SLV M3

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    Pilots also have the benefit of the Big Sky Theory.

    There are versions of autopilot that will even take off and land, which is to your point that in an airplane, an autopilot is way closer to L3/L4 than we have in our cars.
     
  9. Fresnel

    Fresnel Member

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    I agree with a lot of what you said but the main thing to think about that you didn't mention is the intended automatic driving that Tesla is doing is actually called Full Self Driving. So even the Autopilot that Tesla uses isn't meant to be automatic driving. At the moment anyway.
     
  10. turnem

    turnem Member

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    True. We are a long way off from napping in the "driver's" seat while the car successfully transports you 400 miles away. What we have today is a rapidly improving driver assistance system that actually quite good. Unfortunately, the way it's marketed results in most people thinking it's going to be far more capable than it actually is.

    I like the term copilot for describing what we have today to the general public... no matter how incorrect it may be.
     
  11. Fresnel

    Fresnel Member

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    #31 Fresnel, Jan 3, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
    I don't think we're that far away from that.. It's just it'll be beta with a good percentage of a chance of not reaching your destination without an accident. ;)

    followed by a bunch of updates that make it better until we reach the amazingness that is true full self driving
     
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  12. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    That's the case for the dead 216 passengers, three pilots, and nine flight attendants:

    Automation Has Made Airline Travel Safer. But Are Pilots Too Dependent on It?

    "The story they told was about what happened when the automated system flying the plane suddenly shut off, and the pilots were left surprised, confused, and ultimately unable to fly their own plane."
     
  13. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    The issue is which name would be more accurate and thus, acceptable.

    If I have legal immunity in a foreign land and I represent my country, should I choose the title "ambassador" or "cook"?

    Also, there are special terminologies that people need to learn: Eating a hot dog is not the same as eating a pet with a happy wagging tail that is still hot.

    Autopilot is not the same as co-pilot.
     
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  14. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    The Autopilot on Continental Flight 3407 did an excellent job and got the plane to fly as smooth as possible until the very last 26 seconds before the fatal crash:

    Pilots are focus as NTSB hearings into fatal plane crash begin

    When it could not compensate for bad icing conditions anymore, it suddenly gave the flying job back to the pilots. The pilots had the last 26 seconds until the crash to figure out if they were still on Autopilot or not and why not because the stick shaker was shaking and the blaring horn of Autopilot-Off was screaming.

    They didn't even go to the bathroom and they are still blamed for talking on non-flying operations subjects (social talks) before the Autopilot gave them back the manual controls!!!
     
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  15. DopeGhoti

    DopeGhoti Active Member

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    Interestingly they were also saying things akin to "boy howdy that sure is a lot of ice on the wings" and "wow, if I saw that much ice, I'd wonder how we were still flying" before the autopilot was no longer able to compensate for all the ice and the aircraft fell from the sky.
     
  16. Sherlo

    Sherlo Member

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    Agree. This is without a doubt very important for general aviation AP. AP tends to hand off the plane (when it can no longer handle the conditions) back to the pilot in the worse conditions such as turbulence and icing. All pilots (still alive) know this and respect the limitations.
     
  17. Sherlo

    Sherlo Member

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    In commercial flights, both pilots never leave the cockpit at the same time. We have not gotten to that point yet. Give it time
     
  18. DopeGhoti

    DopeGhoti Active Member

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    "There are old pilots, and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots."
     
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