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Ideas To Help Prevent Auto Pilot Accidents...It's Time To Get Real

I an attempt to prevent another fellow Tesla owner from getting killed or injured in a completely avoidable accident while using AP, let's share some ideas here.

I have about 40k miles(all highway) on AP1 and here are some ideas:

1. Real World Training. There are many pieces to AP. There are some situations when it's working magically, traffic is light etc. and you can flake out a bit or look away and check an email or whatever(don't lie...we all do this) and there are some situations where you need to be totally focused and engaged(passing a truck, weird traffic patterns, secondary roads etc.). Every AP accident I've seen reported was a situation where the conditions dictated the driver be engaged and focused but were not. Somehow we need to teach owners these important AP driving skills. Any training ideas?

2. Disable AP On Secondary roads until it is really ready for prime time. AP(I have AP1) is near perfect on highways but nowhere near perfect(actually unusable) on secondary roads. Frankly, I'm surprised there aren't far more AP accidents on secondary roads as there are just so many things that can go wrong and no time to react.

3. Cannot Activate AP Until Driver Is Certified As AP Competent. Maybe there could be a test regarding AP basics that the driver would need to pass before AP is activated. This could simply be a small test integrated into the software where you agree to use the AP as beta.

What to you think?
 
You cant stop stupid.
Crash in Fort lauderdale, kid got ticket for 112mph on 3 march. Still driving like that
Crash in Florida last year, man asleep at the wheel
Crash by the factory, told friends AP didnt work week before, so he drives with it on while on hwy101, crashes into barrier.
Crash in Utah, idiot was asleep hits stopped fire truck.
You cant stop stupid.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,507
7,141
Austin, TX
I think there is plenty of time to react on secondary roads. You just need to keep your hand on the wheel and foot ready for action. Just like cruise control.

The individual that hit the firetruck was probably lucky. The truck was stopped at a red light. IF not for the truck, they could have sailed into the intersection and t-boned someone causing much greater risk to life. Red lights has never been an advertised feature.

It's the same person that would have rear ended someone at an intersection or drifted out of their lane off the road into a tree while reading their phone if not for AP.

I do think option #3 has merit.
 
I can see an argument for something like #3, but actually think the main value would be the leaning forced by the test. However, having said that, I'm mainly in the "can't fix stupid" camp. With all of the threads about how to defeat the AP hands on the wheel sensors, I think we're mainly just observing a new way for Darwin to find people.
 
... You cant stop stupid ...

These four words apply to almost every aspect of life.

I only wish -- like child molesters and bank robbers -- we could start calling these people out; a wall of shame --- incentivize "stupid" to not be...

On the TMC splash page --- show photos, names, and the actions of these morons

Simply put, these idiots are -- at best, slowing, at worst, jeopardizing -- progress of society.
 

Joe F

Disruption is hard.
Sep 19, 2016
2,043
9,879
Outside Philly
There are some situations when it's working magically, traffic is light etc. and you can flake out a bit or look away and check an email or whatever(don't lie...we all do this)
[snip]
Somehow we need to teach owners these important AP driving skills. Any training ideas?

What to you think?
No, we all don't do that.

I think I'll watch out for Tesla's in Cape Cod the next time I'm driving up there.

Training ideas? Here's mine: Drive with AP like you were driving the car. Seriously. Keep wandering eyes on the road, and hands resting on the wheel ready to take over in a split second armed with the knowledge that there are Bad Things that can happen which can ruin your day, not to mention those unfortunate enough to be driving near you.

Sure, when it works well, it can be a great stress free way to drive. But, "stuff" happens, all the time. Didn't see that road debris that others in your lane had no problem avoiding because you thought it was a good time to look at your phone for whatever reason, and now find yourself in a major accident? You'll find yourself blaming that damn AP and Tesla, just like all the others who forgot, for that split second, it is not a perfect technology yet, and perhaps for many conditions it may never be.

It works the way you want it to until it doesn't.
 

buttershrimp

Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode
Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2017
3,274
8,856
ATX
I an attempt to prevent another fellow Tesla owner from getting killed or injured in a completely avoidable accident while using AP, let's share some ideas here.

I have about 40k miles(all highway) on AP1 and here are some ideas:

1. Real World Training. There are many pieces to AP. There are some situations when it's working magically, traffic is light etc. and you can flake out a bit or look away and check an email or whatever(don't lie...we all do this) and there are some situations where you need to be totally focused and engaged(passing a truck, weird traffic patterns, secondary roads etc.). Every AP accident I've seen reported was a situation where the conditions dictated the driver be engaged and focused but were not. Somehow we need to teach owners these important AP driving skills. Any training ideas?

2. Disable AP On Secondary roads until it is really ready for prime time. AP(I have AP1) is near perfect on highways but nowhere near perfect(actually unusable) on secondary roads. Frankly, I'm surprised there aren't far more AP accidents on secondary roads as there are just so many things that can go wrong and no time to react.

3. Cannot Activate AP Until Driver Is Certified As AP Competent. Maybe there could be a test regarding AP basics that the driver would need to pass before AP is activated. This could simply be a small test integrated into the software where you agree to use the AP as beta.

What to you think?
I don’t agree on the highway only argument for Ap. I find it helpful in all settings... the question you ask is probably best framed about how to prevent distracted autopilot use.... my idea is video tips available on each firmware update (kind of like iPhone tips app) and incentivizing good Ap behavior rather than punishing bad... would be neat to gamify the Ap experience. Get trophies for drives with zero nags, access to hidden Easter eggs, But most improvements are likely to happen with improvement in AP software and improved user interface with audio system and minimizing the need to look down...

Finally, we need to pick a vehicle, say the hellcat and then look in the news for car accidents involving it as a comparison ... car fires etc... then tweet these incidents to WSJ and Elon .... f big oil
 
I was hoping for more lame comedy from you, but -- I guess -- this will do for now.

Time to get back to your memes!

I don’t agree on the highway only argument for Ap. I find it helpful in all settings... the question you ask is probably best framed about how to prevent distracted autopilot use.... my idea is video tips available on each firmware update (kind of like iPhone tips app) and incentivizing good Ap behavior rather than punishing bad... would be neat to gamify the Ap experience. Get trophies for drives with zero nags, access to hidden Easter eggs, But most improvements are likely to happen with improvement in AP software and improved user interface with audio system and minimizing the need to look down...

Finally, we need to pick a vehicle, say the hellcat and then look in the news for car accidents involving it as a comparison ... car fires etc... then tweet these incidents to WSJ and Elon .... f big oil
 
I don’t agree on the highway only argument for Ap. I find it helpful in all settings... the question you ask is probably best framed about how to prevent distracted autopilot use.... my idea is video tips available on each firmware update (kind of like iPhone tips app) and incentivizing good Ap behavior rather than punishing bad... would be neat to gamify the Ap experience. Get trophies for drives with zero nags, access to hidden Easter eggs, But most improvements are likely to happen with improvement in AP software and improved user interface with audio system and minimizing the need to look down...

Finally, we need to pick a vehicle, say the hellcat and then look in the news for car accidents involving it as a comparison ... car fires etc... then tweet these incidents to WSJ and Elon .... f big oil
How about the union budget for bad press.
 
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AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,431
4,162
Phoenix, AZ
I an attempt to prevent another fellow Tesla owner from getting killed or injured in a completely avoidable accident while using AP, let's share some ideas here.

I have about 40k miles(all highway) on AP1 and here are some ideas:

1. Real World Training. There are many pieces to AP. There are some situations when it's working magically, traffic is light etc. and you can flake out a bit or look away and check an email or whatever(don't lie...we all do this) and there are some situations where you need to be totally focused and engaged(passing a truck, weird traffic patterns, secondary roads etc.). Every AP accident I've seen reported was a situation where the conditions dictated the driver be engaged and focused but were not. Somehow we need to teach owners these important AP driving skills. Any training ideas?

2. Disable AP On Secondary roads until it is really ready for prime time. AP(I have AP1) is near perfect on highways but nowhere near perfect(actually unusable) on secondary roads. Frankly, I'm surprised there aren't far more AP accidents on secondary roads as there are just so many things that can go wrong and no time to react.

3. Cannot Activate AP Until Driver Is Certified As AP Competent. Maybe there could be a test regarding AP basics that the driver would need to pass before AP is activated. This could simply be a small test integrated into the software where you agree to use the AP as beta.

What to you think?
If this isn't a statement about Autopilot being dangerous, I don't know what is. Owners are now trying to find ways around being killed by a $5,000 feature that clearly doesn't work. Wow.
 
Let's please stay on topic. Really looking for input from folks who actually use AP on a regular basis.

Calling humans stupid isn't the answer and isn't constructive to the conversation.

I won't get trolled(accept for this one time) into a "looking away while on AP" argument here. Experienced AP drivers know what I'm talking about and when your'e on the road for 12 hours straight you learn when to have heightened situational awareness and when you can flake out a bit. Trying to keep it real.
 

buttershrimp

Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode
Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2017
3,274
8,856
ATX
I was hoping for more lame comedy from you, but -- I guess -- this will do for now.

Time to get back to your memes!

You're thinking of @lunitiks with his sweet memes.

I on the other hand, will continue to provide choice cuts of lame comedy on a daily business.... for I am bored.... and on the internet.... and you will be subject to my quips as I deem fit. Good day sir.

I said GOOD DAY!
 
I an attempt to prevent another fellow Tesla owner from getting killed or injured in a completely avoidable accident while using AP, let's share some ideas here.

I have about 40k miles(all highway) on AP1 and here are some ideas:

1. Real World Training. There are many pieces to AP. There are some situations when it's working magically, traffic is light etc. and you can flake out a bit or look away and check an email or whatever(don't lie...we all do this) and there are some situations where you need to be totally focused and engaged(passing a truck, weird traffic patterns, secondary roads etc.). Every AP accident I've seen reported was a situation where the conditions dictated the driver be engaged and focused but were not. Somehow we need to teach owners these important AP driving skills. Any training ideas?

2. Disable AP On Secondary roads until it is really ready for prime time. AP(I have AP1) is near perfect on highways but nowhere near perfect(actually unusable) on secondary roads. Frankly, I'm surprised there aren't far more AP accidents on secondary roads as there are just so many things that can go wrong and no time to react.

3. Cannot Activate AP Until Driver Is Certified As AP Competent. Maybe there could be a test regarding AP basics that the driver would need to pass before AP is activated. This could simply be a small test integrated into the software where you agree to use the AP as beta.

What to you think?

I Agree with #3, Tesla should not let anyone who has purchased AP leave with their car without being trained on it. #2 I think is dicey because depending on where you live and travel secondary roads are the primary roads and are long stretches primed for AP to ease the monotony.

Overall the #1 way to fix the AP issue in terms of Accidents IMHO is to rebrand to "Co-Pilot" or something similar that implies that the car will HELP you not drive by itself. I know another automaker already has co-pilot but I think thats half the battle right there. People are using AP based on what they want it to be not what it actually is and thats the problem. So many videos out there or people testing on roads where AP has NO business being but they do it anyway. Rebranding, and certifying owners should help significantly, and if nothing else indemnify Tesla to the extent that if an accident does happen they can say that the driver knew the do's and dont's of AP.
 

Az_Rael

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,675
8,979
Palmdale, CA
Well, years ago, after the Josh Brown crash, Tesla said they were going to post some "how to use AP" videos on their website, just like the videos for all the other features of the car. (I watched every single one of those videos before picking up my S).

Those AP videos still don't exist. So if Tesla doesn't have a sense of urgency about even basic training on AP, I don't know how we can solve this problem.
 
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Reactions: TaoJones

bmah

Moderator, Supercharger Hunter
Global Moderator
Mar 17, 2015
4,787
10,230
Lafayette, CA, USA
My two cents (AP1 owner since before 7.0, 47K miles total, not sure how much on AP but I'd guess most of it, all freeway miles):

On "you can't fix stupid": Unfortunately true. But let's try to solve the problem for people who are in good faith trying to use the system safely, and just need some knowledge and the right framework.

On "Tesla should do this": Yep. Absolutely. No way can a few minutes (if that) of talking about AP at delivery time give a new owner enough information (and I 100% agree with the suggestion for hands-on training). Someone here on TMC once made an analogy to Cirrus aircraft and their accident rates, and how the owner community was able to fill in for training that Cirrus at the time wasn't doing. Maybe we need something like that.

On "AutoPilot needs a new name": I'm probably in the minority, but I don't think that's going to do a darn thing. Focus on getting information into the minds of the owners (which they need anyway) and the name is irrelevant.

On certification: I agree in principle, but there are a few problems like who sets the standards for determining who's qualified? There's been no signs that anybody within Tesla has thought about this problem at all, and they've had years to think about it.

IMHO this is how to instruct people on AutoPilot (h/t to @Papafox):

A flight instructor teaches Tesla Autopilot

(Some parts of these posts are a little out of date, but think of the overall approach. I still think this is the best training document for AutoPilot that's ever been written.)

Stay safe out there,

Bruce.
 

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