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It's been a month, do we have any confirmed "autopilot-related" accidents?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Thanatophobe, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Thanatophobe

    Thanatophobe Member

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    It seems that every other day I see another sensationalist headline about how dangerous AP is, and how Tesla is on the verge of rolling out some form of severe limitation (geofencing or a constant nag). Pretty much all of them include the extremely misleading "Tesla Autopilot tried to kill me!" youtube clip along with a handful of similar examples. All of these show AP being used in ways and circumstances that show a clear and conscious decision by the driver to ignore not only how it's supposed to be used but also basic common sense. These articles take it as a foregone conclusion that a fatal accident "caused" by autopilot is imminent, and demand that Tesla cripple this feature ASAP.

    AP has been out for over a month now here in the States. The question is: Has anyone heard of an actual accident that is even tenuously related to AP?
     
  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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  3. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    #3 MsElectric, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
    Not sure about Autopilot related accidents but we know it has PREVENTED several accidents from happening based on videos.

    As for Autopilot "related" accidents, they should likely be filed under accidents caused due to driver negligence as Autopilot is to be used with a vigilant driver paying attention to the driving.

    Hong Kong and Japan can join each other as being two of the most backward countries on the planet for being the only two countries to outlaw technology that is being used to drive over a million miles a day and prevent accidents in the process. Is there some award that can be offered to the backwards politicians in those two countries?

    Autopilot2.jpg
     
  4. mobe

    mobe Member

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    #4 mobe, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
    At this point in time the answer is no.
    At this point one can make the argument that as far as accidents are concerned, it is much safer to drive with autopilot than without.
    Will that change as time moves forward? I seriously doubt it. I believe that the most dangerous time for this system has passed. All of the attention seekers have had their 15 minutes of fame and most folks will be using the system as originally intended from this point forward. I'm not naive enough to think that there won't be some jackass doing something stupid at some point, but I think the novelty phase is quickly wearing off.
    The autopilot system takes workload away from the driver and allows more attention to be paid to surroundings and it reduces fatigue, just like it does for a pilot.
    Would you take a 3+ hour flight on a commercial airliner where the pilot was hand flying the aircraft?
    I sure as hell would not.
    I predict that in a few years people will look back at some of these hand wringing, sky is falling posts and laugh their ass off!
     
  5. Patrick W

    Patrick W Member

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    The only one I've heard of was someone running into one of those orange barrels in a congested construction zone. But then autopilot should never be used in that situation in the first place so I don't think that counts as an accident.
     
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Danny Butterman: Hey, why can't we say "accident," again?
    Nicholas Angel: Because "accident" implies there's nobody to blame.
     
  7. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    I say yes there has been, and I'll point to the accident that's been discussed a lot on these forums where someone didn't realize TACC wouldn't see a stopped car. This happened well before V7.0 was released.

    That was technically part of Autopilot, and it was caused by a misunderstanding of it's capabilities. The reason people dismiss it is only because it's the same kind of setup as numerous other cars with adaptive cruise control.

    But, I don't think it should be dismissed because then we couldn't count the autopilot wins when it prevented an accident. Although we don't know if the autopilot prevents an accident because we don't know if emergency braking wouldn't have done the same thing.
     
  8. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    The OP was looking for accidents related to auto steering, not just TACC.
     
  9. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    By those rules we could also include every collision caused by someone misusing the steering wheel or accelerator pedal...
     
  10. SR22pilot

    SR22pilot Member

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    I thought the ability to see stopped cars was improved with 7.0. Am I incorrect?

     
  11. Biker

    Biker Member

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    It is my firm belief that TACC and AP will prevent many, many more accidents than it can be blamed for. In fact the only way AP can be blamed for an accident is if for some reason the steering doesn't give up control to the driver or the TACC doesn't cancel when hitting the brake or the disengage lever.

    That one TACC account that was on the forum didn't have much in the way of factual data in the post. As well, all of these capabilities are for freeway driving. Approaching a stop light or stop sign doesn't to me constitute freeway driving. Have I tried this stuff when off of the freeway or in less than ideal conditions? Yes. But always with my hands on the wheel and my foot hovering over the brake pedal.

    I have recently completed a very long (5 week, 15,000 KM) distance trip. I got AP half way through the journey. On long rides I think that it makes the drive much safer. Usually I would drive with TACC on and AP off, but if I wanted to fuss with the 17" monitor or change to my sunglasses, or drink some coffee, or make a phone call, then I would put on the AP. I think that I was much safer driving this way when I knew that my focus on the road would be less than perfect.

    One other thing, when we were driving at night through South Dakota the collision warning went off. It alerted me just it time to avoid a large carton in the middle of the lane. Granted this isn't technically AP, and also the consequences may not have been too bad if I did hit the carton. But this made me feel much better about the advanced active safely systems that we now have in our Teslas. ... and they keep getting better!
     
  12. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    You are.
     
  13. LetsGoFast

    LetsGoFast Active Member

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    I believe that it was improved as well. I realize that these things are subjective and admit that I could be wrong, but I think there has been gradual improvement in the car's ability to identify parked cars over multiple releases, including the 7.0 release. I do not recall it ever being specifically called out in the release notes, however.
     
  14. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Not exactly auto-pilot, but there was this apparent TACC crash.
     
  15. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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