TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Jail time for adjusting wipers? (software dreams inside)

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by Avendit, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Avendit

    Avendit Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Messages:
    585
    Location:
    EDI
    Don't know how many saw this?
    German Court Suspends Driver For Adjusting Wiper Speed In Tesla Model 3

    It did I have to say get me thinking. Its a difficult balance, and I'm not sure who is right and wrong?

    On the one hand you have a law that is probably a bit too pushy if its saying you can't use any electronic devices while driving, but some cars are increasingly becoming electronic devices. It doesn't look like the judgement tried to clear that up at all, which is a shame.

    On the other hand, maybe the German law is right, and you shouldn't need to interact with the touch screen for some sub set of safety critical interactions. Presumably this guy either found his previous set speed to be inadequate for changing circumstances, or Auto wasn't reacting quickly enough for him.

    Either way I feel for the guy - this is way bigger than him and his local court. Realistically it should be for Tesla and a decent sized court to agree whether the law, tesla or some combination need to change. You can't just send people to jail for adjusting their windscreen wipers.

    Because I'm me, I have to leave some suggestions on what I would like to see to fix this. I think the law has a point, and I have been in the 'going round the corner arg f£%k puddle splash or something arg why arn't the winscreen wipers going faster arg arg arg' type situation too. You shouldn't need to make 2 stabs at a touch screen to change the wiper speed. There are many options, but the 2 I like most are:
    • Easiest from a coding POV would be to promote the wiper adjust interface a step higher in the UI. Possibly only when they are already on. Then adjusting them becomes a single stab in a consistent position. Could even keep the UI as it is, but make the wiper card not auto dismiss while the wipers are still on. Law is updated through whatever mechanism this is done in Germany (would be a higher court or case law after the change here) to reflect that a single interaction with a touch screen is OK in a predefined set of circumstances.
    • Safest from a UI POV would be to double up the use of one of the physical controls. Either some combination of double tapping the single wipe button (press to wipe, 2 seconds to follow up with a single, double, triple or quad tap to set a manual speed), or for 2 seconds after a single wipe the volume key lets you set faster or slower manual speed, with a flick upwards (like a 5mph AP speed increase) to go back to auto.
    I think these are needed even if the auto keeps getting better. There has to be a safe, usable by touch alone, way to adjust the wipers for situations that auto just isn't cutting it. Yes auto might get better, but while we still have steering wheels the person should be able to override and without breaking the law or having to take their eyes off the road.

    Thoughts? Am I just insane, and should the guy claim some compensation from tesla for their design sending him to jail?
     
  2. Avendit

    Avendit Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Messages:
    585
    Location:
    EDI
    PS, I know you can talk to the car, but a) I don't like it much, don't use it much and therefore don't know the magic words off pat, and b) half way round a wet bend in an already fraught situation isn't the moment you need to press the talk button, wait for music to mute, calmly state your wiper speed requirements, wait for this to get sent to the cloud and then hopefully have it set right. In a fraught situation you want an immediate reaction to your request.
     
  3. Dilly

    Dilly Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2020
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    Norfolk
    I know it’s largely hit and miss but I have successfully used voice command to set the wiper speed on the one occasion I needed to.
    Another time when I was really just playing, I just got navigate to Wiper Street
     
    • Funny x 2
  4. arg

    arg Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1,721
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    I never touched them, honest.
     
    • Funny x 2
  5. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,152
    Location:
    Slovenia, Europe
    #5 WarpedOne, Aug 2, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
    Voice commands as they are are 100% and utterly useless BS gimmick pushed by "Lengthen the feature list" bosses, that do not have to use it day to day.

    When I talk to a human, he understands me without me repeating the sentence 5 times paying attention to correct pace and pronunciation and he reacts to my words with sub-second delay even before I stopped talking.

    Car's understanding is abysmal, so bad I'm ashamed to even admit the feature is there.
    And even in those few percents it did recognize what I tried to say, it did that after too long thinking time. Much slower than if I just looked at the screen and touched the correct button.

    Voice commands in my car are simply useless, total waste of that right scroll wheel.
    This ruling is a welcome kick in the testicle for some incompetent UI designer.

    Setting the wiper speed should be simple:
    a) one press - one wipe, just as it is
    b) press the button and move the stalk up/down - wipe faster/ slower (set higher/slower setting in that 4 step-setting)

    The HW and SW is there, just eat up your voice recognition pride and enable the input.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Love x 1
  6. Gatsojon

    Gatsojon Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2019
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    Interesting and a worrying decision. I feel for the guy as it seems he was convicted for using the car interface in accordance with the manual.

    it would be easy to try to fix this particular situation but your point is it’s more fundamental than that. We cant have a situation where the car’s standard control interface is going to get you jail time. Crazy!
     
  7. Alistairuk

    Alistairuk Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2020
    Messages:
    99
    Location:
    Scotland
    I think your missing a key point here - he wasn’t banned because someone happened to see him playing with the touch screen.

    Whatever he was doing, he was playing with the screen sufficiently long to drive into an embankment and crash into some trees.

    Thus clearly not paying any attention to his surroundings.
     
    • Like x 4
  8. rincewind

    rincewind Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2019
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    London England
    Putting aside the 'daft driver' issue, I'm hoping it will make Tesla amend their interface and add full wiper control to the stalk. They also need to revise their phone interface. Two presses in different places just to bring up the phone interface is not good, at all. And don't even mention talking to it to make a call - it's utterly useless. Didn't even understand 'Call Paul' recently when I tried. It thought he was a swimming pool - I got 'Call Pool' on the screen.
     
  9. Roy W.

    Roy W. Battery running low...

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1,912
    Location:
    Derby, UK
    I find the voice commands work much better if I talk in my worst American accent. Seriously.
     
    • Funny x 2
  10. Rustybkts

    Rustybkts Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2020
    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Surely all you need to do is press the button on the lh stick to get a wipe which displays the wiper options window at the same time.
    No great problem and pressing the button seems to wake it up and start wiping in auto mode anyway.
    This driver clearly didn't know how to operate the wiper controls and used a silly excuse that rebounded on them big time!
     
    • Like x 3
  11. cypho

    cypho Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2018
    Messages:
    492
    Location:
    USA
    #11 cypho, Aug 2, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
    How do they define "electronic device"? Is the accelerator pedal on an electric car an electronic device?

    Is the windshield wiper stalk an electronic device? There is very little technical difference between the button on the wiper stalk and the button on a computer keyboard. Both are just an electronic switch that triggers some function in a computer. The judge says it doesn't matter why you interacted with an electronic device. By that interpretation it seems like you are not allowed to press any button on any car.
     
  12. EVMeister

    EVMeister Lover of Tesla

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2018
    Messages:
    1,330
    Location:
    England
    I must just have one of those voices the car likes. I've found it responds effortlessly to my voice commands. I don't have a strong accent, I think it helps.
     
  13. rincewind

    rincewind Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2019
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    London England
    It must be my mild Essex accent :)
     
    • Funny x 1
  14. EVMeister

    EVMeister Lover of Tesla

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2018
    Messages:
    1,330
    Location:
    England
    FYI, you need to say "Phone Paul", not "Call Paul". ;)
     
  15. Avendit

    Avendit Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Messages:
    585
    Location:
    EDI
    From my reading of the article I didn't feel there was enough info to decide that the guy was otherwise driving badly, or just got caught in a bad situation and needed more wiper to make it around the corner or similar. Did going for the wiper control cause the problem, or was reaching for the screen compounding an already difficult situation? Can't really say either way without more info.
     
  16. Drew57

    Drew57 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2020
    Messages:
    223
    Location:
    Chester UK
    Exactly the same - voice commands work for us pretty faultlessly every time & we use them a lot - boring middle England accents with occasional deliberate American slant. Great feature & better than other recent cars I've owned (...Range Rover, BMW, Jag etc).

    ....If someone really needs instantaneous wipers then hit the left stalk button first.
     
    • Like x 1
  17. AndrewGR

    AndrewGR Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2019
    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    Oxfordshire, UK
    I tried a voice command when I wanted the wipers to go faster when I hit near zero visibility monsoon rain at night. The car interpreted my instruction as ‘wipers off’! Near panic as I felt for the hazard light switch. Still haven’t tested whether ‘hazard lights on’ works. It needs to.
     
  18. Envchem

    Envchem Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2019
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Liverpool
    I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I know that in Germany specifically there is a very negative feeling for Tesla. Let's not forget that Tesla is a serious threat for the German automotive industry and it is treated like that. So i wouldn't be surprised if there is a bit of political/financial element in decisions like this.
    I have a close relative working for Mercedes in Stuttgart and i have heard some stories through him that go around in Mercedes about the German government called pretty much traitors for allowing Tesla to build a factory in Germany and then the usual story about how crap Teslas are and how Mercedes will throw them out of the market with the brilliant electric cars that will soon (lol) produce.

    As for the voice command I find it totally useless. Best response I got so far; Call Theodora (my wife). Screens reads: call Senators daughter. I was like wtf...
     
  19. Alistairuk

    Alistairuk Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2020
    Messages:
    99
    Location:
    Scotland
    I found the original German article that the English translations are based on...

    Urteil nach Tesla-Unfall: Gericht verbietet Touchscreen-Bedienung

    Translated it says:

    The Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Karlsruhe confirmed in a final judgment (1 Rb 36 Ss 832/19) a driving ban for a Tesla driver who got off the road when it was raining because he wanted to adjust the interval of the windscreen wipers on the central screen.

    The guiding principle of the judgment states: "The touchscreen permanently installed in the vehicle of the Tesla brand is an electronic device within the meaning of Section 23 (1a) sentence 1 and 2 StVO, the operation of which the motor vehicle driver is only permitted under the conditions of this regulation , it does not matter what purpose the driver pursues with the operation.

    On August 22, 2019, the Tesla driver had been fined 200 euros for "improper use of an electronic device in accordance with Section 23 (1) a of the Road Traffic Regulations" and had banned a one-month driving ban. The man had strayed from federal road 36 in the evening of March 15, 2019, driven into an embankment and hit several trees. According to the court, this is because "he (has) used the touchscreen, which is permanently installed next to the steering wheel above the center console of the vehicle, in order to adjust the intervals of the windshield wiper, which has already been switched on because of heavy rain the associated turn away from the traffic situation, however, the affected person got off the lane to the right when the road was wet and heavy rain ".

    The district court assumed in its decision that the person concerned "could have foreseen and prevented the damage to property if the necessary care was taken in road traffic".

    This judgment, confirmed by the OLG Karlsruhe, should also attract attention from car manufacturers. The district court viewed the Tesla "permanently installed touch screen as an electronic device within the meaning of Section 23 (1a) StVO".

    Tesla's windshield wipers can be switched on and off on the steering wheel, but the intervals can be set via a submenu on the touchscreen, where the driver can choose between five settings. According to the judge, this requires significantly more attention than the operation of the windshield wiper with the "conventional fittings".

    The victim argued in his complaint against the classification of the touchscreen in the Tesla as an electronic device because he considers the speed control of the wiper as a "safety-related control panel". But the court rejected this with reference to Section 23 (1a) sentence 1 of the StVO. Accordingly, the driver may "use an electronic device that serves or is intended to serve communication, information or organization only if the device is neither recorded nor held for this purpose and either a) only a voice control and reading function is used or b) for operation and use of the device, only a brief glance at the device, adapted to the road, traffic, visibility and weather conditions, while taking a corresponding look away from the traffic situation is or is required ".
     
    • Like x 1
  20. G78M3

    G78M3 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2018
    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    South Florida
    This is what needs to be done. I have suggested a couple of times already to Tesla but got a form response that they would pass it up to the appropriate team.... Hopefully this time around this will cause some traction.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC