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Discussion in 'Model X' started by xkwizit, Aug 5, 2016.
Man says Tesla Autopilot drove him to the hospital, saved his life
Very glad to hear the driver made it to the hospital safely. Probably not the best press for AP, since it potentially endangered others on the road. Still, I'm happy the end result is positive.
The following is a better link to the article:
Tesla’s Autopilot Is Flawed. But Is It Also a Lifesaver?
Let's write what actually happened:
Tesla autopilot drives 20 miles on the highway.
Human takes over last few hundred meters, stops at hospital.
This is a news story?
Agreed. Back in the day when cruise control was the newfangled toy, I wonder if the first time someone used cruise control to help get to the hospital made international news.
Note that the Autosteer part of DriverAssist (AP) keeps speeding to a minimum. Which clearly saves lives.
And yet, he should have pulled over and waited for an ambulance? Good luck with that.
He had a pulmonary embolism. His mental state was likely changing from moment to moment during that drive. Also, the 10-20 minute difference between letting autopilot continue driving vs pulling over and calling 911 could very well have saved his life. I think it's news worthy in the sense that Tesla is pretty much the only car available now that even has that option. Otherwise the story would have been "man has pulmonary embolism while driving (insert any other SUV) on the freeway, causes 10-car pileup, multiple fatalities".
The press would probably blame AP even if he pulled over, call 911 and died. They would surely blame AP if an accident occurred.
But if he actually died in the car, Autopilot would have just kept on going right past the exit for the hospital, and eventually disengaged and the car would have crashed (or pulled itself over?), possibly causing more damage or injury, which would have completely different headlines -- AP kills more people.
Autopilot didn't "drive him to the hospital", AP did AP exactly as it was designed to do, no more, no less, that's it.
More accurately, "autopilot, a feature not available on any other car, allowed the driver to maintain speed and stay in lane while he was in a state of panic and extreme discomfort". Agree, it didn't drive him to the hospital like a friend would have.
Sure, it helped. But if he died, AP would have crashed eventually... and AP would have been blamed somehow in the press.
Slight niggle with this.. AP is designed to assist a driver who is in their full driving capacity. This driver arguably was not.
Actually the "sudden death" scenario when autopilot is on (and doesn't detect any response to the increasingly frequent chimes and "hold steering wheel" prompts) is to turn on hazard lights and slow down to a complete stop. Autosteer remains active so he would have just stopped in the middle of his lane. Yes, that could cause a crash but less likely than "sudden death" in a regular car where lane keeping and speed could control is lost instantly and without any visible warning.
No. The beta-AP was not designed to drive temporarily disabled people to the hospital (someone commented his mental state may have been rapidly changing)
According to the manual AP is a driver assist and the person needs to have their hands on the wheel.
Terrible that people promote this as an AP win. It turned out well for him, but there are other drivers on the road who may not have been lucky if say for instance a truck turned into the lane and the AP didn't register it. That happened recently in Florida.
Alright, fine. Here's a counterargument, in the spirit of equal time:
Except it was an AP win. He didn't have to worry as much about maintaining forward distance nor about lateral positioning. As noted above, had he passed out, the car would have come to a stop with flashers engaged. What other car would engage the flashers in such a case, while probably driving off the road to boot?
Was this a perfect scenario? No. I look forward to the day when sensors monitor heart rate and such, and, if in cellular range, a call gets automagically placed to emergency services *with your location* when vital signs dictate. Then, pulling over in a populated area would make more sense.
The expectation *today* that a call to 911 results in an ambulance magically appearing at your location, let alone in time, is not that realistic when you can't form words.
Tough call - I would have done what he did, except, and I am embarrassed to say this, I have no idea where the nearest hospital adjacent a freeway around here is. The first 3 hospitals that come to mind are all about 15 minutes from an exit.
This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the hospitals in your area. You likely won't need them but it takes a very tiny amount of time (compared to the time we spend here on TMC) and it's free insurance.
Did the AP in the Florida incident do this?
Hard to do that when most of the AP hardware is ripped from the vehicle. But you know that.