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Should Tesla restrict Auto-Steer to only Freeways via software?

Should Tesla push a software update to restrict Auto-steer to Freeways?

  • Yes... it's still too risky if there's the potential for cross traffic.

  • Maybe... I don't feel strongly either way...

  • No... let drivers decide what level of risk their willing to take.

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The problem with driving over the speed limit in that area is it on a slight hill, approaching an intersection. This is why I would assume the car was never in the truck's line of sight until it was too late. To say the truck driver probably made an aggressive cut in traffic is unreasonable since there is nothing to support that.

Do you actually know what intersection the accident was at? I haven't found it in any articles.

There are clearly faults that can be found with both drivers: The Latest: Truck firm in Tesla crash had safety violations


Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
Snohomish, WA
My first reaction to anything like this is "This is why we can't have nice things".

It tends to happen when someone comes out with something really cool that gets a lot of visibility. A few people here and there misuse it, and it inevitably gets taken away. Or it's so watered down that it's not nearly what it used to be.

The event that spurred this conversation was an edge case of all edge cases. The entire discussion I've seen so far as of it has been speculation and randomly putting together things together without really knowing what really happened.

Here are the pieces I know about.

1.) The Tesla driver had a history of speeding (8 tickets over 6 years).
2.) The Tesla driver previously posted a video showing how autopilot saved him from his inattention, and a lot of people including me reacted by accusing the driver of inattentive driving that almost caused a wreck. We knew from that video that he was allowing the Autopilot system to remove his situational awareness. He got a tons of comments to that affect. I really hope he listened to them.
3.) The trucking driver/company had a handful of infractions.
4.) The road type is notoriously dangerous and fatalities happen all the time on them.
5.) At least one witness claims the Tesla driver was driving in excess of 85mph when he passed her.
6.) The Semi truck driver claimed hearing the movie "Harry Potter" coming from the Tesla (after the crash when he went to look). We don't have any confirmation that it was playing before the accident or if the driver was watching it.
7.) They did find a portable DVD player in the wreckage.
8.) The sun may have played a significant role in impairing the vision of the Tesla driver.
9) The road crested before where the accident happened and likely reduced the reaction time by a significant amount given the speed limit of 65mph.

So it's pretty much pick your story at this point, and what to blame.

But, thinking outside of all that. What was really the biggest contributing factor?

The fact that he was there in the first place.

I realized awhile ago that I didn't even see the Tesla Model S as a car, but more like a spaceship. It wasn't just a way to get to work and back, and in fact it sometimes feels silly to drive it to work Instead it feels like it beckons the open road. Everything from the smoothness to the entire supercharging experience. Yet, I don't even really use the full autopilot much. I feel like it takes too much situational awareness away so I stick with the TACC (which is the important part anyways).

The real danger is how many more miles the owners are driving, The Model S driving assistance technology doesn't escape the inherent dangers of driving.

The emergency braking is almost laughable.
The blindspot system might be the industries worst implementation
The Camera is barely functional at what it does let alone anything else.
The MobileEye system has acknowledged limitations which affect all the manufactures that use it.

At least three of those four will likely be rectified in the next version of AutoPilot. but the current one has some serious limitations.

We're not going to gain much through additional limitations of autopilot. The only way to gain is to implement better technology, and to learn from the things that happen. Lots of bad things will happen with Level 2 semiautonomous cars. It won't just be the Tesla, but all the others ones. Level 2 is a stepping stone to Level 3, and at level 3 is where we're going to start to see a lot of the benefits (aside from reduction in rear end crashes which level 2 does a great job of preventing/minimizing most of the time).
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Yesterday, we were on a four lane divided highway that narrowed into a wide, well marked two lane in a rural area. I took the car off autopilot when the road changed. Once on the new two lane road, I tried to reset it and it restricted the use to 60 in a 55 zone. That has never happened before.

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