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The end of "Autopilot" (term)

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by deonb, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Don't see this posted yet.

    Looks like Tesla will have to change the term "Autopilot" to something else, at least in California, but that pretty much implies worldwide.

    Reason is that the California DMV has a new draft article that, although generally good (allows driverless cars in California if it can be proven safe), has a clause at the end that states:


    227.90. Statements About Autonomous Technology


    (a) No vehicle shall be advertised as an autonomous vehicle unless it meets all of the following
    requirements:


    (1) The vehicle meets the definition of an autonomous vehicle specified in Vehicle Code
    section 38750 and section 227.02(d) of this Article.

    (2) The vehicle was manufactured by a manufacturer licensed pursuant to Vehicle Code
    section 11701 also holding a valid autonomous vehicle manufacturer’s permit issued
    pursuant to this Article at the time of the vehicle’s manufacture.​

    (b) Terms such as “self-driving”, “automated”, “auto-pilot”, or other statements made that are
    likely to induce a reasonably prudent person to believe a vehicle is autonomous, as defined,
    constitute an advertisement that the vehicle is autonomous for the purposes of this section and
    Vehicle Code section 11713.


    Article 3.7 – Autonomous Vehicles
     
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  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    So that is a draft regulation proposal.
    This of course has been debated endlessly on TMC, but I disagree that a "reasonably prudent person" believes that "Autopilot" = "autonomous". People who do not understand the meaning of "autonomous" can be confused, that is clear.

    What does "Request Rejected" in your post mean?
     
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  3. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    For some reason the link was down just as I posted it, so when TMC polled the server it got "Request Rejected". I manually gave it a name now so it should be ok, provided their server stays up...
     
  4. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Yes, it's a draft proposal, but if you want that changed before it goes into effect, you may have to start a phone campaign to your legislators. I would have no idea who this is in California.


    I disagree that a "reasonably prudent person" is in charge of writing laws :)
     
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  5. Soolim

    Soolim Member

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    It does not bother me if the draft legislation is approved in California. Confused user not only endanger themselves.
     
  6. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Except that there hasn't been any proof that a real driver has been so confused by the term 'autopilot' that they caused an accident as a result of the term. e.g. If you look at the Joshua Brown youtube channel, he was very will aware of the exact autopilot limitations.

    People who do the YouTube stunts isn't going to stop doing the stunts even if you call it: "Lane holding mass murdered mode".

    The only people who get really confused by the term "Autopilot" is the media.
     
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  7. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    A always felt that the term "Autopilot" was confusing and disingenuous. It states, quite literally, that the car will automatically pilot itself. That strongly implies autonomy. Tesla should have named it "Co-Pilot", as that implies a cooperation between the software and the pilot - you, the driver. I hope this draft legislation passes and that Tesla is forced to rename the feature to something less confusing, less misleading.

    California forced Tesla to honestly advertise its prices back in 2012/2013, if it wasn't for California we would still be confused about how much this car really costs. This is a change for the better and will help Tesla, whether they realize it or not. Tesla, or rather Elon Musk, has shown a propensity for making misleading claims and overstating capabilities wherever possible. Owners in Norway are now suing Tesla over making misleading statements regarding horsepower in that market.

    The sad thing is that Tesla doesn't need to overhype anything, yet they continue acting out of insecurity.
     
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  8. flashflood

    flashflood Member

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    I guess confusing is in the eye of the beholder. To me, autopilot is perfectly descriptive. Everyone knows that a plane can't fly itself, and that autopilot is just a form of cruise control. There are still two pilots up there, very much required. By contrast, copilot implies a second, 100% capable pilot who can take over all functions at any time. That is very much not what Tesla is offering.
     
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  9. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    Yep, airplane pilots have been routinely leaving the cockpit and crashing the aircraft since the 50s because they turned on the AutoPilot. :rolleyes:
     
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  10. Ben W

    Ben W P85 #61, Roadster #108

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    So is the term "Automobile" also confusing and disingenuous? It states, quite literally, that the car will automatically move itself around. That strongly implies autonomy.

    Right?
     
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  11. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    Always felt that the term Cruise-Control was confusing and disingenuous. I mean it says it will control your cruising and all it does it make my car drive the same speed. Controlling cruising would mean something totally different. We should ban the term cruise control. and instead force all manufacturers to call it something more accurate.

    /sigh
     
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  12. ICETOO

    ICETOO Member

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    From Wikipedia:

    "An autopilot is a system used to control the trajectory of a vehicle without constant 'hands-on' control by a human operator being required. Autopilots do not replace a human operator, but assist them in controlling the vehicle, allowing them to focus on broader aspects of operation, such as monitoring the trajectory, weather and systems."

    In context of Tesla advertising, appears to be quite accurate...especially "Autopilots do not replace a human operator"
     
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  13. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    First, airplane analogies to the term Autopilot are incorrect. Airplane AP system DO allow pilots to safely do other tasks other than keeping attention fixed to flying the plane. Big jets have radar and Transponder based perimeter warning systems, they have air traffic controllers that keep flight lanes open and cross path planes flying at different altitudes. Pilots get alerted in plenty of time from safety system warnings and radio should an unsafe situation be developing. Contrast that with a driver which can be cut off with inches to spare at any time. They could drive up to an obstruction in the road at any time. A lane could be closed with hard to see flares or cones at any time, all with very little warning requiring that the car driver maintain diligence at all times, no exceptions.

    Second, it doesn't matter how different/similar the two AP systems are, what matters is how a small minority of people perceive the term Autopilot. If only 1% of the population thinks Autopilot means autonomous with little user attention required, then the term is dangerous and should not be used. Note that Tesla had an opportunity to correct people's view of what their term Autopilot means through aggressive marketing, campaigning, and PR efforts, but they decided not to. So now they are stuck with a perception among SOME people that Autopilot equals autonomous, and that is unsafe. CA is absolutely correct to regulate this term and force manufacturers to use a better term. It will save lives.
     
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  14. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    I do not agree with renaming it, but this is one of the better reasoned arguments for doing so.
     
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  15. jdw

    jdw Member

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    #15 jdw, Oct 2, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    Legislating renaming Tesla's AutoPilot because someone might think that it was something other than the exact Wikipedia or dictionary definition of Auto Pilot moves us one step closer to Idiocracy.

    So I bought a Chrysler Magic Wagon ...


    Wikipedia:

    An autopilot is a system used to control the trajectory of a vehicle without constant 'hands-on' control by a human operator being required. Autopilots do not replace a human operator, but assist them in controlling the vehicle, allowing them to focus on broader aspects of operation, such as monitoring the trajectory, weather and systems.

    Merriam Webster:

    an electronic control system, as on an aircraft, spacecraft, or ship, that automatically maintains a preset heading and attitude.
     
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  16. Ulmo

    Ulmo Member

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    I also don't like Cruise Control or Automobile, but 3 wrongs don't make a right. If we come up with a better term than "automatic piloting" or "autopilot", then that would be a good thing. (On the other hand, if we come up with some godawful term like Adaptability Assistance Servicing Magic Cruise Control, then I say screw it, just make some new word up like "the Xyloboby Feature", because it would be better at that point).
     
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  17. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Member

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    All this arguing about semantics seems silly to me. A car is a large piece of metal hurling down the highway; keep your hands on the wheel and your attention focused on your driving. This is just common sense, regardless of the name.
     
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  18. flashflood

    flashflood Member

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    I'm sorry, but there is nothing -- literally nothing -- that 1% of the population can't find some way to misunderstand. You're talking about people who make toast in the bathtub.
     
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  19. Ben W

    Ben W P85 #61, Roadster #108

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    #19 Ben W, Oct 2, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    In related news, perhaps it's also time we stopped calling evolution a "theory", given the widespread lay misunderstanding of the term.

    I'm not sure, in either case, whether it would actually help solve the underlying problem.
     
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  20. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    We can certainly all agree the media generally paints the dangerous picture, but I'd contest that its a self serving loop of media driven FUD where most of the motorist confusion comes from. I'd bet my Tesla that way more than 1% of the motoring population would over estimate the capability of Autopilot. Heck, I'd bet that more than 1% of Tesla owners overestimate Autopilot.

    In the end, perception is reality, and so I'm okay with the terminology ban. The bigger picture of getting autonomous vehicles to the masses is more important than winning an otherwise hopeless argument over a word.
     
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