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The 'Fool' in FSD?

Zakalwe

Member
Oct 16, 2020
412
373
UK
Safety driver distraction is a really significant problem whilst we have this sort of half way house autonomy. Older aeroplanes, with autopilot but without a full FMS, have exactly the same problem. The solution with aircraft was to increase the capability of the autopilot systems so that instead of just flying at a set height and course, they had enough situational awareness to be able to fly the aeroplane safely as well as, perhaps better than, a human, and then to set stringent rules as to where the aircraft can operate autonomously and where it cannot.

The situation we have with cars is that there are no such stringent rules being enforced. Some are choosing to allow cars to drive in conditions that are outside the scope and capability of the autonomous control system, and, at the moment, the cars allow this. It may be that, in order to get full self driving working safely initially, where self driving vehicles are very much in the minority, there needs to be some sort of geofencing enforced. Only allowing autonomous driving on motorways and dual carriageways, for example, might be a reasonable start, with the system being disabled in towns and along narrow lanes. As the system matures, then the geofencing could be relaxed.

"Safety driver" awareness is a massive challenge as we humans are not very good at remaining focused, especially where a system is operating and we are expected to step in at short notice. It's one of the reasons why large commercial aircraft have to have a Pilot-In-Charge and Co-Pilot, as this system allows for not only load-sharing but also monitoring of the other's actions.

however,, in the unfortunate case of Elaine Herzberg, as in so many disasters, there were many avoidable steps into the incident pit.
Uber rolled out a system too quickly- they had lots of reports internally to this effect. The unfortunate victim decided to cross a multi-lane road at night despite signs stating that crossing was prohibited.She also tested positive for dope and meth, though it's not possible to say she was under the influence at the time. The "safety driver" chose to allow herself to be distracted by watching TV on her phone at the start of her shift. Uber clearly had little or no monitoring of its safety drivers in place.

Although this case will be held up as a case against autonomous vehicles it really is a poor one to make judgements on, because of the above.

Safety driver distraction is a really significant problem whilst we have this sort of half way house autonomy. Older aeroplanes, with autopilot but without a full FMS, have exactly the same problem. The solution with aircraft was to increase the capability of the autopilot systems so that instead of just flying at a set height and course, they had enough situational awareness to be able to fly the aeroplane safely as well as, perhaps better than, a human, and then to set stringent rules as to where the aircraft can operate autonomously and where it cannot.

Perfection can't be the enemy of progress. Planes used autopilot for years and incrementally became better at it.

The situation we have with cars is that there are no such stringent rules being enforced. Some are choosing to allow cars to drive in conditions that are outside the scope and capability of the autonomous control system, and, at the moment, the cars allow this. It may be that, in order to get full self driving working safely initially, where self driving vehicles are very much in the minority, there needs to be some sort of geofencing enforced. Only allowing autonomous driving on motorways and dual carriageways, for example, might be a reasonable start, with the system being disabled in towns and along narrow lanes. As the system matures, then the geofencing could be relaxed.

As with many things, legislation will also be slower than the technology advances. Waymo are following the strictly geo-fenced model. GM, with their Super Cruise model, are following the type of road model where the system (until next year) will only work on interstates and freeways. Which pathway will be best is unknown at this time.

Ultimately, FSD is an engineering problem. There's nothing in the laws of physics that is a show-stopper so it's solution lies purely in engineering and as such it will be solved. At the moment automotive deaths kill 1.35 MILLION people per year, but as usual we humans are very poor at judging risk. In reality we should be screaming from the rooftops about the 1.35 million killed every year and doing everything that we can to prevent meatbags like ourselves being allowed to continue that slaughter.
 
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Wol747

Member
Aug 26, 2017
827
346
Tea Gardens
FSD is a far more demanding task than that which an aircraft autopilot is programmed for.
The low hanging fruit - motorway driving - is still not 100% reliable, what with phantom braking, weird speed recognition etc etc. FSD - in it's fullest sense of driving autonomously anywhere, any time - is a long way away even in the US. We can all watch videos of the various companies' cars navigating well defined mapped routes, but IMO we are light years away from allowing it in most environments.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,704
UK
Just to be clear, I wasn't referring to any specific incident, nor am I in any way opposed to the development of FSD. I am extremely concerned about all the self-driving BS that gets spread by those who are so brain dead that they think it's OK to watch movies, send texts, play games, whilst relying on what is clearly defined (at the moment) as a driver assist system. I share NCAPs view that calling a driver assist system "Autopilot" was a very dumb move, from a safety perspective, as it implies that the car can be driven "hands off". Other cars have features very similar to Autopilot, yet they are clearly described as driver assist features. Just to be clear, "Autopilot" is the name Tesla has given to the car's driver assist system, and is not the name Tesla use to describe autonomous operation. FSD is something else entirely.
 
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Zakalwe

Member
Oct 16, 2020
412
373
UK
I share NCAPs view that calling a driver assist system "Autopilot" was a very dumb move, from a safety perspective, as it implies that the car can be driven "hands off". Other cars have features very similar to Autopilot, yet they are clearly described as driver assist features.

Of all the arguments I'm always fascinated by this one. Most people are yet to be dumbfounded when they open a box of Yorkshire Tea and realise that the tea wasn't grown in Leeds. The newspapers aren't filled with pages of distraught people complaining that their Magnum ice-cream wrapper contained absolutely no guns, no large bottle of champagne and no moustachioed Hawaiian private investigators. Volvo drivers manage to not think that they can fly aeroplanes despite their ADAS system being called "Pilot Assist". Ford drivers can't be heard wailing when they realise that their "Smart and Safe" system is dumber than the average house pet.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,704
UK
Of all the arguments I'm always fascinated by this one. Most people are yet to be dumbfounded when they open a box of Yorkshire Tea and realise that the tea wasn't grown in Leeds. The newspapers aren't filled with pages of distraught people complaining that their Magnum ice-cream wrapper contained absolutely no guns, no large bottle of champagne and no moustachioed Hawaiian private investigators. Volvo drivers manage to not think that they can fly aeroplanes despite their ADAS system being called "Pilot Assist". Ford drivers can't be heard wailing when they realise that their "Smart and Safe" system is dumber than the average house pet.

I'm not convinced that Tesla are wholly responsible for what's happened as far as public perception of Autopilot is concerned, but I do know that when people ask about the car, the first questions inevitably focus on performance and the car's self-driving ability. There are a lot of people around who believe that Tesla's drive themselves. Some of that is a consequence of media hype, some is a consequence of a few nutters who make videos of their Tesla's doing things way outside the safe operational envelope.

However, some of it is because there aren't many people, other than Tesla owners, who understand that Autopilot and FSD are two very different things. For many, the fact that FSD is really a true autopilot (or will be, one day) and autopilot is not an autopilot, but a suite of driver assist features, just won't be apparent. Whether we, or Tesla, like it or not, many people think that Autopilot is FSD. I believe this is the point that NCAP picked up on. With hindsight, Tesla should have chosen to name these features differently, something that may well have prevented the myths that have arisen since. The snag is, Tesla chose the names of these features years ago, without realising how public perception would tend to view them in years to come.
 
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browellm

Member
Oct 4, 2019
448
401
Notts
Of all the arguments I'm always fascinated by this one. Most people are yet to be dumbfounded when they open a box of Yorkshire Tea and realise that the tea wasn't grown in Leeds. The newspapers aren't filled with pages of distraught people complaining that their Magnum ice-cream wrapper contained absolutely no guns, no large bottle of champagne and no moustachioed Hawaiian private investigators. Volvo drivers manage to not think that they can fly aeroplanes despite their ADAS system being called "Pilot Assist". Ford drivers can't be heard wailing when they realise that their "Smart and Safe" system is dumber than the average house pet.

This post is an object listen to anyone who thinks really awful analogies are helping them make their point.
 
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pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,053
1,029
Leamington
I think we can all agree that delivering full autonomy on real roads with all that entails (complex/ nuanced priority rules, other drivers, pedestrians, wide range of weather, little or no driver training on use of the autonomy system, ...) is a very tall order. Certainly much harder than flying a plane autonomously. It's not only hard from a computational perspective, but the sensor tech required is also challenging. I'm not at all convinced that Tesla's "camera mostly" approach can ever be sufficiently reliable, esp in more demanding weather situations.

Personally, I'd be very happy if the system worked well on motorways and other well- controlled environments. Coping with Swindon's magic roundabout or a narrow country lane in Devon with passing places is a problem I'd never expect it to handle.
 

phil4

Member
Sep 8, 2020
294
162
UK
To the OP.... I don't think anyone who buys FSD is a fool.

I do think though that for some people, myself included there are two big factors that put me off FSD. 1) The cost. It's really really not cheap. 2) I'll only have my car for a few years.

So I'd be investing a significant sum in something that doesn't work yet, isn't legal to use in the way its intended yet, and will get better eventually. So it's a risk based on a limited time and amount of money. For me that's a high cost and short time. For others it'll differ.

I don't think that anyone who makes the choice to buy FSD is a fool, nor do I think the people that don't are either.
 

spon88

Member
May 2, 2019
515
287
Derby
I don't think that anyone who makes the choice to buy FSD is a fool, nor do I think the people that don't are either.
Spot on and your reasons are similar to mine for not investing, even though I could afford it. As someone who is quite impulsive with buying new tech, I do sometimes congratulate myself for not forking out intially and waiting to see what develops, both performance wise and purchase options. Had I been my usual impulsive self, it would have been straight into the basket and I think I'd feel disappointed now.

However, If it does get to a point of usabilty some expect, then it'll be well worth the £10k or whatever it costs then. But for me now, not a good purchase
 

browellm

Member
Oct 4, 2019
448
401
Notts
It's always been priced "boldly". Definitely not in the impulse purchase bracket in the same way something like rear-seat heating, or performance boost is.
 

Strategium

Member
Nov 18, 2019
82
119
Dundee, UK
To the OP.... I don't think anyone who buys FSD is a fool.

I do think though that for some people, myself included there are two big factors that put me off FSD. 1) The cost. It's really really not cheap. 2) I'll only have my car for a few years.

So I'd be investing a significant sum in something that doesn't work yet, isn't legal to use in the way its intended yet, and will get better eventually. So it's a risk based on a limited time and amount of money. For me that's a high cost and short time. For others it'll differ.

I don't think that anyone who makes the choice to buy FSD is a fool, nor do I think the people that don't are either.
To be clear, I also don't think anyone is a fool for not buying FSD - to be honest, I also don't think I was a fool either for deciding to buy it, though the jury (= wife & family) is definitely still out on that one...

In its current state, buying FSD means you are definitely taking a punt on what the future software development will manage to deliver. I don't think the cost-benefit justifies the expense of FSD based solely upon the capabilities it provides today. Some of that is likely caused by regulatory restrictions hobbling the system in the EU but that for sure is only part of the story. 'Smart Summon' is not very smart at all at present and self parking of limited practical use in my experience with FSD. I also share the common frustration with phantom braking events, though thankfully that seems to happen less often for me than previously.

But even with all of the limitations, uncertainties and caveats, I have really enjoyed seeing the potential of autonomous features and how it (mostly) improves with successive software updates. If it was not something that I felt would be continually improved by software updates, I would not have purchased FSD. I also think Elon Musk and others are correct in saying that in future autonomous systems will be seen as essential to reduce the horrendous numbers of accidents, injuries and fatalities caused by poor human driving. But I don't see any way of getting the technology to the point we want, i.e. where it is safer than 'human pilot', without going through the intermediate phase we are in right now.

Maybe at this point in the development curve Tesla should have used different names for the system. as some people suggest 'to avoid confusion'. Frankly, though, I strongly suspect that the same people who click the screen to 'accept' they have read the clearly defined descriptions Tesla provides and requires you to agree to of what the system should and should not be used for, will still blunder off to use it inappropriately regardless of what it was called.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,704
UK
As far as whether or not FSD is worth buying/renting, then my view is that it's no different to any other aspect of buying a car. For some, FSD will be viewed as a "must have" feature, for others, perhaps those whose day to day driving gives little or no opportunity to use FSD it won't be seen as being that useful.

Everyone has different needs and priorities when it comes to car features. Take supercharging, for example. In nearly a year of Tesla ownership I've yet to actually use a supercharger. The need just hasn't arisen, in part because one of the reasons I opted to buy the LR model was so that we'd not need to charge on route. All my charging has been either at home or at a destination, and I don't envisage that changing, so, for me, the value added from having access to the supercharger network is zero. For others, access to superchargers may well be the factor that swings them towards buying a Tesla.
 

TomD

Member
Jul 24, 2019
125
72
UK
My only complaint with FSD is the way it is sold. Should be connected to the buyer/account and not the car. I didn't buy FSD just because I think we are 5 years away from it being usable in the UK and I won't have the same car in 5 years and somethings that will probably need design changes to overcome.

How many trips when it's wet do you get a message pop up saying a camera is obstructed or can't be used etc? For me it seems like most trips at some point. Roundabouts are miles away, what happens if there is a Tesla at all entries to a roundabout, which car goes?

4D may improve things a lot but still think we are way off.
 

gangzoom

Active Member
May 22, 2014
1,244
1,057
Uk
So more fool me - but after just seeing some of the first video footage on YouTube of the new beta version of '4D' FSD, maybe it isn't me after all who is the fool in FSD after all?

Having just watched some more videos of the FSD beta I have a sense of Déjà Vu, its reminds me of the first time I saw Steve Jobs unlock the original iPhone. I don't own an iPhone now, and I didn't get the original iPhone. Despite the fact it lacked 3G, had a poor battery life, no App store, at that point I knew my Palm Treo 650 was now a paper weight.

original_iphone_unlock-100654081-orig.png


Not everyone bought an iPhone, and lots of people still don't like Apple, but there is no doubt the iPhone changed phone design and the whole pathway of the industry.

What Waymo and Tesla FSD beta for me in the last few weeks have done the same for cars, forget EVs, forget charging times etc. FSD is technology is going to 100% redefine how/what we view cars should and can do. Its far from perfect, but just like the first iPhone its a demonstration of a new approach which pretty much all traditional manfactures are going to struggle to get.

I cannot see my self buying a 'normal' car every again, why would I want to waste so much money on a machine that sits around doing nothing 99% of the time I own it, when for the same amount of money I could/can get a machine that could be so much more productive??

Yes the days of us ordering a Robotaxi from our phones or have it deliver shopping to our door is not here yet, but is seem a lot closer than it did a few weeks ago, and looking ahead the possiblites are endless.

I for one am really excited, this stuff is the what we need to aim for, and the sooner we have it the better. People still bought Nokia phones when the iPhone first came out, infact Nokia revenue peaked in 2007 the year of the iPhone release......But for me life is not about living in the past or been content with the present, but its the excitement of what the future holds.

Given all the doom and gloom we see on the news constantly I see Tesla FSD beta as, if nothing else, a welcome distraction and vision of a future I would love to experience :).
 
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Rooster6655

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,521
527
UK
I suspect there's many of us who feel the same, I've only ever met one person that regretted buying FSD. I wonder how many people actually take it as an option, anyone know the %?

Well its too early to regret it, now in 2 years time people may start...
 

FEERSUMENDJIN

Member
Jul 27, 2019
134
125
Scotland
Just to be clear, I wasn't referring to any specific incident, nor am I in any way opposed to the development of FSD. I am extremely concerned about all the self-driving BS that gets spread by those who are so brain dead that they think it's OK to watch movies, send texts, play games, whilst relying on what is clearly defined (at the moment) as a driver assist system. I share NCAPs view that calling a driver assist system "Autopilot" was a very dumb move, from a safety perspective, as it implies that the car can be driven "hands off". Other cars have features very similar to Autopilot, yet they are clearly described as driver assist features. Just to be clear, "Autopilot" is the name Tesla has given to the car's driver assist system, and is not the name Tesla use to describe autonomous operation. FSD is something else entirely.

And the difference between "auto helm" available for decades that can only hold a compass bearing in a boat ??? Never seen anybody crash into the dock and blame Raymarine ! Stupid is as stupid does.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,704
UK
And the difference between "auto helm" available for decades that can only hold a compass bearing in a boat ??? Never seen anybody crash into the dock and blame Raymarine ! Stupid is as stupid does.

I agree, a great deal of this whole thing is a consequence of a few stupid people doing stupid things and then the media picking up on that and blaming the car, rather the the idiots. However, we are where we are, and like it or not, the car is probably as well known for being self driving as it is for being an EV, and we all know that, as of now, the standard car (i.e. without FSD) isn't really capable of full self driving.

Autopilot is not marketed as a self-driving system, never has been, it's always been what's now generically classified as a driver assist system, much like systems now appearing in some other cars. I bet a poll of the general public would not come back with a result where the majority classified the Tesla Autopilot as being a driver assist system though, as it seems to have now been established in the minds of many that it's something that allows the car to drive itself, with no driver input.
 

GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
546
529
UK
I agree, a great deal of this whole thing is a consequence of a few stupid people doing stupid things and then the media picking up on that and blaming the car, rather the the idiots. However, we are where we are, and like it or not, the car is probably as well known for being self driving as it is for being an EV, and we all know that, as of now, the standard car (i.e. without FSD) isn't really capable of full self driving.

Autopilot is not marketed as a self-driving system, never has been, it's always been what's now generically classified as a driver assist system, much like systems now appearing in some other cars. I bet a poll of the general public would not come back with a result where the majority classified the Tesla Autopilot as being a driver assist system though, as it seems to have now been established in the minds of many that it's something that allows the car to drive itself, with no driver input.
It would seem a leap to me to assume that once a member of the 'general public' buys a Tesla they continue to be of this false impression while they maintain pressure on the steering wheel. Not saying never as there was someone here who inexplicably did just that, but I thin that was an exception to prove the rule.
My wife's Nissan Leaf has 'ProPilot', TBH that sounds just as likely to self drive.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,704
UK
It would seem a leap to me to assume that once a member of the 'general public' buys a Tesla they continue to be of this false impression while they maintain pressure on the steering wheel. Not saying never as there was someone here who inexplicably did just that, but I thin that was an exception to prove the rule.
My wife's Nissan Leaf has 'ProPilot', TBH that sounds just as likely to self drive.

I agree, as soon as someone drives the car they probably quickly realise just what Autopilot, in the Tesla context, really means. Doesn't stop one of the most frequent subjects discussed with someone that's never driven one being about its self-driving capability. It seems to be the main thing, aside from being a high performance EV, that most people associate with the car. As mentioned earlier, a fair bit of this seems to be because the media seem very fond of making big stories about any Tesla FSD incident, and often refer to FSD as "Tesla's autopilot system", or words to that effect. Funny we don't see big stories when lane keeping assist goes awry in other makes.
 

GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
546
529
UK
I agree, as soon as someone drives the car they probably quickly realise just what Autopilot, in the Tesla context, really means. Doesn't stop one of the most frequent subjects discussed with someone that's never driven one being about its self-driving capability. It seems to be the main thing, aside from being a high performance EV, that most people associate with the car. As mentioned earlier, a fair bit of this seems to be because the media seem very fond of making big stories about any Tesla FSD incident, and often refer to FSD as "Tesla's autopilot system", or words to that effect. Funny we don't see big stories when lane keeping assist goes awry in other makes.
Tesla are an innovator and disruptor, it makes more conservative people uncomfortable so they want to find flaws. Remember when mainstream media wanted to point out the huge fire risk from Tesla's based on a couple of photos, while not mentioning the we've all probably seen a dozen ICE car fires with out own eyes.
 

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