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Unpopular Opinion - I don't want Autopilot/Autonomous vehicles

Discussion in 'Autonomous Vehicles' started by doubeld, Aug 27, 2016.

?

Will you order AutoPilot on your next Tesla

  1. Yes

    88 vote(s)
    87.1%
  2. No

    13 vote(s)
    12.9%
  1. doubeld

    doubeld Member

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    I think I may definitely be in the minority here, but I just don't get the huge demand for autonomous personal vehicles.

    Firstly, I am seeing so many people saying that they want a base Model x (x as in the variable) as long as it has autopilot - and that is their first option. I figure that these are the technology folks. Not necessarily the driving folks. Why would you spend all that money on a vehicle, a vehicle that will probably perform like a great driver's car, only to let a machine drive it? Especially if these folks are stretching their budget. Isn't that what mass transit or ride sharing is all about?
    I have an emotional problem with that stance since I absolutely love to drive. I drive stick in rush hour traffic and it doesn't bother me. I like stepping on the gas in the twisties and seeing where the edge of traction is. I like to get the car sideways in the snow. But practically, I could find L3 or L4 autopilot to be handy on occasion only.

    Secondly, I think with autonomous, or partially autonomous vehicles, we will get a "dumbing down" of the driving skill of the driving population. If the car starts taking over more and more of the driving job, then the person behind the wheel/yoke/touchscreen slowly loses his/her edge and ability to react to one-off situations that computers can not handle. As Elon said, there are 8 billion corner cases to figure out with Autonomous vehicles.
    Just as I feel driving an automatic transmission takes your attention away from your driver-car-road relationship, driving a semi- or fully-autonomous vehicle will also take away your connection and full attention to the road. I see this as a downfall and only very strict legislation will make this work, but unfortunately that strict legislation will ruin the fun (Think: no non-autonomous vehicles, lower speed limits, no driving in inclement weather, etc.).

    Maybe I'm overthinking this, maybe I'm pessimistic (I'd be lying if I said that wasn't one of my traits), but maybe I'm thinking too far ahead and am way off. Or maybe because it's 4am and I'm rambling.

    At this point, it's pretty obvious that I will be saving myself the $2000+ on Autopilot convenience features (glad that the safety features are included) for these top 3 reasons:

    1) Safety. You are still responsible for your car, your passengers and those around you. If you think AP is perfect, you're wrong. It can be helpful, but the numbers do not yet prove it.
    2) Liability. If someone borrows my car and engages AP features without knowing the downfalls or quirks, I would not want to be involved in that mess.
    3) Maintain my mental driving skills. I know I personally would be guilty of letting it take over more and more until the point comes that I am relying on it too much, and then a situation will arise where I will need to take over in a split second. I need to have the muscle memory and reaction time to correct if need be. I want my kids to be able to drive manually and be able to react to other bad situations very defensively. If we don't know exaclty what the AP computer would do, then we need to be prepared.

    I'm a bit of a luddite, but I love some technology jumps, and I'm very much looking forward to my Model 3.

    This has been on my mind for several months now, and I felt the need to get my thoughts written down. It's late, this probably isn't that coherent, but hopefully it makes sense to a few others out there perhaps in the same boat as myself.

    I added a poll to prove my point. I will bet that less than 10% of respondents will choose No.
     
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  2. Lesifass

    Lesifass Member

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    I don't care about performance. As long as it takes 10 seconds or less for 0-60mph.
    I want a Tesla because it is an EV that supports long distance trips.

    And I want a machine to drive it because I know a machine is able to react faster than I could. It just needs to be programmed correctly / have the correct sensors. :)


    Sure, but a car is more flexible and offers more privacy. So I still like cars.


    Ugh, that's the worst aspect of driving a car. I really hate it.

    Yes, that's the ultimate goal. Driving skills not required, number of accidents at a minimum. The population also lost horse riding skills, which is not a problem today.

    Those situations need to be identified and solved, one after the other. In some rare cases, manual control might be absolutely required. Professional drivers could do that (e.g. remotely).

    No non-autonomous vehicles: Sure, those other vehicles are way too dangerous.
    Lower speed limits: Why? Driving machines should actually support higher speed limits.
    Inclement weather: That problem must be solved before we can have 100% autonomous cars.

    Yes, that's very important at this time. I hope things improve in the future and the car will drive itself without a driver (only passengers).

    Also still very important. Might be irrelevant in 10 years or so.

    I think it makes sense! I just hope for a better autopilot in the future.
     
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  3. Jbailey

    Jbailey Member

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    Post like this remind me of that Dr. Seuss book, "Green Eggs and Ham"
     
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  4. spottyq

    spottyq Member

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    Just to be clear, do you think autonomous driving should be banned ? Or maybe just semi-autonomous (à la Google) ?
    Or do you not care if others have an (semi-)autonomous car ?

    I disagree with your point number 1.

    Autopilot, as it is currently implemented, is like having a second set of pedals and wheel for the passenger and asking the passenger to keep the current speed and staying in the line. Even if the second driver alone has 10x* times the risk of accident as you have (alone,) when both of you are driving, you are safer than driving alone, because both the driver and the autopilot can catch the errors of the other.
    The key thing it is manual AND autonomous, instead of manual OR autonomous. (Okay, manual is probably not the correct word, but you see what I mean.)

    That is, unless you become too accustomed to autopilot driving well/do not understand how it works/etc and start cleaning your dash while driving (sorry, couldn't resist.) as you said in your point 3). Personally, I think there will always be idiots and that you shouldn't prevent everyone from having the nice things because it could be misused. Also, if you ask yourself that question now; I'm sure you'll do fine and not do stupids things once you get your TM3. :)

    *number for illustrative purposes only, color may slightly differ from reality, not contractual, yada yada.


    Also, as Lesifass said, I'm sure at some point in the future, fully autonomous car will be an order of magnitude safer than a normal driver, at which point the only logical thing to do will be to ban manual driving.
    I'll be saddened as I also like to drive (on backroads/mountains/etc., freeways are meh.) but I'll welcome the additional safety. :)
    When (if?) that happens, I'm sure well see lots of private tracks popping you where you'll be able to have some fun. :)
     
    • Like x 2
  5. Jbailey

    Jbailey Member

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    Seriously, I felt the same way (and I still feel the same way about twitter) a little over a year ago and begrudgingly got autopilot on my 85D last year....

    Now....14 months later (25K miles on autopilot, 42k total) I think it is one of the greatest things about the car. It's amazing how actual experience can change preconceived notions. Tesla recently allowed a free trial of autopilot and then the opportunity to activate it. They will probably offer this in the future...try it.


    I felt the same way about Pokemon Go last week. I am ashamed to say I just became a level 20 and captured a Snorlax on the way to McDonald's a few minutes ago thanks to autopi....just kidding.
     
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  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I like to drive a fun car on an uncrowned curvy road as well. But realistically that is only 1% of the driving I actually do.

    In the real world people drive back and forth to work on crowded roads, or they are on road trips on long, straight, boring highways. Autonomous driving will be a huge benefit and in the long run will dramatically lower the accident and injury rate.

    Even Tesla AP V1 is proving to be very useful for many people. And of course you don't need to use it. And you personally don't need to buy it either. It's an option.
     
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  7. 3Victoria

    3Victoria Member

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    OP - I think you make some good points in your very well written post. I like driving stick, too. AP is optional at this point. I expect full autonomy will become required in most roitine situations such as commuting and city traffic, but I am hoping enthusiasts will still be able to drive in the more interesting places.
     
  8. Piney999

    Piney999 Member

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    OP, I am with you. But like you said, I think we are in the minority. I am OK with AP being a feature, but I wouldn't pay much for it. I just don't go on long trips too often, and I love to DRIVE the car to and from work.
     
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  9. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Warning: long winded rant about the crappy driving habits of a significant portion of the driving population.

    Yep driving skills will certainly decrease, but having driven over 30 years now I'd say that trend was long ago established. Hardly anyone can parallel park nowadays and I've seen people do some of the craziest things just to avoid doing it. Many can't back up without hitting something or being 'outside the lines' without a backup camera or someone outside the car directing. Many can't even pull into a parking spot without hitting the curb or something else. Hardly anyone knows where the corners of their car are nowadays.

    I am reminded of a Brady Bunch episode where Greg and Marcia have a driving contest to see if boys or girls are better drivers. One test is them pulling up to a pylon with an egg sitting atop. Who can get closest without hitting the pylon. To successfully do that you've got to know instinctually where the front bumper is even though you can't see it or the pylon. Hardly anyone has those skills anymore, but when I was kid we used meet at the mall parking lot after hours with our parents' boats-for-cars and do all kinds of things like that just for bragging rights.

    Then there's the population who don't think they need to signal, EVER. And most of them don't even check the rearview mirror, the side mirror AND then over their shoulder to their blind spot before changing lanes. How many posts have I read on this forum complaining about blind spot awareness not being up to snuff in the Model S? Answer: quite a few. I've never depended on a sensor or camera in my life to tell me if someone is in my blind spot. If I don't already know (because I'm constantly viewing my surroundings as I drive) then I physically look every.single.time. because that's what I was taught when I was 11 and sitting in the driver's seat of a pickup, hauling a wagon load of hay to the barn from the back forty. And then given pop quizzes throughout my childhood about driving/driving habits. Then told again when taking special driving courses before going for my license pretty much the day of my 16th birthday. Plus I'm pretty much expecting someone to be stupidly sitting in my blind spot, unawares that their in it. I then take the precaution of avoiding sitting in other people's blind spots, especially when I see they're not paying attention.

    Not to mention the mass number of people who think they can drive while putting on makeup, changing their clothes, texting, reading, eating, drinking (and a whole host of other things I've seen them doing).

    I could go on and on and on.

    So....big YEAH to autonomous driving. Then lazy drivers, those with more important things to do then pay attention when behind the wheel, and those not willing to put in the time or effort to improve and hone their driving skills can play tidily winks for all I care, and we all can have significantly reduced risk accompanied by lower car insurance rates. *big thumbs up*
     
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  10. TLej

    TLej Little-Known Member

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    I agree with both @doubeld and @Krugerrand in the sense that yes, I think even Autopilot as it stands today is better than 85 or 90% of the drivers out there - however, I also agree that skills unused deteriorate rapidly, and that is my main reason for not having ordered AP on my S, and having no plans to add it. I have toyed a couple of times with the idea of activating the trial when I have a long highway drive ahead of me and I'm tired, but then I'd be doing it to have the car compensate for my shortcomings (sleepiness) and thus be doing it for exactly the situation in which the car is not capable (i.e. fully autonomous driving so I wouldn't have to worry about nodding off).

    For me it is all or nothing. Fully replace my need to drive, and my skills can lapse with no fear of being needed. Like if I got rid of my car and just rode the bus/train everywhere every day. Not the worst possible future. However a partial solution leads to false trust in the tech, which leads to complacency, which can lead to not being prepared when you need to be. Although air travel is the safest, when accidents do happen it tends to be because the crew trusted the tech more than seat-of-the-pants and forgot trained skills that had gone unused for years and reacted inappropriately.

    To be a tech I would trust, AP needs to be able to see as far down the road as I do - if the display is really what AP sees, it seems to look about 2-3 seconds ahead at highway speeds. I scan between 1 and 15 seconds ahead. AP is reactive, I can be proactive as well. AP seems to brake as late as neccessary, I reduce speed as early as possible.

    Not having actually used AP I'm unqualified to talk about its strengths and shortcomings, my thoughts are based off of comments I've read and discussions with other owners (all of whom swear by it). On the whole I'm glad the tech is out there and under development, and that so many fellow owners are helping to advance the state of the art. It would be great if the tech was in every car on the road to help make things safer for all, and I'm sure it's already saved lives and therefore it's a good thing.

    When me and my driving habits (which I think are good, don't we all) are the most dangerous drivers on the road, I'll gladly trade in my license. Until then, call me optimistically interested, but unwilling to cede any more control over my driving experience to our microchip overlords for the time being.

    As a last thought, I learned to drive on a standard, took my training and test on a standard, and for most of my driving life (including my previous 4 cars) have driven standard. Not for performance reasons (Chevy Cavalier, Subaru Legacy wagon, and 2 Outbacks), but because I prefer the manual. Perhaps us few stick-shifting holdouts are just naturally disinclined towards any further automation.
     
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  11. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    And when you took your driver's test in that stick, they made you parallel park it on the steepest hill in the city, during rush hour traffic. Then had you drive it up the hill where there was a stop light just before the peak of the hill - which turned red just as you got to it. Of course the guy behind you pulled right up to your back bumper because he saw the 'student driver' sign on the roof of the car and wanted to mess with you. :D

    We didn't even get out of the driver testing parking lot without first parallel parking between real cars (not pylons). And we got exactly one chance at it. Then the instructor measured the distance from the cars front and back, and distance from the curb to get the overall score. If you passed that, you got to hit the road.

    I took a driver's test a couple of years ago. No parallel parking required. No highway driving portion. No three point turn. I got docked a minor point for keeping my signal on after being instructed to pull over and then back up along the curb, while my spouse did the exact same thing and didn't get docked the point. We had the same tester. :oops:
     
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  12. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    It's interesting that here's a car that I bought because I love to drive and appreciate the performance of the vehicle but I am also acutely aware that it's this car and company leading the way with fully autonomous vehicles - and that one day rest assured there will be a huge push to ban human driving. It's coming.
     
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  13. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    As long as they keep the roads open for bicyclists, I'll be happy. Health permitting, that will be my outlet for non-autonomous pleasure on the road. There's nothing like climbing mountain roads on your own power and experiencing the thrill of the descent.

    While I am looking forward to driving a Tesla as my primary car, it's the long-distance EV capabilities that are driving the buy.
     
  14. Intl Professor

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    I've been driving since I was 10 or 12 and I love cars. By sound alone at that age I could tell the difference between a Buick 6 cylinder with "dynaslush" or a Chevy with "Power Slide" making a slight grade near our house. At 12 I was getting mom's car out of snowdrifts when we lived in Minneapolis. My dad let me drive under controlled conditions (farm roads) with strict instructions and when I made mistakes was surprisingly gentle in rebuking me. As a lifelong teacher I never had such patience with students.

    Next month I will be 80. Time goes by very quickly for me, probably because my metabolic rate is slowing rapidly with age. I am more patient because of it which is an advantage under many situations. But driving without the extra eyes of my much younger wife I am a menace. E.g., to ad to others above, November 10th last year I had a pacemaker installed. Four days earlier I fainted for a fraction of a second as I entered our garage and blasted a hole in the building because when I woke up I couldn't find the brake quickly enough. (I must have been out for only a fraction of a second.) That incident could have happened on a high speed four lane road less than a minute earlier.

    Old people really shouldn't drive but when you're old it's one of the last things you want to give up, one of the curses of our mechanical dependencies. If I remember correctly, Philip Slater said in his Pursuit of Loneliness, Americans love their cars more than themselves.

    Guilty as charged.
     
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  15. Camera-Cruiser

    Camera-Cruiser Fully Charged

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    30 or so years ago I was the OP. I'd look at maps for roads with the most twisties and head out for a day of driving. It was a blast. It was a little Miata, and yes it really is a drivers car, and you may never have broken 80mph, but the canyons and their curves didn't care.

    Now, with resposibilities, and a two hour drive through traffic to get to the twisties it just doesn't happen.

    Other than the joy of a hole shot every once in a while in the Tesla, we in Southern California are just a step away from being in the world of Mad Max. If you are not driving defensively, your about to be in an accident.

    The extremes here are crazy. In one lane there will be a 30 year old beater piled to the windows with trash that haven't been washed, ever. In the other lane a 4x4 running 40" mud tires howling above its semi uncorked exhaust. At the same time Harley's to Vespa's, and every form of crotch rocket will be splitting lanes around you. There is a mini van in front of you with a mom that hasn't slept since she gave birth, and behind you a limo, with a client running late.

    Me, I'm stuck in the middle loving my car from the future. Just waiting to buy my next one with AP.

    So,,it's not that I don't want to drive. It's just becoming impossible, do so here.
     
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  16. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Here again we have: All those who have never used AP, don't know how it works, have fears and uncertainies, Vote NO. 10%
    All those who have used AP, know how it works, and love it, Vote YES. 90%

    As everyone has stated, you don't have to own it. You don't have to switch it on. But you really, really oughta learn how to use it and try it for a month before you decide.
     
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  17. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Another reason for autonomous cars. The elderly, infirm etc... can be mobile. That's a great reason, imo.
     
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  18. doubeld

    doubeld Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies, great to hear the insight.

    To add to this, I guess I'm discussing two different things... present AutoPilot and Auotonomous vehicles of the future.

    I know what the AP is capable of right now, and to me, it's not worth the price. I will definitely demo it if the 30 day option is available if I'm on a roadtrip (maybe factory pickup?). Yes, you need to still pay attention, but I would ask if everyone has still paid 100% attention while on AutoPilot.

    As much as Tesla needs people to be using it right now to collect the data and make the system better, I also think it's an all-or-nothing deal for me to take it seriously as a purchase option. Anything in between has too many what-ifs for safety and liability.

    When it comes to full-autonomy, that's another story where we are getting to the comparison to riding horses as @Lesifass mentioned.
    I personally think that full autonomy is a LONG way off. I can't believe people think it will make it in the Model 3, let alone at the TM3's release. A couple of the things that current AP has NO WAY to deal with properly right now and will take varying years of advancement
    • Parking Lots
    • Gravel roads
    • Snow covered roads
    • Ice covered roads / Black Ice situations
    • Heavy Rain/Sleet/Hail
    • Private driveways
    • Parkades
    • Off roading for fun or when required
    • Construction zones
    • Emergency situations with human officers directing traffic
    • Funeral processions
    • Accident scenes, dodging shrapnel/people
    • Pulling trailers
    • Pedestrians
    • Children in playground zones
    • "courtesy" situations requiring you to break driving laws in order to keep traffic flowing
    • Varying Local/State/Provincial/National driving laws. (This town is default 40km/h unless otherwise noted, that town is 50)

    Among those 90% are people reading/watching Harry Potter (I don't want to take his situation lightly, but this is how your reliance on technology can degrade your attention) and those cleaning your dash (minor fallout, still could have been more worse).
     
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  19. cpa

    cpa Member

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    I added to the "no" vote. I will state up front without reservation that computers and software scare the living bejeesus out of me. (I am also 63 years old.) I am full of fear, uncertainly and doubt.

    --Computers freeze for no apparent reason.
    --Software updates have glitches that are purported to be bugs, and then do not get fixed.
    --Software updates change things like presentation, activation, cancellation among other things. What I learned yesterday is different from today.
    --I have yet to see a thorough, detailed instruction manual for anything software or hardware related. Whoever writes these things thinks everyone using them is an expert in all things computer and understands all the terms and concepts.
    --An accident that is caused by human failure will be a lot easier to litigate and settle than an accident that is caused by human and/or automobile failure. I am sure the plaintiff lawyers will have a field day sorting out liability once property damage, injury or even death results from vehicles employing some sort of autonomous driving capability.

    I guess what I am saying is that my ignorance of the tech industry colors my view about things. I think the industry fails when it comes to consumer education and support. I don't want to read FAQ. I don't want to search online and read Wikipedia. Tesla fails when it comes to consumer education too (their support is good, however.)

    There is no doubt that computer enhanced driving will lead to a decrease in automobile accidents. Computers can process a lot more data in .005 seconds than a human can in 5 seconds. But computers and software fail just like people because they are created by people.

    At my age, I prefer to take personal responsibility for my actions. When I drive, my personal safety and the safety of others resides with me, and only me. I do not want my safety to be determined by people who do not even know who I am, and could not care less about what happens if there are defects with their work product.

    Apologies if I offended anyone.
     
  20. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    #20 Tam, Aug 28, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016

    I view it as a safety net. Some bad day I might be too occupied and not paying attention to the traffic in front and Autopilot would save my day by braking to a stop to prevent a rear end collision.

    You are right that Autopilot has not achieved that kind of reliability yet because rear end collisions are still happening but it will some day as it will get better with software and hardware upgrades.

    It's a great convenience feature too as some could not park in a very cramped garage before, but now they just stand outside of the garage and let the summon does the business for them.
     

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