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Word "Autopilot": To ban or not to ban?

Discussion in 'Autonomous Vehicles' started by Tam, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    #1 Tam, Aug 15, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
    There have been critics who want to ban the Tesla word "Autopilot" and Tesla has been resisting the pressure of caving in for a long time.

    But wait! Did Tesla just crack?

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    Tesla removes 'autopilot' from China website

    "Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has removed the word "autopilot" and "self-driving" from its China website after a driver in Beijing, who recently crashed in "autopilot" mode, complained that the car maker overplayed the function's capability and misled buyers."We've been in the process of addressing any discrepancies across languages for many weeks," a Tesla spokeswoman said in a statement. "Timing had nothing to do with current events or articles."

    ---
    Tesla removes 'autopilot' from China website after Beijing crash


    "At Tesla we are continuously making improvements, including to translations," a Tesla spokeswoman said in an emailed statement to Reuters."
    "We’ve been in the process of addressing any discrepancies across languages for many weeks. Timing had nothing to do with current events or articles."

    ---

    Tesla removes 'autopilot' from China website after Beijing crash



    ---

    Just when you about to think that Tesla has caved in, it now has just reversed its course and re-inserted back the English word "Autopilot" to Chinese language web sites.


    Tesla: Removal of 'Autopilot' from Chinese site a mistake

    "Tesla said Monday that the term "Autopilot" was mistakenly removed from the electric car maker's website for China, but it has been restored."
     
  2. JeffK

    JeffK Active Member

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    #2 JeffK, Aug 15, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
    It was a matter of incorrect translation. The word autopilot sums up perfectly what it does, just as autopilot on an airplane. The terminology is over 100 years old. There's zero reason to ban the word.
     
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  3. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Member

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    #3 BluestarE3, Aug 15, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
    I don't think the term "autopilot" is what's problematic per se, so I don't see the need to "ban" its use. Unfortunately, much of the media and general population see reports of experimental self-driving cars from Google, etc. and they lump together any advanced driver-assist technology under the moniker "self-driving". Indeed, a couple of other car companies have used that term when promoting their own technologies, something that Tesla has never done. The best thing to do is to keep emphasizing that "autopilot" is not "autonomous".
     
  4. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    when does the book burning begin?
     
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  5. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    #5 malcolm, Aug 16, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
    Not necessary.

    The endless river of internet clickbait will get the message across. Let's face it, it's how Tesla advertised the 3.

    Even the people who insist Autopilot should be called something else, know what it is and how it works.

    It is one of a number of Tesla's terms which are not factually accurate: "Insane" doesn't make you go mad. "Ludicrous" isn't incongruously amusing. But both get the internet talking / cynics sneering / fanbois drooling / rivals fuming etc etc.

    Likewise "Autopilot" isn't going to let you cruise at 30,000 feet and then begin your descent into Dallas Fort Worth. But it is worth it's weight in bait-advertising (badvertising?) and worth claiming by Tesla.

    I would hate to see the term "Autopilot" patented by a dying ICE maker in a last-gasp attempt to stay relevant.
     
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  6. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Excellent analysis of Telsa terminologies. Very interesting. Thanks Malcom.
     
  7. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Latest to jump on the bandwagon:

    Germany says Tesla should not use 'Autopilot' in advertising

    Germany first attacked Tesla's autopilot with its own test report.

    Then, when it seemed not to have much effect, now it wants to attack the word "autopilot" itself.

    Unfortunate for Germany, it is still under the European Union so it has to obeys EU's approval for Tesla's operation.
     
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  8. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what is the EU's stance on Tesla's use of the term "Autopilot" and its associated technology?
     
  9. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Member

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    Let's ban "automobile" too :)
     
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  10. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Member

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    We can always go back to its predecessor: "horseless carriage". Maybe for EVs it can be "gasless carriage" (or, in some other English-speaking markets, "petrolless carriage")? :)
     
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  11. callmesam

    callmesam Member

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    And Autobahn.
     
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  12. Vitold

    Vitold Member

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    It's a curious situation. We have articles quoting each other and speculating what German government will or have said while officials confirming existence but not wording of such communications.

    It appears German government is leaking bits and pieces to the public, not sure if this is normal in Germany. Maybe they are negotiating with Tesla and showing off what they will do?

    In any-case, we have yet to learn what their official position is on Tesla autopilot.
     
  13. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    #13 Tam, Oct 16, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
    I am not an expert but if Tesla is to sell in the European Union, it has to be approved by the European Union itself. The one that's responsible for approving or disapproving the registration of Tesla, including "Autopilot" in the EU is the Dutch authority called RDW.

    As a member of European Union, Germany should appeal to the Dutch authority's decision directly but instead, it's just gossiping around and bad mouthing Tesla.

    It looks like Germany is just expressing its frustration that a non-German company is threatening its pride in automobile technological superiority.
     
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  14. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Member

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    In the wake of Germany's objection to the use of the term "Autopilot", Tesla announced it will rename their driver assistance feature in that country to "Otto pilot".

    Otto the Pilot

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. flashflood

    flashflood Member

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    They should call it Allahpilot. Then Germany wouldn't dare risk offending them.
     
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  16. Apricot

    Apricot The waiting... the waiting...

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    I suspect Tesla may eventually end up renaming AP "Co-Pilot".
     
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  17. flashflood

    flashflood Member

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  18. Apricot

    Apricot The waiting... the waiting...

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    You might be right. It's not about logic, though. It's about handling the fringe cases of human irresponsibility... Who knows if it can be settled with a rename. Maybe you'll need to pass a driving test before turning CoPilot 4.0 on...
     
  19. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Update from Dutch in response to Germany's cry of Tesla nomenclature:

    UPDATE 2-Dutch regulator weighs Tesla's use of 'Autopilot' name

    ""The RDW has no official opinion about the name Autopilot, as normally we only consider technical aspects and not names," said spokesman Hans van Geenhuizen of the Dutch Road Traffic Service (RDW) in an email.

    "This is new," he said, referring to the possibility that the name of a driving technology itself could be relevant to a safety review."
     
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  20. The_Mike

    The_Mike Member

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    In my opinion, it's really just a case of Tesla incorrectly setting expectations. Sure, from technical aeronautical prospective, the term Autopilot is accurate - but that's not how everyday people interpret it. It's like trying to compare nutritional language to scientific language used in Biology - Protein, Calorie, Fat, Sugar all have different technical and layperson meanings. It doesn't make them wrong.

    Tesla really isn't helping in their Demo rides either. I took three separate drives in three separate locations (Delaware, Honolulu, and PA), and each time was "talked up" about the capabilities of Autopilot, how it was the cure to the common commute. Each time, I had to take various correctives actions to keep things safe. I'm totally okay with that - it's a steering assistance system - but that really isn't how it is sold. I'm on board with "Co-Pilot", though Tesla will definitely eat some crow if they have to change the name, even in limited markets.

    We bought a S60D without autopilot.
     

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