Tesla Self-Driving Car Follow Up

http://dtl315.shannonweb.net/tesla-self-driving-cars/  <- First Post


Tesla’s Autonomous driving mode update for its Model S has been out for some time now.  During this time many consumers have downloaded and used the update.  What they found was definitely the beta version.  People have posted videos showing the autonomous mode driving into oncoming traffic and swerving when white lines were not on both sides of the car.  Other have reported the car speeding and getting pulled over by police.  As Musk said when he introduced it, “We’re being especially cautious at this early stage, so we’re advising drivers to keep their hands on the wheel just in case. The software is very new.”  So of course there are going to be some problems with it, but overall people are pleased with the results so far.  It will be interesting to see how this new feature will progress over the coming months and years.

Recently however Musk did answer one of the liability claims that has swirled around this new update, who is responsible when things go wrong?  Tesla said, “Tesla is very clear about the fact that the driver is responsible for the car at all times and should be actively in control, despite the AutoPilot system: it will be the driver’s fault, not Tesla’s if the car ends up in a road traffic collision.”  But I don’t know if this is the correct answer and I wonder if it could be proved wrong in court?  Guess we are just going to have to wait and find out.

Here are some videos posted by owners of the rogue autonomous mode mishaps:






16 thoughts on “Tesla Self-Driving Car Follow Up

  1. Ryan Hardrove

    I found this article to be interesting because with the new technology we are seeing in cars it’s pretty amazing to watch. Car companies are building cars that can drive themselves which is amazing to see happening because I always thought we would never be able to create cars like this, I only thought we would only see this in movies, like I-Robot which in the future cars are able to drive themselves. Know watching the videos about this new car has some potential for the future. However, the cars still need some work, like in one video the car is doing fine and then out of nowhere the car nearly gets into an accident and the driver just in the nick of time grabs the wheel to avoid hitting another car. So that show me that even with this new piece of technology with this car it is still a working progress to make these cars the best as possible. I think it will get their but I would say not for the next 10-15 years to make it perfectly work without any mistake in the software that could make it get into a car crash. I think this is a step in the right direction and maybe this new technology could cut down on the amount of car accidents in the future.

  2. Matthew Flanagan

    In my opinion, I think that tesla’s new AutoPilot feature is one of the most dangerous things ever created. It is literally a disaster waiting to happen. Why would anyone ever put their life into a computer’s hands like that. I would never trust a computer to drive my car for me. The only way I see this working is if every road in the world was outfitted with some kind of magnetic strip running in the middle of it so the car can accurately detect where the center of the road is. Relying on the yellow and red lines on a road is completely irrational. If you have ever driven in Elizabeth, Newark, or Brooklyn, you can understand that using a system that tracks the lines on a road is a death sentence; there literally are none.
    The videos clearly show how dangerous the new feature is. In the first video, a man was recording a tesla driving itself around a corner when it almost collided into another car in the oncoming lane. This makes me wounder how insurance companies are going to handle this new feature. If I was an insurance company, I would not insure Teslas. Or at least I would not insure Teslas with that feature. It would just pose too much of a risk. Either that or I would charge a super high premium for those cars because it is almost impossible for it not to get into a collision.
    I believe that Tesla is on to something huge. This is clearly the direction that the automobile industry is headed. Self-driving electric cars is the future. This is a future that I am not looking forward to, however. I love driving. I love everything from the sound of the engine to the screech of the tires when you hit the gas too hard. In my eyes, there is nothing that could ever replace that.
    In the case that someone is involved in a collision, and it is the fault of the AutoPilot function of the car, It is in no way Tesla’s fault. Tesla should not be held liable for any accident that happens while this program is being used. It is clearly stated that the user is in full control of the vehicle at all times. Musk even said himself that all users should keep their hands on the wheel even when using the AutoPilot, just in case. In the video where the guy was recording and almost got into a head on collision, he was clearly not following these instructions because he was too busy recording.
    Driving will always be one of the riskiest and dangerous things you can do. Driving causes more deaths than any other form of travel. Everybody likes to believe that they are the best driver on the road, but that is probably not the case. Compared to train travel and flight, the number of injuries and deaths are enormous in driving accidents. Hopefully one day the technology will be at a point where driving is risk free even with the AutoPilot. I hope that the automobile industry does not advance the technology so much where it becomes impossible to drive gas powered cars. To me, there are few things more fun than driving, and I hope that there is still room for normal gas powered cars in the future.

  3. Tamem Jalallar

    Autonomous driving is going to be great, once it has been developed well enough that most cars can be driven, autonomously. Surely, we are the variables when referencing such accidents. The only thing that they can improve on, tremendously is the speeding. Someone was given a ticket for speeding, which could’ve been prevented by the Tesla. The software could’ve been equipped with the speed limits and certain restrictions but sadly this technology has yet to evolve to that stage. Tesla and Elon Musk have a huge reputation for the technological advances so this is simply a bump in the long road of advancement. I would love to experience autonomous driving in my car, it is a newer car so there shouldn’t be any problem with it being incorparated with my car, or at least my car company’s system.

  4. Lauren Gutowski

    Honestly, I would be in complete shock if self-driving cars did not face defects or any other life endangering problems for the first year or two. Really think about it; this is some high tech stuff right here. Musk and his manufacturers already reached a historical landmark, we all knew the day cars would drive themselves was coming but I truly did not believe I would witness it so early in my life. Driving a car is mostly based on reaction and for artificial intelligence to make decisions for the car based on its surroundings is exemplary for the automobile world. Of course consumers may face some issues with the car at first. I am sure there were issues with the Karl Benz (developed the first car with an internal-combustion engine) discovered problems with the first edition of his car on the market. There’s no doubt in my mind Tesla make improvements to the software so drivers won’t need to worry about their autonomous car veering off into oncoming traffic.

    Not trying to state that these defects are acceptable in any way, just that the owners of this type of car should have foreseen that the product isn’t the perfected version of itself and problems with the car may be present. The one problem I have with Tesla is how they are working to alleviate their liability in the event of a crash. There is bound to be a case in the near future where the driver is severely injured or even killed in an autopilot mode accident because of how the system reacted and the family will attempt to sue Tesla. It’ll definitely be a tricky one for the courts and whatever the decision of the case will be taken up to the appellate courts. But Musk stated that “Tesla is very clear about the fact that the driver is responsible for the car at all times and should be actively in control, despite the AutoPilot system: it will be the driver’s fault, not Tesla’s if the car ends up in a road traffic collision.” This indicates that Tesla aware something can go wrong with the car just by stating for its drivers to always have their hands on the wheel. Depending upon the facts of an incident, if the driver did not have both hands on the wheel around the time of impact, he’s reliable. A man almost went into a head on collision in one of the video links I watched on this post if he did not have both hands on the wheel at the time he would’ve been toast. I’m sure my generation will witness the day when we can feel completely comfortable with a car driving itself, just not yet though. Tesla still has much work to do in order for consumers to have more faith with their technology. But I’m definitely excited to see where the car will be at in the next five years or so.

  5. Daniel Kelly

    For now I have no trust in the automated automotive industry, and while it’s wonderful that Tesla believes it should be testing what is essentially a beta on the open market, I would prefer to be safe while driving. But bringing Tesla to court for doing so sounds incredibly interesting, and it would be the first time that automated technology has advanced to a point where one cannot be sure where the line of responsibility is particularly murky. It would seem to me that advertising the product as self-driving would mean that a person paying several thousand dollars for the product would expect that product to work as advertised. And if advertised as self-driving, that it would also be safe. And if it is not safe, then the product should either be advertised as extremely temperamental and really if the risk of driving into oncoming traffic exists and their tech cannot distinguish between real roads and damaged ones, then it really should be taken off the market immediately. Consumers should not be paying for a beta version of a future product when the product might end in death or dismemberment. I doubt that the company has provided a wealth of information and, combined with the fact that consumers pay for the product, there is an expectation of both functionality and responsibility on the part of Tesla.
    I understand that consumer choice plays into this, and I understand the desire to get the product out as soon as possible but if the technology is not advanced enough, the marketing of a product should equal its output. If marketed as a driving assistant which helps experienced drivers take on more complex tasks without fear, then I would understand the high price point and non-responsibility clause, but giving users a false sense of security is dangerous for them and the blame should partially be placed on Tesla. Of course, I hope that no cases ever make it to court or at least accidents without death but Tesla should be taken to court over this somehow. In the end, the tech most likely cannot prevent a drunk driver from getting behind the wheel and hitting a Tesla enhanced driver. In that it cannot move out of the way of danger in a reasonable time, and a driver using the tech may be distracted by his sense of security. I have not believed in the driver less car for a long time now, my brother believes it will be standard but unless it is universally implemented, there is a great danger involved for everyone involved because nobody can comprehend the errant nature of human failure, nor can tech ever calculate that factor of chaos. There would be no perfect technological system in an imperfect world with dangerous real life situations, ones which require trained and fast acting drivers so the answer should be smarter cars which help drivers and greater training to help veterans understand their role on the road much more. Without this, I am afraid of the concept of driver less cars and while Tesla has the right idea with moving towards an assistant, it should be advertised as much. I do not believe that drivers will disappear from the road immediately and I do not trust my computer with them. Not to mention the legal can of worms which is bunched up about the issue.

  6. Ryan Skolnick

    The Tesla self-driving car is definitely a step in the right direction as far as innovation in the automobile industry is concerned. However, there are a lot of incremental adjustments that need to be applied before it becomes mainstream. Personally, one of the biggest is the fact that it is not good at city driving yet. On the highway, it is fantastic— and very safe. But in city driving (especially coming off of the highway) it seems to be very dangerous. It also cannot sense when white lines blur— for some reason it believes this means merge. If a road has not recently painted over the lines (which happens a lot in Jersey) then your self-driving car might wind up crossing over the lines, expecting to merge. This is what happened in the second video on the Guardian: as they were coming off of the highway, the white line on the left blurred to grass and the car began to merge into the guardrail. Luckily, the driver’s hands were close by to realize the car’s mistake and take over. While this is a scary occurrence, Tesla has been claiming that their “self-driving” car is in Beta mode and that drivers should keep their hands close by to take over. Due to this warning, Tesla is also claiming that the liability is on the driver completely— however a judge will disagree entirely. All someone who gets into an accident would have to do is claim that it was impossible for the self-driving car to give them back control. Without the control to take back control over the car, the liability shifts once more back to Tesla. While no cases have arisen yet, proving the ability to control the car will be the biggest issue in litigation. Personally, that is where the liability lies: in who has control of the car. I am surprised no Tesla systems have been hacked into yet— as I mentioned on the last Tesla post, this can cause a serious issue with security and safety. In the case of hacking, Tesla seems to be completely responsible for the hacking since it is their computer system. This is a very interesting case which fortunately has not been an issue yet. Going forward I see a lot of issues for Tesla in the future. As far as self-driving cars, I see the technology beginning to pick up and it will most likely be a large industry for the future. I am even beginning to see more and more Teslas on the road— previously, it was a rare occurrence to even see one Tesla on the road. Now I see one or two Teslas every time I get on Route 80. As Teslas are becoming more and more affordable (and awesome with their self-driving abilities) more and more people are beginning to purchase them. Also, Tesla’s expansion with their charging stations has made owning a Tesla car feasible— you can now traverse the United States in a Tesla simply by charging at stations for thirty minutes every 170 miles.

  7. Andrew Lentini

    Self driving cars is where we might be going in the future. We live in the technology generation where everyone wants everything done for them as quickly as possible. Having someone do something for you does not stop even with driving. Tesla has introduced new technology in their cars that let them drive themselves automatically. This sounds like a wonderful idea on paper but I don’t think it is. Something like this can be so dangerous that I don’t know I would be ever able to use it because I would be too scared of it failing. There have already been many instances of where the technology fails the customer and their lives become in danger. There has been videos of the cars driving into oncoming traffic. There has also been videos of the Tesla cars swerving when they are driving perfectly in to the lane and this becomes a danger to the passengers. The scariest part of all of this is what type of security does these self driving cars have? With all of the recent cyber attacks are the Tesla systems ready to handle this? Nothing would be worse than to hear Chinese hackers hacked into someones car and drove them into their own death. That is horrifying to just to even think of. Many people will say that this is not possible but is that really the case. No one thought that the hackers would be able to hack into some of Americas largest companies like Target and Sony pictures. Lots of personal Information has been stolen by these hackers so what will stop them from hacking into Tesla’s computers. Nothing in this world is perfect so when something goes wrong with the self driving car who is responsible for this? Tesla said “Tesla is very clear about the fact that the driver is responsible for the car at all times and should be actively in control, despite the AutoPilot system: it will be the driver’s fault, not Tesla’s if the car ends up in a road traffic collision.”. I agree with Tesla on this they designed the technology to make your life a whole lot easier but everyone in the world knows it will never be perfect. With this being said the driver of the car must always pay attention to how the car is driving and what is going on around them. People will argue what is the point of a self driving car if you always have to pay attention to it. The truth is that you can still trust the Tesla but it would be a good idea to keep some attention on the road to see if the car is doing what it is supposed to do. They said that flying cars would be a thing of the future but maybe that is not the case and self driving cars are actually something of the future. Self driving cars seem to make more sense than flying cars because there would be some idiots that try and fly their car as high as they can and get in the way of planes. Self driving cars will help keep accidents down and drunken driving down also.

  8. Aaron Varghese

    This follow-up post answered many of the questions I had raised in my previous comment regarding Michael’s original post regarding the Tesla self-driving car. First of all, I would like to say that I had no idea that this update for Tesla would hit the public so soon. I had imagined that it would hit markets sometimes late next year if anything. So reading that in Michael’s post was quite the surprise. However, my questions regarding the potential problems with the update definitely seems to be answered after reading this post as well. I assumed at its current state, the beta model of the Auto-Pilot Tesla would experience numerous difficulties that could prove dangerous on the road. Michael even said in his post: “People have posted videos showing the autonomous mode driving into oncoming traffic and swerving when white lines were not on both sides of the car. Others have reported the car speeding and getting pulled over by police.” Michael also posted a few links leading to real life videos of malfunctions of the Tesla model. Starting with the video, I was shocked to see the Tesla just simply swerve into the other lane. Had the driver not been attentive to the wheel, the Tesla model would have been the potential death of the driver in that head on collision that could have occurred. As drivers, head-on collisions occur on the road on a daily basis. However, there is always someone(or something) who takes the blame for the collision. I have thankfully only been in one car accident, and it just a mere fender bender. It was New Year’s Eve last year and I was in the backseat of my friend’s parent’s minivan. We were on our way to a friends and family New Year’s Eve party when a drunk driver hit our stopped car at a light. Thankfully, none of us were hurt, excluding my friend’s grandma who suffered whiplash after the accident. But, there was a clear victim and a clear case of who was responsible for the accident. However, in the case of the new Tesla, who will be responsible for any collisions? Michael raised this insightful question in his post and I will get to this question soon. Other problems besides collisions are getting pulled over by law enforcement. One of the most frustrating experiences one can experience on the road is getting pulled over by the police for the smallest detail. In addition to being frustrating, it can also be quite nerve-racking and scary, especially for new drivers. What is it going to look like when an officer pulls over a robot for speeding! Even if there’s a driver at the wheel, they aren’t the ones in control, so should they be completely responsible. This ties back to the question regarding automobile collisions. In my personal opinion, I believe the robot is responsible. However, tesla denies any liability for collisions and puts all the blame on the driver for any malfunctions. Like Michael said, I do not know how this assertion will hold in court( and believe me it will come up very soon in court), but it will be quite interesting to see how this new tech fits into human life.

  9. Anthony Hector

    This car is something that might revolutionary to the car industry. The tesla is something that I have been interested in for a while because of all the features that this car has to offer. The evolution of the car is similar to the evolution of the television. The way that they have evolved has been similar in how both have gotten smaller, but also have both been advanced in technology throughout the years. The tesla is an interesting and futuristic design. I like how the car has a tablet in the middle of it that basically controls the car.

    It also features internet access, which of course is a must for everything now-a-days including televisions. If something does not have internet in it people question if it is a old device or not. The internet is something that is required instead of a luxury in a lot of pieces of technology and now even in our watches. This is due to the demand by the public to always be linked up to and we have easily become reliant to the internet.

    This car is kind of controversial in the sense that it is electric. This is something that makes the car unique along with many of the features. The reasons why is that there is not many electric chargers for this car to be charged with. The car was can be charged at home, but besides that there are very charger ports around towns around the country. I have researched this car enough to know it is a great car, but the downside is the charging.

  10. Nicolette Devish

    After reading both of these articles on the Tesla Self-Driving car, I have a better understanding of new things to come in the near future. Michael Solimini also brought up quite a few serious issues that we might notice more frequently. It has been mentioned previously that it has only been a matter of time until an autonomous car was created.

    I personally believe it may sound awesome theoretically, but in reality how good is the next big thing really? Solimini made watching these videos show the potential these cars have for our future. On the other hand, I still see that Tesla’s really need some more work especially when it seems like all is going fine then out of no where the Tesla in the video almost got into an accident. I think society truly worries and wonders if this is too good to be true or is this really the most reliable thing to improve? Think about it. There are drivers today who don’t know what they’re doing; I honestly do not know how some people received a license some days. It shows that just because new technology is out does not mean the work is to a consumers needs, the work still needs to be safe enough to drive.

    Michael Solimini brings up a great question regarding liability. At the end of the day, I am sure that accidents will still occur and things may go wrong because technology isn’t always so reliable, but who will be to blame? Who is going to take full responsibility? Another essential thing to think about is Tesla as a whole, since it’s the first self-driving car created. Now, how many other companies are deciding on speeding up production to get their own autonomous car on the market? These issues are serious and need to be put into perspective. Also, the safety needs to be considered when new technology is developed.

    This article interested me most because I am a huge car fan and the improvements are slowly but surely getting greater and greater. It’s 2015 and there’s already self-driving cars? It’s not only amazing but it’s incredible how car companies are becoming and inventing what I only thought could be in movies. However, I still continue to feel uneasy about the overall outcome soon to come for our society. It will interest me to see how this progresses and takes off.

  11. Carlee A

    In my opinion, there are way too many variables on the road that I feel that a machine would not always be able to see and react to. We always hear of defects in new technology that has come out, so therefore I do not know why people would put their life in the hands of a machine. As mentioned by the speeding in the article, this is an example of how a machine cannot see specifics on the road such as the speed limits and that only the human eye would be able to see this specific and act accordingly. To me, this just shows a whole new level of laziness.

    Many people look for technology that will make life easier for them and society always wants the newest and the most high-tech technology. When I see the newest technology, I don’t always see convenience. Sometimes I see technology that could possibly complicate more instead of make life easier for me. The idea of a self-driving car sounds more convenient to most, however I see more glitches and difficulties with the technology which would only complicate a sometimes already complicated activity such as driving. I would not like to experience a self-driving car, because sometimes simple is the best and safest way to go.

  12. Lori Slevin

    Tesla’s new self-driving car is an exciting take on new technology. Who wouldn’t want to sit back and watch their car be driven, while they take a nap, or eat their lunch on a long road trip. As exciting as it seems, it does not necessarily seem safe. Although it is pre-warned for drivers to still keep their hands on the wheels, some drivers may opt out of this, and fall asleep during the drive, causing harm on themselves or another driver on the road. The self-driving cars also can not always sense the proper lanes they are driving depending on the colors of the lines. The self-driving car could easily, even with a driver controlling it, become uncontrollable for the driver and steer into another car harming someone. If there is an animal that is on the road or runs out onto the road, would the car be able to notice? Or what if the car doesnt notice a yield sign or a stop sign, or a train is coming down the road. There are many dangers with Tesla’s self-driving car, and this is a car I would definitely not feel comfortable driving in or be near on the road.

  13. Will Nguyen

    Technology has come a long way 20 years ago movies portrayed that the future would consider of hover boards. But now we have self-driving cars. Other car companies are testing their electric cars too but Tesla are the first to have a self electric driving car. They recently received a large government grant for their self driving cars to go towards safety precautions. Although it is controversial with the regards to accidents. Who’s fault is it if the Tesla rear ends someone? Is it yours because you still have the option to manually control the car while it drives or Tesla for computer malfunctions.

    I am honestly not in favor of this self driving idea. Yes it is indeed cool but I simply cannot trust a machine with my life. My Infinity has the rear camera when reversing but I never use it, I always look back for myself because I do not trust it. In regards with what Lori said about lanes being properly painted, what if it is the middle of the night and highways are being re-touched with paint or a new lane is opening up under construction. How will Tesla sense that since the lines are essentially being painted again to indicate a new lane while the old paint is being covered up in cones? Either the self driving car senses the lanes or it senses other cars around them. I am not too sure but it would make more sense for the car to sense other cars through computerized chips then the color of paint on the road.

  14. Will Nguyen

    Technology has come a long way, movies 20 years ago predicted that by now we would have hover cars roaming around the streets but now we have self-driving cars. Tesla is not the only one to do this but the only ones to create and electric self-driving car. I am excited for Tesla to be the first to release it but I do not fully understand the computerized methods of how the car is programmed for self driving. My concerns pertain to the safety of the driver and passengers.

    In regards to Lori’s comment about self-driving cars cannot always sense the proper lanes they are driving. It is true, what if it is the middle of the night and construction is being done onto the lanes. In this scenario the lane lines could be covered with cones and how will the cars be able to sense that. Same thing with stop signs, what if some kids vandalize state property and either remove the sign or defect it in some way that could cause the car to not sensor the oncoming stop. I thought of a solution to the lane problem and its that the car senses other cars around them and would keep a distance but I have not thought of anything for the stop signs. I like this idea a lot of self-driving cars because it is revolutionizing the auto mobile industry but as of now I am unaware of solutions to these potential life dangered threats. I hope to read further news on this and when the release for this model will come out.

  15. Nicholas B.

    Tesla has taken the first step in self-driving cars and it may be too soon. As the article states there have been many problems with the self-driving cars. Being a car enthusiast I believe self-driving cars are crazy. Unfortunately many other car companies are attempting to follow Tesla’s self-driving technology. Until this technology becomes more reliable it should not be used on public streets. In a quote found in the post “People have posted videos showing the autonomous mode driving into oncoming traffic and swerving when white lines were not on both sides of the car.” As seen here the car is not at a point where it should be driving itself. It is dangerous to have these cars driving on public streets. Tesla recently came out with the note the drivers are still required to have one hand on the wheel. This just shows that self-driving is not ready for practical use and anyone who does use it must be cautious.


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