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Cow Poke
07-01-2016, 02:35 PM
https://www.yahoo.com/news/self-driving-car-driver-died-205642937.html

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. announced Thursday the first fatality in a wreck involving a car in self-driving mode, the 40-year-old owner of a technology company who nicknamed his vehicle "Tessy" and had praised its sophisticated "Autopilot" system just one month earlier for preventing a collision on an interstate. The government said it is investigating the design and performance of the system aboard the Tesla Model S sedan.

Joshua D. Brown, of Canton, Ohio, died in the accident May 7 in Williston, Florida, when his car's cameras failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky and didn't automatically activate its brakes, according to government records obtained Thursday.

Frank Baressi, 62, the driver of the truck and owner of Okemah Express LLC, said the Tesla driver was "playing Harry Potter on the TV screen" at the time of the crash and driving so quickly that "he went so fast through my trailer I didn't see him."

"It was still playing when he died and snapped a telephone pole a quarter mile down the road," Baressi told The Associated Press in an interview from his home in Palm Harbor, Florida. He acknowledged he couldn't see the movie, only heard it.

Tesla Motors Inc. said it is not possible to watch videos on the Model S touch screen. There was no reference to the movie in initial police reports.

DesertBerean
07-01-2016, 02:37 PM
Weird.

Cow Poke
07-01-2016, 02:40 PM
Yeah, and a whole new realm for litigation! :doh:

Jedidiah
07-01-2016, 03:26 PM
Does not surprise me. There are serious shortcomings in the technology it seems.

DesertBerean
07-02-2016, 12:12 AM
Does not surprise me. There are serious shortcomings in the technology it seems.
Starting with the human driver.

Leonhard
07-02-2016, 12:28 AM
It should be noted that the Tesla cars have so far averaged 140 million miles of driving, and the average fatal accident rate of a human driver is once per 90 million miles. At least Tesla stated as much in their original release, where they also stressed that the auto-pilot was still in beta, and was meant currently more as a drivers assist.


We learned yesterday evening that NHTSA is opening a preliminary evaluation into the performance of Autopilot during a recent fatal crash that occurred in a Model S. This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated. Among all vehicles in the US, there is a fatality every 94 million miles. Worldwide, there is a fatality approximately every 60 million miles. It is important to emphasize that the NHTSA action is simply a preliminary evaluation to determine whether the system worked according to expectations.

Following our standard practice, Tesla informed NHTSA about the incident immediately after it occurred. What we know is that the vehicle was on a divided highway with Autopilot engaged when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S. Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied. The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S. Had the Model S impacted the front or rear of the trailer, even at high speed, its advanced crash safety system would likely have prevented serious injury as it has in numerous other similar incidents.

Jedidiah
07-02-2016, 09:11 AM
I have had my computer fail completely, more than once. In a computer driven car a fatal failure may be literally fatal.

Cow Poke
07-02-2016, 10:09 AM
I have had my computer fail completely, more than once. In a computer driven car a fatal failure may be literally fatal.

That reminds me of the missile cruiser (Aegis missile cruiser USS Yorktown (https://gcn.com/Articles/1998/07/13/Software-glitches-leave-Navy-Smart-Ship-dead-in-the-water.aspx)) the US Navy had deployed as "totally automated".... during their sea trials, the computers "blue screened" and left them dead in the water AND defenseless.

Jedidiah
07-02-2016, 12:56 PM
Computers are not reliable enough for this sort of thing.

Raphael
07-02-2016, 04:13 PM
There are reports that the driver was watching a movie at the time (Tesla still expects the driver to be praying attention to the road)
http://i.stuff.co.nz/motoring/81689969/DVD-player-found-in-Tesla-car-in-May-crash-Florida-officials

Jedidiah
07-02-2016, 04:19 PM
There are reports that the driver was watching a movie at the time (Tesla still expects the driver to be praying attention to the road)
http://i.stuff.co.nz/motoring/81689969/DVD-player-found-in-Tesla-car-in-May-crash-Florida-officials

I don't think it is reasonable to expect a driver to pay attention when he is not doing anything. If I were the driver my reaction time were I not driving myself would be bad, very bad.

And what is the point of having a computer driven car if you still have to watch the road all the time and second guess the computer?

37818
07-02-2016, 04:43 PM
The software was a beta test. The non-driver driver should have been paying attention.

Raphael
07-02-2016, 07:06 PM
I don't think it is reasonable to expect a driver to pay attention when he is not doing anything. If I were the driver my reaction time were I not driving myself would be bad, very bad.

And what is the point of having a computer driven car if you still have to watch the road all the time and second guess the computer?

The "autopilot" system is still under going extensive testing and is not meant to be used as a self-drive system yet. And Tesla has been very careful to make that clear.

Jedidiah
07-03-2016, 10:06 AM
The "autopilot" system is still under going extensive testing and is not meant to be used as a self-drive system yet. And Tesla has been very careful to make that clear.

That does not cover my objections. How does one maintain full attention on the driving environment when not being able to respond? I know my attention would wander in short order. Nor does it explain the point of having a computer driven car if you still have to watch the road all the time and second guess the computer.

Then there is the fact that the very best computer components do fail on occasion. Thus there are guaranteed to be times when these automated cars will fail.

Raphael
07-03-2016, 03:25 PM
That does not cover my objections. How does one maintain full attention on the driving environment when not being able to respond? I know my attention would wander in short order. Nor does it explain the point of having a computer driven car if you still have to watch the road all the time and second guess the computer.

Then there is the fact that the very best computer components do fail on occasion. Thus there are guaranteed to be times when these automated cars will fail.

As I understand it, the nature of Tesla's autopilot is that it's an assistance. The driver can respond and correct things. It's not like an aeroplanes autopilot.

From Tesla's comments on the AutoSteer
https://www.teslamotors.com/presskit/autopilot
Autosteer (Beta)
Autosteer keeps the car in the current lane and engages Traffic-Aware Cruise Control to maintain the carís speed. Using a variety of measures including steering angle, steering rate and speed to determine the appropriate operation AutoSteer assists the driver on the road, making the driving experience easier.

Tesla requires drivers to remain engaged and aware when Autosteer is enabled. Drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel.

The system is not meant as a self drive where the driver gets to nod off or watch movies. (that is the ultimate goal I am sure, but the technology is not there yet)

Sparko
07-04-2016, 08:29 AM
they should charge the car with manslaughter.

Cow Poke
07-04-2016, 10:03 AM
they should charge the car with manslaughter.

If it were an SUV, they probably would.

Sparko
07-04-2016, 10:50 AM
If it were an SUV, they probably would.the car was obviously a terrorist.

Raphael
07-04-2016, 02:18 PM
Decepticon?