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posted by janrinok on Monday April 02 2018, @01:27PM   Printer-friendly
from the I'll-wait-until-the-bugs-are-ironed-out dept.

Tesla Model X driver dies in Mountain View crash

Submitted via IRC for Fnord666

The driver of a Tesla Model X has died following a highway crash in Mountain View, leaving a number of safety questions.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/03/24/tesla-model-x-driver-dies-in-mountain-view-crash/

Tesla Crash: Model X Was In Autopilot Mode, Firm Says

In a post on its website, the electric-car maker said computer logs retrieved from the wrecked SUV show that Tesla's driver-assisting Autopilot technology was engaged and that the driver doesn't appear to have grabbed the steering wheel in the seconds before the crash.

The car's 38-year-old driver died after the vehicle hit a concrete lane divider on a Northern California freeway and caught fire. The accident happened March 23.

[...] In its Friday post, Tesla said the crashed Model X's computer logs show that the driver's hands weren't detected on the steering wheel for 6 seconds prior to the accident. It said they also show the driver had "about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider" before the crash but that "no action was taken."

The company cited various statistics in defending Autopilot in the post and said there's no doubt the technology makes vehicles safer than traditional cars.

"Over a year ago," the post said, "our first iteration of Autopilot was found by the US government to reduce crash rates by as much as 40 percent. Internal data confirms that recent updates to Autopilot have improved system reliability."

"Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents -- such a standard would be impossible -- but it makes them much less likely to occur," the post reads. "It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists."


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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday April 02 2018, @02:18PM (16 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday April 02 2018, @02:18PM (#661464) Journal

    Investors not willing to put up with Tesla's shit for much longer?

    https://www.thestreet.com/story/14540154/1/tesla-now-looks-like-a-show-me-story.html [thestreet.com]

    Keep in mind (before someone labels this part of a womyn-born womyn conspiracy to destroy Tesla/SpaceX) that the Musky one himself has admitted [arstechnica.com] that "At the beginning I thought Tesla and SpaceX maybe had a 10 percent chance at success". It's just that the company is still in a vulnerable pupal state, with low production, recalls, mounting electric car competition, and other issues.

    I don't think these crash incidents matter too much though. "Autopilot" isn't "fully autonomous", and other car manufacturers have similar autonomy features (ability to keep in lane, not rear end car in front, etc.). Other cars are crashing without making national news.

    A Tesla update could make Autopilot a little safer: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/02/tesla-model-3-autopilot-steering-wheel/ [engadget.com]

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @02:23PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @02:23PM (#661470)

    Look both ways before crossing; the laws of man do not trump the laws of physics.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 03 2018, @08:52AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 03 2018, @08:52AM (#661867)

      So now we need self driving concrete barriers that can look both ways to avoid getting hit by self driving cars... Did you even read the summary, or do you think this is still the Uber story?

  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday April 02 2018, @02:24PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 02 2018, @02:24PM (#661472) Journal

    Investors not willing to put up with Tesla's shit for much longer?

    Too late for that IMHO, but they're welcome to sell at a loss (though probably less of a loss than if they hold on). The first video mentions bond holders. Those guys will be needed to buy more bonds and fuel further growth. Those are the people Tesla needs to worry about.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Monday April 02 2018, @02:28PM (9 children)

    by VLM (445) on Monday April 02 2018, @02:28PM (#661475)

    mounting electric car competition

    Its interesting if they dropped the self driving gimmick they would be a more successful car company.

    Oldest startup rule in the book, never try to "innovate" too many things at the same time, so naturally they "self drive" and "electric car" and then crash (pun?). Just one or the other probably would have worked out.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday April 02 2018, @02:31PM (8 children)

      by VLM (445) on Monday April 02 2018, @02:31PM (#661476)

      Oh and as a followup, VLMs law of shitty journalism (but I repeat myself, LOL) means failure of the company due to EV issues or self driving issues means shitty journalists will use it as proof the other side, the one that actually worked, is unworkable in the marketplace.

      So if self driving crashes kill the company as now seems likely, there will be shitty journalists pushing the meme that EV is a dead end. And if EV battery problems kill the company, as seems much less likely, there will be shitty journalists pushing the meme that self driving crashes kill companies.

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @02:38PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @02:38PM (#661482)

        If this junk website offered editing, like was discussed earlier, then maybe we could avoid this nonsensical self-replying.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 03 2018, @06:25AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 03 2018, @06:25AM (#661837)

          I for one like the way it works now.

          Sure I do make many a stupid typos that I would like to fix but if you could edit your post you could change much more than a minor typo, making following the debate and reasoning very difficult and people saying they agree with somebody (A) when the edited post now talks about something else (B). Also this makes people more likely to pay attention to what they post in order to avoid stupid typos. I'm sure many will also cancel posting worthless drivel too because of this double take. While replying to yourself might be considered not elegant I think it's a minor price to pay here.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Monday April 02 2018, @02:48PM (1 child)

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday April 02 2018, @02:48PM (#661490) Journal

        there will be shitty journalists pushing the meme that EV is a dead end.

        "EV is a dead end" is a dead meme.

        Volvo Aiming to Sell One Million Electric Vehicles by 2025 [soylentnews.org]
        Ford to Invest $11 Billion in Electric Vehicles and Produce 40 Hybrid and Electric Models by 2022 [soylentnews.org]

        You can probably find more.

        And here's a fun one:

        U.S. Utilities Look To Electric Cars As Their Savior Amid Decline In Demand [npr.org]

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        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday April 02 2018, @05:40PM

          by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 02 2018, @05:40PM (#661583) Journal

          It's not a dead end...unless they fail to solve the battery supplies problem. I've seen a couple of pieces about not processes for extracting Lithium, and a couple about new technologies based on Carbon, but they need to come up with *SOME* answer or the EVs are going to be quite limited in number. And processes still in the lab won't do the job. (But they're clearly working on the problem.)

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      • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @02:49PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @02:49PM (#661492)

        If this junk website offered editing, like was discussed earlier, then maybe we could avoid this nonsensical self-replying.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @02:51PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @02:51PM (#661497)

          You are a junk user. Too bad we can't delete your posts.

      • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @05:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @05:03PM (#661577)

        If this junk website offered editing, like was discussed earlier, then maybe we could avoid this nonsensical self-replying.

      • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @05:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02 2018, @05:49PM (#661586)

        If this junk website offered editing, like was discussed earlier, then maybe we could avoid this nonsensical self-replying.

  • (Score: 2) by Weasley on Monday April 02 2018, @02:43PM (2 children)

    by Weasley (6421) on Monday April 02 2018, @02:43PM (#661485)

    The notable thing about Teslas is not that they're autonomous cars, they're electric sports cars. The autopilot is just garnish.

    And is that website a joke? It looks like they shot that video with a handheld camcorder (maybe even a cell phone) using the on camera mic with amateurish financial commentary delivered in the urgent manner that's popular right now.