CHP: Drunk Driver Slept While Tesla Appeared to Drive Hwy 101 on Autopilot

VoloxitySF

Gawd
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I believe you completely and this isn't a dig...I'm just curious. Are you 100 years old and/or live out in the boonies?
I'd honestly love to see a horse carriage being used in modern-day commerce. I'm sure the novelty would wear off in about a minute but it would still make me smile.

There's still plenty of folks using a horse and carriage in central Pennsylvania stretching down Southeast. I met a young "Amish" dude who a few car batteries, head unit, few speakers, 2 10" subwoofers and a wine cooler in his. Concealed of course. Great guy.
 

kju1

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There's still plenty of folks using a horse and carriage in central Pennsylvania stretching down Southeast. I met a young "Amish" dude who a few car batteries, head unit, few speakers, 2 10" subwoofers and a wine cooler in his. Concealed of course. Great guy.

Until his horse shits right in front of your mailbox...
 
D

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No. Autopilot is poorly named and is more akin to driver assist than true autopilot. It is more like a far more advanced, AI controlled, version of cruise control than anything like a real autopilot.

Very, VERY common misconception. Autopilot is not autonomous. Autopilot is for holding a heading, Tesla's autopilot is actually more advanced and capable than most aircraft autopilot systems, as they only hold a heading and speed, they also do not have to deal with even a fraction of the things a car has to and flight paths are highly controlled. People like to harp on the name every......single......time Tesla is brought up without ever understanding what real autopilot is.
 

Darunion

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There's still plenty of folks using a horse and carriage in central Pennsylvania stretching down Southeast. I met a young "Amish" dude who a few car batteries, head unit, few speakers, 2 10" subwoofers and a wine cooler in his. Concealed of course. Great guy.

Yup see them a lot in northern ohio as well. I think a lot of people forget that densly packed cities are only a small fraction of the square area of the US.
 

kju1

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Very, VERY common misconception. Autopilot is not autonomous. Autopilot is for holding a heading, Tesla's autopilot is actually more advanced and capable than most aircraft autopilot systems, as they only hold a heading and speed, they also do not have to deal with even a fraction of the things a car has to and flight paths are highly controlled. People like to harp on the name every......single......time Tesla is brought up without ever understanding what real autopilot is.

Be careful with making sweeping statements about aircraft autopilots. A lot of the airlines have some very modern systems that would put a tesla to shame ;). Also unless it has engine control it doesnt hold speed. it holds heading and altitude and speed is a function of pitch resulting from trying to hold the altitude.

Also most of them can fly some pretty complex courses ;).
 
D

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Be careful with making sweeping statements about aircraft autopilots. A lot of the airlines have some very modern systems that would put a tesla to shame ;). Also unless it has engine control it doesnt hold speed. it holds heading and altitude and speed is a function of pitch resulting from trying to hold the altitude.

Also most of them can fly some pretty complex courses ;).

I didn't, I said most, not all. And just like cars, aircraft systems have levels of autonomous operation. Where full autonomous is still a pipe dream, in both aircraft and cars, but people have this movie like idea of autopilot being able to do everything without human input. Tesla's system is also able to do very complex courses, that deals with far more situations an aircraft does. Autopilot, in aircraft and automobiles does not mean autonomous, would you agree?
 

4884

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No. Autopilot is poorly named and is more akin to driver assist than true autopilot. It is more like a far more advanced, AI controlled, version of cruise control than anything like a real autopilot.
It's not poorly named. It's intentionally named like that because Tesla owners apparently like these buzzwords and all the bells and whistles, think they're "cool".
 

kju1

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I didn't, I said most, not all. And just like cars, aircraft systems have levels of autonomous operation. Where full autonomous is still a pipe dream, in both aircraft and cars, but people have this movie like idea of autopilot being able to do everything without human input. Tesla's system is also able to do very complex courses, that deals with far more situations an aircraft does. Autopilot, in aircraft and automobiles does not mean autonomous, would you agree?

I took most as a sweeping generalization. But fair enough if that was not the intent.

I agree of course that autopilot is not autonomous. Anyone who thinks it does mean that is being foolish.
 

Westwood

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As someone that rides a motorcycle eight months out of the year, I'm not sure how I feel about this.
 

Laowai

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No, this is what autonomous vehicles would be for. Autopilot is still just a glorified cruise control with lane assist.
Gee, thanks for the clarification.
And all along I thought I was making an obvious joke.

I agree, it's a crappy name.
This is the second time I'm posting this reply so...perhaps it wasn't as obvious as I had intended.
 
D

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I took most as a sweeping generalization. But fair enough if that was not the intent.

I agree of course that autopilot is not autonomous. Anyone who thinks it does mean that is being foolish.

I understand that. But I am talking about on most common use, the term has been used for some time, and some of the autopilot systems are pretty basic. They have come a long way in the past few years and I think aircraft systems have actually benefited from the hard push in automotive systems. But that was the point I was trying to make, that there are many levels of autopilot, yet they are still considered such, which I think you agree with, unless I misunderstood.

My main problem with comments people make are blaming Tesla for how they named the system, not the drunk sleeping driver....I understand the Tesla hate...To a point, I don't like the worship people give Musk and act like they were the first EV etc etc, BUT I rather fault be on the driver who made poor choices, as I think responsibility doesn't seem to matter today as long as there is something, ANYTHING else to blame it on, even if it's just a name.
 

4884

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I took most as a sweeping generalization. But fair enough if that was not the intent.

I agree of course that autopilot is not autonomous. Anyone who thinks it does mean that is being foolish.
I don't know a lot about aviation. But I've seen someone said a modern commercial plane can take off, fly and land on it's own. Is it true?
I don't believe that. I will not board a plane without an experienced pilot.
Afaik, the "autopilot" on such an aircraft just maintain the plane on the course, and only do that after the pilot brought the plane up to the safe, high altitude. So it's more like cruise control for planes.
The critical moments (take off, approach, landing) are still performed by real pilots. Am I being uninformed?
 

kju1

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I don't know a lot about aviation. But I've seen someone said a modern commercial plane can take off, fly and land on it's own. Is it true?
I don't believe that. I will not board a plane without an experienced pilot.
Afaik, the "autopilot" on such an aircraft just maintain the plane on the course, and only do that after the pilot brought the plane up to the safe, high altitude. So it's more like cruise control for planes.
The critical moments (take off, approach, landing) are still performed by real pilots. Am I being uninformed?

Capable and actually being used are two different things. A lot of modern aircraft systems are capable of take off and landing without the pilot but its rarely used to do that. For one not only does the plane have to be equipped but so does the airport. Also the pilots need to be trained. CATIIIb and C approaches are where this is most likely to be used. IIIB lets the pilot make the decision at 50ft, IIIC lets the pilot land w/out ever seeing the runway. (ILS approaches, GPS RNAV are different).

The autopilot in commercial aircraft actually flies the approach also. Heck I was teaching a student in a Cessna 172 last week and that plane was flying the approach itself ;). The autopilot is MUCH more capable and complicated than most people think. It however, is NOT, autonomous.

That being said I think you would be surprised at just how much the autopilot is doing to relieve the manual burden on the pilot thus freeing them up to focus on more important things like not hitting each other. A friend of mine who recently started flying for United told me their company policy was the autopilot has to be engaged at 50ft and disengaged at 50ft unless circumstances require the pilot to hand fly the aircraft. For example when ATC gives you a deviation sometimes its faster to hand fly it than to program it in. Or when they tell you to turn to avoid traffic...etc etc.

BTW landing isnt all that critical. Its the take off were the real danger lies. You have a lot of options on landing if something goes wrong. Not so much on takeoff.

Does that help clear up any confusion?
 

Ultima99

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This is one of those times that this will be the norm in the future and won’t even be an issue. But the police and states will fight for quite some time due to loss in revenue

Our society will have many problems to deal with as tech continues to change what is possible.
 

Rebel44

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It took 7 minutes of getting in front of it in an S pattern, did you even read the article. This was near where I live and I don't tolerate assholes on the road. When I get my Tesla I won't try to harm others using it.

Only the police car that was behind him was driving in S pattern - and that was to make sure that other traffic won't complicate stopping his car.
 

Derangel

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Very, VERY common misconception. Autopilot is not autonomous. Autopilot is for holding a heading, Tesla's autopilot is actually more advanced and capable than most aircraft autopilot systems, as they only hold a heading and speed, they also do not have to deal with even a fraction of the things a car has to and flight paths are highly controlled. People like to harp on the name every......single......time Tesla is brought up without ever understanding what real autopilot is.

If everyone misunderstands the name then it is a bad name.
 

Rebel44

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I can't believe anyone thinks this is okay...
First you you have an A.I. that can't exit or handle in town traffic.
2nd, what happens when the battery starts to get low and the A.I. Stops controlling the car.
3rd.

Drunk or not, you sure as he'll shouldn't be asleep behind the wheel muchless not paying attention.

Just like the guy watching a DVD on his tesla when the car went under a semi trailer and the guy lost his head...literally.

FYI:

1. After the recent update, Tesla cars are able to exit highway (at which point it will stop at the end of offramp and beep at the driver)

2. If he used cars navigation it would exit the highway either near its destination and stop at the end of the offramp or it would do the same near pre-programmed locations of Supercharger.

3. If he stopped applying force to a steering wheel car would beep at him and if he ignored it for a certain amount of time, car would turn on hazard lights, slowly come to a stop and call Tesla (if the driver was still unresponsive, Tesla would notify emergency services).

Obviously Autopilot is not good enough to drive consistently and safely without supervision, but it is a lot better than the alternative, which would be a car crash soon after the driver fell asleep.
 
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4884

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Does that help clear up any confusion?
Thanks:) Your information is very helpful.
I didn't know landing is easy (or just easier?) I do understand pilots can loop back and try again if the condition is bad though.
I watched videos of huge commercial planes land in strong wind. Like this one
And I thought that was some sick maneuver.
I wonder how the modern autopilot fair with bad weather:rolleyes:
 
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Rebel44

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Okay !
I thought that cars with a skill-set like that was also aware of the sounds and lights of emergency vehicles and so react to those as the traffic code tell them / us to do.
So they omitted coding for such events it seem to me, thats pretty damn incompetent if you ask me, and it should be one of the foremost things that was tested to allow for such cars to be unleashed in public.

Features are being added gradually (after all their cars are not self-driving yet) - Elon said that recognizing emergency vehicles (and appropriately reacting to them) will happen in a few months.
 

kju1

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Thanks:) Your information is very helpful.
I didn't know landing is easy (or just easier?)
I watched videos of huge commercial planes land in strong wind. Like this one OtnL4KYVtDE
And I thought that was some sick maneuver.
I wonder how the modern autopilot fair with bad weather:rolleyes:

Depends. With crosswinds? Not so well. With low clouds? They could care less.

Its not that landing is "easier" its just that if something goes wrong you have a lot more options to deal with it. For example if your engines all die...so what you just glide into the airport. What you were going to do anyway. If all your engines die on take off..your low, slow, and "dirty" which means you are in a world of hurt. You might end up in the trees...or in the Hudson.

If I am landing and my gear wont come down I can abort the landing and circle to troubleshoot.

FWIW landing is counter intuitive for most people and is one of the harder things to learn. Take offs are easy to learn.
 

Dr. Righteous

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So the car was stone sober and driving safely?

Problem solved really.
Hmm, I've not consider it before but self driving cars are empowering for drunks.
Can they mount a defense saying "I wasn't driving; the car was. I was just a passenger".
This will come down to the argument is there really such thing as a self driving car or not.
 

kju1

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Hmm, I've not consider it before but self driving cars are empowering for drunks.
Can they mount a defense saying "I wasn't driving; the car was. I was just a passenger".
This will come down to the argument is there really such thing as a self driving car or not.

IMO no, you are still operating the vehicle. You pushed the button you told it what to do.
 

Dr. Righteous

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IMO no, you are still operating the vehicle. You pushed the button you told it what to do.
Yeah, but what that button does is relinquish control of the to the car. Are you really the driver then? Since the car plots your course, follows the rules of the road, makes legal turns, etc, who is in control? I think the courts are eventually have to say "there is no such thing as a driverless car"
 

kju1

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Yeah, but what that button does is relinquish control of the to the car. Are you really the driver then? Since the car plots your course, follows the rules of the road, makes legal turns, etc, who is in control? I think the courts are eventually have to say "there is no such thing as a driverless car"

I agree the courts have to say that. I am just saying that even still just pushing a button that tells it to do something should be considered operation. Unless all you do is get in and it goes home w/out any input....then maybe its autonomous enough to be driver less?
 

haste.

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Capable and actually being used are two different things. A lot of modern aircraft systems are capable of take off and landing without the pilot but its rarely used to do that. For one not only does the plane have to be equipped but so does the airport. Also the pilots need to be trained. CATIIIb and C approaches are where this is most likely to be used. IIIB lets the pilot make the decision at 50ft, IIIC lets the pilot land w/out ever seeing the runway. (ILS approaches, GPS RNAV are different).

The autopilot in commercial aircraft actually flies the approach also. Heck I was teaching a student in a Cessna 172 last week and that plane was flying the approach itself ;). The autopilot is MUCH more capable and complicated than most people think. It however, is NOT, autonomous.

That being said I think you would be surprised at just how much the autopilot is doing to relieve the manual burden on the pilot thus freeing them up to focus on more important things like not hitting each other. A friend of mine who recently started flying for United told me their company policy was the autopilot has to be engaged at 50ft and disengaged at 50ft unless circumstances require the pilot to hand fly the aircraft. For example when ATC gives you a deviation sometimes its faster to hand fly it than to program it in. Or when they tell you to turn to avoid traffic...etc etc.

BTW landing isnt all that critical. Its the take off were the real danger lies. You have a lot of options on landing if something goes wrong. Not so much on takeoff.

Does that help clear up any confusion?
I was actually wondering all of that because I had read that Airbus was controlling altitude, heading, speed, etc. On descent many many years ago, basically when they started fly by wire. Yet always assumed that the pilot was responsible for touchdown. I get a bit anxious on takeoff and landing, even with flying quite often, and have told my wife that take off is more dangerous than landing - she said I'm crazy so more ammunition for that argument!
 

M76

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This is the second time I'm posting this reply so...perhaps it wasn't as obvious as I had intended.
Perhaps it was only obvious to you. I've seen far worse utterances than that.
 

M76

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So my question is can he beat the DWI rap because the car was "technically" driving? :D
At least in the UK. it's enough to stand near a car with the keys on you and they can do you in. It's called being in charge of a motor vehicle while under the influence.
 

travisty

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Yeah I read the article and it smells like bullshit to me. 7 minutes from when they spotted him to stopping him and the autopilot didnt start slowing the car down on its own? 7 minutes is way past the time for hands to be off the wheel.

It's the police not understanding how autopilot works. All a police officer had to do initially was drive in front of the car then brake to a stop. No matter what lane the tesla is in it will come to a complete stop in that case and stay stopped.
 

Wierdo

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First it was you aren't supposed to have sex with the autopilot on. Now you can't even get a ride home after drinking. What exactly is the point of automated vehicles again?

I'm pretty sure you can't have sex or operate drunk on a plane with auto-pilot on either, probably a good way to lose your license.

Yeah I read the article and it smells like bullshit to me. 7 minutes from when they spotted him to stopping him and the autopilot didnt start slowing the car down on its own? 7 minutes is way past the time for hands to be off the wheel.

Few theories I can think of:
- Maybe he was asleep with his hands on the wheel in some fashion, delaying the response, if so then he's lucky he didn't cause a crash by disabling it.
- Maybe he bought one of those illegal defeat devices, they sell those online sadly.

Basically some drunk idiot does something stupid, only difference is he got off lucky with auto-pilot steering the car to safety instead of hitting a tree.

But this is (currently) a clear abuse of the marketed feature, and even if one day it becomes technically possible the legislation isn't in place to allow it, that takes time. Good on the cops for catching him before he hurt himself or others.
 
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BoiseTech

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I know this isn't what Autopilot was built for... but isn't this a much more desired outcome than him crashing, and killing himself and possibly others?
 

Wierdo

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I know this isn't what Autopilot was built for... but isn't this a much more desired outcome than him crashing, and killing himself and possibly others?

Yeah that's the silver lining, but if something did happen then it would be unfair negative PR spin, the media would go nuts with it for clicks regardless.

Then we'd be talking about the mass hysteria and "that's why we can't have nice things" and all that jazz.
 
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tempertantrum

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This is one of those times that this will be the norm in the future and won’t even be an issue. But the police and states will fight for quite some time due to loss in revenue

Nah, they'll just charge a service fee/license for anyone using it.
 

kju1

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I'm pretty sure you can't have sex or operate drunk on a plane with auto-pilot on either, probably a good way to lose your license.

Legally you cant even get on the plane if you are drunk ( as a passenger). For pilots we cant consume alcohol for 8 hours prior to flying. Also sex on planes happens...but not while you are a required crew member ;).

Few theories I can think of:
- Maybe he was asleep with his hands on the wheel in some fashion, delaying the response, if so then he's lucky he didn't cause a crash by disabling it.
- Maybe he bought one of those illegal defeat devices, they sell those online sadly.

Basically some drunk idiot does something stupid, only difference is he got off lucky with auto-pilot steering the car to safety instead of hitting a tree.

But this is (currently) a clear abuse of the marketed feature, and even if one day it becomes technically possible the legislation isn't in place to allow it, that takes time. Good on the cops for catching him before he hurt himself or others.

Yeah I could see either but neither of those is Tesla's fault. What bothered me was the way the article was worded it was like you could fall asleep behind the wheel and the car would just drive along. Which is absolutely not the case as we both know. Outside of course from attempting to disable it with hands or some other device of course.
 

Westwood

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Don't worry, once you get hit once because the system can't see you or doesn't know what to do about you, you won't think about it at all.
Big reason why I ride places like this,

IMG_8658.jpg
 
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