Tesla Rival Nio Causes Traffic Jam as Software Upgrade Incapacitates Smart Car

cageymaru

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The image of Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio has been tarnished in China as a software update shutdown one of the vehicles in the middle of a test drive. This caused a traffic jam in one of China's most prestigious neighborhoods. Changan Avenue is heavily policed as it is home to some of the most important government and Communist Party addresses in China.

After the car went dark and began updating, neither the Nio employee or the customer driving the car could open the doors or roll down the windows for a full hour. This drew groups of police to the car and a spokesperson for the company issued an apology. Social media in China made fun of the "stupid artificial intelligence" and some blamed the driver for accidentally starting the software update. "'If this is what a smart looks like, I'd rather not to be smart,' one Weibo user wrote." Nio now suggests that its customers perform software updates on the vehicles while in a parking lot or garage. The company has vowed to optimize the upgrade confirmation and reminder logic.

"So there we were, parked in Changan Avenue, motionless yet bold as brass. Police officers came, one group after another, yet we could not even wind the window down," the Nio rep's Weibo post said.
 

MMitch

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I honestly didn't mean to. :)
I don't blame you, I suspect this title probably comes from the linked article or similar. Just sounded funny when I read it. EDIT: I clicked the link, yup unless you wrote the other article, no blame for you :)
I agree with others, some fail safe failed solid here... Also to note, user interaction started the updated, it didn't windows 10 style on its own.

Quote from the article:
Nio, which markets itself as a challenger to Tesla, confirmed the incident on its Weibo account on Tuesday, claiming the driver “accidentally made a series of operations that activated the system update” during a traffic jam on Changan Avenue.

WOW, the article really pushes it to quote Tesla everywhere lol, Tesla name sells it seems. This falls into user error, you can't fix stupid (if true because that statement seems like PR damage control).
Easy fix for them, free, make it mandatory that the car be STOPPED in park and all (or even better, on the charger) to be able to launch an update like that.
 

cattix

n00b
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Dec 28, 2018
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Behold the brave new electric future... when I think, better not. Just. No. That things would have gotten its windows busted in 5 min if it did that to me. And then I would get it towed, battery removed, and fukn crushed in the junkyard. The way all half baken designs should go.
 

Advil

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There are a thousand ways not having manual egress from a car at any time would be lethal. This has to be the onion. Who makes a car where the inside handle doesn't let you out?

Anyone who has ever owned a business, or bought a large safe, or had a walk in freezer knows that there are major laws absolutely requiring that a manual handle let you out from the inside.

How can even a prototype not have such a feature and test that it works BEFORE taking it on a road at all? We've reached this weird dystopia where brilliant engineers and designers make these technological wonders... yet know nothing about basic necessary functions or safety. Absolute stunning ignorance.
 

jedijeb13

Limp Gawd
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Oh this is freaky, I just speculated what someone would do if this happened in a post here about the Volvo EV earlier this week :eek:

I promise, I didn't do it.
 

MMitch

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There are a thousand ways not having manual egress from a car at any time would be lethal. This has to be the onion. Who makes a car where the inside handle doesn't let you out?

Anyone who has ever owned a business, or bought a large safe, or had a walk in freezer knows that there are major laws absolutely requiring that a manual handle let you out from the inside.

How can even a prototype not have such a feature and test that it works BEFORE taking it on a road at all? We've reached this weird dystopia where brilliant engineers and designers make these technological wonders... yet know nothing about basic necessary functions or safety. Absolute stunning ignorance.
Aren't the pull to open thing in the trunk mandatory ? I mean, couldn't they pop the back seat and then open the trunk ? This article looks like a PR stunt lol
And why would you remove the manual handle from the inside of the car !? It HAS to have a manual way to open it, otherwise when the battery is depleted what do you do ?

I guess they could of read the owner's manual during that hour ?
 

Tweak42

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Aren't the pull to open thing in the trunk mandatory ? I mean, couldn't they pop the back seat and then open the trunk ? This article looks like a PR stunt lol
And why would you remove the manual handle from the inside of the car !? It HAS to have a manual way to open it, otherwise when the battery is depleted what do you do ?

I guess they could of read the owner's manual during that hour ?
LOL maybe the manual was in english. :ROFLMAO:

This Cadillac XLR owner got trapped in by a dead battery. There are manual releases latches, but apparently he didn't know about them.
https://jalopnik.com/man-gets-stuck-in-cadillac-xlr-for-over-13-hours-after-1829008202

In the US I can see there being a safety mandate requirement, but in China who knows.
 

aokman

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What I find amazingly stupid is that the doors and windows were locked for an hour. WTF?? Why - just why? That would be a pain in the ass no matter where you were when you did the update.
*car crashes into lake
*goes to open door
*please wait...

How the f does a car like this even make it onto the road, sounds like a deathtrap.
 

Jim Kim

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All software updates are transparent to the end user. fail

There was a complaint in Fallout 76 about the latest patch changing the weight of an item and someone commented that maybe they should Beta test the updates.
Someone immediately quipped that they where already playing a Beta. lol
 

atmartens

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Who makes a car where the inside handle doesn't let you out? ... We've reached this weird dystopia where brilliant engineers and designers make these technological wonders...
Could it be by design? Imagine a future where all cars are self-driving and can be remotely controlled: at any time the authorities (or possibly criminals, if they crack it) can lock any car and summon it, even against the will of its occupants.
 

BloodyIron

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What fucking moron software engineer allows the car to do a software update while it's driving?

Or, perhaps, what moron manager didn't authorize such a feature being limited?
 

HAL_404

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The image of Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio has been tarnished in China as a software update shutdown one of the vehicles in the middle of a test drive. This caused a traffic jam in one of China's most prestigious neighborhoods. Changan Avenue is heavily policed as it is home to some of the most important government and Communist Party addresses in China.
So ... how many company execs are they going to Publicly hang?

What fucking moron software engineer allows the car to do a software update while it's driving? Or, perhaps, what moron manager didn't authorize such a feature being limited?
or what Engineer wanted the Communist Government to have a failure?

and the cry went out ... "Remember Tiananmen Square !"
 
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Nenu

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Guess the managers/execs dont have internet privileges.

Worried, naaa.
Dont buy crap like this.
 
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DocNo

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Apr 23, 2012
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Any car that can't work without the cellular modem physically removed is not a car I will buy.

Ever. I'll keep my current ones working another 20 years.
 

NeghVar

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Wow! Could not open doors or roll down windows? Imagine what would happen, plus the aftermath, If that happened during a Texas summer.
 

Skull_Angel

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Joined
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Messages
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There are a thousand ways not having manual egress from a car at any time would be lethal. This has to be the onion. Who makes a car where the inside handle doesn't let you out?

Anyone who has ever owned a business, or bought a large safe, or had a walk in freezer knows that there are major laws absolutely requiring that a manual handle let you out from the inside.

How can even a prototype not have such a feature and test that it works BEFORE taking it on a road at all? We've reached this weird dystopia where brilliant engineers and designers make these technological wonders... yet know nothing about basic necessary functions or safety. Absolute stunning ignorance.
Engineers and designers are actually notorious for this and have been for ages. Technicians (maintenance and repair guys) see this all the time and it dives them crazy; the engineers/designers almost never think about what it would take to get to area G to replace a part or assembly that's designed to wear out and block access to it with components 5-12, which are likely parts that will never need to be looked at, but require specific removal and (re)assembly instructions...
 

Trimlock

[H]F Junkie
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Sep 23, 2005
Messages
15,196
Nio CEO -

To do list:
"steal plans to prevent auto update while car is in use"
next
"steal plans for a manual operating door"
 

M76

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10,907
Well I for one would've kicked the doors or windows from the inside until the piece of shit falls apart if it locks me in.
 

Dead Parrot

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Wow! Could not open doors or roll down windows? Imagine what would happen, plus the aftermath, If that happened during a Texas summer.
This: https://kdvr.com/2015/06/11/elderly-man-dog-die-because-car-doors-wouldnt-unlock/

Not the only time. Prompted me to ask the dealer about my Ford Escape with power locks. They said for the driver's door at least, there is a direct mechanical linkage between the open lever and the door latch that overrides any lock setting. No power needed.

Welcome to the future of always connected crap.
 

gunbust3r

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Dec 12, 2004
Messages
900
Question: Were the engineers too stupid to design a manual door release or were the occupants too stupid to look for one?
 

Megaslug

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Messages
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Why in the hell is there EVER a reason making the door handle electrical? Not just this one, the Caddy XLR (which is just a Caddy Vette, the Vette has the same system) as well. Who does that and thinks it's a cool feature to have? Emergency release or not, the whole idea is just a problem in search of a solution. What possible benefit can there be, especially if there is still a mechanical override ANYWAY? This isn;t engineering, this is stupidity at work.
Of course the XLR article references the complete morons who thought they couldn't get out of their car because the electric locks didn't work. Those people were just morons - didn;t even TRY the door handles? Because, pull the door handle, twice usually, unlocks and opens the door in any car I've had with electric locks. Except int he back seat, if the child safety setting is engaged. But then, people are constantly amazed that I get the passenger door open on their car before they've hit the unlock button - so maybe the majority of people are completely ignorant of this. But still. "help! I'm trapped!" <frantically pulls door handle> <door opens>

PS: If you don;t keep the owner's manual in the car where it belongs, I automatically hate you. I tend to buy used cars, and f I get yours, and you didn't keep the owner's manual in the car, that means you probably lost it when by the time you sold or traded the car, which means I will get it with no manual, and have to hope it's available for download somewhere - thankfully fairly common with more modern cars. The manual belongs in the glove compartment, along with all your service receipts.
 

Armenius

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I don't blame you, I suspect this title probably comes from the linked article or similar. Just sounded funny when I read it. EDIT: I clicked the link, yup unless you wrote the other article, no blame for you :)
I agree with others, some fail safe failed solid here... Also to note, user interaction started the updated, it didn't windows 10 style on its own.

Quote from the article:
Nio, which markets itself as a challenger to Tesla, confirmed the incident on its Weibo account on Tuesday, claiming the driver “accidentally made a series of operations that activated the system update” during a traffic jam on Changan Avenue.

WOW, the article really pushes it to quote Tesla everywhere lol, Tesla name sells it seems. This falls into user error, you can't fix stupid (if true because that statement seems like PR damage control).
Easy fix for them, free, make it mandatory that the car be STOPPED in park and all (or even better, on the charger) to be able to launch an update like that.
I don't see what the issue is with pointing out that Nio is a competitor to Tesla. If anything, this story is making Nio look bad compared to Tesla with its language.
 

Olle P

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Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
331
... Who makes a car where the inside handle doesn't let you out? ...
But it does let you out, ... unless the doors are locked...

What fucking moron software engineer allows the car to do a software update while it's driving?
That's a good question!
From Chinese comments:
"One claimed five steps and two confirmations were need for the software upgrade to start. “What does the maker need to do for everyone to be satisfied?” the user asked."
Obviously it doesn't take any more steps and confirmations, but clearer ones!
1) Inform the user how long the upgrade is expected to take.
2) Inform the user that the car will be off and locked down during the process.
3) Require the car to be parked to enable the update to start.
4) After the user has commanded an update the actual process should start 30 seconds after the car has been vacated and the doors closed.
 

Wierdo

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lol I'm all for NIO getting in on the action but they're gonna need to think about their safety protocols, for example don't allow an update while the car is not parked, and better warning messages with ability to back out through the user interface - maybe throw in a 5 minute grace period timer that disables the update if the car is not parked anymore or the user cancels.
 
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dvsman

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Besides the stupidity of allowing updates while car is in motion (instead of limiting it to say parking / charging mode only) - the doors and locks thing isn't new.

My Aunt had a IIRC late 80s or 90s BMW and when the electrics went out (battery or alt died), the same thing happened. Doors could open if they were unlocked but if you had auto locking set up (after shifting from park to drive) you were basically screwed. This happened in Bangkok where the temps are crazy bullcrap hot too, so she was stuck in a car with dead electrics with no open windows and couldn't open doors ... not good.
 

nutzo

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Feb 15, 2004
Messages
7,380
If you got locked in your car here in Phoenix in the summer and you couldn't smash the window out you'd be dead.
This is why cars should have a manual level to lock/unlock and open the car door, not just an electric push button.

I assume they would have the same problem of being trapped in the car if the computer crashed or the power died.
 
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