Tesla driver killed in crash while using car's 'Autopilot'


spaminator
#1
Tesla driver killed in crash while using car's 'Autopilot'
Joan Lowy And Tom Krisher, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:08 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:24 PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- 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.
Brown's published obituary described him as a member of the Navy SEALs for 11 years and founder of Nexu Innovations Inc., working on wireless Internet networks and camera systems. In Washington, the Pentagon confirmed Brown's work with the SEALs and said he left the service in 2008.
Brown was an enthusiastic booster of his 2015 Tesla Model S and in April credited its sophisticated Autopilot system for avoiding a crash when a commercial truck swerved into his lane on an interstate. He published a video of the incident online. "Hands down the best car I have ever owned and use it to its full extent," Brown wrote.
Tesla didn't identify Brown but described him in a statement as "a friend to Tesla and the broader EV (electric vehicle) community, a person who spent his life focused on innovation and the promise of technology and who believed strongly in Tesla's mission." It also stressed the uncertainty about its new system, noting that drivers must manually enable it: "Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert."
A man answering the door at Brown's parents' house who did not identify himself said he had no comment.
Tesla founder Elon Musk expressed "Our condolences for the tragic loss" in a tweet late Thursday.
Preliminary reports indicate the crash occurred when Baressi's rig turned left in front of Brown's Tesla at an intersection of a divided highway where there was no traffic light, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. Brown died at the scene of the crash, which occurred May 7 in Williston, Florida, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. The city is southwest of Gainesville.
By the time firefighters arrived, the wreckage of the Tesla -- with its roof sheared off completely -- had come to rest in a nearby yard hundreds of feet from the crash site, assistant chief Danny Wallace of the Williston Fire Department told The Associated Press. The driver was pronounced dead, "Signal 7" in the local firefighters' jargon, and they respectfully covered the wreckage and waited for crash investigators to arrive.
The company said this was the first known death in over 130 million miles of Autopilot operation. It said the NHTSA investigation is a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the system worked as expected.
Tesla says that before Autopilot can be used, drivers have to acknowledge that the system is an "assist feature" that requires a driver to keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Drivers are told they need to "maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle" while using the system, and they have to be prepared to take over at any time, the statement said.
Autopilot makes frequent checks, making sure the driver's hands are on the wheel, and it gives visual and audible alerts if hands aren't detected, and it gradually slows the car until a driver responds, the statement said.
The Autopilot mode allows the Model S sedan and Model X SUV to steer itself within a lane, change lanes and speed up or slow down based on surrounding traffic or the driver's set speed. It can automatically apply brakes and slow the vehicle. It can also scan for parking spaces and parallel park on command
Tesla conceded that the Autopilot feature is not perfect, but said in the statement that it's getting better all the time. "When used in conjunction with driver oversight, the data is unequivocal that Autopilot reduces driver workload and results in a statistically significant improvement in safety," the company said.
NHTSA's Office of Defects is handling the investigation. The opening of the preliminary evaluation shouldn't be construed as a finding that the government believes the Model S is defective, NHTSA said in a statement.
The Tesla death comes as NHTSA is taking steps to ease the way onto the nation's roads for self-driving cars, an anticipated sea-change in driving where Tesla has been on the leading edge. Self-driving cars have been expected to be a boon to safety because they'll eliminate human errors. Human error is responsible for about 94 per cent of crashes.
Musk has been bullish about Autopilot, even as Tesla warns owners the feature is not for all conditions and not sophisticated enough for the driver to check out.
This spring, Musk said the feature reduced the probability of having an accident by 50 per cent, without detailing his calculations. In January, he said that Autopilot is "probably better than a person right now."
One of Tesla's advantages over competitors is that its thousands of cars feed real-world performance information back to the company, which can then fine-tune the software that runs Autopilot.
This is not the first time automatic braking systems have malfunctioned, and several have been recalled to fix problems. In November, for instance, Toyota had to recall 31,000 full-sized Lexus and Toyota cars because the automatic braking system radar mistook steel joints or plates in the road for an object ahead and put on the brakes. Also last fall, Ford recalled 37,000 F-150 pickups because they braked with nothing in the way. The company said the radar could become confused when passing a large, reflective truck.
The technology relies on multiple cameras, radar, laser and computers to sense objects and determine if they are in the car's way, said Mike Harley, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book. Systems like Tesla's, which rely heavily on cameras, "aren't sophisticated enough to overcome blindness from bright or low contrast light," he said.
Harley called the death unfortunate, but said that more deaths can be expected as the autonomous technology is refined.
Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. fell $6.77, or 3.2 per cent, in after-hours trading after news of the crash was released. During the trading day, the stock was up 1 per cent at $212.28.
Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book, said the accident is a huge blow to Tesla's reputation.
"They have been touting their safety and they have been touting their advanced technology," he said. "This situation flies in the face of both."
Brauer said Tesla will have to repair the damage in two ways. First, the company needs to make sure its customers understand that autopilot is meant to assist drivers, not to fully take over for them. Second, the company should update the cars' software so autopilot will turn off if it senses the driver's hands aren't on the wheel for a certain period of time. Mercedes-Benz's driver assist system is among those that require drivers' hands to be on the wheel.
Tesla driver killed in crash while using car's 'Autopilot' | World | News | Toro
 
Danbones
#2
keep your hands on the road
your eyes upon the wheel...
 
B00Mer
#3
USA, who getting sued?
 
Tecumsehsbones
#4
This should be in the "Darwin Awards" thread.

Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

USA, who getting sued?

If it was Canada, he could go whine to the HRC.
 
tay
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

This should be in the "Darwin Awards" thread.


If it was Canada, he could go whine to the HRC.

HRC?

I could never trust Auto Pilot, even before this case. I tried to get a Pilots license but could never get over the feeling that I wasn't in control. They suggested that a lot of people feel this way because they are used all the control you feel from driving a car including the sensation of the ground. I tried to overcome it but after 6 flights I was still shaking for a half hour after so I gave up.

I actually think I would have been better in a bigger plane but that's not how it goes.......
 
Tecumsehsbones
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by tayView Post

HRC?

Yup, HRC.

Quote:

I could never trust Auto Pilot, even before this case. I tried to get a Pilots license but could never get over the feeling that I wasn't in control. They suggested that a lot of people feel this way because they are used all the control you feel from driving a car including the sensation of the ground. I tried to overcome it but after 6 flights I was still shaking for a half hour after so I gave up.

I actually think I would have been better in a bigger plane but that's not how it goes.......

Yep, that's the usual problem. "How can we trust the computer?" My usual answer is "Couldn't possibly be any worse'n the morons on the road now."
 
tay
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Yup, HRC.


Yep, that's the usual problem. "How can we trust the computer?" My usual answer is "Couldn't possibly be any worse'n the morons on the road now."


I don't know what you mean by HRC.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by tayView Post

I don't know what you mean by HRC.

Ah. It's a strange little institution in Canada, which doles out punishments without fussy little things like due process of law.

Ironically, they call it the Human Rights Commission.

You should study some about Canada. It's a pretty nice place, despite its loopier notions. To be honest, it's my favorite client state.
 
spaminator
#9
Investigators say Tesla car was speeding at time of crash
Joan Lowy, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 02:58 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 08:52 PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- The driver killed when his Tesla sedan crashed while in self-driving mode was travelling at 9 mph above the speed limit just before hitting the side of a tractor-trailer, federal accident investigators said Tuesday.
Data downloaded from the Tesla Model S shows the vehicle was travelling at 74 mph in a 65-mph zone on a divided highway in Williston, Florida, near Gainesville, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report.
The driver, Joshua Brown, 40, a tech company owner from Canton, Ohio, was using the sedan's cruise control and lane-keeping features at the time, the report said. Those features are part of the vehicle's Autopilot self-driving system, but the NTSB report doesn't mention the system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is also investigating the crash, has previously said the Autopilot was engaged.
The Tesla's roof struck the underside of the truck's 53-foot semitrailer at a 90-degree angle, shearing off the sedan's roof before it emerged on the other side of the trailer, according to the report. The truck was making a left turn at the time.
The sedan is equipped with automatic emergency braking. Tesla and NHTSA have previously said the Autopilot was unable to distinguish the white side of the truck from the brightly lit sky and there was no attempt to brake by either the self-driving system or Brown.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk didn't address the report Tuesday at an event at the company's battery factory in Nevada. But he did reiterate that the company will press ahead with semi-autonomous driving features, which can prevent injuries and accidents.
"I think it's been unequivocally a good thing," Musk said.
This photo provided by the NTSB via the Florida Highway Patrol shows the Tesla Model S that was being driven by Joshau Brown, who was killed, when the Tesla sedan crashed while in self-driving mode on May 7, 2016. The National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report on July 26 that the Tesla Model S was traveling at 74 mph in a 65-mph zone on a divided highway in Williston, Fla., near Gainesville, just before hitting the side of a tractor-trailer. (NTSB via Florida Highway Patrol via AP)

Investigators say Tesla car was speeding at time of crash | World | News | Toron
 
spaminator
#10
Self-driving car saves man after pulmonary embolism
Postmedia Network
First posted: Monday, August 08, 2016 02:34 PM EDT | Updated: Monday, August 08, 2016 02:48 PM EDT
A 37-year-old Missouri man credited his self-driving Tesla for taking him to the hospital when he suffered a pulmonary embolism behind the wheel.
Joshua Neally told Slate (external - login to view) he was on his way home to Branson to his daughter’s fourth birthday party in late July when he was hit with stabbing pains in his stomach and chest.
Luckily, he was driving his new Tesla Model X luxury SUV (external - login to view), that offers an autopilot feature.
He called his wife, who told him to go to the emergency room, so he entered the co-ordinates into the car’s GPS and let it take over for the 30 kilometres of highway driving to the nearest hospital.
He doesn’t remember much after that, except that he took over the controls briefly when the car pulled into the hospital parking lot.
Neally was treated and released later that night.
He said his wife was originally wary of the car’s autopilot feature, after a pair of accidents related to the system on U.S. highways in recent weeks.
“I’m not a daredevil,” he told Slate. “I promised my wife I’d always be paying attention.”
Tesla Model X luxury SUV. (Tesla/Supplied)

Self-driving car saves man after pulmonary embolism | Weird | News | Toronto Sun
 
gamerman
#11
Yesterday I watched this video from Hyundai
this one is great



Quote: Originally Posted by gamermanView Post

Yesterday I watched this video from Hyundai

this one is great

 
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