Democratic U.S. Senator Ed Markey asked Tesla Inc on Wednesday to disable its “Autopilot” driver-assistance system until it installs new safeguards to prevent drivers from evading system limits that could let them fall asleep.Reuters
This pointless action would result in aditional injuries and deaths, and would not stop anyone from falling asleep. Anyone who is this careless with American lives should not be allowed to serve as a Senator.
“Tesla should disable Autopilot until it fixes the problem, Markey said at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on advanced vehicle technologies.Reuters
You want to disable Autopilot because somone might install a defeat device to get around the attention checks, and fall asleep?
Okay, well why stop there? Let’s disable all cars until manufacturers find a way to make sure nobody ever falls asleep behind the wheel. Enough is enough:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. However, these numbers are underestimated, and up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy driversCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
16 people will be killed by drowsy drivers in America today. Another 16 will be killed tomorrow. We’re talking about 197 car crashes every day, 120 daily injuries… we can’t let this keep happening!
It’s not like there’s some kind of magical technology that can safely keep the car in it’s lane even if the driver falls asleep. So unless every car can ensure that drivers never fall asleep while driving, nobody should be allowed to drive.
Markey cited a local news report that said a driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel as a Tesla drove 14 miles on Autopilot. Other unconfirmed videos on social media appear to show drivers sleeping behind the wheel of Tesla vehicles.Reuters
Yes, let’s create laws based on unconfirmed videos we see on social media. There’s no way any of those videos could be pranks, staged, or someone playing a joke. Everything on the internet is real.
As for the guy falling asleep and driving 14 miles on Autopilot… is he alive? Oh, he is? You ever hear of a guy falling asleep driving manually, continuining on the road for 14 miles, and ultimately surviving?
No? Well, that’s because they usually die. So to be clear, this man would be dead or seriously injured if not for Tesla Autopilot. Others around him may have died or been injured too, because of his carelessness.
Senator Dumbass, in a true galaxy brain moment, reads this story and decides Autopilot needs to be disabled. It’s hard to follow the logic here, but it appears that the esteemed Senator from Massachusetts believes that Autopilot causes sleep. Eliminate Autopilot, and surely nobody will fall asleep.
The problem is that most of the 72,000 drowsy driving crashes every year don’t involve Autopilot at all. Rather than solving the problem of drowsy driving, you’re eliminating a safety technology designed to mitigate damage the problem can cause.
This illogical nonsense is an example of “wet streets cause rain” thinking.
“That’s not safe. Somebody is going to die because they can go to YouTube as a driver – find a way to (get around safety requirements),” Markey said. “We can’t entrust the lives of our drivers and everyone else on the road to a water bottle.”Reuters
As always, it’s up to the driver to make sure they are operating the car safely. The car can add some safety protections, but if you make them impossible to get around the system will be very frustarting to use. You just have to trust people to some extent.
For example, you could have Autopilot detect open eyes and beep loudly if it doesn’t detect them. But then it might beep for certain sunglasses, when you look at your mirrors, etc. The current attention checks already make it sufficiently difficult to sleep –– if no hands are detected, the car will automatically slow down and stop.
As for the Senator’s attack on water bottles, I would retort that I don’t think we can entrust the lives of our drivers and everyone else on the road to a clueless old man. I say we replace the Senator with a water bottle from the nearest 7/11 as soon as possible to help keep the drivers of the world safe.
Please write and call in to the Senator’s office to let him know this technology saves lives, and disable it would injure, kill, and inconvenience hundreds of thousands of Americans:
Phone Number: (617) 565-8519
Contact Page: https://www.markey.senate.gov/contact