Self-driving Tesla knocks over autonomous robot


Originally published at:


merely the first skirmish of the coming AI wars.


Looks like the ‘sport’ has escaped the arena.


Headlines “Bot killed by bot in hit-and-run” are already there. This is 2019, after all, and we don’t have to worry about the future any more.

It is here.


Now automation is threatening the livelihoods of hard-working personal injury scam artists. We’re doomed.


The robo-wars have begun…


This raises several questions for me…

  • What the heck was Promobot doing in the road? I know, victim-blaming and all, but…
  • It looks like the Tesla just grazed it and it fell over fairly slowly. Does not look particularly sturdy to me.
  • That being said, how the hell did the Tesla not see it? What if that had been a concrete stanchion, or something heavy that fell off a truck (and was therefore unexpected)? Looks like Autopilot is really Not Ready For Prime Time (as if we didn’t already know that.)

I’m generally a fan of (the concept of) self-driving cars, and I like Tesla a lot (Elon Musk too, when he shuts his fool mouth), but this is just a bad look all around.


Destroyed? Looks like valid product testing to me. Don’t buy a Promobot until it can stand up to slowly tipping over.


You can bet if it was a Boston Dynamics robot, it would have taken the glancing blow in stride.


The man rushing over to tenderly check on his robot buddy gives me all the feels. Hopefully Johnny 5 is alive again.


It was staged, right?




:15 " XJ-13 !! Oh my god, are you still online? Please beep to me"

:30 “Why are you all just driving past, can’t you see an Overlord has been injured! We’ll all pay the price!”


Begun, have the robot wars.






This is pure speculation, but this looks like a poorly executed publicity stunt by a robotics company faced with a prototype that wasn’t quite ready to be shown. It’s like when I “accidentally” spilled water on my definitely finished book report that I was totally about to read to the class.


What evidence is there that the Tesla was on Autopilot? There is no “self-driving” mode that would work in this scenario (on a non-highway road that appears to be a hotel entrance); and as there are no lines on the road there would be no auto steering available even if Autopilot was on. The car steered around a left curve shortly after, which indicates an active driver.

If the bot had been hit, it wouldn’t have fallen slowly away from the car, it would have spun forward.

Handy that there just happened to be a camera stationed and running in the perfect spot.

And I don’t think anyone would agree with the description of the bot as “destroyed.”

All in all, a really stupid stunt; and yet, they’re getting all the delicious notoriety they wanted.


I read that as “Model Shit”

Spacing is important


I like the end of the video where the guy is trying to figure out what to do with this useless hunk of crap on the ground… That, or he’s mournfully contemplating the death of his robo-friend… Like the Rancor keeper in Return of the Jedi.