Tesla demands removal of videos showing its cars mowing down child-sized mannequins

Originally published at: Tesla demands removal of videos showing its cars mowing down child-sized mannequins | Boing Boing


Paging Saint Babs…


Featured Image GIF’s, are hawt!!! ^____^


Yeah, that would be great! Can we have kittens and puppies who never get sick, parents who are always caring and supportive and cars that never break down too? That would be so cool!

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Someone ought to tell those folks to ‘wish in one hand…’


Self driving cars are the future, but it will probably require some infrastructure changes, and we should have it regulated with safety guidelines.

The problem with early adoption is “mostly works” isn’t good enough.

We Demand Software that Never Fails and Can't Be Hacked

Not possible in this universe.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be statistically significantly better than humans, which is totally doable.

As for hacking aspect, just don’t make that software accessible via wifi or bluetooth, etc. Make you have to physically plug in to it. I means people will hack and tinker with their own cars, but someone won’t hack control of you while on the highway and redirect you to a chop shop where they harvest your car parts and body organs…

How is that for a short sci-fi story writing prompt.

Anyway - delicious attention getting trying to remove the videos.


Good thing the new owner of Twitter is going to make it a free speech haven, that way vitally important viewpoints regarding public safety can be heard.


I was unaware that these videos existed until now.

What is concerning is Tesla’s lack of common sense. They could have spun this in to, were are investigating, but this is also why the feature is so expensive (and perhaps even turn the feature into a subscription), because it is constantly being improved to prevent just these kind of events. They could have spun it to, “while we believe our vehicles are fully capable of self driving, we encourage a human driver to be present, aware, and able to intervene when driving so that accidents don’t happen.” Instead they it seems that they summoned the might of Streisand PR, and I now we all see a Tesla running into an object the size of a small bollard, that happens to be child shaped.

Source: Image of ExcoComp from Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Quality of Life”, Season 6, Episode 9, 1992 11 16, image still from show found on Memory-Alpha.Fandom dot com, resized my me.
Of course, the car may have known it was a test and failed, just like the ExoComps in STTNG, because it detected that there was no real danger. ; )


I’ve heard that argument about infrastructure a lot, but I think that better hardware on the vehicles is probably more realistic than country-wide infrastructure updates, given the number of state and local governments that would need to buy in to that. Musk seems dead-set on making his janky FSD system work with cameras alone, and maybe a perfect, super-intelligent software system could make that tenable someday, but Waymo is already running a bunch of LiDAR-covered driverless vehicles around San Francisco without the city doing any infrastructure changes to support them.

Mind you, I’m not a big fan of Waymo testing on public streets either, but they seem to be much closer to having a safe system than Tesla.


I hope not. Our future should include greater public trransit, with private cars being the exception rather than the norm, I’d argue. Everyone having their own car in the future (self-driving or not) is just going to lead to a greater and greater level of congestion…I mean, I don’t know why anyone would want to live like this:

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Because self-driving cars can’t fix that issue.

And I’m also not convinced that AI is going to be the silver bullet all the proponents claim, either. By creating AI that does nothing but replicated our own failures (which is pretty much what is happeing right now), we’re just taking our currently existing set of problems and amplifying them. Fixing our problems is not a tech issue. It’s a social and cultural issues. As long as we keep expecting technology to be a magical cure for human failing nothing is going to change.


Public transport is the answer.

However… Not going to say some kind of biomechanical self driving ant vehicle (or BSDAV) that crawls over other cars in a big long line wouldn’t be utterly amazing


Well, but that’s just pure entertainment, tho…

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I hadn’t heard about the Dawn Project or it’s “founder” Dan O’Dowd before, but his bio on their website makes it seem like he’s a real megalomaniac weirdo.

So an appropriate rival to Musk.


Why just the other day, I heard some LIE that iPhone earbuds can damage a baby’s hearing if turned up too loud. What utter bullshit, pretty sure a company like Apple wouldn’t mislead their devoted customers regarding the safety and functions of their products.(I own 4 of everything they make, Steve Jobs IS a God). So just to prove these so-called PhD doctors of engineer science are wrong, I put some AirPods in my baby’s ears and played U2 at full blast. He’s still alive… cries and bumps into walls. but he’s a baby… he’ll grow out of that.

Then on top of it, I read that the Kevlar backpack I bought my other kid… that it isn’t really bulletproof… we’re heading out to the shooting range this afternoon to prove those idiots are wrong too.


I think the most reliable system will have great car hardware, and infrastructure for keeping cars on the road.

This will probably be implemented on highways first, as they are not only the “easiest” driving, but would require the simplest changes. I predict at some point there will be “autonomous cars only” lanes, separated from the human piloted craft.

City driving will be more complicated, but having some devices such as traffic lights communicating with the cars will smooth things along. Imagine a grid of smart lights that will change based on car travel to bet as efficient as possible. No more of those days where you hit every god damn light doing down a major road.

And it would be naive that such a paradigm shift wouldn’t lead to a shift in how our roads and cities are laid out. The change from horse and buggy and foot to cars had a lot of growing pains, but now it is car centric (to the detriment of foot traffic - at least in the US).

I should have said “self driving vehicles”. Buses and the like would be included. I have even heard of models where people won’t own cars, but subscribe to a service where they are just picked up and taken to where they need to go. Perhaps in smaller van like vehicles. Or even to a hub that takes you to a train or bus for longer trips.

TBF - a lot of that is human caused congestion. “Traffic snakes” and the like. One firm brake from going a little too fast, and you just caused miles of traffic behind you to be interrupted.

You could have a lot less congestion with a central system controlling how to best get from A to B and seamlessly timing it out. Hypothetically. Of course there is a maximum number of cars any road will support, even with peak efficiency. I think more people working from home would cut down even further on congestion.

I will say in my recent move - I have found that there are a lot more interesting and required areas closer by and find it very convenient for getting things. If only a little bit closer, foot and bike would even be an option. City planning would go a long way on this.


You’re right, but the tech is coming and we have to use social and cultural means to direct it. And if used together, I think it can improve things. Of course they will bring NEW problems. Look at the pros and cons of ubiquitous cell phone usage connected to the internet.

None of which is the point. More cars on the road cases more congestion. THAT is the problem. The way to actual deal with congestion is to give people cheap or free and convenient alternatives to cars.

And so far, truly autonomous cars have been a pipedream that has endangered people’s lives.

That’s, again, not proven to be true thus far. The citations we have in the real world are telling us the exact opposite - autonomous cars have proven thus far to be no better at improving road safety.

I’d argue it’s naive to assume that technology is a problem solver, in and of itself, without changes to social structures more generally.

That didn’t jsut happen. Public transit was literally undermined and attacked by private corporations for their own benefit. It’s yet another example of profit-driven motives undermining a public good. Nearly everyone being forced to have a car to carry out basic tasks for daily existence has driven the further immiseration of the working class. It’s one more place where people on the margins can end up spiraling down into the worst poverty. As long as we put shiny solutions and corporate profits at the center of our thinking, this will continue.

Most people don’t imagine self-driving buses, though. Buses can be a part of the public transit solution, but so can light and heavy rail. That really should be our focus, in general, improving public transit.

Kind of my point about cars! Congestion isn’t solved by putting MORE cars on the road, however they’re operated.

Maybe, but at this point, it’s not. A single train, tram, street car, or bus can more efficiently move more people as it stands right now. We’re talking about solutions that are maybe 100 years out.

And we have solutions that would work and be easier to work into our current environment in the mean time… and that’s building out public transit - solutions that can be enacted in the next 2 decades rather than looking out 100 years.


I just ordered an electric car with a “Smart Cruise” option. It’s a limited form of self drive, and only works on specially designated roads; probably those roads where children are least likely to be playing. (I’m assuming only rural interstate freeways and limited access highways.) I don’t even know if the system is ready yet. But one of the more immediate day-to-day benefits is that it includes automatic emergency braking. While I’m unsure if it will or won’t strike a child-sized test dummy in the middle of the road, I intend to continue driving safely without ever finding out.

But if that awful day ever comes when there is a surprise on the street, I want to know I have every possible tool available to help prevent a tragedy.


I agree we should have a much better public transport system - buses, trains, trolley systems, etc.That will only be accomplished if people who care about such things are elected and able to vote and fund such programs. Some large cities could do city wide planning that would restructure things to make it more viable and efficient.

Autonomous vehicle technology is going to progress no matter what local and state governments do with their public transport systems. Those same governments and the federal government will have to at some point regulate the technology as well as cope with any changes the wide adoption of it will bring… Government, in general, is very slow and bad at regulating new technology.

So yes - I do have an optimistic out look on future autonomous driving technology. I don’t think it precludes expanding public transportation, and the technology could enhance it as well.

I don’t think the public should be guinea pigs as they struggle to get the technology “right”.