Tesla driver sleeping at the wheel while car drives itself


#1

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#2

That is the dream for self-driving cars.

And I can totally understand how that happened - sitting in the driver’s seat with nothing to keep his mind engaged but watch as the boring car boringly drives on a boring road. Of course the guy fell asleep.

He still deserves to lose his license though, he made the choice to use the system. And Tesla needs to think this shit through. As the designers of the system they need to appreciate the human element and realize that of course its going to lull people to sleep. If they expect people to stay alert and engaged they need to make sure it is hard for drivers to disengage. I don’t know what the right technical solution is, maybe eye trackers or grip sensors on the steering wheel that sound an obnoxious alarm if you lose grip for too long. Whatever the solution is, it is Tesla’s job to figure it out.

And in case anyone reading has a tesla and is worried about falling asleep - chew gum! I am not kidding, chewing gum keeps you awake, there is something about the constant jaw motion that stops a person from drifting off. Sounds crazy, but try it yourself.


#3

I’d rather drivers fall asleep with autopilot activated than without. For self driving cars to be the logical preference, they only need an error-rate lower than human drivers. It’s a pretty low bar. But emotion and politics will get in the way, and we’ll have to demonstrate self-drivers are several of orders of magnitude better than humans before they’ll be allowed.


#4

I think the minute insurance companies see that self-driving cars have lower liability, they’ll make it financially infeasible to drive yourself unless you’re willing to shell out a lot for a “specialist driver” insurance package.


#5

Highly preferable to him careening into another car.


#6

Relax, fellow persons, of which I am one. Pay no attention. This Robotomobile was simply starting to Kill All Humans a bit early. Continue to ride in your automated automobiles, and pay no attention to the sharp smell of almonds coming from the vents, should it occur.


#7

If I recall correctly this happened during the pilot episode of Knight Rider. In fact it was how Michael first learned that KITT had a self-aware AI. (Why they didn’t tell him that when they gave him the damn car is beyond me.)


#8

Tesla makes it pretty hard to fall asleep. If you don’t periodically respond to the car, it will eventually pull over and stop.


#9

Maybe. Insurance is competitive and regulated. If self-driving cars don’t get in accidents, premiums will go way, way down. I can’t see how insurance companies would be happy with that.


#10

As a motorcyclist I’m shaking in my boots.


#11

In 10 years this will be a common practice.

In 25 it will be mandatory. Well, not to sleep, but to use autopilot on the highway.


#12

I don’t know how good the Tesla is, but when cars are able to drive themselves, they will do a better job than humans at avoiding motorcyclists.


#13

I’ll wait for the stats on that for a final call. But you have a pertinent point Sir.


#14

I trust the ai more than most human drivers, its not actively trying to kill me.


#15

Unless the dude has defeated Tesla’s wake-up protocols he has either just fallen asleep or he’s fucking with other drivers.

I would absolutely fuck with other drivers, given that option.


#16

This is exactly what’s made me nervous about these not-entirely-self-driving cars. Either you give full control over to the autonomous systems, or you require constant driver input - anything in the middle leads to drivers unable to retake control when they’re required to, because they’re going to seriously lose focus even if they don’t go to sleep entirely.

In this driver’s defense, though, maybe he wasn’t asleep. Maybe he was dead. (Whoooo, ghost car!) This is totally going to be a horror trope in a few years, because it will be happening in real life. People are going to get in autonomous cars and then die, because the very sick or elderly who couldn’t drive now will be able to travel by themselves, on long trips even, and it will start happening that autonomous vehicles will be ferrying around corpses, potentially for long periods of time without anyone noticing.


#17

I give it 10 years to be mandatory on the highway…


#18

as a non-driver, i’ve been waiting my whole life for self-driving cars. i can’t wait.


#19

Yeah it’s likely trolling, but nonetheless it’s not what we need right now. Because of that guy, we just got more regulations.


#20

Why be shaking, that asshole is very unlikely to suddenly pull in front of you, or change lanes without signalling.