Road and Track Magazine: If you think we’re anywhere near fully autonomous cars, this video might convince you otherwise.
Thank you Road and Track magazine and website for doing the testing on this long-standing belief in Tesla’s insurmountable technological lead in Autonomous Driving. I’ve marveled at each and every notable reported accident where-in a driver ran the auto-pilot on a Tesla and then watched in horror as the car drove them to their death. That’s happened.
In the details of this case, they measured the speed, distance, visibility and actions taken by the car and the driver. It’s painfully obvious the driver was waiting, waiting, waiting for the car to DO something. In fact it didn’t do anything. I drove right into/under the trailer as it crossed BOTH lanes as it was turning onto the road from a traffic cross-over on a two lane highway. The car never slowed, never braked. And neither did the driver until it was far to late. The car went under the trailer, killing the driver on impact.
And there are other Autonomous Vehicle accidents that have led to wrongful death lawsuits. Sometimes, it’s a car hitting a a pedestrian. In Arizona, an Uber vehicle being tested for Autonomous Driving ran over a woman walking a bicycle across a road at night. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/technology/uber-driverless-fatality.html. So there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary that ANYONE has an insurmountable lead on the Autonomous Vehicle of the future. There isn’t even a “present” in this, a now, a benchmark of Autonomous Vehicles. It’s all experiments, semi-undocumented, not-recommended by the manufacturers, but widely documented and discussed and visible to the Internet. And that’s where the typical Elon Musk acolyte, ditto-head who gushes endlessly about how smart Elon Musk is, and how infallible, and how much he KNOWS. Well that bubble was burst long ago with questionable behavior, decisions, and public actions he has made. Tesla exists not so much for the technology, (even now) but from the perseverance of Musk which is legendary. He doesn’t let up, he’s relentless in the face of mounting failures. One could argue Tesla even still doesn’t make a profit, UNLESS one counts the personal wealth of Musk, valuation of the company. Valuation is not sales. Valuation does not a market make. Cars need to sell, supply chains need to exist, fueling stations need to exist, aftermarket parts need to exist, that’s how the automotive industry came into being in the 20th industry. Electric cars are not a new industry, they are a step-wise evolution of an existing one.
GM tried to get Electric Vehicles going back in the late 20th century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1. GM attempted a first pass with the EV1, and decided to pull it from the market. That doesn’t mean EVs in general are a bad idea. But GM couldn’t make it work given all the required parts that “need to exist”. Charging stations/refueling stations need to exist STILL even all these years after the first Tesla S rolled out and was sold to the first paying customer. Since then, more models, different price ranges, different features, improved models have all been developed and released. And each time the coin is pitched into the wishing well, with each car built and sold that this thing will take and hold and Tesla will compete literally with the other global manufacturers. Market Valuation is not monthly sales, or quarterly reports.
And furthermore technology, amiright ;^)
No amount of technology and pursuit of that technologists, “one true thing”, in this case Autonomous Vehicles, is ever going to make the market. Howzabout we just get enough EVs out there the start to move the needle on reducing fossil fuel usage for transportation? Or better yet, EVs plus increase usage of and availability of convenient Public Transport. Maybe the increase of both EVs and Public Transportation would have the actual impact all the acolytes and dittoheads of Elon Musk purport is happening through Tesla Motors. I don’t see it now. And don’t expect to see it from Tesla Motors. And the Road and Track article on Tesla’s “beta” of Autonomous mode puts the lie to the purported “truthiness” that there is an insurmountable technical lead, and that Tesla has it. I can only conclude there is no “there” there, when it comes to insurmountable anything, other than hubris, which Tesla, Musk and all his acolyte dittoheads have in quantity. That’s the only lead they have.