FYI #5: Tesla Versus The German Govt
Today's Yahoo news website had an article re an evaluation that the German govt is doing on the Tesla S, and its autopilot mode [Tesla's officialterminology calls it "Autopilot Driver Assist Function"].
One of the comments on the article by a reader IMO clearly summarizes the pro/con arguments, and most especially what, in the real world, is it good for.
Verbatim C & P
IMHO...you either have an autopilot feature and trust it to work or you don't trust it and drive yourself. Promoting some sort of hybrid driving habit where the driver has autopilot on, yet has to be in full control at all times is counter intuitive. Either you trust the system to brake when necessary or you don't and you do it yourself. If I'm in a model S with autopilot on and approach a location where braking or stopping is necessary, do I wait for autopilot to brake and apply brakes manually if it doesn't or do I just ignore autopilot and brake when I think I should. Same for changing lanes, passing, etc.,.
Me here: Since this forum was originally founded to deal with computer issues, I would like to toss out a thought that I find really bizarre about the Tesla in that it doesn't appear to have this feature.
I would think that its autopilot mode would have a feature that puts it into a simulator mode, i. e., the driver is actually fully controlling/driving the car; in this mode the Tesla computer would audibly announce (as opposed to having to view its intentions on its computer screen) what it would do if it was actually in a fully active autopilot mode: example, as it approached a traffic light that was a red light, it would broadcast something like, 'red light ahead, 'x' feet away, braking to a full stop, starting now'. With such a feature, the driver could compare their own actions, and their timing, with the computer's program, and make a logical determination if the computer really knows, by comparison, what it SHOULD be doing, and of course whether it does/does not perform said action.
And when the ride is over, there would be a download of the trip available so the driver could study on their PC what, if any, differences, there were between the driver's own actions and what the computer intended to do in a specific situation; obviously those situations where the computer was oblivious to a correct/necessary action, or the reaction time for one, would be a REALLY BIG red flag.
Being able to sync a dashcam playback with the trip on the PC, and the download, would be a huge plus.