NHTSA takes another unwarranted swipe at Tesla Motors

NHTSA takes another unwarranted swipe at Tesla Motors

It has been determined that the driver involved in the fatal crash that occurred in 2018 was distracted with playing a video game on his cellphone when his Model X crashed into a concrete barrier:

Nonetheless the NHTSA took it upon themselves to claim that Tesla Motors hasn't made it clear enough to owners / drivers that Tesla's Auto Pilot (AP) functionality isn't capable of fully autonomous driving capability.

This is despite the fact that it has been established that distracted driving has been attributable to nearly 4,000 deaths in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015, some 3,450 people in 2016, and an estimated 391,000 drivers were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2017:

In fact it has become the unfortunate commonplace knowledge of monitoring law enforcement and health agencies nationwide that, each day in the United States alone, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to have involved a device-distracted driver:

Over the last five years of reporting, CELLPHONES (not Tesla's AP) were reported as a distraction for 14 percent of all distracted drivers in fatal crashes. In 2017 434 people died in fatal crashes that involved the use of cellphones or other cellphone-related activities as distractions:

Yet the NHTSA erroneously chooses to scapegoat Tesla despite the fact that over 99.999 & 9 tenths percent of those accidents involved a conventional, ICE automobile and not a Tesla or even one capable of some manner of Auto Pilot functionality.

Talk about discrimination!

blue adept | 2020年2月26日

Does anyone else think that this is unfair and just how much more misinformation and propaganda ("FUD") should the NTSB be allowed to spread before legal action is taken?

SO | 2020年2月26日

Especially when the driver is reminded to keep their hands on the wheel EVERY SINGLE TIME they turn on autopilot.

akgolf | 2020年2月26日


blue adept | 2020年2月26日


Not to mention it being mentioned several times all throughout the accompanying literature as well as in videos depicting its proper use.

blue adept | 2020年2月26日


Yes and especially so I would say, what with given the fact that every other automaker out there, both EV and ICE alike, foreign and domestic, all working on some form of autonomous drivability for their vehicles, let alone varying degrees of driver-assisted technologies oriented towards easy the strain of commuting.

So what does this sort of misplaced disparagement say for the market-wide desire for and drive towards the technology's development when the nation's own investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation belittles the efforts of automakers who're working towards making great inroads in the development of the technology?

teslu3 | 2020年2月26日

No surprise. This government comparatively ignores the pollution and health effects of ICE vechicles.
But EVs and Tesla in particular threatens the established industries dependent on fossil fuels so the NTSB and SEC have turned their Sauron eye on Tesla.
Autopilot reduces the stress of driving; NTSB threatens to increase it. What happened to "smaller government", "fewer regulations", people being responsible for their choices?

blue adept | 2020年2月26日

Ah, but the question is just how much governmental FUD does it take to amount to an actionable cause for, say, defamation? Libel? Slander? Fraud? Criminal behavior? Particularly since their behavior contradicts / goes against their very intended purpose?!

Afterall, you've got two government entities that were established to protect people from dangerous or illegal financial practices and fraud (SEC), and facilitating factual reporting of transportation incidents that impinge upon a vehicle's reliability and safety (NTSB) that are, instead, exploiting their platforms as dependable, high profile public information resources to disparage, undermine and discredit an automobile company that has received acclaim for manufacturing an automobile that exceeds present day safety and performance standards.

So how much is too much? Do you think it is time for Tesla to seek reparations from these two entities for taking advantage of their positions to tarnish Tesla Motor's integrity in the public eye?

Tropopause | 2020年2月27日

Along these lines, Apple should be held accountable for allowing their iPhones to distract drivers. CalTrans should be held accountable for not fixing the attenuation barrier. And above all else, that driver should be held accountable for not being in command of his vehicle. But it's much easier for the NTSB to blame it all on Tesla.

The sooner we get to FSD, the sooner we can begin saving lives.

Go Tesla!

rxlawdude | 2020年2月27日

And every manufacturer of cars with "cruise control" must immediately remove that capability. People might be inattentive and kill someone!

What I did not hear during the hearing (listened to about an hour) was Tesla pointing out that the rate of actual accidents/deaths per highway mile on cars WITHOUT autopilot is much higher than those where autopilot is engaged.

andy.connor.e | 2020年2月27日

If some idiot uses something and kills themselves with it, what is unsafe?

IMO, the idiot is a danger to the public.

hcwhy | 2020年2月27日

There's always a heavy price to pay when you shake up the existing order. The losers need someone to blame.

blue adept | 2020年2月28日

*easy = easing

johncrab | 2020年2月29日

First, “You can’t fix stupid”. Second, “You can make things foolproof but you can’t make anything damn foolproof”. That said, where I find fault is in the fantasy culture that began with “Take a nap in your car while it drives”. Fearless Leader created unrealistic expectations with his remarks and some were just too stupid to sift the facts out of the hyperbole. FSD will never be a reality. It will help and it will assist and it will ultimately save lives but it will never be perfect or launch and leave. This just can’t be beaten into the heads of some and these are people who should not be driving a Pinto let alone a performance car.

andy.connor.e | 2020年2月29日

More people saying FSD will never be a thing. Keep em coming

blue adept | 2020年3月5日

*Oh, and that's 'easing' as in "...let alone varying degrees of driver-assisted technologies oriented towards [easing] the strain of commuting."

blue adept | 2020年3月5日


>>> " And above all else, that driver should be held accountable for not being in command of his vehicle."


Calling out Tesla for what was (unfortunately) clearly a discretionary misstep on this driver's behalf is an attempt to demonize Tesla Motors just to score a few brownie points with the ICE auto industry is as pitiful as it is a desperate attempt to slander the technology that is leading an innovation in the industry.

The automotive platform hasn't changed for the last 120+ years, it's just undergone an occasional retooling of the body work and a new shade of paint yet Tesla Motors (though often portrayed as a "disruptor") is, in actuality, working to advance the antiquated platform by introducing an arguably seamless and natural evolution of the technology from what once was to what is meant to be inasmuch as the use of any technology is not meant to pose a detriment to the user but, instead, be a benefit.

Technology is, itself, provisional in nature given that it is the best we've got to go with until a better way is devised.

But the point is is just how much longer should Tesla Motors, an undeniable industry innovator whose designs and technologies has literally the entire alphabet of auto manufacturer feverishly working to replicate, continue to be a "whipping boy" to the petrolheads of an outmoded technology before they move to have a "gag order" placed on them?

blue adept | 2020年3月5日


Perhaps because the point wasn't to point fingers but to, instead, discourage the placing of blame at Tesla's feet for the driver's error in judgement inasmuch as it wasn't a question of whether or not a car is equipped with a certain technology so much as it is a matter of whether or not the driver used what was available to them appropriately / responsibly?

You see, the technology wasn't the cause of the accident, rather it was the driver's improper use of it.

blue adept | 2020年3月5日



It's not like this is the first time the use of an inherently benign technology has resulted in detrimental consequences because it was used improperly or, in particular, irresponsibly.

Tesla Motors provides verbal instructions, printed owner's manuals and even instructional videos, plus there's a wealth of actual owners' videos out there on the Interwebz depicting their personal accounting of their use of their Tesla's, all of which are freely available to anyone be they an actual owner or not and in each and everyone of them addressing the AP feature it is clearly stipulated that the 'driver should remain attentive at all times and ready to assume control of the vehicle', specifically:

"While using Autopilot, it is your responsibility to stay alert, keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times and maintain control of your car."

Everything says that the vehicles are not capable of 'autonomy' and, as regrettably unfortunate as it may be, it was not the fault of Tesla Motors or their AutoPilot functionality, but the driver's own oversight / distraction with their cellular device.

blue adept | 2020年3月5日


I see that, too, but this seems to be more a matter of crucifixion than it is one of mere "blame" inasmuch as it is evident that Tesla Motors isn't to blame much the same as the driver's cellphone isn't to blame, so I see this as more of a form of attempted psychological manipulation by the NHTSA in their playing on the conditioned inclination of the guilty to pass the blame onto someone or something (in this case) else in order to avoid the responsibility for the blame.

Much the same could be said for those who attempt to single out cellphones or even firearms as being the culpable parties in an incident when, in reality, all that they are are inanimate objects either being irresponsibly exploited or mishandled by their users, nothing more.

blue adept | 2020年3月5日


Again, Tesla Motors(TM) literature, online videos, and even owner's own testimony, all serve to very clearly state that "FSD" is a goal TM eventually hopes to attain...EVENTUALLY...and isn't there yet.

blkice | 2020年3月5日

Please reconsider you Firearm comment or not but I agree with all your thinking on cars

blue adept | 2020年3月6日


What is it about my comment that you find disagreeable?

blue adept | 2020年3月10日


derotam | 2020年3月11日

I put my firearms on leashes so they don't go wondering off on their own.

bp | 2020年3月11日

Tesla and other manufacturers with driver assist systems can do more to better educate the drivers on the capabilities and limitations of those systems.

Standard cruise control, if improperly used, can be as dangerous as a vehicle operating under NOAP, if the driver isn't paying attention and doesn't take control when to slow down when needed.

One valid concern with Tesla is their deployment of beta software. For most releases, Tesla provides very little, if any, documentation on changes that have been made to the AP/FSD software, leaving it up to drivers to guess what Tesla has changed (as seen on the forums).

Other manufacturers take longer to deliver features because they go through a more exhaustive validation process before releasing the software. Instead, Tesla labels the software as beta, and relies on the driver to properly use the new software. So while Tesla drivers get to experience new capabilities faster, there may be some areas where the software isn't fully tested (like in the early days when AP2 constantly swayed from side-to-side in lanes).

Since these are driver assist and not full self driving features at this point, ultimately it is the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicles safely, and no matter what Tesla or other manufacturers do to protect the drivers, there will always be a few who want to push the envelope... | 2020年3月11日

Not unlike all the Microsoft beta products we have bought over the years.

blue adept | 2020年3月11日


Just a point of correction...

NONE of Tesla's software updates are "beta" releases but actual programming revisions that expand on &/or improve the coding of existing function algorithms that augment, broaden or adds to operational system's functionality to enhance their vehicle's overall performance:

Said updates also come with owner notification and a fairly extensive explanation of what all is covered in the updates &/or what enhancements have been made:

All facts that anyone could find out for themselves with a little research or real world experience as an actual Tesla vehicle owner.

The bottom line is that there is NOTHING "beta" about what Tesla is doing with their technology or the enhancements made to their operational programming so I'd thank you to keep the tmc / teslarati inspired derogatory terminology the hell out of Tesla's forums...

Thank you.

blue adept | 2020年3月11日

The overwhelming theme here is that owner / operators need to accept that a certain degree of self-responsibility typically associated with the operation of a vehicle is both expected and required of them in exchange for the privilege of being able to drive and others need to stop enabling their desire to deflect the responsibility for their own negligence onto whatever they can manage to exploit as a convenient patsy...

It's part of what the cool kids these days call "adulting" and the world over could do with alot more of it all across the age spectrum.

blue adept | 2020年3月11日

I just have to say that I find it interesting to see this sort of misinformation propaganda akin to the sort of BS we've been seeing from the NHTSA that prompted me to author this thread coming from a long standing member of this community, interesting indeed, @bp... | 2020年3月12日

You may want to read the Model S owner’s manual where it clearly states TACC, Autosteer, and Autowipers are all beta applications.

blue adept | 2020年3月12日

You are correct, the Model S Owners Manual does, indeed, list TACC, Autosteer and Autowipers, as being "beta" features, but I think that you might've misinterpreted my comments as I was talking about the software UPDATES themselves and not so much specific vehicle functions.

That's why I said:

'NONE of Tesla's [SOFTWARE UPDATES] are "beta" releases but actual programming revisions that expand on &/or improve the coding of existing function algorithms that augment, broaden or adds to operational system's functionality to enhance their vehicle's overall performance'

The software is evolving as more and more real world data comprised of varying driving environments is compiled and the algorithms depicting the vehicle's behavior in a given scenario is adapted accordingly, but each 'update' is the most comprehensive coding for the given "beta" function.

Software UPDATES and the vehicle's "beta" FUNCTIONS are two entirely different entities even if the one modifies or enhances the other, understand? | 2020年3月13日

A distinction without difference. Splitting hairs the product is still beta.

derotam | 2020年3月13日 If Microsoft adds a new functionality to Windows but that functionality is in Beta testing, does that then mean that Windows as a whole is considered Beta. Does it mean that any update to windows that also includes an update to that Beta function is also considered a beta update?

andy.connor.e | 2020年3月13日

Anything that gets regular updates is considered to not be fully released yet.

andy.connor.e | 2020年3月13日

If you buy a videogame that gets regular updates and changes, its technically considered not fully released. Otherwise known as, beta. Not to be confused with a beta cuck | 2020年3月13日

In once sense, all software ever made is beta. Other than dead products, complex software normally goes through years of bug fixes and product improvements. Some companies just abandon software, so the bugs and issues remail forever - usually with the hope by the vendor that you'll replace it with a "new and improved" version. This has been the approach used by traditional car companies too - buy a new car if you want that bug fixed, although often the new car has the same problems!

blue adept | 2020年3月13日 and others of similar inclination,

Staying in the theme of the conventional automobile realm a car, in and of itself, is a complete and fully functional vehicle as it is / comes off of the lot.

Be that as it may that doesn't stop you from putting better tires on it to increase its grip, a better suspension to increase its handling capability, a cam in it to increase its performance, a better sound system to increase your listening pleasure, etc., etc., etcetera.

It's perfectly good as is, will get you from point 'A' to point 'B' easily enough, but there's always room for improvements and enhancements to make for a better commuting experience for the driver to make the commuting experience just that much better / enjoyable, much the same is the case with Tesla's vehicle functions, but there's always room for some improvement, yes?

blue adept | 2020年3月13日

*No "hairs" were "split" in the composition of the above post. | 2020年3月14日

You can put a crown on a frog, but it is still a frog.

Beta is beta until it isn’t. Adding a new version to an existing beta product doesn’t remove the beta factor.

Been fun. Thanks.

blue adept | 2020年3月16日

Ah, but they're not "[a]dding a new version" so much as they're enabling an ADDITIONAL feature (like one might add a turbocharger to an ICE car)...There IS a difference.

*ribbit, ribbit