Updating my "Will" due to Autopilot...

Updating my "Will" due to Autopilot...

I'm making this post public just in case...

I'm a willing participant in Tesla's goal to revolutionize transportation. I realize that risk have to be taken to develop and mature any technology. I do not believe Tesla has any intent to harm me or my family. I also do not expect perfection.

Having said that, if I'm ever injured or killed while AP is active and it's determined to be a result of the technology, DO NOT SUE TESLA on my behalf or pass any legislation. I understand the risk and believe the risk are acceptable. I'm a willing participant in the development of technology that makes driving easier, safer and automated. My expectation is that in a very short time as a result of people who are willing to use this technology, most and eventually all cars will be self driving which will ultimately save many hundreds of thousands of lives. This goal is worth the risk to my own safety to allow companies willing to take the risk to mature the technology.


Solarwind | March 31, 2018

I don't see how Tesla can be sued for driver related accident AP is just a assisting device same as the original cruise control. I think the hype about AP accident is a ploy to manipulate the stock price.

jordanrichard | March 31, 2018

As long as you pay attention, there will be no issues.

Should_I | March 31, 2018

My car is pre-AP I have dabbled with AP in a loaner. Was just talking to the wife about this and the cruise control thing came up. We never hear if it was on in a crash.
I told her about the company selling the weight to trick AP into thinking your hand is on the wheel and she was appalled.

I saw it suggested this person had complained about AP handling this spot badly, if you know about a problem and stick with what wasn't working right now one else to blame.

redacted | March 31, 2018

@Solarwind this is 'Merica. You can sue anybody about anything.

freeewilly | March 31, 2018

Without a full legal name and birthday to identify yourself. I'm not sure you're serious or this is sarcasm....

bill | March 31, 2018


While you are updating can you add me to your estate? :) :) :)

Darthamerica | March 31, 2018

@bill sure I'll get right to it ;)

@Freeewilly yes I'm serious!

2015P90DI | March 31, 2018

I get the point of the OP's post, as stupid as it may be to post something like this without possibly being able to know the details of what may have caused your death. But that's your call. Only your family would suffer from this if there was otherwise a legitimate reason for them to sue.

Aside from that, not a fan of the way your post is written. You make it sound as though AP is putting everyone's life at risk and we're all taking a chance by using it. Quite the contrary. AP makes driving safer WHEN USED PROPERLY. And while that may be arguable. AP more so, offers a back up to the driver. Drivers are inherently distracted, which is the reason for most accidents. It is a "driver assist" feature. It assists in steering the car, but is not a self driving car. It is a more advanced version of Cruise Control. AP offers an element of safety for easily distracted drivers. The down side is, too many people falsely rely too heavily on AP. Which is easy to do. So far, every incident of a Tesla accident has been due to the user abusing the technology. But, it more likely has prevented more accidents that we'll never know about, since they never happened.

Point being, I don't think you're putting your life at risk by using AP. You're only putting your life at risk if you choose to not use it as directed, which is to ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD, ALWAYS KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE WHEEL AND ALWAYS BE READY TO TAKE OVER AT ANY GIVEN SECOND.

Bighorn | March 31, 2018

Tesla paid out to Josh Brown’s family though I suspect he would argue the same thesis of personal responsibility.

p.c.mcavoy | April 1, 2018

Disclaimer - I am not, nor do I represent myself as being a licensed legal professional. I'm certain there are many on the forum that are and I will gladly defer to their expert opinion.

However, my amateur understanding of what a will does is that it defines the legal transfer of asset ownership after a death. It also provides a means to designate a guardian for a minor child, establish an executrix/executor for the estate, or transfer ones custodial role over assets for a child (such as a college 529 plan).

So while including such a statement in your will might influence their feelings on the matter, I do not believe it would be of any different significance then if you were to just write the same down yourself on the back of a napkin or bar mat and stick it with a magnet on the front of your refrigerator.

I'm not saying your personal view of your accepting of liability to use the technology is good or bad, I just don't think there is any significance of putting it into a will.

Silver2K | April 1, 2018

i don't see how Tesla can be sued either. the menu option in controls is labeled "driver assistance"

Darthamerica | April 1, 2018

@2015P90DL driving any vehicle is a risk. And yes, I'm including semi-auto vehicles like Tesla's when on AP. But that's my point. The technology is not going to be perfect and sometimes for various reasons people are going to die. However in order to improve the technology, you need early adopters in real world conditions which we are. My post is only to express that I am knowingly part of this and wouldn't want my family suing Tesla if I'm ever one of the very rare accidents while on AP. In such a case I'd be happy to know that Tesla or any other auto manufacturer used the data to make it safer for others. This is because I know this technology will ultimately make the roads safer and more convenient.

Mathew98 | April 1, 2018

Breathing air is a risk, you could be stranded at Harris Ranch and expire due to mathane poisoning.

Choking on your own saliva is a risk. Don't breathe and swallow simultaneously.

If you roll off the wrong side of the bed, step on a poopie diaper and skid off a window opening and imitate a flying squirrel, it's also a risk.

Make sure you take out additional insurance for being a potential Darwinism award recipient.

Mathew98 | April 1, 2018


Madatgascar | April 1, 2018

My forum will: If I die in a freak AP accident, I’d like to ask that my forum friends not call me an idiot, Darwin Award winner, or speculate that I commit suicide by AP. Just say, “he died doing something he loved!”

NKYTA | April 1, 2018

@at Matat, excellent.

@p.c. I would hope that my designated person(s) legal or otherwise will do what I have asked, legally. They will and should have the legal power.

p.c.mcavoy | April 2, 2018

@NKYTA - I agree, I would hope that my designated person(s) will also follow my wishes. My point is that there is nothing magic about the wishes being expressed here being in a legally executed will, versus a letter I wrote, versus personal discussions which we've had ahead of time.

Anthony J. Parisio | April 2, 2018

I updated my will too. It simply say,"You get nothing!"

SUN 2 DRV | April 2, 2018


Regardless of the exact legal ramifications, if it's in your Will I think everyone would consider it your last official sole intent vs some letter that was found by one relative that may conflict with the intent of another relative vs what a third relative claims you told them verbally.

Darthamerica | April 2, 2018

Anyone debating whether this is legally binding should just go relax. It's simply an expression of how I feel and I hope the people who know me would honor my wishes. I'm simply acknowledging that there are risk with AP. For example I've experienced sudden breaking at speed when no car is in front of me, wierd swerving in the lane that adjacent cars reacted to or the car suddenly darting into an emergency lane. I could go on... Anyhow none of this is surprising considering the state of the art. Thankfully I've had my hands on the wheel or been alert enough to take control. It's going to take time and more development of the HW and SW to improve this. Every mile we drive yields important data to improve things. I'm just glad Tesla had the guts to push the envelope and I'm happy to help them!

Bighorn | April 2, 2018

Relax, folks. If you’re posting on an online forum, you’re probably dying alone:)

2015P90DI | April 3, 2018

@gixxxerking - Of course your forum post is not a legal binding contract or will. My only point was with how you expressed your message. You make it sound as though AP ADDS danger to your operation of the vehicle. Again, if used properly, it's the opposite.

Yes, there is risk in virtually everything we do in life. Of course we don't stop living as a result of things containing an element of risk But, we do try to learn from mistakes, take precautions to make our lives safer, etc.

AP is a technology that adds an element of safety to the vehicle. If people abuse its capabilities, that doesn't make it less safe. That would be like saying, it's the cars fault because it allowed me to go 150 MPH around a 50 MPH curve. Or, I'm putting my life at risk by wearing my seat belt in the chance that I end up going over a cliff into the ocean and can't get it unbuckled. etc, etc, etc.

The point is, we do the best we can. Tesla is doing the best it can to build the safest cars in the world and provide new technology that almost certainly adds an element of safety that didn't exist prior to its introduction. So posting that you don't want your family to sue Tesla if you die in an accident because you're willing to take the risk is saying that AP is less safe and you're willing to take that risk. Same as saying, if my 100 MPH rated V series tires explode because I took the car to 150 MPH, I don't want you to sue the tire company because the tires didn't exceed their expectations.

Not saying it can't happen, but so far, all AP related accidents have been due to user abuse of the system. If people use it as directed, it's more likely it will save your life rather than cost you your life. So just wasn't crazy about the way it read. The more accurate way to have written it would have been to state: If I abuse my AP capabilities and die as a result, please don't sue Tesla. Which obviously would make no sense to sue under that circumstance.

jason | April 3, 2018

@gixxxerking - This post was in earnest, right? I just want to know if this was a joke, or if this came from a genuine place. Thanks!

TabascoGuy | April 3, 2018

Update to my will: After I have passed and prior to placing my body in the casket, you have permission to take my hands off of the steering wheel.

Rocky_H | April 3, 2018
Darthamerica | April 3, 2018

@Jason 100% genuine...

@2015P90DL I agree that AP doesn't cumulatively add danger, I think it's safer in general when compared against a human statistically speaking. However it does add a different type of danger in a way that's hard to quantify. It does do things unexpectedly that you have to react to. 99% of the time if you're alert with hands on the wheel you'll be fine. However because we're human and not likely to always be using it per the explicit directions, there's a non-stop subtractor to that 99% that can't be accounted for. Whatever the subtractor is will decrease as the technology improves. But I personally believe, and it's my opinion, that the subtractor is very significant to the point of risk. I wouldn't recommend AP to people who aren't consciously aware of this I wouldn't say, just use it don't worry about it. I'd say use it BUT be very careful of... Because... Ect ect.