Reply to post: Re: The obvious and fundamental problem is

Oi, Elon: You Musk sort out your Autopilot! Tesla loyalists tell of code crashes, near-misses

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: The obvious and fundamental problem is

OR, more accurately, that the general population don't understand the capacities of an autopilot and ascribe it abilities beyond what it can actually do.

I've flown a plane exactly once - a red-letter day, I'm no pilot - but I wanted to know everything I could before I went up. The plane had an autopilot - it was two dials, one for desired heading, one for desired altitude. It would attempt to match heading and altitude by adjusting the current by a limited rate, and once reached, hold it.

That's it. That's an autopilot in a nutshell.

Yes, airliners have other systems that are capable of landing the plane etc, but those are additional systems.

Transferring that to the surface domain - an enhanced cruise control is exactly what an autopilot describes.

We have terms for cars that drive themselves - "fully autonomous vehicle", or "self driving car".

"Autopilot" is an apt description of the capabilities of the Tesla. The problem is people thinking that it does more than it does.

I went to a test drive event for the model X - the staff there made it very clear that it was a driving aid, and not autonomous.

I also made sure I got to try it out - lets just say that its immediate insistence on pulling off the side of the dual-carriageway I was on, and that it wanted to accelerate hard beyond the speed limit (signage limited it to 60, the car decided it was in a 70 zone despite a speed limit sign being in clear view) gave me doubts about the quality of the system.

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