Free Convertible Teslas

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Elon Musk is probably taking a knee right now. Not because Black Lives Matter – but because riots on that pretext have shunted attention away from another Auto-piloted crash.

And death.

Last year, a Tesla decapitated itself by running into – and underneath – a tractor trailer it didn’t “see.” Neither did its driver, who saw nothing ever again – after his decapitation. Now another Tesla has done the four-wheeled Louis XVI – losing its head to a semi it didn’t “see.”

Tesla, of course, blames the driver – whom it encouraged not to.

A cognitively dissonant statement was released after the wreck, as follows:

“Our data shows that when used properly by an attentive driver, who is prepared to take control at all times . . .” the system is the apogee of safety.

Italic added.

An “attentive driver”?

Isn’t the whole point of Autopilot in particular and automated driving tech in general to enable the driver to not be attentive? What would be the point of a self-driving car that requires the driver to be “prepared to take control at all times”?  Isn’t that what a driver is supposed to do?

The gaslighting is stupendous.

On the one hand, Tesla pitches the self-driving capability of its cars. That – and virtue signaling about driving an electric car – are the main reasons people buy Teslas. Otherwise, why not just buy a Camry?

On the other hand, Tesla holds the driver responsible for not driving the car when it drives itself into something.

It is like selling a leaky boat and blaming the guy who bought it when it sinks.

Which, when you think about it, isn’t entirely off base.

There used to be something called due diligence. This is the idea that a person has an obligation – to himself – to check out something before he buys in. It could be a used car or a prospective marriage partner. You don’t just go on say-so.

The Dearly Decapitated apparently didn’t do theirs.

If they had, they would have read the literal fine print, where Tesla repeats the same get-out-of-jail statement quoted above to the effect that what is marketed as full “self-driving” tech really isn’t since you are fully responsible for what the car does.

Which is an evasive way of saying that you must drive the car, even when the car is supposedly driving itself. Pedantic legal weasling about being “prepared” to “take control at all times” is just exactly that – pedantic legal weasling. There is no realistic way to be “prepared” to “take control at all times” without keeping one’s eyes on the road, one’s hands on the wheel and one’s feets ready to apply the brakes, etc.

In other words, one must be driving the car.

It is not possible to be be “prepared at all times” if you aren’t doing all of those things – because of the time it takes to notice and react to things. Like for instance a semi stopped on the highway that’s not moving out of the way. At highway speeds, a reaction delay of just 1 or 2 seconds is the difference between running under semi and driving around the semi.

Elon knows this, of course. Everyone knows it.

But Elon markets something different. He knows what people think they are buying – the Car That Drives Itself! He talks it up incessantly. While at the same time, knowing perfectly well that the technology is unsafe at any speed  . . . unless the driver actually drives the car, or might as well be – which is exactly what the marketing encourages him not to do even as it tells him he ought to.

It’s remarkable that Tesla hasn’t been sued over this by some “concerned” group of public citizens or even state attorneys general. These are, after all, the same bunch that sic themselves on purveyors of vaping machines, which are marketed as the safe alternative to smoking but which give aficionados “popcorn lung” instead of lung cancer.

Let’s not even get into guns.

And what would these concerned public citizens do to any other car company that sold, let us say, a seatbelt buzzer off switch that they marketed as something that should only be used when creeping down the driveway of your home to get to the mailbox but never on public roads?

The reason why they refrain from siccing themselves on Elon, of course, is that Elon is one of them. It is the same reason for the hands-off treatment of not-social-distancing rioters vs. the Hut! Hut! Hutting! of businesses and moms walking their kids in the park.

Self-driving (but not really) is like Corona in that both are means toward the same end. Self-driving (sic) is about habituating people to not drive; to not even want to drive. So as to get them ready for a world in which people are no longer allowed to. Just as Corona isn’t about sickness, either – but rather (and similarly) the health of the state.

And if a few eggs get broken in the process of making this omelette, so be it.

. . .

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  1. There should be a new law — free testlulz for all gooberment employees — only the best for our leaders! Because we CARE about our leaders so much we want them to be SAFE!

    Dude must’ve seen it coming… you can see when he hit the brakes cuz there’s tire/brake smoke.

    Real impressive system they got there … can’t even see a brick wall coming up. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA what a joke.

    • The point is that there is no such thing as a reliable self driving car, and if you think there is, then you die like that guy did. Then to promote and get away with marketing an impossible self driving car is another issue that was also explained since Elon is one of them. He obviously has very good lawyers, so he gets away with it.
      In the end, it is buyers beware, and do you required due diligence, or die if you think any car is truly self driving.

  2. No outrage here. Looking over the last 3-4 months, the majority appears to love being controlled by government and the sicko elitists…no problem, no responsibility, no life. Cool! I am now completely on auto-pilot until death do us part.

  3. These are, after all, the same bunch that sic themselves on purveyors of vaping machines, which are marketed as the safe alternative to smoking but which give aficionados “popcorn lung” instead of lung cancer.

    Vaping causes “popcorn lung” only if you vape something highly toxic to the lungs, such as vitamin E acetate. For nicotine users, vaping is WAY safer than smoking. For some reason smoking pot doesn’t seem to be as harmful to the lungs as one would expect, but vaping is still way cleaner.

    I mourn anyone’s death in a car crash, but it takes a little extra effort for virtue-signaling Tesla owners who abandon due diligence when driving.

    • Vaping was invented as a smoking cessation aid, not an alternate nicotine delivery system.

      It should only be sold if you have a prescription for one.

        • IMO, anybody who uses any nicotine containing product in this day and age is a self-destructive fool.

          And let’s hear it for living in a society where Big Brother isn’t breathing down your neck telling you what (they think) self-destructive habits you may not indulge in!

          • Never said it should be illegal. Just said it’s stupid. I believe all drugs, including crack and heroin, should be legal for adults. I don’t need politicians to tell me not to stick needles in my arm.

            • Hi Doug,

              “I don’t need politicians to tell me not to stick needles in my arm”.

              Well, the monkey on your back is not going to do it.


                • Hi Doug,

                  Relax, it was just a light-hearted Lynyrd Skynrd reference.

                  “One little problem that confronts you
                  Got a monkey on your back
                  Just one more fix, Lord might do the trick
                  One hell of a price for you to get your kicks”.

                  No offense intended.


                • Hi Doug,

                  This makes the reference explicit.

                  “Angel of darkness is upon you
                  Stuck a needle in your arm
                  So take another toke, have a blow for your nose
                  One more drink fool, will drown you
                  Ooooh that smell
                  Can’t you smell that smell
                  Ooooh that smell
                  The smell of death surrounds you”.

                  Again, no offense intended. the “you” was general, not directed at you.


        • Drug-seeking behavior. All seekers’re equal, but some’s more equal than others ~ Animal Farm.

          Exogenous, the dreaded “other,” is the easy villain to scapegoat.

          Endogenous, well, that’s “natural” & well-hidden within the meatsuit self, & even bad guys believe they are good guys.

          Reality: it’s pretty much all drug-seeking – & drug resultant — behavior, all the time.

          Under guise of free will, some are disappeared into “I did it” – Doses? We ain’t got no doses. We don’t need no stinkin’ doses! – whilst others are disappeared into s/he-they-them-the other did not not do it…to which some respond demon rum made me flip, Wilson, & the twinky defense absolves.

          Hopeless/upply fuels the biggest drug demand of ‘em all. Such as like, “I sure hope these liars-elect are telling me the truth this time.”

          The sign covers it: if you break it you buy it. Now compare those 7 words with what lawyers have done with them…& try arguing drug-seeking ain’t the missile major kong man rides, all the way down.

          So speakin’ of hey, hey we’re the…

          Well, I hope we’re not too messianic
          Or a trifle too satanic
          We love to play the blues…

          …Monkey unseen, Monkey undone…not that seeing it undoes the undoing, but not averting the squint is still better than eyes wide shut behind rose tints….

      • Whatever vaping “was invented” for, it’s a far healthier way for nicotine users to imbibe than smoking is.

        It should only be sold if you have a prescription for one.

        You’ll never sell me on that. The more the government tries to run my life (licensing physicians who I have to beg for permission for something), the more I insist on running it myself.

    • I know two pot smokers who never smoked cigs who have become COPD. One is now dead. I wouldn’t agree about vaping. Another friend who smoked cigs nearly died from a coronary attack but finally pulled out of it so she could do well enough to get out of ICC after two weeks.

      Her doc said she could keep smoking if she only vaped. Next thing you know, she wakes up one morning(she’d been checked out by a specialist every month since the heart attack)and has a tennis ball size lump a couple inches below her arm on her ribs. It was already stage 4.

      Another person took one hit vaping THC oil and it took a week for his to quit coughing and having throat problems.

      • Ian Anderson / Jethro Tull : Aqualung…Thick as a Brick…Living in the Past

        Not interested myself, lungs is for clean air I think, but have heard some swear by organically grown tobacco hand rolled, or peace pipe style, at home.

        But & so Bricks from the old homestead come floatin’ in from across the seas, lift the injun’s tobacco amongst other things whilst enslaving & genocidin’ em (which mostly postponed the injuns enslaving & genociding each other), mad science industrialized the stuff, the better to enslave & genocide-collateral damage each other, but wait ronco shoppers, there’s more things in vapes & pens, Horatio Hornsucker, than are dreamt of in your AquiredLungs philosophy, including the never to be discounted prologue that is the Past.

        That Jethro were a jenius…who brings a flute to a R&R show, anyway….

  4. Double talk, is what it is. A classic example that exposes the government’s Double talk fraud is by using cars being SMOG every year at the expense of the owner with the owner’s time and money. All in the name of reducing pollution and lowering that evil carbon footprint. However, once a homeowner has energy efficient windows installed on their home, the government raises their property taxes. Money grab, pure and simple. The electric cars are a scam of government that will never work. The cost to build the network to supply the electricity is impossible and the damage to the planet itself for mining the rare resources to make the electric cars would be a world wide disaster. Double talk is honestly a boldfaced lie, paid for by you, with forced taxation.

  5. TM’s “autopilot” cannot see stationary object at highway speeds. It’s known limitation. But it gets away with it because of the political desirability. Having a device so people pay less/no attention to a task and then demand they pay attention in the owner’s manual with a fault like this is do not ship this product on a failure modes and effects analysis. The big automakers can’t get away with this sort of thing. The lawyers would bring in an expert witness who knows how engineering should be done for something like this and then it’s all over. That’s why the big automakers are ‘behind’. It’s because this stuff doesn’t pass the internal procedures. The stuff that is done in engineering to put out safe products that the government types don’t even recognize being done.

  6. ‘It’s remarkable that Tesla hasn’t been sued over this by some “concerned” group of public citizens or even state attorneys general.’

    Back in the days when the Shah ruled Iran, and well-heeled Iranian playboys had become something of a fixture on the 1970s disco circuit, a story went around about a sad misconception.

    Seems that a young Iranian prince, who had only recently learned to drive, borrowed a party van from a friend. After merging onto the interstate, he set the cruise control to 75 mph, then calmly strolled into the shag-carpeted passenger area to fetch himself a beer. The aftermath went without saying.

    Too many Tesla drivers suffer from the same conceptual gap as the late Iranian, believing that just because their Tesla can control the steering and brakes, they are free to concentrate on their phones or even take a snooze.


    Regulators’ blind eye turned to what a tort lawyer would call a patent menace cannot be an oversight. In this increasingly Third World regime, palms have been greased and the impunity of the rich is flaunted for all to see. This results in occasional random loud bangs as a self-driven Tesla enters auto-da-fé mode. Sad!

  7. Elon pretends he makes a self-driving car and the driver pretends a Tesla can drive itself.

    The testing and more testing should have been done before the self-driving technology was marketed.

    It ain’t rocket science.

    Darwin Award time, you can’t make this stuff up.

    The driver sat there to watch it all happen in real time. Until it was too late.

    Looks like Musk might be guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

    • Makes me think of Anchorman 11 when the driver leaves the RV wheel and said “Oh, it’s on cruise control”.

  8. As a private pilot I was not trained in such things as radios/nav or auto flight controls. Can’t tell you how many planes I climbed into where I had to “figure it out”. There are many makes and models. You are taught aircraft controls, yoke, pedals, throttle, mixture, carb heat, prop and that’s about it. I got my license back in the 70s when flying was still fun and the cost reasonable. Slow but sure government encroached. Landing fees started to be charged at the larger TCA’s. Uncontrolled Airspace almost disappeared.
    Rules changing every 6 months. Small airports were disappearing. Restaurants disappeared. Soon it was no longer fun. Had some fun flying for the CAP. (Civil Air Patrol) but even they became bogged down with idiotic rules. Lost their way,,, ended up flying for the DEA looking for drugs then flying cadets. Quit. Hard to find a active cadet squadron these days. By 2005 I hung flying up.
    As for boring,,, I never found it boring. Instrument is scanning, scanning, scanning. And even with an autopilot I never went to sleep or played around. Always had a hand near or on the yoke/stick. Flew the approaches myself but did allow Garmin to map it out. I don’t trust machines.
    The the cost for a single engine land “back in the day” was about $2000. Covered the 40 hours and the instructor for 20 hours. And back then we did not have the question and answer books to make the written easy. The instrument cost about $5000 at HOU. (Hobby)
    Airplanes used to be pretty cheap until the lawyers destroyed it. I remember the Cessna seat thing… Someone did not lock the seat which allowed it to move. Big thing… caused the manufactures to add huge liability costs to their planes which put them out of reach for us poor boys and put many of them out of business.
    Good luck if you ever do it,,, but you will find very little fun at least in my opinion. Even as a profession it sucks. Pilots are no longer held in esteem like they were in the 50s- 80s. Of course today they have ruined all professions but I digress…

    • That’s basically the conclusion I came to, although not having been at the controls of anything other than my simulator I suppose I’m short selling the excitement part. But every pilot I spoke with when I was getting serious about it always talked about the shortage of commercial pilots and that getting a commercial rating was the main goal. I just told them that I’m already 50 years old (at the time) so I’d never make back any investment in training before I was told to hang it up. And to me flying RJs between KMCI and KDEN seemed like as much fun as driving a school bus anyway. But going through the process and learning seemed like it would be a fun mental exercise and a good experience. Besides, I already have my part 107 (drone) certification so a good chunk of ground school is done.

      But it is interesting to see how cheap used aircraft can be. Then you find out that they’re due for overhauls and of course the ADSB beacon. Kind of like a German car. Sure, that BMW looks cheap coming off the lease, then you find out that it’s due for the 100,000 mile “check.”

      • I have to tell you it was really fun before gov and the commercials took over. Just like today they (gov) are sucking the fun and joy out of living. Even getting into a small airport is a hassle these TSA days. Fences up, no loitering, no fun. I used to hang out at the airports to watch the action and bs with the pilots. Today it’s all business. No business?,,, get out!
        And yes,,, if you buy a used plane better have an A&P or a friend that has one. An Engine TBO can be $20-30,000. If a major repair is needed then it gets sent to the manufacturer ($$$) or someone that it approves ($$$).
        If you just want (and can afford) to do it for a personal goal you can’t pick a more interesting and fulfilling choice and there are expensive schools that can get you in a pilots seat in a couple of years, mostly flying the business VIPS and the wealthy. The biggies (AA,,, Delta) get the military folk. And today with the Corona stupidity they are laying off thousands.

        • I loved flying my Cherokee back in the 70’s. It was fun. Fly to a small airport with a restaurant off to the side of the runway. I used to fly with my two little dogs. Even in those days, everyone new that it was not lift that made an airplane fly — it was money.

          • I had a Grumman Tiger in the early ’80’s. Sweet plane, very clean (and with microscopic flaps compared to a Cessna, so you always landed fairly hot). The sliding canopy leaked and at first the hole to drain water out was plugged by paint flashing, so there was significant water sloshing around until I figured it out. Had some fun adventures with that plane.

      • But it is interesting to see how cheap used aircraft can be. Then you find out that they’re due for overhauls…

        I’ll never forget the sinking feeling whenever an Airworthiness Directive came in the mail. Those can run from “inspect [some part] one time” to “stop flying this plane until you’ve spent thousands of dollars.” When the magnetos in Piper Tomahawks were deemed to be defective, the entire fleet was grounded while new magnetos were slowly manufactured.

        I have never understood why automobile defects resulting in recalls are paid for by the manufacturer but airplane defects are entirely the responsibility of the owners.

  9. Well,,, after the destruction of the real economy,,, millions out of work,,, social distancing,,, the masks,,, and the people ‘obeying’ / police enforcing every illogical rule without question,,, does it really surprise anyone these idiots would entrust their life to a unproven machine? Not me….

  10. An autopilot is a system used to control the trajectory of an aircraft, marine craft or spacecraft without constant manual control by a human operator being required. Autopilots do not replace human operators, but instead they assist them in controlling the vehicle. This allows them to focus on broader aspects of operations such as monitoring the trajectory, weather and systems.[1]

    I have this constant nagging dream of learning to fly. Main reason I don’t is because it will take about 3 years and $15,000 to get instrument rated, which in my part of the world is pretty much essential if you don’t want to auger into the side of a mountain. But then what? The whole point of flying is to keep it boring and follow the established rules, which is about as much fun in practice as watching paint dry, but that’s a topic for another day. Aircraft are safer with automation than without. But pilots are trained to know how to operate the things. Are Tesla drivers trained on how to use them? How to bypass them should the need arise? Tested by a certified instructor who can be liable?

    Obviously the answer is no. They might be given a cursory walk through the touchscreen and some of the “features” of the vehicle. They probably spend more time learning how to run the sound system and how to monitor the battery than they do on proper use of the autopilot. Maybe there’s even an intro video they have to sit though. I’ll bet there’s a EULA they have to click OK on every time they start the vehicle. I’m also fairly certain there’s language in the EULA that says something like they acknowledge that the autopilot isn’t a substitute for an alert driver and is nothing more than a simple navigational aid, and that the driver must still maintain situational awareness.

    Because operating a motor vehicle is easy right? Just jump in and go! What could go wrong? None of us suffer from Lake Wobegon effect when it comes to driving, right?

    • That scene in Rush. Lauda being Lauda, Hunt being Hunt, subject of plane piloting. Two very different poets.

      Good poetics in Flight & Sully, too. High functioning alcoholic inverts passenger plane, by-the-numbers makes an unreproducible – in sim – water landing.

      Poets don’t need, nor typically want, NTSB’s etc. But the unpoets do. And the string connecting unpoetry & undoing is uncuttable & must, & so does, play out. Over & over. Nothing to be done about that which generates the symptoms.


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