Christine, for Real

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Do you remember the horror flick, Christine? It was about a self-driving ’58 Plymouth Fury that liked to run people over.

Body by Plymouth. Soul by Satan.

What unholy spirit animates “self-driving” Teslas? And who is responsible when one of these “Christines” runs someone over?

According to the felony manslaughter charges just filed against Los Angeles limo driver Kevin Riad, he is. Even though it was the limo – his self-driving Tesla – that drove itself right through a red light and struck a Honda that had the right-of-way, killing both of its occupants and injuring both Riad and his passenger.

But Tesla – the company which built the self-driving car and sells its cars in part on having this capability – isn’t in the dock. It’s all on Riad. Notwithstanding that by offering this capability, Tesla encouraged Riad to use it – the same as power windows or air conditioning.

But not quite the same.

What exactly is meant by “self-driving” capability? On this everything hinges.

Clearly, Tesla intends its customers to believe it means what the words literally mean – that the car drives itself. Tesla says (fast voice, many asterisks directing you to the fine print) that the driver must “monitor” the self-driving car at all times and be ready to”intervene” whenever necessary. But in that case, we are not really talking about self driving capability, are we?

We are talking about driver assistance technology.

The distinction is important to make because it speaks to the issue of responsibility – and of liability. An elevator is a good example of self driving technology. A person enters and pushes a button – his destination. He is not expected to “monitor” the subsequent actions of the elevator. He is certainly not held responsible if the elevator malfunctions – even if he didn’t try to push the “emergency stop” button.

The presumption here is that he is a passenger, being conveyed – and as such isn’t expected to be in charge of the elevator’s operation.

Tesla wants to have it both ways. To market and sell “self driving” cars to customers – who are expected to “monitor” the car and be ready to “intervene” at all times. If not and there’s a wreck, it’s the (ahem) driver’s fault.

Catch meet 22.

There is something shystery about a company that touts the “self driving” capabilities of its cars . . .if the cars cannot be trusted to safely drive themselves without being constantly “monitored.” If the person behind the wheel must keep constant track of how the car drives, then isn’t he . . . driving?

Isn’t the glaring presence of the steering wheel, itself, indicative of the car not being truly – and fully, to use Tesla’s term – “self driving”? Why have a steering wheel at all – if the car doesn’t need it?

Tesla wants to have it both ways – to be able to market cars that are supposedly capable of driving themselves – a big selling point for the company – and then leave the driver holding the bag for the consequences of far-from-fully “self driving” technology, as through a red light and into another car.

The company says that its “self-driving” (in air fingers quotes for the same reason I italicize “vaccines” that don’t immunize) technology is intended to make driving easier, not absolve the driver from being responsible for the drive.

It takes a real Johnny Cochran to conjure that up.

Many new cars come equipped with various driver assistance technologies such as Lane Keep Assist, which uses cameras to feed data about the car’s position in between the painted lines on the road and electric motors to nudge the car’s steering wheel left or right, to help maintain a centered position in the travel lane. LKS is not marketed as “self steering” – and the driver is the one who will be held responsible if he lets the car wander into the opposing lane of traffic.

Driving – like “vaccinations” – is one of those either-it-is-or-isn’t things. A “vaccine” that doesn’t prevent the person from getting sick isn’t a vaccine, by definition. And a driver who doesn’t have his hands on the wheel – and his eyes on the road – isn’t driving the vehicle.

He is at best “monitoring” its driving – assuming he’s not asleep.

This idea that he  won’t go to sleep – or check his texts – in a car that touts its ability to drive itself is as disingenuous as the idea that a catalytic converter “test pipe” will not be used to eliminate the catalytic converter.

Granted, Riad bears some of the blame here. Obviously, he – like anyone who sits behind the wheel – had an obligation to “monitor” what his car was doing. But who is to blame for encouraging Reid to believe his car could be trusted to drive itself?

Riad expected the car to do what Tesla’s own advertising copy says it can do. He trusted that the “technology” was capable of doing what anyone who hears the words, “self driving” would assume such a car could be trusted to do.

The very thing that makes “self-driving” technology appealing to people.

It lacks that appeal if the driver must maintain the same situational awareness – and be ready to “intervene” – as if he were, in fact, driving the car. And if he must “monitor” and be ready to “intervene” in order to prevent the car from blasting through red lights or running over pedestrians – then “self driving” is just another electronic gimmick.

A very dangerous gimmick.

Precisely because it eggs on the kind of inattentive driving that resulted in Riad’s Tesla blowing through a red light, resulting in the deaths of two innocent people.

The fact that Tesla isn’t in the dock is as startling as the facts that Tesla has been given a free pass to use the public right-of-way to test its “self driving” technology, leaving others to clean up (and pay for) the mess created.

Whatever happened to . . . saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety?

It’s interesting to speculate as to why Tesla gets a pass (and a get-out-jail-free) card. Could it possibly have anything to do with the clearly broadcasted intention of the government to take the driver’s hand off the wheel entirely?

. . .

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47 COMMENTS

  1. Doctor, my eyes
    Tell me what is wrong
    Was I unwise to leave them open for so long? – Jackson Browne, Doctor My Eyes

    Who buys a car to not drive the thing?

    Yeah, I think I’ll take a nap, I’ll hop into the self-driving Tesla, program it to get me out of where I am to my next stop whence an alarm will wake me. Naps over!

    How stupid is that?

    It ain’t the car, it’s the driver

    You need a new brain, buy a limo and have a chauffeur move your worthless useless hide to the next gourmet burger joint.

    There’s gotta be a kill switch inside the motherboard of a Tesla, the software has to be there.

    Tap the pause icon, every Tesla won’t go, can’t even use the battery for heat.

    Some hacker capable of installing a ransomware virus might be able to brick every Tesla on the planet.

    Can’t go until the ransomware programmer pushes ‘play’. All your crypto to us belong.

    It’ll be an outrage, an intolerable imposition. Well, you bought into it all, you can buy your way out of it all.

    Hilarious if it can be done, might happen one day. You’ll be a slave to the technology, which will then be a bane of your existence. No, wait, you’re a slave to the technology now.

  2. ‘Body by Plymouth. Soul by Satan.’ — eric

    Now a woman like that all she does is hate you
    She doesn’t know what makes a man a man
    She’ll talk about the times that she’s been with you
    She’ll speak your name to everyone she can

    She’s a devil in disguise
    You can see it in her eyes
    She’s telling dirty lies
    She’s a devil in disguise
    In disguise

    Chris Hillman / Gram Parsons, Christine

  3. Anti-gunner AGs are attempting to sue gun manufacturers because of ‘Gun Violence’. Currently, by law, not allowed to unless manufacture defect, usual consumer stuff. Politicians use this as a major plank in their campaigns. The evil gun manufacturers are marketing their death machines to blah, blah…..

    Where is the ‘Driver Assist Violence’ we are being exposed to? That car just killed two people! Where’s the daily outrage? It is unsafe to sell these cars to just anyone. Only long distance truck drivers should have this type of vehicle….ect

    /sarc sure , but I think it’s a valid point.

    • Totally valid point.

      More PSA money is spent on telling gun owners to lock up their guns but absolutely zero telling Tesla owners to keep their hands and feet on the controls.

      Tracks are for trains!

      This is your brain on drugs!

      This is a Tesla when you fall asleep! NOT!!!!!!

    • What’s the agenda?
      To control people.
      Safety is an excuse for controlling people. That’s why some safety is pushed while other safety is ignored. They don’t care about safety. They care about control. It’s completely consistent.

  4. I’m just trying to wrap my head around people who still rent limos except for very special events. Limos in the “Mr. Drummond” sense when that WAS the car to have if you were rich and wanted to show it. I have thought limos as passe for a long time, but some folks apparently still think they are cool.

    A Tesla Limo. Did it end up with 2 or 3 battery packs to be able to chauffeur his clients everywhere they needed to go without a stop to “recharge”? It would have to in order to be able to move the extra weight of the vehicle and extra passengers. Which also begs the question of how long it takes to recharge a 2x or 3x battery pack.

    Well, the idiots that rented the limo are just as much idiots as the driver. The same as the idiot I overheard that just got off a private passenger jet telling his cohort that he was about to embark on a cross-country tour in a Tesla. The virtue signalling cog-dis of this individual astounded me.

    Now, I’m not talking about corporate “limos” which are just luxury taxis or the Sprinter limos which I think are cool as H. I’m talking about the limos like a company I used to work for rented, only because it was cheaper to move everyone in one car instead of a bunch of taxis to the airport. I remember the idiocy I saw while riding in that limo when the wife of an employee felt as if she was “rich” now and gestured, made comments, etc. about how good life was and poking fun at other vehicles on the road that she could see but they couldn’t see her behind the dark tint. I never felt the same temporary pleasure that woman did.

    My cool limo stories have NOTHING to do with me spending a single dime on a limo. Back when “Mr. Drummond” was on TV, I was in L.A and a child. The coolest limo I ever saw up til that time was a Jaguar Xj6 limo. I’ve only ever seen one in my life. (It’s also when I saw Chevy Chase drive by in a Porsche 911 thinking how cool the 911 was. “Mom, did you see that?, Chevy Chase just drove by in a Porsche”). The Xj was original and beautiful. It was almost as if the Xj6 was meant to be a limo.

    Then there’s my ATL limo story. Me and 2 best friends just happened to be friends with two gay guys that lived in our apartment complex. For one of the gay guys’ birthday, the other guy rented a limo. We were invited to be friends for the celebration, but not accompany them on their happy night at the venues (we weren’t gay, not places we wanted to hang out). Instead, they thought, and very nice of them to do so, to let me and my friends use the limo while they were at their different venues. Their thought was that they were paying for it and that they should get their money’s worth even if they didn’t get all of the enjoyment out of it. We rode all around ATL that night with NO MONEY in our pockets. Limo driver was cool because we let him just drive around and do what he wanted to do while we smoked tobacco, whacky bacci, and drank the alcohol they already paid for in the limo. So, driver pulls up to World of Coca-Cola and asks if it is ok to talk to another limo driver who owes him money. We said “it’s cool”. We had the window cracked a little and as soon as the driver stepped out, that’s when we heard a young black man yell “Hey!, where you white people get all that money at?” We laughed because we were broke. Which is why I do not put people in limos on pedestals. All hat, no cattle most likely. I also do not put celebrities on pedestals. What did I think was cooler when Chevy Chase drove by?

    My best limo advice was to my sister and future husband for prom. Do not rent a modern limo. It will look like crap in future pictures. It will look dated. Only your haircuts and clothes should look dated. I’m not sure which year the vehicle they rented was, but it was totally “Bonnie and Clyde” old car. Old classic, curvy, beautiful, car that is dated, but never out of date because it actually had style.

  5. “Self driving” is a gimmick to cause the public to embrace the wonder of these magical machines.

    Instead of an electric car, what they are really seeing is a robot. Backed by generations of Hollywood depictions, we have formed an opinion of what robots are and can do that exceeds reality.

    Robots can be autonomous in certain situations, driving at high speed or in crowed conditions is not one of those things currently.

    While computers can process millions of inputs per second, they have no intuition or understanding of nuance.

  6. This is just a non-stop horror movie. They’re just murdering people left and right. Why not just let us all drive around drunk at 100 mph? It’s alot safer.

  7. Make a device that is designed to reduce the attention to the task but requires the operator to pay attention is a recipe for disaster.
    That’s companies that were set up in ancient times by mechanical engineers don’t put this stuff on the market. The internal procedures disallow it. Failure modes and effects analysis has been around since the 1940s and Musk’s system fails it. Clearly so.

  8. Full Self Driving will stop at stoplights. AutoPilot, which the limo driver was using won’t. Full Self Driving costs $10,000 and isn’t fully operational. When we bought our Tesla FSD was $6000, and they’d announced that it would soon go to $7000. I’d seen sales where they had sold it for $2000 in order to raise capital, and decided I’d rather wait for the next sale. That sale never came.

    In the simplest terms, all AutoPilot does is hold the car in its lane, while using laser cruise control.

    AutoPilot really isn’t that great. In my opinion, it’s too conservative/timid. If a pedestrian tries to time crossing the road behind you, in order to hurry between cars, and he steps out before you’ve passed, the car will slam on the brakes. If a car is making a turn, and is decelerating before leaving the lane in front of you, the car will nearly stop. It’s aggravating, and although I’d like to use it more, I’d rather just drive.

    My wife and I have joked that we could theoretically go out partying all night, drink too much, and if we got pulled over claim the car is driving. I’m sure that would go about as well as this guy claiming that he wasn’t the one who killed those people.

  9. Traction control

    during the drive, wheel slip is detected which causes the control module to decrease engine power. However, hills and inclines are long and slippery, which triggers the control module recurrently, which causes it to slow the vehicle down more and more.

    Scientifically speaking, to overcome gravity the car will need more power. Since the control module slows the driving speed down more and more, the vehicle will not be able to climb the incline. In a worst-case scenario, this will cause the car to drift backward after stopping.

    this will cause the car to drift backward after stopping….defective electronic tech causing crashes……what a joke…

    Car stuck in the snow.

    The problem is the computer’s reaction to the wheels spinning. It will reduce power and apply the brakes, which can lead to the tires not turning at all. While the wheels spinning makes the tires lose traction, unfortunately, they will need to spin in order to catch traction.

    By turning the traction control off, you will be able to use the rocking method to get free of the snow. The rocking method requires the car to move farther forward a bit before lightly hitting the brakes, then to the same in reverse. The back and forth movement and the slight braking will help you pull free by generating the necessary traction for the tires.

    When to Turn Off Traction Control in Winter

    https://blog.tiremart.com/when-to-turn-off-traction-control-in-winter/

  10. On tug boats there was no auto pilot, someone had to have their hands on the wheel watching dead ahead for debris, logs etc., at all times. In the open ocean on a deep sea tug an auto pilot could be used but somebody would have to be on watch 100% of the time, watching for obstacles in their course.

    There was a 300 foot ferry that ran into an island and sank, the two people on watch put it on auto pilot then went somewhere to have sex, there was a course change that needed to be made to avoid running into an island, nobody was there to make the course change, the ferry ran into the island.

    If you are in the middle of the ocean in a 39 foot sailboat, you have to watch for debris in the water, like shipping containers, this requires continuously watching, if you are sailing solo it is difficult to do.

    Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man (Redford) wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm.

    Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner’s intuition and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2017038/

  11. I remember many many years ago attempting to talk my father in law into giving up his three speed stick on the column for an automatic. His argument at the time was that he was losing control of the car, citing accidents that had occurred with people hitting the gas instead of the brake. He eventually got an automatic and adapted to the new way of driving. If this is our future, will we also adapt? Just a thought.

  12. Re: Elon Musk & Tesla’s “get out of jail free card”. I’m betting that Eloon somehow has the logbooks from Jeffrey Epstein’s pedophile island.

  13. Just curious – if the “driver” in self-driving mode is monitoring the systems, but not with his hands on the wheel and foot on the pedal, and not in the mental frame of actively driving, will it not take a critical second or two to recognize the situation (e.g., the car is not about to stop at the red light ahead) and react/course correct? A second or two that would not be required if he was actively driving in the first place? Wrecks can happen in a fraction of a second. So I see the non-driving systems “monitoring” role as causing critical time lost in terms of accident avoidance. I don’t buy this half in, half out role. Just drive the damn car or use a ride share if you want to nap or play games.

    • Good point, BAC. If I may risk being tedious with another comparison to aviation: When you see an airline pilot seemingly advancing the thrust levers on takeoff, he probably isn’t. If he has engaged takeoff/go-around thrust (by pressing a button), what you’re seeing is his hand just following along as the levers advance themselves to exactly the thrust that has been determined by performance calculations.
      But the pilot flying is required to keep his hand on the thrust levers until the plane reaches V1 for the very reason you bring up: bad things can happen very quickly. He needs to be ready to pull back the thrust immediately in the event that he must reject the takeoff.
      In a car, the times when something bad cannot happen very quickly are few and far between, since other vehicles and the ditch are seldom far away.

    • AutoPilot will shut off and stop the car if you remove your hands from the wheel for more than a few seconds. When it shuts off, it sounds a loud alert buzzer and deactivates any future AutoPilot use, until you have exited and re-entered the car. You’re grounded for the remainder of your trip. Ask me how I know.

    • You are correct BAC. Just watch a few dashcam videos on YT and you will see just how quickly an accident can occur, and in 2 or 3 seconds, immense property damage and loss of life. You will see drivers who see an accident in progress, do not slow down or evade and end up getting involved in the accident.

  14. An Airforce Col developed what is known as the OODA loop. Humans go thru this cycle before we act which is Observe/Orient/Decide/Act. In military terms the faster you can engage thru changes, the faster your operational tempo will be, and you can shape the mind of the enemy by inserting OODA loops for them to react to.

    Driving a car is relatively easy thing to do once you have years of experience. However, your mind is engaged in a constant level Observation and Orientation while you drive. When something suddenly appears you react fast in the Decide/Act mode (sometimes right by using the steering wheel sometimes wrong by hitting the brakes). This self-driving BS causes the driver to be engaged in another OODA loop completely different from driving; texting, sleeping, nooddling, picking their nose, whatever. To break from one OODA and suddenly go thru a completely new OODA loop takes time. It may only be additional seconds but frankly the driver is a passenger and not an overseer of the equipment. To sell this feature is criminal.

    Who is going to be responsible when one of these self-driver machines kills someone on the way do deliver a pizza to a college kid….the college kid for ordering the pizza?

      • cjm,
        I read Boyd’s biography which was a great read and insightful book about this brilliant man and his accomplishments. I love that he fought bureaucracy at every turn to get the Air Force and ultimately the Marine Corp to finally change for the better.

  15. This is the problem of course. Pilots are expected to maintain “situational awareness” when the autopilot is engaged. But that means monitoring the radio, running checklists, monitoring weather, and constantly watching out for issues. They’re also the responsible one when things go badly. Engine out? Did you check for water in the tank? Airspace incursion in controlled airspace? Did you adjust your altimeter to correct for the air pressure change? Were you paying attention when ATC told you where to fly?

    But trained pilots have the mental disipline to handle it. And driving isn’t anywhere near the activity of flying, if only because you don’t have to maintain communcation with ATC and other vehicles. Autopilots are just one thing that takes off some of the workload. Driving a car is pretty much just driving it, that’s it. Heck, you don’t even need to maintain a log (unless you’re driving under a CDL).

  16. “Tesla wants to have it both ways.”
    That summarizes it very well.
    Have you been following the predicament of the airline industry as the telecoms roll out 5G? There is suspicion that it might interfere with radio altimeters, which are needed to perform automated landings in low-visibility conditions.
    Again, we can blame the government. The FCC approved the use of 5G frequencies, and their telecom pals have spent billions on the hardware to use them. But the FAA hasn’t figured out whether 5G really does interfere, and if so what to do about it. For now the phone companies are holding off on activating 5G transmitters near airports, but when they do turn them on, pilots will begin getting Notices to Airmen prohibiting automated landings.
    Any masked sheep who are still flying should get used to landing at alternate airports instead of their intended destinations.

  17. If one must constantly monitor what a “self driving” car is doing, it’s a very, very tiny step to just drive it yourself. If Tesla is not being held liable for the result of calling it “self driving”, then it should suffer criminal charge of false advertising, or fraud. The fact it suffers neither speaks volumes.

    • Me either, cjm!

      I consider all such “technology” inherently dangerous because it encourages passivity. I drive fast – in part because I enjoy it – but also because it keeps me on my toes. This business of just sitting there and letting the car take over critical operations is a bad idea…

      • Indeed, if I get caught behind a slow driver, I find my attention and focus wandering. How much more would it wander if all I need do is monitor the “self driving”? Impossible to maintain such monitoring. It’s beyond human capability.

      • I see no constructive purpose in telling fans here
        “I drive fast”. Some people are much more capable drivers than others but don’t recognize their limitations. Many people, even normally safe drivers, will sometimes drive with some alcohol in their system. Do what you want, but don’t “brag” about it in a way that will influence others. The laws of physics are clear cut – faster driving is more dangerous than slower driving. Why encourage more dangerous behavior. “Keeps me on my toes”
        is the lamest excuse I have ever heard to justify fast driving.

        • Hi Richard,

          “I see no constructive purpose in telling fans here “I drive fast.”

          Opinions vary.

          I don’t hide that I drive fast because that would be to acquiesce to the dogma that “speed kills.” No, it doesn’t. Uncontrolled speed, perhaps – but not “speed” as such. And who gets to define what “speed” – or “fast” is? According to Clover Logic, “too fast” is anything faster than they feel comfortable with.

          You write:

          “Keeps me on my toes” is the lamest excuse I have ever heard to justify fast driving.

          Well, it’s true. Driving at a pace well below one’s skill set, the capabilities of the vehicle and the road, etc. induces boredom, which results in diminished attentiveness.

          Which is not “safe.”

          You may be unaware of this interesting fact: Faster drivers are statistically less-likely to be the cause of accidents. They tend to be drivers more engaged in the act, more focused on their driving – and possessed of more skill.

          Every slow/over-cautious driver I know has had multiple “accidents.” I’ve had none – even though I drive much faster than whatever the speed limit is.

          Brock Yates made the same point using the Cannonball Run. NY to LA in about 35 hours. No wrecks. Average speed close to twice the then-maximum lawful speed of 55 MPH. The most important factor not being speed – but rather that the drivers could handle it.

          • EC, we will agree on libertarian issues, because I was a libertarian before you were born.

            And you deserve the freedom to break speed limit laws, or practice any unsafe behaviors, such as having a 12 ounce weight beer can exercise program.

            That doesn’t mean you have to brag about behaviors that can be dangerous for some of your fans.

            Especially younger drivers with little driving experience, who think they will be cool, like Eric, when they drive fast too.

            Most accidents are fender benders that cause no injuries. But some accidents cause serious injuries. Accidents can happen even if you are driving perfectly, when another person hits you, or you hit a patch of “black ice” The other driver may be exceeding speeds he can handle safely, trying to be cool like his idol EP. Or he is drunk. When that happens, your high speed will effect the severity YOUR own injuries.

            “I’ve had no accidents” is no excuse to brag about fast driving. The world is safer when most people on a specific road drive at similar speeds.
            And at speeds appropriate for the road conditions. If one NEVER drives “fast’, one will be less likely to inadvertently be driving too fast in less than optimum weather conditions, such as in the rain or snow.

            I lost three friends in high school in two separate high speed car accidents they would have easily survived if obeying the speed limit.
            I will never forget their funerals, and will never let others brag about “fast driving”, for no logical reason, in a way that can influence others to drive too fast for their driving skills.

            So EC gets one demerit for bragging about “fast” driving, for no logical reason, and another demerit for a long-winded, lame excuse to defend his lame driving. That’s two demerits. Maybe someday you will catch up with me — I have 546 demerits, issued by the wife, for various (questionable) reasons in the 44 years we’ve been together!
            I plan to appeal 545 of them in court.

    • I used to use cruise control. Except now the ‘smart’ technology will wham on the brakes bc there’s a semi 300 yards ahead. The sudden deacceleration is more dangerous than the 18-wheeler that’s a football field away –so I no longer use cruise.

      • In my purposely limited experience with cars driving themselves, I’ve found it to be dangerous. I had an MX5 with traction and stability control, which could be turned off. On ice and snow it was somewhat useful. On dry pavement, I found my car trying to take over in high speed cornering, which produced symptoms of lost control, though it was never lost, unless one over reacted. Anal orifice contracted to no purpose. The by far most dangerous thing encountered while driving is experiencing the unpredictable or unexpected. Your car creating it is no less dangerous than a mechanical failure.

        • A Golf R driver was telling me he didn’t like it in some ways, he said it felt over computerized, like the car was driving itself, another problem, he was going down a steep driveway, the car saw the bottom of the incline and locked up the brakes, it thought it saw an obstacle.

          Do you want to drive the car or do you want the car to drive you?

          • I can attest to the same, Anon – having driven the R and many other new cars so equipped. The inept pre-emption is really annoying. It makes me love my old truck all the more!

            • My 27 year old son hates the safety equipment too. He drives a year old Amarok twin turbo V6 for its towing capability. As he transports motorcycles for a living.

      • I hate cruise control. Fuel economy drops dramatically as the accelerator is in constant use compared to a steady foot on the accelerator.

        • I noticed on the article that Tesla and the driver are being sued. It is the federal government that needs to be sued. As much as I despise electric cars in their current format, I hope that the driver and Tesla are declared innocent. So that people will start suing the real culprit, the US government.

    • Ditto! I hate (and don’t use) cruise control. Can’t even tell you if the cruise on my vehicles even works, ’cause I’ve never activated it.

      A “self-driving” feature (as on Teslas) that must be constantly monitored is in effect a mechanism that guarantees driver inattention. Proper driver attentiveness requires that one never takes their eyes off the road. “Self-driving” schemes; touch screens; a plethora of blinking warning lights and beeps and buzzes on modern vehicles are distracting as texting while driving or driving while blotto; and even if we avoid such things, we have to contend with all of these distracted drivers who are wreaking havoc. It’s the automotive equivalent of ‘the vaccine’.

      • I will use traditional cruise control on the highway, when weather and traffic permit.

        It saves a little gas, and let’s me focus on other cars (and looking out for cops) more and the speedometer/my right foot less.

        But I don’t have adaptive cruise control, and only 2 of the cars I’ve owned even had it.

        When I was learning to drive I was strongly discouraged from using it at first, because you have to train your foot to keep a constant speed. And sometimes you can use it to keep an automatic transmission from downshifting uphill (again, saves gas), which the cruise control usually doesn’t do.

        • I’ve found the cruise control kicks down a gear more often than my right foot simply because it can’t accelerate in anticipation of an incline. It would be somewhat useful on long trips if other drivers didn’t have the habit of pulling ahead of me and then never maintaining a constant speed. The only time I’ll use it now is to lock my speed 1 mph below the limit when I sense pork in the rearview.

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