Driver killed in Tesla Autopilot crash was playing smartphone game at the time

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

A month after the crash, Tesla said its own internal investigation showed Haung kept his hands off the Model X’s wheel despite the vehicle’s repeated warnings to retake control. The company reiterated it is "extremely clear" that Autopilot requires a driver’s full attention at all times.

NTSB investigators said another factor was that the crash attenuator in front of the barrier was damaged and had not been repaired by California’s transportation department, Caltrans. If it had been replaced, Huang likely would have survived, said the agency.

“If you own a car with partial automation, do you not own a self-driving car. So don’t pretend that you do,” said the NTSB chairman, Robert Sumwalt. “This means that when driving in the supposed self-driving mode you can’t sleep. You can’t read a book. You can’t watch a movie or TV show. You can’t text. And you can’t play video games. Yet that’s precisely what we found that this driver was doing.”

The NTSB has been analyzing four different Tesla accidents, finding similarities between each one. It criticized the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for ignoring its requests to come up with rules for partial automation tech such as Autopilot.

Sumwalt added that Tesla had yet to respond to safety recommendations that had been sent to the company 881 days ago.

“In this crash we saw an over-reliance on technology, we saw distraction, we saw a lack of policy prohibiting cell phone use while driving, and we saw infrastructure failures, which, when combined, led to this tragic loss,” Sumwalt said. “We urge Tesla to continue to work on improving their Autopilot technology and for NHTSA to fulfill its oversight responsibility to ensure that corrective action is taken where necessary. It’s time to stop enabling drivers in any partially automated vehicle to pretend that they have driverless cars.”

Tesla insists that drivers using Autopilot crash less often than while driving manually. It says that the technology is not a full self-driving system and that users need to keep their hands on the wheel when it is activated, ready to take over at any moment. But there are numerous reports of drivers ignoring this advice.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
I find it equally amazing that NTSB hasn't banned the use of the term "autopilot" without proof that it is indeed that very same thing. There are too many terms that are abused, just like "lifetime guarantee" that is then allowed to be re-defined by the Mfg. to mean something far less. Of course if our Consumer Protection Agency were allowed to actually do their jobs all of this would come to an abrupt halt but the poor elected representatives would loose too much money so it hasn't a chance .......
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
I find it so amazing that Tesla is able to analyze data and almost 100% of the time pin an accident involving their cars on the driver's negligence.
Yes, they do have sensors on the car's dashboard and steering wheel and they also had access to the phone with logs showing what he was doing at the time of the crash. If you don't apply any force/pressure to the steering while while AP is active the car will start nagging you to do so after a short while (some drivers call it the Nanny system or Nanny nag).

I find it equally amazing that NTSB hasn't banned the use of the term "autopilot" without proof that it is indeed that very same thing. There are too many terms that are abused, just like "lifetime guarantee" that is then allowed to be re-defined by the Mfg. to mean something far less. Of course if our Consumer Protection Agency were allowed to actually do their jobs all of this would come to an abrupt halt but the poor elected representatives would loose too much money so it hasn't a chance .......
We've had "autopilot" systems in cars for a very long time, Tesla didn't invent the term. When people are actively trying to "cheat" the onboard protections so that the warnings don't nag them anymore then you know that something is wrong with the people and not the system itself.
 
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ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
“This means that when driving in the supposed self-driving mode you can’t sleep. You can’t read a book. You can’t watch a movie or TV show. You can’t text. And you can’t play video games. Yet that’s precisely what we found that this driver was doing.”

So, what is the whole point in this? Now not only do we have to scan for other vehicles and obstacles, now we have to worry when the computer will jerk the wheel into a highway divider? Now I have to worry about other people with these computers to jerk itself and slam into the side of my car. I am already extra cautious around these vehicles.

It says that the technology is not a full self-driving system and that users need to keep their hands on the wheel when it is activated, ready to take over at any moment.

You are going to see as they force this more of these poorly designed vehicles on us that people will become complacent and "trusting" of these self-wrecking cars. They will quit paying attention so they can play on their phones. Many needless deaths because of this exact same thing have already happened. More of them on the road? More deaths. The death count just keeps on rising.

"It says that the technology is not a full self-driving system and that users need to keep their hands on the wheel when it is activated, ready to take over at any moment."

So please, tell us the reason why it's even there. So you can gain more profit? How are you going to gain more profit when your customers are DEAD?
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
Um, how did the car hit the crash barrier? Isn't that what lane assist is for? To nudge the car back into the middle of the lane. I guess there was something more complicated going on, such as the Tesla swerving to avoid something and colliding with the barrier.
Regardless, the driver is responsible for their vehicle. If he chooses to get lost in a phone game while driving on a motorway, then the crash is on him.
I think the Tesla needs to do more than just nag. It needs to start flashing all lights and bring the car to a safe stop while intermittently sounding the horn, basically announcing to the world that there is a douchebag (supposedly) driving the car.
 
So, what is the whole point in this? Now not only do we have to scan for other vehicles and obstacles, now we have to worry when the computer will jerk the wheel into a highway divider? Now I have to worry about other people with these computers to jerk itself and slam into the side of my car. I am already extra cautious around these vehicles.
In between 400000 drunks illegally trying to murder anyone on the road by means of a head on collision every year, yeah we need to dodge the one fool using an accessory wrong.


You are going to see as they force this more of these poorly designed vehicles on us that people will become complacent and "trusting" of these self-wrecking cars. They will quit paying attention so they can play on their phones. Many needless deaths because of this exact same thing have already happened. More of them on the road? More deaths. The death count just keeps on rising.
Whoa don't let me be the first to say this. The death count will keep rising no matter what we have. To say Tesla's are poorly designed brings every other vehicle thats been involved in a fatality into question.
 

ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
In between 400000 drunks illegally trying to murder anyone on the road by means of a head on collision every year, yeah we need to dodge the one fool using an accessory wrong.




Whoa don't let me be the first to say this. The death count will keep rising no matter what we have. To say Tesla's are poorly designed brings every other vehicle thats been involved in a fatality into question.
Yes, which is why drunk driving is illegal. I fail to see your point here. In this case, you would believe self-wrecking cars should and will be illegal. And, why do you say one fool? Everyone with a car like this who trusts a computer with their own and OUR lives is applying for the next Darwin Award. The fact they would risk every single other persons' life so they can play on their phone is beyond selfish. You know everyone will be on their phone eventually. We already know of multiple deaths because of it - including human driven. Guess what? Human driving cars with cell phones are illegal, but yet here we are.

I didn't necessarily say tesla cars are poorly designed. It's about the self-wrecking feature being and will always be poorly designed. If you don't think computers never fail, you must be having someone else transcribe this for you. It also requires living under a rock that nobody else has had a problem. Well, you are aware of at least one with this article. Excuse me while I go fix *another* server application problem...
 
I didn't necessarily say tesla cars are poorly designed. It's about the self-wrecking feature being and will always be poorly designed.
I must have misread what I quoted.

You are going to see as they force this more of these poorly designed vehicles on us ... of these self-wrecking cars
This story is about Tesla's what other brand of "self wrecking cars" are you pointing a finger at if not Tesla? I've been in a serious crash, but I can't live my life worrying about every other possible "what if" on the highways. I'm cruising on.
 

ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
I've been in a serious crash, but I can't live my life worrying about every other possible "what if" on the highways. I'm cruising on.
Then apparently you don't care about avoiding another accident. If you have ever even talked to someone with a motorcycle, you know you have to constantly monitor traffic in all directions. I hope you don't try riding one with your attitude, or you won't be around any more.

I also pay attention for other people's safety than just my own. So sad nearly everyone drives only for themselves. I drive with etiquette and try my best to respect all other drivers on the road for a fun and relaxed experience. Computers don't have the fear of death like humans do and kill without remorse. Then we have companies like tesla blame people rather than accept it was their own car that killed their customer.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
A month after the crash, Tesla said its own internal investigation showed Haung kept his hands off the Model X’s wheel despite the vehicle’s repeated warnings to retake control. The company reiterated it is "extremely clear" that Autopilot requires a driver’s full attention at all times.
While I will not excuse the fact that the dolt behind the wheel should have been paying attention and is, at least in part, responsible for his own death, I find this statement from Tesla to be a complete load of steaming :poop:

The software is in control of the car, FFS. In cases like this where the crash-0-pilot is begging the driver to take control, have the crash-0-pilot pull the car off the side of the road or to the median, stop, and deactivate the crash-0-pilot for an hour or more. That would have gotten the dolt behind the wheel to stop playing his game and drive.
 
Then apparently you don't care about avoiding another accident. If you have ever even talked to someone with a motorcycle, you know you have to constantly monitor traffic in all directions. I hope you don't try riding one with your attitude, or you won't be around any more.
I'm not seventeen I'm 28, there are probably far more people with the attitude to be safe than you seem to be thinking. I owned a motorcycle for three years and I never put a scratch on it, same for my car.

I also pay attention for other people's safety than just my own. So sad nearly everyone drives only for themselves. I drive with etiquette and try my best to respect all other drivers on the road for a fun and relaxed experience. Computers don't have the fear of death like humans do and kill without remorse. Then we have companies like tesla blame people rather than accept it was their own car that killed their customer.
I think most people drive well intentionally. I don't think "drunks" know wtf they're doing behind a steering wheel. Are you blaming lawnmower companies for the physical damages the operators cause (it's a lot) to others, for not installing 'fail safe' safety equipment? How about boats, or bowling balls? Hammers? More than 100 more people were killed with hammers and clubs in 2018 than were killed by rifles. 443 people.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
The "auto drive" (as opposed to auto PILOT) is a "dump" AI...sometimes I think the humans in these things are more stupid, than the computer in the car.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
The "auto drive" (as opposed to auto PILOT) is a "dump" AI...sometimes I think the humans in these things are more stupid, than the computer in the car.
Apparently not when it is trying to beg a "human" to take control of the car back. :laughing: It seems DAF then.
 
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ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
I'm not seventeen I'm 28, there are probably far more people with the attitude to be safe than you seem to be thinking. I owned a motorcycle for three years and I never put a scratch on it, same for my car.



I think most people drive well intentionally. I don't think "drunks" know wtf they're doing behind a steering wheel. Are you blaming lawnmower companies for the physical damages the operators cause (it's a lot) to others, for not installing 'fail safe' safety equipment? How about boats, or bowling balls? Hammers? More than 100 more people were killed with hammers and clubs in 2018 than were killed by rifles. 443 people.
You've never put a scratch on your car? Your quote: "I've been in a serious crash". How on earth do you get in a "serious crash" without a scratch on your car? /facepalm

No, because there are not "autonomous" lawnmowers, boats, bowling balls, or hammers killing people [that I know of... yet. hah]. If you are trying to make a point, please share with us people are getting killed by these. Otherwise I'm not seeing how that relates at all. If there were "autonomous" lawnmowers and whatever else killing people, yes, I would be saying the same thing.

Computers fail all.the.time. I fix them all day. Most of my family works at a land rover dealership and even brand new $80k+ vehicles fail all.the.time. Not to mention people that don't even maintain their vehicles as they age.
 
You've never put a scratch on your car? Your quote: "I've been in a serious crash". How on earth do you get in a "serious crash" without a scratch on your car?
Stop being angry. Things come out wrong when you type in anger.

/facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm /facepalm How on earth do you get in a "serious crash" without a scratch on your car? How on earth do you get in a "serious crash" without a scratch on your car? How on earth do you get in a "serious crash" without a scratch on your car? How on earth do you get in a "serious crash" without a scratch on your car? How on earth do you get in a "serious crash" without a scratch on your car? How on earth do you get in a "serious crash"

"without a scratch on your car?"
I dunno. Rhetorical? Someone else's car? What are the possibilities..?

No, because there are not "autonomous" lawnmowers, boats, bowling balls, or hammers killing people [that I know of... yet. hah]. If you are trying to make a point, please share with us people are getting killed by these. Otherwise I'm not seeing how that relates at all. If there were "autonomous" lawnmowers and whatever else killing people, yes, I would be saying the same thing.
Non-Fllying Robo-Mower Yanno, you're really not going to like the next part.

Robot lawnmower kills Danish man [as far as we know]


Computers fail all.the.time. I fix them all day. Most of my family works at a land rover dealership and even brand new $80k+ vehicles fail all.the.time. Not to mention people that don't even maintain their vehicles as they age.
 
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