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This seems insanely dangerous to me. They're introducing a feature which could, potentially, cause massive highway accidents, but providing documentation that amounts to little more than a glorified README file?:

> Auto Lane Change

> Changing lanes when Autosteer is engaged is simple: engage the turn signal and Model S will move itself to the adjacent lane when it’s safe to do so.

A single sentence! What's the point of having drivers license lessons and testing if the fundamental operation of the vehicle can change so drastically?

Am I being a luddite, or does anybody else feel this way?




> What's the point of having drivers license lessons and testing

Hah, implying that these are actually useful. The Washington state test and generic lesson plan doesn't even include highway driving. It's a 20 minute test that quite possibly anyone could pass; all I had to do was briefly drive around, and the hardest part was probably parallel parking with a couple of feet of leeway, and controlling your speed down a hill.


The point of a driver's license is to have something to hold over your head so you'll pay your tickets. Oh, you thought it was about safety and competence? My 50 year old wife got her "time to renew" letter in the mail: "check this box if your eyes are still 20/40". Cataracts so bad you can barely see the dashboard? Been putting off that eye exam because you know you need glasses? No problem, just check a box and you can still drive! I guess the token eye check at the DMV was too onerous for WA drivers. Small wonder why WA drivers suck so much.


I recently moved states and was in person at the DMV. I handed the clerk an existing (out of state) license that had a corrective lenses restriction on it, and I informed the clerk that I was currently wearing contact lenses before taking their eye test. They still didn't put the restriction on it..


The fact that American licensing isn't very rigorous is not an argument against drivers licenses.


See my parallel comment: my wife could be blind and still hold a WA state driver's license if she were willing to lie when filling out a form. In which case I'll ask: what's the argument for licensing if we don't even bother to check?


We do bother to check. If you get pulled over for a traffic violation and you don't have a license, you'll go to jail. These are really not convincing arguments. If anything, it seems the conclusion of what you're saying is that we need to be more rigorous in our testing and validation.


> We do bother to check. If you get pulled over for a traffic violation and you don't have a license, you'll go to jail.

If it's ridiculously over-the-top easy to receive and keep a license, even when it shouldn't be, then I argue the use of said license, and the checks around it, are useless. All your check is is checking that the person can do the very bare minimum of what would be considered "driving", and, worse, it's really checking that the person was able to do it X years ago, where X can be as far back as even 50 or so years ago. At that point, what's the use of checking? You are right that we should be more rigorous in testing and validation, but when that's the case, then the whole system is put into question.


The automated lane changing is probably safer than a human doing it.

Same concept as putting code inside a function. If you can make changing lanes a functional process that works safely the same way 100% of the time via computer, why not?

Right now it is re-written and executed every single time a human performs the actions which results in errors and more.


Isn't similar argument made about automatic transmission? In general I feel the input by the driver with the turn signal is a good one. After all, there is risk when you are trying to see your blind-spot during lane change esp. if the driver in front you stops hard.

I welcome our computer overlords.


At the very least, people would be signaling BEFORE they start the lane change maneuver. That can only be an upside.


> Isn't similar argument made about automatic transmission?

In Europe, there are different classes of license for auto vs manual transmission vehicles.


Keep in mind all new cars come with a button that allows you to peg the car's velocity at nearly any speed and it will hurtle down the road with no awareness of the lanes, other cars, or any hazards. It won't brake, and it won't even detect whether you are touching the wheel or peddles. It's call cruise control.

I have no earthly rationale for why we ever legalized cruise control in the first place, but that's the status quo we are comparing against. Anything that makes cruise control safer is an improvement. Arguably without cruise control most of these innovations would need huge amounts of lobbying to pass, but they're actually pretty easy to sell in comparison to what people have today.


It's not universal that cars ignore the pedals. On my car (14 years old...) cruise control is deactivated when you press the clutch or brake, and the car responds to the accelerator as normal, slowing down once you stop accelerating.


Every car I've ever driven with cruise control has had basically that same behavior, with the only major variation being if you can set a new base speed without flicking cruise control off and then on again.


Not true. Many cars come with adaptive cruise control to prevent you running into the car ahead. And cruise control is seemingly quite safe as its been around for decades with largely no issues.

I drive entirely using cruise control to ensure compliance with speed limits.




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