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> Tesla requires drivers to remain engaged and aware when Autosteer is enabled. Drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel.

Which sense of "must" is used here? The car seems to play an unwinnable game with the driver: keep your hands on the wheel or I'll...what? Disengage autosteer and perhaps crash? With no enforcement mechanism, drivers are incentivized to "abuse" (aka "use") the system as much as it allows.

Videos on YouTube[1] show that the car drives itself even with hands off the wheel. However, I've also read that the car will prompt the driver to keep their hands on the wheel and even turn on emergency flashers/slow to a stop if the driver failed to do so [2]

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw7Esg-txR0 [2] http://www.wired.com/2015/10/tesla-self-driving-over-air-upd...

Well, that sounds annoying - what's the point of autopilot if you still have to keep your hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the traffic...

It's like having to hold a button your hands free headset in order to be able to talk :-)

To be a stepping stone for proper legislation and technology that allows more hands-free operation, I'd guess.

You don't have to keep your hands on the wheel.

It only prompts the driver and turns off if the system can no longer reliably track the lines in the road OR track the car in front of you.

Good to know - have you used it, or did you read more detail about it somewhere?

Very interesting given Astro Teller's (Google X) perspective on partial-self-driving cars:

"The assumption that humans can be a reliable backup for the system was a total fallacy." "It made us change our whole path."


Seems like common sense to me. If you give a human driver the slightest opportunity to zone out and stop paying attention, they will take it.

That means that practical self-driving cars are an all-or-nothing affair.

The car should flash the lights and scream "inattentive driver" to all around. After a minute that scream should become "Call police, my driver has fallen asleep" and the car should autopark at the local copshop to give a statement against its owner.

In all seriousness, this system to monitor driver attentiveness will generate lots of very discoverable evidence.

You can defeat the system any number of ways. This is just to wash Tesla's hands of any liability: if you get in a crash because you intentionally subverted the engagement requirements, it's clearly your own fault (not attacking Tesla here, it's what all the other carmakers do too).

Not sure about US law but pretty much all driving laws I've seen mandate that you have to keep both hands on the wheel unless you are operating another system in the car in which case you still have to keep 1 hand on the wheel.

Sales of fake hands might go up a bit in the near future: http://www.caufields.com/productimages/halloween/weapons/ima... :-)

No need to defeat the system. It doesn't require hands on the wheel all of the time. Only in the case where the system can't see the road lines.

It's not even a matter of enforcement; even with a fully "alert" driver with both hands on the wheel, I suspect it'd take a considerable amount of time for a person to consciously make the switch and take control of the car, especially after Autosteer has been engaged for a while.

Personally, I'd never use something like Autosteer. As far as I'm concerned, either I'm driving the car (i.e., directing its movement, even if that movement is realized by computers/microcontrollers), or a computer is driving it - not something in between or both.

> I suspect it'd take a considerable amount of time for a person to consciously make the switch and take control of the car

How different is AutoSteer from regual cruise control, in this regard? Or do you think that this level of automation might encourage people to distract themselves, without having quite enough technology to allow them to do that?

Cruise control may encourage similar behavior (and contribute to decreased reaction time), but the fact that cars naturally drift - even on straight roads - is a very effective reminder to drivers that their constant attention is required.

Take away the need to steer, and the only thing drifting will be drivers' attention.

With the regular cruise control you still have to stay engaged with the road. Look at the video a few comments up. That situation is a nightmare - empty seemingly absolutely safe road, plenty of glowing digital distractions, a smooth quiet ride, warm and comfy, and relaxing music. That car is a rolling relaxation pod. I don't know if I have enough willpower in that situation to not become distracted or fall asleep.

I've driven a volvo with this feature and it has two modes, one is below 50km/h where it will fully control the car and can do quite hard turns to follow the lanes and cars in front of it. Another is above 50km/h which requires hands on the wheel but the actions are not as strong, it is more like driving on a very concave road which automatically directs your wheels towards the center of the lane, if you don't resist the motion of the wheel it will keep you in the lane. Not keeping the hands on the wheel in the second mode will trigger a warning after a few seconds and later disengages the system.

Essentially you just need to hold your hands on the wheel and relax your arms. Before you've driven with this feature you might not realize but all the time when you are driving you are constantly doing minor adjustments to the steering wheel which takes quite much effort, both attention and physically, this takes away all that but still keeps your brain in the "i am in control of the car"-mode. If you were to keep your hands off i think it's easy to zone out and if something happens there might be too much context switch for you to handle the situation fast enough.

Is there any video of the tesla doing this at highway speed? I can only find city driving.

Pretty surprising, given the existing research on this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2015/07/2...

> Research that Stanford has done shows that drivers resuming control from Level 3 vehicles functioning in autonomous mode take 10 seconds just to attain the level of ability that a drunk driverpossesses. And to get back to full driving competence takes 60 seconds.

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