As I understand, they have folks actively managing Musk trying to prevent him from promising the moon :)
I like him, he has done well but his PR has done even better.
You don't get much more public than a LinkedIn page.
The point, though, is that posting someone else's personal details in order to malign them is a breach of the civility HN calls for. I don't see how that could be more obvious. Fortunately, users flagged that comment. Let's have no more of this.
For example, I don't think I've ever heard it called doxxing when someone puts up the address+phone number of a congressman and encourages people to write in. Nor when someone posts the "personal corporate" email of the CEO of a company to explain how to "go over the heads" of the CSRs of that company or to tell them about how you're boycotting the company.
I don't think doxxing is about contact information, per se; it's more about the line between someone's public and private personas. If someone actually has the equivalent of a public-persona "complaints hotline", then I would think it would be just fine to post that, no?
By "doxing" I meant posting someone's personal details as a way of attacking them. None of us would want that done to ourselves, and we owe the same consideration to others.
Nor is it needed for substantive discussion, which is the purpose of HN threads.
The problem with your golden rule there is that you make assumptions about what other people want.
But it's clear that the term "doxxing" (which I've never used before and apparently can't even spell) is a giant distraction. How about we just stick to the point about no personal attacks.
But you're right, this is hardly an important issue to me and we could go on about "doxxing" for days, so I'll consider my peace made.
This is the problem I have with HN moderation, they have rules that they selectively enforce but it's all built on their heuristics which they never flesh-out. Neither of us can go to a page on HN and run through a checklist to determine if content in a post will or will not be considered flaggable/bannable because it's a "closed source heuristic" if you will. There are guidelines sure, but the enforcement seems very wishy-washy and selective.
But you can't dox yourself, in the usual meaning of the term.
I'd be willing to bet he's perfectly alright with someone posting his professional credentials on this site. I know I would be (and have, in fact).
So is it really doxxing at all, then?
This isn't a topic I'm all that passionate about, I just wanted to point out the differing opinion.
If I say that Obama is POTUS, am I doxing him ?
The more technical the crowd the more you hear this kind of thing but it really does bear mentioning that if these engineers could be doing it without these figureheads then really, they should do that.
They fact that it's plausible has no bearing on the fact that it is often simply not the case.
Why did Apple nearly fail before Jobs return?
Why are Tesla and SpaceX a direct result of one mans vision?
I'm not saying that no one else is involved in these businesses, I don't think anyone is stupid enough to assert that these are not examples of fantastically great organisations made up of brilliant engineers and probably project managers and lawyers and all of the other parts that make up a great companay but yet the fact remains that the 'figurehead' is there.
Why is that if these 'figureheads' serve no purpose other than to court the media?
This is an oldish thread, but I want to point out that the main reason engineers need figureheads is to attract capital. The second reason is to unify the engineers toward a common goal.
I do believe engineers deserve a lot more credit from society, and also that engineers underestimate the contributions of non-engineers. I feel that the subtly snide way you worded your statement ("really, they should do that") is needlessly derisive to both groups.
I hadn't intended to insult anyone and in terms of derision, I am certainly in no position to be doling it out.
Going back to the comment in question though, it is kind of the crux of the matter as I read it.
There are some posts further up that are very sarcastic about the contributions of these 'figureheads' and my statement to those people stands for itself: if these 'figureheads' are not necessary then do it without them.
I go on to provide very popular examples of where this simply isn't how things work.
Note that I have never even so much as intimated that it couldn't work like that just that it doesn't often seem to.
I will admit that there is perhaps some of my own insecurity slipping in here. As someone with a technical background who now works in a less technical capacity I think I may have taken some of these comments personally and allowed for them to pile onto an already toppling pile of impostor syndrome type thinking.
The fact remains though that to build something you need engineers, you also need architects, you also need someone to bankroll the project. Asserting that one or more of these players are more important that others does seem illogical to me and it would probably take a lot to change that outlook on my part.
The engineers "thank you" comes in many forms. The fulfillment of the job. The privilege to work on cutting edge tech. The satisfaction of their customers. Their salary and so on and so forth.
> The privilege to work on cutting edge tech
> The satisfaction of their customers
> Their salary and so on and so forth
Irrelevant, that is/was part of their contract regardless of outcome (otherwise R&D departments wouldn't exist, failure tolerances wouldn't exist, etc).
Musk merely gave directive, he didn't implement or do this R&D on his own. Calling this Musk's success is like saying Einstein design and built the atom bomb thus he is solely responsible for the death of many a Japanese. But society doesn't take that point of view, instead only that he contributed to it, not that he owned it through and through. A good leader leads their subordinates, but they are not the sole factor in their subordinates achieving success. If a leader does not recognize their subordinates, they will soon find they have no subordinates to lead.
It's the visionary's job to convince them that we people only think the impossible things are impossible.
That's basically how I do my internal dialogue. I shoot down an idea of mine because it's too brittle, vague, and difficult. But I still want to build that something. So, I keep thinking and end up saying to myself, "Well, maybe I could do something that's like an ugly partial implementation, just leaving out the hardest things: it won't be what I want but I can write something that resembles it." And then I write the first prototype and end up having something here to play with. However, I still keep wanting more and maybe I get an insight that allows me, having first played with the first build, to make a better approach with a new set of tradeoffs but such that will get me closer to what I want. Gradually I approach what I want, possibly never quite reaching that point, but still getting closer and closer.
While I don't disagree with you, context matters greatly here. This is the same logic of every middle managing pawn or upper management narcissist who self-styles him or herself the "visionary" you describe. Someone like Musk has the technical aptitude and experience to accurately assess what is technologically possible or impossible and estimate how much it will cost and how long it will take. He has also surrounded himself with highly talented technical people who, from what I can tell, he listens to.
Unless someone has previously envisioned and brought to fruition some visionary product or service, we should remember that the most likely explanation for their insistence that the seemingly impossible is possible is some combination of their ignorance, incompetence, and narcissistic delusion.
And the latter is what you'd presume by default of a manager. It might not be true of Musk in particular, but in absence of explicit evidence to the contrary, it's likely, which is why this kind of overeager optimism can be downright scary-sounding coming from a high-level corporate executive.
I have a feeling that, like you said, Musk listens to these people. Maybe he actually knows their potential better than they know it themselves; knows what they can pull off when driven, that they wouldn't think (or especially claim) themselves capable of otherwise. Maybe, in other words, he's like the protagonist of some military ensemble drama series. (Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG-1, say.)
And given how successful he is, maybe he is that guy! Someone's gotta be. But that guy is really rare. Most corporations, sadly, don't have that guy anywhere in them. And without that guy, you've just got unrealistic promises, followed by flops, followed by finger-pointing.
“Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?”
Robert Browning, from Men and Women and Other Poems
... he does it not because it is easy, but because it is hard!
For his engineers.
Not so much for him.
Compare that with the starting prices of the BMW 5-series, $50K (base) to $94K (M5). The Porsche Panamera is $78K to $180K starting price. The Model S has been tested against the Mercedes S550, which starts at $94K.
If you look at the performance of the P85D, especially its horsepower and torque, you arguably get far more for your money than you do with any petrol-powered sedan. It's even quicker than the Panamera Turbo.
I prefer lighter vehicles -- the P85D is 50% heavier than my RWD manual transmission'd sports car -- but if I needed a sedan Tesla would now be my default choice.
Tesla interior/luxury/comfort is astonishingly low. All mid-ranged luxury cars (A6, 5-Series, E-class, etc.) are much, much nicer cars to drive in, and many of the lower end (3 series, C class) have nicer interiors as well.
On a track, though, where weight and handling matter so much, I wonder what the performance would be. The Tesla Model S (Performance Model) and the Tesla Roadster have essentially the same lap time around Laguna Seca as a humble VW Golf and Ford Focus -- and all four are comfortably beaten by a $30K Subaru WRX STi. Source: http://my.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/model-s-laguna-seca-l...
Now that was likely not the P85D, but that model's extra performance will be offset by the extra 300lbs and curb weight of approximately 5000(!) lbs. It may be helped by a more even front/rear weight distribution and AWD. (I admit I've spent the last three days on the track at Laguna Seca, so I may be overly fixated on lap times...)
This is not to take away from Tesla's remarkable accomplishments in such a short time. The P85D is an amazing car.
My personal opinion - this is clearly future. I am glad for early adopters, to support this trend and this particular "disruptive" company, to benefits of us all and our kids.
Present - not so much for me. I run 10 year old 3-litre diesel bmw 3-series, which was dirt cheap few years ago, and costs me nearly nothing to run (oil & xenon light bulbs change). Various state and insurance fees are most of expenses.
These cars cannot compete on this segment (higher-middle class sedans), not in fun factor (ie that handling), not in price, not in reach - living in europe, I go quite frequently to road trips of several thousand kms... good luck with charging car along in present europe. It happened to me a few times I almost ran out of gas on remote german highways!
So far, it's luxury city car for me, with vast future potential.
As for why I should need a luxury city car, I have no clue...
The electric motors can't dissipate heat that quick, and if the engines are run at "full throttle" for too long it will slow performance significantly to keep from overheating.
In reality this means you can't really complete a lap or 2 of most tracks.
I coincidentally spoke with a Tesla engineer and explained what had happened. "What you need to do is put the car in something like a big meat locker," he suggested. "Cool it way down first."
Not that being more reliable than a luxury automobile is a huge achievement:
Cutting edge tech = higher risk. (can be mitigated with engineering discipline)
Small production runs = less time to debug production process, which is a 2 edged sword: higher production costs and more built-in defects.
Higher production costs and more built-in defects are two liabilities. A suitable alternative in this case would be a "double whammy". More on that idiom: http://english.stackexchange.com/a/132063
You do realize that this is a good argument for the Tesla, right? An electric drivetrain is much simpler than a gasoline one, and in a crazy features battle, the S Class trounces a Tesla.
Other mundane repairs include tie rods, exhaust system leaks, and premature brake rotor wear.
On the other hand, in a decade of car ownership (not a huge amount of time, to be sure) I never once had to repair anything relating to the newer features of the car like remote entry, computerized engine control, digital entertainment system, etc. Even on my 2005 GM, which was not the best year for that manufacturer, it was the boring, old, "proven" systems that needed attention.
I now own a Model S and my maintenance/repair worries are almost all about the boring mechanical bits. I already had a sunroof problem where it got jammed (fixed well and without hesitation under warranty, of course) and when I feel like worrying about stuff on the car breaking, I worry about the little motors for power seats or door handles failing, or the hardware that holds the wheels on starting to bend. The fancy systems like the autopilot stuff seem to have nothing that's likely to fail.
Maybe I'm just cheap, but I do think those are all insanely expensive. Even $64k is more than twice the median annual income in the US, and $78-180k will buy you a decent house in most places that aren't SF/LA/DC/NY.
I can't imagine ever wanting to spend that much money on a depreciating asset that's only major benefit over a $10k Honda Civic is as a status symbol.
I do hope that Tesla succeeds in eventually creating affordable, mass-market electric cars, but it's hard for me to get that excited by their current lineup which serves mainly to help rich dudes feel smug about helping the environment.
Some people think that driving is fun and think of having a car that is fun to drive as a major benefit.
- Comfortable for large people to sit in (I'm 190cm tall).
- Can carry a decent number of people (five being a minimum, more is better... this is why I rejected the Volt as my last car).
- Can carry a decent amount of cargo in addition to 5+ people (this is why I rejected the Ford C-MAX).
- Good fuel efficiency. Prius-level fuel efficiency at a minimum, pure electric is better.
- Good reliability. (Generally the case for most options out there these days, but still important.)
- Good crash safety.
- Fun to drive.
I'm not too familiar with the Fiesta, but from what I know, it'll hit three of these (fun, reliable, affordable). My last car was a Prius v, which mostly hit all of them except for "fun" (comfort was a bit marginal, there was more than enough room but the seating position was a bit awkward for the driver). When I could afford it, I moved up to the Model S, which hits all marks except for "affordable," and hits most of them better: I can carry 7 people if two of them are small (and they usually are), fuel efficiency is way better, crash safety is among the best, and it's a ton of fun to drive.
It is insanely expensive, and I wish it were cheaper so more people could buy them. But to me, it's worth it.
Yes but their interior, one of the most important parts of a luxury saloon car, is terrible quality. I've been in nicer vans.
As an investor, typically, you want sales to increase more rather than increase less.
It seems Google is the "odd one out" relying on primarily on different hardware (LIDAR).
Case in point: my current car does a variety of self-driving tasks such as:
- Autonomous braking
- Active lane keeping assist to steer you in the lane if the radar and cameras detect you are swerving
- PRE-SAFE collision prevention plus that will autonomously brake if it detects an imminent impact
- Pedestrian awareness system that will autonomously brake if it detects a pedestrian is entering the range of the long, medium and short range radar
- Distronic Plus that will accelerate and brake according to both the vehicle in front and behind you from 0 mph up to 100mph
- Attention assist that employs various sensor to detect drowsiness and alert the driver audibly and via haptic feedback if it's time to take a break.
- Active blind spot assist that will audibly, visually and via haptic feedback alert the driver that a car has entered your hotspot and prevent you from entering that particular lane
So while the Tesla camp is and should be excited about "self-driving" enhancements, Mercedes-Benz has been doing this for well over 2 years now with some of the technology above even becoming standard features on non-high end Mercedes vehicles such as the S-Class with the appropriate packages.
I don't really see much but hype with respect to Tesla's announcement.
Good link here: http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/benz/safety
The absurdity of this statement is amazing. Apparently Mercedes has brainwashed it's owners into a new definition of "standard".
It also has blind spot sensor, adaptive cruise control, driver wakefulness alerts. It's adaptive cruise works beautiful, but unfortunately is designed to cut out below 10 MPH, which is a bit annoying in stop and go traffic. It does do automated parallel parking as well, and it rocks at that, it parks in spots I wouldn't dare.
It really strikes a good balance between relying on human and computer-assist.
Also, I think you have a strange definition of "certainly".
Many (most?) Ford models have had adaptive cruise control available as an option for years.
The Mondeo also got pedestrian awareness in Europe for 2015.
The attitude in your comment is strange considering that the grandparent post you wrote specifically points out that this technology is licensable between manufacturers. Why would Ford not be buying the same modules everyone else is?
The more advanced "self-driving" systems are all Mercedes-Benz technology that is part of their high-end vehicles (and not a standard option). Remember, Mercedes-Benz holds over 80,000 patents on this stuff and more coming all the time. There's no doubt they are pioneers in vehicle safety systems including self-driving cars.
Edit: Mercedes-Benz actually omitted quite a few even more advanced "self-driving" features from their new S-Class since, even though the technology was ready, regulatory requirements and drivers themselves were not ready for pure self-driving vehicles. (Taken from an intervew with Marc Andreessen on the new technologies in the S-Class).
Additionally they have automatic parking.
Missing from this is only the driver alertness detection.
EDIT: relevant link http://www.volvocars.com/uk/explore/pages/innovation-areas.a...
Often they develop these things in conjunction with a supplier like Bosch. They then get a period of exclusivity and then Bosch/whoever are free to sell the systems to other companies.
That's why you can look at an S-Class and figure out what's going to be in an ordinary car in 10 years time. ABS, Airbags, pre-tensioners, stability control, adaptive cruise-control - not all were MB inventions or even debuted on an S-Class, but all have been features of an S-Class long before everything else.
So basically, I choose the on-ramp and off-ramp and the car does the rest on the highway. I feel like it's the midpoint between a manual car and an autonomous car.
After a few months of using this every day, driving in a normal car feels different than it used to. It's like driving a manual instead of an automatic.
The car is a fully loaded 2015 Chrysler 200C.
I believe some of the new Jeeps also have the new system but not sure if it does lane keep also.
Case in point - I've got two cars, our boring diesel daily driver and 380hp:600kg track day weapon which you really have to be mentally prepared to drive (no driver aids at all). Headed to the track one Saturday morning in said track car, a car in front of me pulled out of the lane to avoid a big a-- bird in the road. Partly because I have to be alert in that car and partly the car itself I managed to treat the bird more like an obstacle course and (narrowly) avoid it. The dumb thing started running off the road then back into my lane(!). Anyway the point is in my Corolla no way would I have reacted in time, while I think I'm conscientious I know my alertness level is way higher in the track day car - it's low, small, has a brutally fast steering rack - a single moment of inattention you'd get away with in Corolla would see you in the ditch in the other car. 3 hours drive in both cars and one of them I'm pretty happy to have a little break afterwards!
A byproduct of the environment, I think autonomous cars/controls are going to reduce the level of awareness and concentration and you'll have some pretty nasty "I don't know what happened" crashes when things happen that the systems can't respond to and human has to drive out of it.
Of course the flip side of the coin, and I can fully appreciate is the reduction of crashes where people doze off and plough right into the back of other cars. So I guess it's a risk reduction numbers game of which is the lesser of two evils?
The results were surprising even to them I think - the crash rate went way, way down. Seems that a ton of accidents are of the 'I wasn't paying attention in traffic' type.
As the driver of a sports car and a luxo barge, I totally agree with you about the different levels of alertness required. It's not until you get out of a sports car do you realise how much you were concentrating. I think it's mainly the bumpier ride and the twitchy steering that forces focus. You're essentially never, ever driving with two fingers on the wheel.
Some physical environments for advanced age folks are designed with features to promote extra physical exertion, to help maintain the occupants' fitness, which in turn promotes safety. (Better balance, fewer falls.)
Similarly, we might consider building-in a baseline requirement of mental activity for the operation of certain systems. In the short term, this might increase alertness in the moment, as in the semi-autonomous driving example. (In that case, perhaps a UI that requires maintaining a certain amount of eye motion across the road, or particular posture.) In the long term, perhaps other (more challenging?) in-built exercises will promote mental and neurological health in people whose work and play would otherwise fail to be stimulating.
I also think stress, in healthy dose, is necessary. I'd bet heavy on decay as a result of removing it. Until the potential self-driving car future where people won't even have to think about driving and will find other ways to be proactive.
Does it follow the car in front through lane changes? Exits? Sharp turns? What if your car can't safely change lanes to follow?
Does the car attempt to alert the driver, or does it just slow down?
How far ahead does the radar look? What happens if you drive ~65mph straight at a brick wall?
It does shut off the self-steering after a pretty short while if you don't move the steering wheel, and it doesn't work very well at high speeds, but a traffic jam on the highway is what it's made for.
A whole bunch of cars clocked at 12mph over the limit? That's a bonanza of low-mileage speeding tickets, which is good for police dept. revenue, and good for insurance company revenue, because it doesn't actually change the risk pool in exchange for a nice rate bump.
So yeah, not perfect yet, but in 98% of the cases it's amazing.
NVidia went hard on their mobile GPU computer vision system. They could recognize many cars, with this it can detect jams in time.
Wait... you, open an open road going full speed at a traffic jam, just sat back and tested if this was going to stop you in time? Without being sure it was going to work?
I think the implication here is that the cars are capable of this but they are taking the smaller step out of legal and liability concerns.
My father sits through 2-4 hours of Los Angeles rush hour each day, and this is absolutely a game changer for someone like him. This is stellar.
I expect a slow phase change to car-as-public-transport that never stops rolling when it isn't in maintenance.
Now, suppose your self driving car let's you work while in the car. So, your still in the office from ~10-4 and get daily face time, but your only working 8-6. From a work life balance that's effectively zero commute time vs a killer 2h each way, with the added benefit that you get to avoid some of the peak traffic times.
The upside is it makes vary long commutes viable, the downside is it's it's vary energy expensive but with electric cars that's far less of an issue.
No to mention things like effective valet parking everywhere.
It's incredible how less mentally wore down I feel after a long commute when using TACC. Still paying attention but at lot less effort required.
What Tesla is releasing at this stage brings absolutely nothing new to the table.
My Landrover has this technology as an option as do most brands e.g. BMW, Mercedes.
Tesla is merely playing catch up this in regard.
There have been times when I've misjudged my level of tiredness. Drifting out of lane is a good marker that you've screwed up and need to pull over immediately and sleep.
Does Tesla have some way to determine wakefulness or to safely pull over if the driver fails to respond?
I'm sure the press is going to sensationalize the first accident caused by the auto-pilot, but seeing as it doesn't get tired or drink I bet the accident rate will be far lower then human drivers.
Not sure about Tesla but the technology DOES exist and some cars do currently have it.
You can then wake up the driver by actuating the seat or sounding an alarm.
The car will audibly, visually and via haptic feedback through the steering wheel alert a driver if the vehicle detects they are getting drowsy. Nothing new here.
Then there are all the jokes about using a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_bird in situations like that. And then there's https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv9JYqhFV-M to hack the Mercedes ALA.
Not exactly optimal, but I feel it may be the safest route. It would be interesting to see what other strategies people come up with.
EDIT: I have seen cars stopped on shoulders all the time. It may be dangerous compared to a parking lot, but this is an emergency situation. The driver is incapacitated and may need medical attention. I'll add that it should do more then run the hazard lights, it should dial 911. To keep driving means the car will run unattended for 200+ miles until the battery runs out.
To rephrase naysayers in a more first degree way: "sure there would be less accidents than when the vehicle is driven by a glorified ape, but for the fewer people still killed or maimed, we wouldn't be sure whom to blaim. So we'll keep killing more of them through ape drivers, rather than rush the paperwork-rethinking trauma".
Does anyone know how their system might compare to the spinning Lidar thingamajigs Google uses on their cars?
I can't believe Tesla has all these sensor already build in.
Plus Audi, Mercedes, etc. have all enormous experience in vehicle dynamics, which is critical in handeling automatic reactions like full braking and sudden fast steering at higher speeds.
The critical part is what does so car do if it requests driver interaction but the driver does not response. Brake? On a highway?
Autopilot will come, but not in the three month. That's just hilarious.
Three months is "hilarious" for a feature that's already been commercialized by others and has been shown to be nearly done in Tesla's implementation? How do you figure?
This announcement is quite bubbly, IMO. Many luxury automakers have had the capability for "highway autonomy" in the way Tesla seem to describe for several years now: see this reckless Infiniti driver https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY_zqEmKV1k .
The "parking lot to parking lot" capability would be truly interesting (as city driving presents a lot of interesting problems that aren't just "follow lines and traffic") but as there's no announced timeline for it, there's no sign Tesla are actually ahead of the numerous other automakers working on the same capability.
Forward radar, forward camera, 12 long range ultrasonic sensors with coverage in "every direction at all speeds".
Random thought- the drivers on long distance trips self-select for people who like to keep going.
I wonder how much a 10 minute stop charges a Tesla S. Probably a third. Once the superchargers become common enough, you can do several shorter stops instead.
The Tesla forums on the subject are filled with geniuses advising people to drive better, in lieu of such important safety features.
Having that time back is a very seductive proposition.
What I do wonder though is what's the point of having your own car, if all cars are autonomous then isn't that essentially a tram system? How long would it take before there are established routes and taking your car to a given location is no different to hopping on any one of the other cars that are heading there anyway?
Surely the one of the first businesses to be radically impacted by widespread autonomous vehicles is the taxi industry?
I can't see an outcome where pretty soon it's not just a fancy tramway.
Source: listened to the call this morning.
Maybe it's just adaptive cruise-control combined with lane keeping, and you'll still need to make turns.
The autopilot / cruise control 2.0 / lean back mode where it handles all the driving on the highway, but you're still behind the wheel.. That's the main thing. I'm also curious whether there are state law issues.
With a self driving car, you're really just a passenger, so you shouldn't need your own insurance to ride in one.
let alone the price differential between an equivalent gas powered car is going to have to be a lot closer to justify the limitations of an electric.
But hey -- They should just push the update with a harcoded feature toggle keeping the functionality off. Then the line they tow is "Oops! Someone rooted their car and overrode our safety!"
Most European automakers have systems with similar capability (Audi and Mercedes have systems that even work down to 0mph in traffic) but maintain a "one hand on the wheel" sensor to prevent stunts like this.
The purported "parking lot to parking lot" capability is what's really interesting, but it sounds like Tesla have no timeline to actually deploy it yet.
It's certainly not the plain reading of "the self-driving technology was 'technically capable of going from parking lot to parking lot,' meaning through cities as well."
If what all that actually means is "adaptive cruise control + lane keeping," then either the GP poster is right that Musk is overpromising and underdelivering, or the journalist completely misconstrued Musk.