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Elon Musk claims data logs show Tesla in which 59-year-old and 69-year-old died was NOT on autopilot - yet cops say neither was in driver's seat as Twitter pics reveal how easy it is to trick car into thinking someone is at the wheel

  • Tesla says its autopilot function will detect when no one has their hands on the wheel - which is requires
  • But videos show how in some cases, it can take up to 2 minutes for it to detect there are no hands on the wheel
  • Even then, it can take an additional 40 seconds for the car to completely stop after the first warning
  • The crash on Saturday happened on a quiet, private cul-de-sac at 11.25pm - in the dark
  • The two men only drove a few hundred yards out of one of their homes before they crashed into a tree
  • The owner drove out of his driveway then hopped into the backseat while his friend was in the passenger seat
  • It took four hours for firefighters to put out the flames because the battery kept catching alight
  • Victims' relatives watched in horror as they perished; cops ended up calling Tesla to ask how to put out fire
  • Tesla has not commented on the crash; the carmaker's stock dipped by 3.3 percent on Monday
  • Tesla's Elon Musk claimed late Monday that the auto-pilot system was not at fault, according to 'data logs'
By JENNIFER SMITH FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

PUBLISHED: 22:04, 19 April 2021 | UPDATED: 05:45, 20 April 2021



Tesla is facing serious questions over its safety systems after two men died in a fiery crash in Texas on Saturday after taking the car for a 'spin' on autopilot and plowing into a tree just a few hundred yards down a quiet cul-de-sac.

The men haven't been named but one of their relatives told Click 2 Houston anonymously that the owner of the Tesla Model S drove it out of his driveway then jumped out of the driver's seat and into the backseat - where he was found dead - after engaging autopilot. The other man was in the passenger seat.

Within a few hundred yards of the driveway, they smashed into a tree on a bend that the car's steering systems failed to anticipate.
Tesla founder Elon Musk meanwhile claimed that the car couldn't have been on autopilot, according to 'data logs.' He also said the car's owner had not purchased the 'FSD' option, which stands for 'full self-driving.'

It's not clear how Musk's claims stack up against those of the local police, whose investigators said they were '99.9 percent sure' there was no one behind the wheel of the car. Three other people have died in Tesla autopilot-related incidents.

The two men on Sunday were driving along Hammock Dunes Place in Spring, Texas, a street that is just 1,000ft long in a gated community where the average house price on the street is more than $2million.

Tesla lovers are baffled by the crash because to engage autopilot, the $80,000 car must be able to identify clear road markings (which this street does not have). The men were also driving at night, at 11.25pm.

After they plowed into a tree just a few hundred yards from the house they left, the vehicle caught fire and for four hours, firefighters battled the blaze while the victims' relatives watched on in horror.

They had to call the carmaker and ask how to stop the battery from reigniting. In the end, they used 32,000 gallons of water but the two men were incinerated.


Now, there are serious questions over how the men were able to get as far as they did when no one was in the driver's seat.

Tesla insists that to engage autopilot, a person must have their hands on the steering wheel at all times, ready to take over if the automated systems fail.

If no weight is detected on the steering wheel, the car sends the driver an alert reminding them of the rule, but it doesn't necessarily bring it to a stop - at least not right away.

In some videos posted by car enthusiasts, it takes two minutes for it to even detect that no one has their hands on the wheel.

In one from 2019, it took the two minutes to detect no one was behind the wheel. The car then sends the driver an on-screen prompt, then it starts beeping loudly before finally slowing down.

In the 2019 video, it took 40 seconds from the first prompt for the car to stop completely.

It's unclear how fast the men in the crash were driving but detectives say it was at considerable speed.










Tesla will stop driving on autopilot if it cannot detect a person's hands on the wheel. To get around it, people have been doing this - putting an item on the wheel or lodging it there - to trick it






Other drivers balanced water bottles on the steering wheel to make the car think they were still engaged with it


This is what the driver is told via the screen in the car if, after 30 seconds or so, no hands are detected on the wheel. The car makes a loud beeping noise then it starts to slow down and comes to a stop but it can take half-a-minute to do so.



The NHTSA said in a statement: 'We are actively engaged with local law enforcement and Tesla to learn more about the details of the crash and will take appropriate steps when we have more information.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Twitter it had dispatched two investigators to the scene, who 'will focus on the vehicle's operation and the post-crash fire.

Tesla's share price dropped by 3.4 percent on Monday


+11
Tesla's share price dropped by 3.4 percent on Monday
'NTSB investigators will arrive in the area later this afternoon.'

Tesla has not commented.

On its website, it is vague about what exactly happens if no one is at the wheel when autopilot is engaged.

'Before enabling Autopilot, the driver first needs to agree to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times” and to always “maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle.”

'Subsequently, every time the driver engages Autopilot, they are shown a visual reminder to “keep your hands on the wheel,"' it says.

Saturday's crash happened hours after Elon Musk tweeted that the autopilot function was becoming 'ten times safer'.

On YouTube, car enthusiasts have been sharing videos for years about how to trick the steering systems with oranges, weighted bangles or just by simply giving the wheel a nudge.

LINK

I find it pretty worrying for other motorists that dumbass Tesla owners are driving around jamming oranges & water bottles into the steering wheel to show off to friends. Seems like there is a 30 second window after the water bottle falls out steering wheel before it alerts you it will be taking action if you don't put your hands back on the wheel, the 30 seconds window is enough time crash it into a wall or barrier with no human hands or the computer in control during the time the 30 seconds time delay before the computer kicks in takes over, says a lot about Tesla buyers show-off mentality mindset sadly, with no regard for the safety of other road users.
 
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Looks like Tesla's systems are grossly inadequate and easily fooled. If this was a plane, the NTSB would ground the fleet until a fix was implemented (737 Max).
 

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Looks like Tesla's systems are grossly inadequate and easily fooled. If this was a plane, the NTSB would ground the fleet until a fix was implemented (737 Max).
I agree that the system is easily fooled, but if this were a plane, all of these accidents would be chalked up to pilot error and there would be a recommendation from the NTSB to put in better safeguards to keep the pilots from leaving the ****pit to bang flight attendants in the restroom while leaving autopilot turned on. Tesla should not be financially responsible for injuries due to gross misuse of their product. I mean, seriously...people kill themselves by improperly sticking a gun in their mouths and pulling the trigger EVERY SINGLE DAY, is it the gun makers fault that happens? People drink alcohol, hop in a car and kill EVERY SINGLE DAY, no one holds Jack Daniels liable...so why should we treat Tesla any differently?

Only thing Tesla is guilty of here is ambitious branding of the product...I'll concede that the AP name needs to go, the system can stay exactly how it is.
 

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Pretty serious stuff in many ways. Were these guys trapped and cooked, or did they die on impact? And apparently a couple of things our genius Green Giant Central Planners did not even consider in our glorious all-lektrik future is those pesky battery fires. Let's see, spray water on an electrical fire...Yeah we learned about that in grade school. What's a FD to do?

And if the system is so easily fooled, use an orange or a water bottle, I'd say Elon needs to call in an over the air fix for this. Yesterday.

And yes, this is some ****house attorney's mostest wet dream. Someone will have a field day here.

OTOH, these two crispy critter imbeciles should be charged posthumously with grave danger to the public and whatever else can be scraped up. The car didn't do this on its own, they conspired to trick it. Oops, too smart by half.
 

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If no weight is detected on the steering wheel, the car sends the driver an alert reminding them of the rule, but it doesn't necessarily bring it to a stop - at least not right away.
Oh, it stopped right away.
 

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Shark attorneys smell blood in Ze proverbial water
Living in $2 mil homes, I bet they can afford to hire some shark attorneys, too. Of course, ambulance chasers (in this case, hearse chasers) just need a percentage of the final take with no need for money up front.
 

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Shark attorneys smell blood in Ze proverbial water
Do you think some Make Planet Earff Green Again goodie-two-shoes will also sue for all the pollution and environmental damage done?
 

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Living in $2 mil homes, I bet they can afford to hire some shark attorneys, too. Of course, ambulance chasers (in this case, hearse chasers) just need a percentage of the final take with no need for money up front.
Ha..."Hearse chasers", buddy aint nothing left of them to put in a hearse, they need to just go ahead, scoop up the leftovers and chuck that in a "Darwin Award" trophy...sit 'em on the fireplace next to the TV
 

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Time for some regulators to have a say in how these systems are implemented.
You can't regulate stupid.

All of these cases are people going out of their way to circumvent safeguards (sticking water bottles or oranges in the steering wheel is not something people do by accident). There's very little any system can do to prevent that level of obstinate stupidity.
 
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You can't regulate stupid.

All of these cases are people going out of their way to circumvent safeguards (sticking water bottles or oranges in the steering wheel is not something people do by accident). There's very little any system can do to prevent that level of obstinate stupidity.
Sure you can, science and engineering has been correcting Human stupidity for centuries.
 

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I think it was mentioned in the other thread but shouldnt the car also detect someone in the drivers seat as well?

I suppose you could put a large item on the seat to fool the sensors also but at what point does someone with that level of stupid come into play ?


Clearly this guy took his mate for a spin and said "here i'll show you how autopilot works"

Climbed into the backseat and there you go

Darwin award winners both or them but Tesla should (need) to find a way to prevent that level of stupid

I mean we have labels on coffee cups telling us that "coffee may be hot" now because of idiots so.......
 

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Sure you can, science and engineering has been correcting Human stupidity for centuries.
Not really. I'm not aware of any product that can't be misused with sufficient stupidity and determination. The only thing that comes from trying to make things idiot-proof through regulation is over-regulation and the loss of opportunities/benefits for people who are willing to use things responsibly.
 

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I think it was mentioned in the other thread but shouldnt the car also detect someone in the drivers seat as well?

I suppose you could put a large item on the seat to fool the sensors also but at what point does someone with that level of stupid come into play ?


Clearly this guy took his mate for a spin and said "here i'll show you how autopilot works"

Climbed into the backseat and there you go

Darwin award winners both or them but Tesla should (need) to find a way to prevent that level of stupid

I mean we have labels on coffee cups telling us that "coffee may be hot" now because of idiots so.......
GM and OTHER brands use IR camera's to monitor the drivers eyes and I am pretty sure they do NOT "see" the eyeballs when they are in the back seat
watch GM supercruise youtube vids and you will see 2 flashing lights ontop the steering column those are the IR emitters (video cam "sees" IR even when your EYE can NOT)
 

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You can be sitting in the drivers seat, with both hands on the wheel, while not paying any attention to the actual driving. Tesla's "safety" protocols were chosen poorly.
 

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You can be sitting in the drivers seat, with both hands on the wheel, while not paying any attention to the actual driving. Tesla's "safety" protocols were chosen poorly.
Roger that. As I've mentioned a few times, here locally I'd say about fitty percent of the cars are driverless much of the time. It takes one to two hands to message your so cool BFF, OMG! LOL!! BFF!!! And about 60% do not use those stupid pesky turn signals.
 
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