What a cool thing for a real car company to do. https://t.co/qbAp3odNZF
— The Fig Economy (@figgityfigs) February 16, 2023
. @Tesla Admits Full-Self Driving May Cause Crashes, Recalls 360,000 Cars https://t.co/W8Wq6tJRZZ
— motortrend (@MotorTrend) February 16, 2023
On the bright side, apparently it’s a software patch that can be done ‘over the air’, so there won’t be an issue with getting all those cars into repair shops. Less bright: It relies on Tesla to do this promptly and correctly, so…
Per Wired, “Tesla’s Recall Targets a ‘Fundamental’ Flaw”:
… Recalls are common in the auto industry and mostly target particular parts or road situations. Tesla’s latest recall is sweeping, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration saying the Full Self-Driving software can break local traffic laws and act in a way the driver doesn’t expect in a grab bag of road situations.
According to the agency’s filing, those include driving through a yellow light on the verge of turning red; not properly stopping at a stop sign; speeding, due to failing to detect a road sign or because the driver has set their car to default to a faster speed; and making unexpected lane changes to move out of turn-only lanes when going straight through an intersection. Drivers will be able to continue to use the feature as Tesla builds a software patch for the defects.
The situations highlighted by the recall appear to be united by a design flaw that some safety experts argue has long been at the heart of Tesla’s driver assistance technology: the notion that drivers can let the software handle the driving—but are also expected to intervene at a moment’s notice when the software needs help.
Humans do not work that way, says Philip Koopman, who studies self-driving car safety as an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University. “That’s a fundamental issue with this technology: You have a short reaction time to avoid these situations, and people aren’t good at that if they’re trained to think that the car does the right thing,” he says. The car is designed to buzz and beep when it determines that the human driver needs to take over…
Tesla’s approach has been unique. Led by CEO Elon Musk, it has bucked government scrutiny, criticized lawmakers, and in some cases built technology faster than regulators could regulate. “This is an interesting exercise in NHTSA figuring out how to use its authority with Tesla,” Koopman says…
My personal experience with the system: https://t.co/ZI0NtamwXv
— Michael Wayland (@MikeWayland) February 16, 2023
Elon Musk said Tesla's AI could 'really crush' Google's reCAPTCHA robot test, just hours before news of a recall involving 362,000 self-driving carshttps://t.co/CHBEtn2o32
— Insider Tech (@TechInsider) February 17, 2023
if they’re just turning it off and that’s it, that should be an atom bomb on tesla’s stock price, but probably won’t, because stocks aren’t real
— GOLIKEHELLMACHINE (@golikehellmachi) February 16, 2023
it was never going to work, the game all along was to get deeded roads, control the charger standard, basically get the government and path dependence to give Tesla enough of a monopoly to take a vig on the entire transportation industry
— jack (@jackalltogether) February 16, 2023
Is this bad? Asking for an insecure billionaire friend
— vocational politics stan account (@Convolutedname) February 16, 2023
*rubbing monkey’s paw* I want bigger engagement numbers https://t.co/4u2LQ96qEm
— kilgore trout, death to putiner (@KT_So_It_Goes) February 16, 2023
Okay, the “monkey’s paw” tweet made me laugh.
If I understand the minds of American Christians correctly, the standard practice is to drive under your own power under normal circumstances, and to shout “Jesus, take the wheel!” when something unexpected and dangerous happens.
Since the Tesla AI is programmed to do the exact opposite, namely to drive the car under normal conditions, then hand it over to you when something is about to kill you, doesn’t it follow that Tesla is anti-Christian?
just wanted to say “thank you” to whomever suggested the James Fell “On This Day In History, SHIT WENT DOWN” books, I got them as a b-day gift and thus far, they are totally fucking awesome. A window into the totally fuckery of people as a whole and mostly about how we need to celebrate deeds, not people.
It’s Friday night, who gives a shit about tesla.
Here’s Joe Wilkinson.
Which leaves SpaceX as the only viable company in the portfolio. And that’s because NASA is the prime customer. A government agency that will not tolerate the safety compromises and dangerous shortcuts that are the hallmark of Elmo’s other ventures.
Much of Tesla stock price was due to perceived synergistic effects of the Elmo portfolio. With The Boring Company exposed as a fraud, Twitter sliding into chaos, and Tesla losing much of its shine, there’s only place for the grossly inflated stock to go … the same place as cryptocurrency, just another 21st century bubble.
Odie Hugh Manatee
I’m having fun trying to figure out why I am so popular with stray cats. I think I’m running a home for wayward girls here with three cats hanging out around my garage every night. First a mackerel/white young lady showed up in our neighborhood. She had to be someone’s cat because she loves everyone and is always outside all of the time. I took pity on her when I saw that she was growing (I think) moss between her toes. She kept coming in our garage and eating the food our cats eat while they are out during the day and then hiding in the garage when I close it, so I set up a spot for her to crash at night. She stays away during the day, hovering around the place as two of our other furry guys keep going after her. I am trying to find her a home but not having any luck as everyone I know is loaded with pets. She is very young, I would guess maybe two years old, and very pretty and friendly. I call her Gigi (short for Garage Girl). :)
Then what looks like a really pretty Maine coon cat showed up and it seems that the two know each other. She is coming in the garage to eat but skittish of people. Tonight I came out in the shop and she was up on the perch with Gigi but fled when she saw me. I’m going to set a perch up near Gigi for this girl to try and bring her in at night. I call her Squirrel Girl because of her poofy tail but actually she’s all poofy/floofy. She really should not be outdoors with fur like hers. If she is the cat I am thinking about, I know where she is from and her owners suck ass. She’s about a year and a half old now if it is her.
And now a long-haired black cat ducked into the shop for a meal. Shit, where the Hell are they all coming from? It’s supposed to be 37 tonight and hitting the upper 20’s next week, so I am sure they are looking for a warm place to park.
I need to find homes as keeping them out in the shop isn’t an option, they deserve real homes.
@Odie Hugh Manatee:
I’d be honored, actually.
Between you and me and the lamppost, as the saying ungrammatically goes, I refer to management of all things Musk as The Boering Company.
@Odie Hugh Manatee: How I got started…
Odie Hugh Manatee
I’ve always been a cat magnet. I think all of the ones that I’ve been nice to are telling others where to get a free meal, a cot for the night and a scritch if they deem me worthy. My three guys sit out front and advertise their good life to passing cats…lol
I’ve rehomed five cats over the years, all to homes happy to have them. I’m running out of places to put them!
@Odie Hugh Manatee: We could use another cat since Starscream just died (New Year’s Day) but I think Florida is too far away from us. We are down to four.
For years I have seen your nym here on BJ and I only just got it. Very slow on the uptake
ETA I don’t think another Starscream exists. Friendly, self-confident, outgoing, kind, always cheerful. Does that even sound like a normal cat?
@sab: devastating news about Starscream. So so sorry. 💔
Similar cats do exist — Asimov is one. We adopted him through our vet almost 3 years ago. Schrodinger succumbed to lymphoma and Heisenberg kept walking around the house looking for his brother and breaking my heart so we got him a baby. Even now, if we ask, “Heisenberg, where’s your baby?” he looks around until he sees Asimov.
Manya, on the other hand, has not forgiven me for the interloper. 😂😻😹
@sab: He was a semi-feral cat. Our deal was we only have inside cats and you can count on a dry home and all the food you want. He was fine with that. For years we had his little friends looking in the window to see how he was doing.
@sab: he sounds like one in a million.
@Manyakitty: We only had one cat ( Booboo kitty) when we got Starscream, and she was a hostile little girl. He kept trying to play with her and she was having none of it.
When I first got married she used to hiss at my head while I was sleeping because she was so jealous.
We got Starscream a brother ( Mouf) and those two built a cat empire
ETA Mouf looks just like Cole’s Steve
EETA Starscream and Mouf managed several cats and at one point five big dogs.
@Manyakitty: He was.
There seem to be a lot of Teslas around our area, just east of Seattle. Saw 14 as we were driving 5 miles one way on Tuesday, another 10 (at least one from our immediate neighborhood) yesterday on a 15 mile drive. And we saw 2 or 3 Rivian pickups yesterday; their headlights are what I notice.
I don’t know why, but I started counting Teslas on Tuesday, and it irritates mr opiejeanne. He was the one who always pointed them out to me.
@opiejeanne: NE Ohio has (or used to have) winter, so EVs aren’t as useful. Always need to be plugged in. You cannot even leave your laptop in the car around here. Weather sucks out the battery charge over night.
Presumably you’re already familiar with the Ricola chant from their ads. Now you can complete the game by sing-songing “Ni-ko-la” every time you see a Tesla. Like a modern day version of Punch Bug, sans bruising.
Am I the only one who’s brow furrowed at the description of updating a car’s self driving software by WiFi?
I mean, nothing could ever go wrong with that. /s
@NotMax: Oh, that’s just wrong. Heh.
Now those Rivians, those seem a bit rarer. Brand new EV company, they only make pickups, Seems an odd place to start. The name makes me think of LOTR and elves.
@Viva BrisVegas: Definitely not the only one. They have updated something on their cars that way, at least once before. I don’t think it was as big a deal as the self-driving stuff.
@Viva BrisVegas: I am a luddite, and I want to drive my car not be driven by it.
@sab: We are hitting the teens this coming week, at least one night, but I suspect that these cars are all garaged so they aren’t exposed to the extreme cold when we get it.
Before Covid, one year my sister came for Christmas Eve supper and it started snowing during the meal. It was magical. Everyone went out to play in it before dessert, and my niece noticed a car that had slid into a shallow ditch across from our property, right at the corner. Its back wheels were in the ditch, the car was blocking half the lane at the corner, all the doors were open and all of the lights were on, and it was making that ding-ding-ding noise. No one was around. It was a Tesla.
The next morning it was gone.
Standard practice for software updates on vehicles of recent vintage.
Sound system software update for my ’22 Ford Maverick hybrid released not long ago (have not yet chosen to download it, my home wi-fi signal too far from the driveway) . Tesla, however, IMHO goes way overboard with the frequency and complexity of over the air updates. My layperson’s understanding is that for Teslas, downloading and Installing updates renders the car an inoperable, stationary brick until the process successfully completes.
@sab: This is an area where I am too. I really despise Cruise Control and even though I understand how it works and I have used it, I generally don’t.
One of the reasons I was drawn to the base model Maverick is that it did not come with cruise control. Not even available as an option. For ’23s it’s included on the base model, so lucked out with a first year of production ’22.
@opiejeanne: That is so weird. LOL maybe.
@opiejeanne: Cruise control tricks you into tailgating.
Spirited away by a Chinese balloon.
I’m more interested in knowing when Musk will get his software patch.
@Baud: I am less interested in Musk than just about anything.
@NotMax: I feel better about the world knowing that your mind is out there, thinking.
As if the people of East Palestine, Ohio haven’t gone through enough already!
Reports are that a certain Stable Genius will visit the town this coming Wednesday.
@ColoradoGuy: Oddly, I dealt dealt with a company that also had NASA as the primary customer. Still didn’t keep them from going belly up.
We’ve done it! We’ve perfected artificial stupidity!
Let the chatbot drive the cars and human beings will finally be obsolete!
“I love you, and that’s why I have to kill you.”
@opiejeanne: Rivian will likely stick to light trucks and pass on the passenger car market. They hope to produce a lot of delivery vans for outfits like UPS and Amazon, in addition to pickup trucks for individuals. I expect companies like electrical contractors with small truck fleets will be buying electric vans including Rivians.
Commercial operators like EVs because of their lower projected lifecycle cost. That’s the big attraction for school districts too, although the cleaner air kids will breath is another important factor.
I see humans do all that in a regular basis. At least they are liable for any accidents they cause. I hope “We are just like humans” isn’t their justification for shitty self-driving software.
@Geminid: If I may interject here, they did vote for the Orange guy. They also voted for Bill Johnson twice. They voted that they don’t believe in government. So now they have no government oversight. So sad. Let them stew in their own juices. And I am saying that as an Ohioan with toxic trains running through my neighborhood also. These guys did everything they could to stop oversight at the state and federal level. And now they have no oversight and they are screwed. Boo hoo.
ETA Also voted twice for DeWine and Ohio’s joke of a state EPA. This is what they wanted and this is what they have. Boo hoo.
@Viva BrisVegas: I couldn’t make it past that Wired headline. (Me: I’m hip!)
I might add, that DC-area snowstorm last year highlighted another problem with EVs in cold weather: you get stranded, you could freeze unless you’ve packed some blankets or a good sleeping bag.
@Central Planning: maybe it’s not unintentional, maybe they just asked the AI to “set self driving like a asshole would drive”
@ColoradoGuy: Oh my god, do not fall for that myth. NASA certainly has compromised on safety historically. And covered it up until it couldn’t. Sorry, but I had my illusions ripped away by Challenger and my father explaining his memories of working at The Cape during the Apollo fire. He said the workers were hearing tapes of the astronauts screams as they died in the fire for weeks while the management was saying it was instantaneous to the public, so when the same thing happened with Challenger, he was not surprised. Later when I was in business school they thought the Challenger disaster as an example of how pressure for success and speed could lead a company into terrible results. NASA learned early on that being too honest with the public got bad results. A lot of fools in Congress and the public didn’t really understand nuanced scientific answers and everything was incomprehensibly expensive, so NASA really manages everything they say. Senator Proxmire for example (but there have been many others) really was an idiot, however NASA itself has been callous about danger from the start.
They have not been shown to be reckless lately, that is all, and possibly the kind of pressure the public is putting on them recently has not been as intense and as likely to cause them to make those choices? The space race really put a lot of world attention and national military implications onto NASA. Some of that may have relaxed, but funding battles are always a real problem and any problem will be hidden, guarantee it. That kind of applies to all federal agencies by the way.
@prostratedragon: The same is true of gasoline-powered cars. You need survival gear to survive caught for a long period in a snowstorm. But given the same remaining range of stored energy on board, I suspect the EV will keep you warmer longer and won’t kill you with CO.
@sab: ‘morning! I wanted to thank you for the nice thing you said about my varied and checkered job history (can’t call it a career 😆). You can cram a lot of different gigs into a 54 year span, especially if you have a touch of ADD and a scanner personality.
@Abnormal Hiker: True about the gas (CO), although with a working catalytic converter it’d be hard. But people really did get stranded in a fairly short time; personal anecdote.
One of the news item thingies I read on my phone (perhaps Electrek) mentioned that preliminary studies in California are showing that even at just about a 2% market penetration, EV adoption is already seeing improving health metrics (e.g., asthma ER visits being down more than 15%). It’s lumpy: the rich spots, where there are more EVs, have improved more than the poor spots, where there are fewer EVs. Which of course means that the well-off, who need it the least, are seeing the biggest gains right now. But it’s still noticeable, even at tiny adoption rates.
I like to drive, and one of the things I like about driving is I don’t have to do anything else at the same time. Since I don’t believe people can actually “multitask” without doing a poor job of the 15 things they’re trying to do at once, I appreciate the opportunity to do just one thing at a time well– I’m driving. I don’t talk on the phone, or text, or check emails, or play video games. I just drive. That way if I have to avoid an accident I’ll be able to react in time. None of these people can go from “napping” or “playing video games” to “avoiding accident”, in (split) seconds. Because they want to delude themselves that they can doesn’t mean regulators have to share in their delusion.
@sab: Sounds like a normal Maine Coon to me! (But was Starscream a MC?). Our dear departed Baxter, who looked like Maine Coon but tiny, fit that description exactly. And I’m sorry for your loss.
@NotMax: Ever since I read a bio of Nikola Tesla, I have been even more irritated by the company. Musk doesn’t deserve to be associated with the man in any way.
I think Tesla is a bubble, but tweeting a picture of a one-day decline in stock price is a bit silly. The stock was at $100 at the start of the year so a “crash” to $211 is not particularly convincing that their comeuppance is finally here.
@opiejeanne: Also many, many delivery vans. They’re owned by Amazon, and making the next generation of Amazon’s delivery fleet.
@Kay: This is clearly the main reason why self-driving cars are so hard: you can’t do it safely if the system is only at 99.9%. It has to be so good that it’s reasonable for the human NEVER to take over, because human beings simply don’t work as a split-second failsafe like that–especially if it’s not their full-time job to do so. And that last 0.1% is murder to get.
Also, people will have far higher safety standards for an automated system where they don’t have control than for a manual system in which they have at least an illusion of control. People can rail all they want about how it’s irrational, but that’s the way it is and I’m not sure it’s even entirely irrational, taken as broadly as possible. People don’t want to cede control.
@Emmyelle: A family member has one of Elon’s cars back from when it wasn’t clear he was fascist-curious. Indeed, the self-drive feature can be set to “aggressive” or something similar.
I’m sure all necessary precautions will be taken so this doesn’t happen while the car is driving down an expressway.
I’m less sure Musk would never use this to brick every Tesla in the country in a fit of pique.
@Kay: …though, speaking personally, I don’t like to drive, and part of the reason is that for me, the paradigmatic driving experience is creeping through a Boston traffic jam for an hour plus. It’s this extended period of hypervigilance under mortal threat which is also excruciatingly boring. You can play music but that’s small compensation; I’d even rather be working out at the gym or something.
So self-driving cars do seem like a wonderful idea but not particularly more wonderful than having good public transit. My current least-worst work commute is mostly riding a coach bus into the South Station depot. It’s the same traffic jam but at least I’m not the one who has to deal with it directly. I’d ride the commuter rail if the system weren’t fatally malformed such that it’s actually worse than that bus.
I am another driver who doesn’t use cruise control anymore. I used it all the time when I was younger but now it feels to me like the speed is too consistent, not taking into account hills and curves. Or maybe it’s the same and it just feels different to me now.
But even the driver-assist safety features in newer cars have problems occasionally. Once my Honda stopped dead in an intersection when it thought a person in a wheel chair approaching the crosswalk was a small vehicle about to crash into my car. I was extremely lucky that there were no cars behind me in the intersection because they most certainly would have rear-ended me when my car suddenly stopped.
I mostly like the driver assist features but that experience has made me more hesitant. And the lane assist is like a bad scold all the time. I keep wanting to tell it, “No, I’m not wrong, you’re wrong! The road curves, can’t you see that?!” I keep it on but I keep thinking I should probably turn that off. Sigh.
Odie Hugh Manatee
I live in Brookings, Oregon! Thank Dog it’s not Florida (Sorry Betty C!)… :) I’m sorry to hear about your kitty, I love the little ones and it’s sad when that time comes.
Have you tried a car with adaptive cruise control? MUCH more pleasurably usable for the driver than the older version. With adaptive, if you have it set to 70mph but begin approaching a car in your lane ahead of you only going 67, will adjust your car’s speed to maintain a set number of car-lengths behind the car in front of you, matching its speed, until either you decide to pass it or it turns off, in which case adapive cruise returns you smoothly to cruising 70. You are free to override the adaptive cruise control simply by pressing the accelerator and go faster or closer than it’s set to – the big advantage is that it takes the tediousness out of trying to use cruise control in freeway driving where you’re encountering cars from behind going at a different, slower pace than you – you don’t have to repeatedly disengage and re-engage/re-set it to cope.
The thing is, it’s not really that bad, and when you consider that the stock was around 100 a month ago, I don’t think they have a whole lot to worry about. I’m not a Rothchild, so perhaps it will nosedive.
Maybe we can turn stories like this into a PSA to stop people from tailgating.
Look at that weird picture of ElonGated MuskRat!
Not only is he just weird-looking now, probably from some weird supplement he’s taking, but more importantly, his suit is weird.
It’s a weird style, and it doesn’t even fit him, — and it’s not even pressed!
Billions upon billions in riches, and he shows up at an event where he’s the guy with the mic— dressed like this?!?
@cmoren: I do think adaptive cruise control is a big, big improvement, and I actually use it in situations where I wouldn’t have used cruise control before–if I remember that I can.
What I am not convinced about the value of is automated steering assistance, which uses cameras that sense road markings to adjust the steering wheel’s neutral point to follow the road.
Two reasons. First, I live in Massachusetts where the weather endeavors to scrub all the markings off the road every winter, and it just doesn’t work very well here.
Second, the manufacturers of my car know full well that if I were to actually trust their invention, I might take my hands off the wheel in the style of a naive Tesla driver and that would be very bad. So they have a safety protocol in there that fleeps at me if it thinks I’ve taken my hands off the wheel. But the way it detects that isn’t to detect whether I’m actually holding the wheel; it’s to detect whether I’m giving it mechanical input beyond what the automated system is doing. So, effectively, to convince it I’m paying attention, I have to fight it a little. So what’s the point? Probably it should just trust me to steer.
Tesla stock has ranged from 102 to 395 over the past 12 months. It’s currently at 208 after a mini rally. Nearly everyone who bought in 2022 though is still underwater with a loss. Where it goes ultimately depends on whether it can be acquired for a premium or instead loses to the competition which would crater the stock. Next year or two will tell the tale.
@Betsy: I don’t want to be lookist, but that photo struck me too. Some of how Elon achieved coolness is he used to be young and not weird looking. In our ageist culture, he’s running out of “young” and is looking more and more like an alien supervillan, with a strong overlay of “putz”. His cool factor is waning.
Adaptive cruise control tries to maintain a constant distance from the car in front. It slows down, you slow down. It speeds back up, you speed back up but only to the speed you have set. I like it since I hate crowding the car in front.
The problem I’ve run into is when the car in front slows down gradually. I slow too, but smoothly and unnoticed unless I am actively watching the speedo. I realize we are going slow when everyone starts passing us (yes I try to drive in the right lane) and I’m boxed in behind this car which is now well below the speed limit.
My older Prius seemed to trigger a lot of drivers. I like to set the cruise and maintain a constant speed. I’ll come up on a vehicle driving below the speed limit and pass them. Often the other car would decide to speed up and get back in front of my Prius. Now I didn’t change speed, but being passed by a Prius made them decide to change their speed by a considerable factor.
Sister Golden Bear
I do increase the following distance setting, since I know my reaction time will be a tad slower.
But adaptive cruise control is a godsend in stop-and-go traffic on the freeway, where speeds are low anyway.
It’s also really helpful for long-distance driving on not-crowded freeways, saying taking the 5 between the Bay Area and LA. Having the speed automatically adjust for traffic is a vast improvement.
On other roads, it can be less predictable — in particular my Tesla 3 can trigger unexpected braking for phantom threads on curvy roads, probably because it misinterpretes where on-coming traffic is going. So I generally don’t use it elsewhere.
And — agree about looksism. But I don’t think it’s lookist to comment on the clothing choices and grooming standards of the richest dumbass on earth at an event where he was in front of an audience, deliberately. He certainly has the capacity to do whatever he needed to do to dress reasonably well.
As for his personal appearance, he’s never been what I’d call good-looking, but of course that’s irrelevant.
That’swhy I tried to focus on his weird choices, not his inborn characteristics.
Looks like some weird “wellness” quackery intervention has been taking place. I’m fine calling that out!
Did I really read “full self-driving BETA software”?
At the very least anyone using a not-really-ready-for-full-release version of any complex software should really know better than to bet their life on it. We called it beta testing because the real world of users could find more errors than any team of software developers ever dreamed of. At least the people using it had to know what they were getting was buggy. Was that true of the people who paid extra for the full self driving option?
I very much appreciate all the help from my driver assist features, but I am also aware of when they do not process what is happening correctly. A car moving slowly into a turning lane can cause the car to slow unnecessarily. A car turning without a turning lane may make it slam on the brakes, even though I know they will complete the turn long before my car gets there. And sharp curves will make the adaptive cruise control lose sight of the car in front of me causing a speed-up and slow-down for every curve in the road. I don’t have a problem allowing a lot more distance than necessary, when I can. When I can’t, I can turn off the “assistance” and wait until the conditions are what it can deal with really well. In other words, I do some of the driving all by myself, and use the features when I find them useful.
@VOR: It’s interesting, I drive a hybrid car but it looks exactly like the non-hybrid version of the same car unless you’re close enough to read the nameplate (or you hear it making its Jetsons noise on electric, but that is mostly noticeable if you’re on foot). So I don’t think I get the tribal jerk reactions that Priuses do.
@Splitting Image: I think we can intuit from the results of Tesla’s self-driving results, Tesla is anti-everything-that-inhabits-road-space.
Around here in SoCal the number of top end pickups that never carry anything, that are driven to work rather than driven for work is a rather large percentage of the driving population, especially considering how much a full sized PU costs and costs to run. Sure they get better mileage than they used to, somewhere around 15mpg, which is a pretty good percentage higher than they used to at 11-12mpg. But then gas is $4-$4.50/gal so about $.20-.25/mile. Diesel is about a dollar/gal more. Not sure how well they do, mileage wise, when jacked up 10-12 inches with huge off road tires. Which is seemingly about half of them…..
@Betsy: his current hair ain’t his own.
@brantl: It behaves a lot like the sociopath that brought it in to the world.
@Ruckus: I usually get gas at BJ’s. I think that the BJ’s gas pump customer profile is even more tilted to monstro-vehicles than the general population, and even if it’s a blue neighborhood, New England weather does motivate people to buy big SUVs, rationally or no. So it’s always a weird experience to go there and be surrounded almost 100% by these gigantic pickups and mega-SUVs, all of which have huge gas tanks that take a long time to fill.
It often becomes a traffic jam to get in, because the vehicles are so physically big that it’s easy for the lines for the nearer pumps to block passage to the further ones when there are only a few trucks waiting. I suppose it might sometimes be worth my while to take a hit on price and go to places where it’s faster to get in and out. Since I’m literally getting 3 times the fuel mileage of these people, the price differential matters less to me.
@Ruckus: Definitely time for more articles about their economic stress.
with a strong overlay of “putz”.
I don’t think that’s an overlay. I think it’s pure putz, the most unwholesome kind of putz. And he doesn’t just own that putz, he broadcasts it, seems proud of it. Of course I could be misinterpreting his putzness as his/a self desired quality and it is just who and what he is at his very base.
Vice signaling is a real thing.
That’s nice. A software patch in order to (allegedly) prevent these death machines from killing people. I am an old geezer who worked in I.T. for forty years. It was well known from bitter experience that every software fix had a significant likelihood of causing new problems that could be more serious than the problems that are intended to be fixed. That being case, the edict from management was always to thoroughly test a fix in conditions as close as possible to the real system, before implementing that fix in production — and the second edict was to always be prepared to back out the fix from production if the fix screws things up in spite of the testing. Simple, clear edicts, with violations punishable by flogging (or firing). Am I confident that Tesla has done this kind of testing? Well, no I’m not — because, after all, Tesla obviously failed to thoroughly test the software in the first place. In an alternate universe in which we had meaningful safety regulations, Tesla would be forced to recall ALL of their death machines and forced to permanently disable their automation until such time in the future that they can prove that the damn thing works. That’s what would happen in an alternate universe.
@sab: Not with the distancing radar that they have now. Just bought a used Honda 2020 Fit, if you’re tail-gating, you aren’t on cruise.
@Tony G: I’ve got a friend who works on medical technology. His team is doing a robotic prosthetic arm. He describes to me how rigorous the testing is to pass the FDA requirements to prove that the arm will not accidentally cause harm to others.
And I’ll bet anything the testing for that one arm, which will help a relative handful of people, is about 60 times more rigorous than what the same government requires to allow Mrs. CatTurd2 to place millions of high-speed rolling battery rams on any street in America.
If people don’t want to drive they should take a taxi, bus or train. If I’m behind the wheel my hands are going to be on it. Because whether its AI driving or me, if the car hits, hurts or kills someone I’m going to be just as liable and feel just as guilty for the rest of my life.
Here in SoCal the current price is just over $4/gal at the cheap places – $4.15 at the cheapest place near me currently and up to $4.89 is the highest on gasbuddy. That’s for regular. Premium is $5.27 at the same station as the $4.89 regular. They sell a lot of gas here in SoCal because everyone seemingly has to drive 25-30K miles a year. And of course a lot of them drive vehicles that get maybe 15 mpg. I don’t drive mine a lot and I get 30 around town and can get over 40 on long distance. It’s still expensive. We have an actually pretty good rapid transit system here, I can take an all electric train over 50 miles at a senior’s cost of $.30 off peak time, $.85 peak time. And the last mile is by bus, all very clean, modern buses. Soon I will be able to ride all the way across town to the VA hospital where I go with only one train/subway change and end up in the front yard of the hospital. Will cut out nearly 1/2 hr of current travel time.
@moonbat: I agree that we all have the bottom-line responsibility for accidents cars in our charge cause. But there ought to also be corporate responsibility for what is represented as safe and reliable by the manufacturers. We just cannot have a society where people use a product as marketed, but then must assume responsibility for failures of that product, simply because they believed the marketing.
@different-church-lady: Yes, I’m sure that that is true about the rigorous testing — and rightly so. I spent most of my “career” in a hospital I.T. department (though not directly involved with clinical systems) and the necessity for testing and (if necessary) fallback was constantly drummed into our heads. The testing that you describe is probably due to the existence of the FDA and class-action lawsuits — two phenomena that the right-wing hates. We’re fortunate that the FDA was created when it was (about 116 years ago). It never would have been created in the post-Reagan anti-regulatory era. We really need something like a new FDA-like agency to regulate the new phenomenon of Artificial Intelligence (or Artificial Stupidity) in many products (not only in vehicles) — an agency with the power to shut down an AI-enabled product if it is not demonstrated to be safe. Not likely to happen though; too much money legally bribing legislators.
Believe it or not, SpaceX has big potential exposure under the Endangered Species Act. Its Boca Chica facility is ruining the habitat of the USA’s sole breeding population of ocelots.
Texas is even worse.
J R in WV
Kind of, yet our Mazda SUV has a gadget where you can tell the car how close to get before braking on cruise. Close, not-so-close, not-close-at-all… etc. I’m not crazy about most of the “safety” features on the ’19 Mazda, though.
@Burnspbesq: A lot of those contraptions in New Jersey also — a state that is mostly suburbs and shopping malls. It illustrates the stupidity of advertising and the greater stupidity of people who allow themselves to be manipulated by the advertising. “Buy one of these oversize pickup trucks and you can pretend to be a REAL MAN.”