Tesla owners are using steering-wheel weights to drive hands-free – The Washington Post https://t.co/ThQhtNmGk6
— macewan ? (@macewan) July 7, 2023
As if you weren’t already… Per the Washington Post, “Tesla owners are using steering-wheel weights to drive hands-free” [Unpaywalled AppleNews link]:
SAN FRANCISCO — The devices are marketed for a variety of innocuous uses — a cellphone holder, for instance, or a safety hammer. One promises to relieve shoulder pain. Others ditch the pretext and list simply as “wheel weights” or “wheel knobs.”
Steering wheel weights have become a popular commodity as Tesla has expanded its “Full Self-Driving” technology from around 12,000 vehicles to more than 400,000 over the past year. While the electric car manufacturer has adopted measures to discourage their use, the devices have been involved in at least two recent traffic incidents.
In March, a Tesla plowed without slowing into a teenager getting off a school bus in North Carolina, police said, causing severe injuries. And in December, a driver in Germany fell asleep at the wheel while a Tesla in Autopilot led police on a chase at speeds reaching nearly 70 mph, Bavarian authorities said.
Tesla requires drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel while using both of its driver-assistance systems — Autopilot, which can maneuver the cars from highway on-ramp to off-ramp, and Full Self-Driving, which can navigate city and residential streets without the driver’s physical input — and the systems are designed to issue periodic reminders. By replicating the pressure of a driver’s hands, the wheel weights silence the nagging.
“Elon Musk’s saying it’s supposed to drive itself. That’s what they’re going to hear,” said Carnegie Mellon University professor Philip Koopman, who has been studying autonomous vehicle safety for 25 years. “How do you think they’re going to behave?”
As recently as Monday, sellers were marketing the devices widely on online shopping sites, including Alibaba’s AliExpress and Amazon, where they could be obtained in as little as a day. Wheel weights recently ranked as the top two releases in Amazon’s “automotive steering wheels” category. After The Washington Post flagged them, Amazon and Alibaba said they removed the listings, citing safety issues and violations of their policies…
The weights are not illegal, although federal regulators have cracked down on one such device, deeming it “unsafe.”…
Back when automobiles were first conquering American roads, there were countless tales of impaired / uncertain carriage drivers suffering because they could no longer count on their horse(s) to get the conveyance back to the home stable without human assistance. It’s been more than a century, but apparently there’s some kind of persistent folk memory that wants ‘unsupervised mode’ to work for them. And they bitterly resent anyone who disagrees with them!
. @Twitter has banned our recent FSD Beta video from being a paid Promoted tweet!
Free speech absolutist I think not?
Watch what Elon does not want you to see here: https://t.co/MpMVNTIHa7
It goes through “road closed” signs, hits a kid w dog then does a hit and run on Beta! pic.twitter.com/bsE9nLxLO4
— Aiaddict (@Aiaddict1) July 8, 2023
For posting independent YouTube content related to FSD Beta where my personal car crashed into a Bollard in Downtown San Jose (it went viral in Feb 2022) — not joking
— Aiaddict (@Aiaddict1) July 8, 2023
Ah yes, I remember! Sucks that happened. I don’t think that bodes well for your cause though. Motives have a way of clouding judgement for creators and viewers ?????. Even if you’re on to something, getting fired in relation to FSD takes all credibility. Dan has the same problem!
— Me Myself and I (@newberry94005) July 8, 2023