[ExI] Tesla autopilot

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 19 21:11:21 UTC 2022

On Jan 19, 2022, at 4:50 AM, spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Behalf Of Dan TheBookMan via extropy-chat
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Tesla autopilot
>> On Jan 18, 2022, at 6:02 PM, spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> ...> BillK, it's a critical question: does the car have a steering wheel or 
>> does it not?  In the USA, it is aaaaalll about liability.  If the car 
>> has a steering wheel and the autopilot screws up, the driver is 
>> liable.  If no steering wheel, the company is at fault.
>> I have half a mind to wait until the no-steering-wheel car is 
>> available, drive my own damn self until then.
>> ...I thought — and I confess I might not be as apprised of this issue as others here — that the legal liability issues haven’t been settled. I thought the feds were still gathering data, lawsuits are still in progress, and various states (in the US) have started to write some laws on this but it’s not anywhere given to a simple rule as you put it above. 
> Regards,
> Dan
> _______________________________________________
> Dan as I understand it, if a car has standard controls, it doesn't matter if it is capable of self-driving, the person behind the wheel is responsible for what the car does.  If it doesn't have a steering wheel, the occupants are the equivalent of passengers.  Any company selling something they claim is mechanically competent to take on the responsibility of moving people is taking the legal liability associated with that awesome responsibility.

Where are you getting this from? Are there laws or legal precedents with ‘self-driving’ vehicles that makes these distinctions? Or do you just believe this because it makes sense to you? 

> Until some Telsa-scale corporation is willing to stand behind one of these rigs, I will not buy.

Well, Tesla has been and is involved in law suits over this now. I don’t think everything has been hammered out. Look at the 02016 Williston, FL case. Two different federal government agencies can up with different conclusions — driver ultimately responsible (NHTSA) vs operational design led to driver ‘overreliance’ on automation (NTSB). I’m no lawyer, but I imagine any decent lawyer can make a case either way — meaning from two different agencies having different takes, one can argue the manufacturer is (mostly if not totally) at fault or that the driver is (mostly if not totally) at fault. AFAIK, the feds in the US are still gathering data, cases are still ongoing, and there’re no uniform rules across the various states much less across the globe.



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