[ExI] Why Tesla Can Program Its Cars to Break Road Safety Laws

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Jan 25 15:52:22 UTC 2022

On Tue, 25 Jan 2022 at 15:29, Dave S via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> https://usa.streetsblog.org/2022/01/12/why-tesla-can-program-its-cars-to-break-road-safety-laws
> Thousands of Teslas are now being equipped with a feature that prompts the car to break common traffic laws — and the revelation is prompting some advocates to question the safety benefits of automated vehicle technology when unsafe human drivers are allowed to program it to do things that endanger other road users.
> In an October 2021 update its deceptively named “Full Self Driving Mode” beta software, the controversial Texas automaker introduced a new feature that allows drivers to pick one of three custom driving “profiles” — “chill,” “average,” and “assertive” — which moderates how aggressively the vehicle applies many of its automated safety features on U.S. roads.
> The rollout went largely unnoticed by street safety advocates until a Jan. 9 article in The Verge, when journalist Emma Roth revealed that putting a Tesla in “assertive” mode will effectively direct the car to tailgate other motorists, perform unsafe passing maneuvers, and roll through certain stops (“average” mode isn’t much safer). All those behaviors are illegal in most U.S. states, and experts say there’s no reason why Tesla shouldn’t be required to program its vehicles to follow the local rules of the road, even when drivers travel between jurisdictions with varying safety standards.
> “Basically, Tesla is programming its cars to break laws,” said Phil Koopman, an expert in autonomous vehicle technology and associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University. “Even if [those laws] vary from state to state and city to city, these cars knows where they are, and the local laws are clearly published. If you want to build an AV that drives in more than one jurisdiction and you want it to follow the rules, there’s no reason you can’t program it up to do that. It sounds like a lot of work, but this is a trillion-dollar industry we’re talking about.”
> _______________________________________________

Well, I don't know what USA drivers are like, but in the UK if you
drive within the speed limits you will rapidly get a queue of cars
tail-gating you and trying to kill themselves by desperate overtaking.
The only time keeping to the speed limit is expected is when slowing
down for speed cameras or in a queue behind a police patrol car full
of laughing policemen.


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