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Tesla Autopilot: Pulmonary Embolism and Passive Income

nicad 16/01/2022 592

In discussions about autonomous vehicles, safety is usually the first consideration. People always fear that self-driving cars produce risks and dangers, otherwise good human drivers can minimize them.

Car accidents, even fatal ones, rarely make the headlines. But when a crash occurs on Tesla Autopilot, then there's a story.

Rolling Rescue

Assisted versus autonomous

Personal transportation

Motoring Money Maker

Rolling Rescue

Joshua Neally of Branson, Missouri was basically rescued by his new Tesla Model X. Neally was driving home when he began experiencing excruciating pain in his chest and abdomen which he learned was an embolism pulmonary. His acute condition rendered him unable to drive, although he had enough means to put his car on autopilot and set the nearest hospital as his destination. He drove the last bit because of the current limitations of technology, but he got there.

The conclusion? Tesla's Autopilot saved his life.

Tesla Autopilot. Photo: Tesla Motors

Assistance or autonomy

Currently, Tesla's Autopilot feature is designed to help drivers, but requires engagement and interaction. Eventually, the cars are expected to drive themselves, but the technology is still in "open beta". This means that it is under development, but still available to the public as it evolves. The autopilot operates using a combination of radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors with digitally controlled brakes and high-precision GPS. The radar and camera point forward and guide the car into the lines of the road, initiating braking and evasive steering when needed.

Tesla puts a lot of emphasis on disclaimers and consistent media relations about how Autopilot is meant to help drivers, not be used as a fully autonomous substitute for driving. They call the technology ADAS or Advanced Driver Assistance System, but emphasize that drivers must interact and ultimately control the vehicle. Fatal accidents happen when people are completely disengaged from the driving process. Tesla also points to the fact that Autopilot crashes occurred at half the rate of human-driven cars compared to one mile per mile.

Is this then a case for fully autonomous driving?

All Tesla models currently sold have Autopilot as an available feature, at $4,000. Drivers are advised to use it only on the highway. There, the system will maintain speed with the flow of traffic, change lanes when the turn signal is activated, monitor traffic and surrounding obstacles, and adjust accordingly.

However, you must periodically press the steering wheel to prove that you are alert.

Tesla Model X. Photo: Tesla Motors

Personal transport

The autopilot is not a full-fledged driver, but it is able to be summoned and can even park itself. This feature allows the owner to use a smartphone app to summon the vehicle. The car then opens and closes the garage door using WiFi and drives to the owner. He can also drop off the owner and go and park himself, opening and closing the garage again. The range is limited now, but it should be extended to the point that a car can be summoned across the land.

Clearly, fatal autopilot crashes will make headlines until this technology is widely adopted and passed. It is not without risk to allow robots, no matter how intelligent, to take over your life. But even at this early stage, statistics show that Tesla's Autopilot is safer than human drivers. It doesn't tire like us mortals, nor is it distracted by sights, smartphones, spilled coffee, or any other driving eventuality.

But until the technology becomes “normal,” it will still scare some.

Motoring Money Maker

As amazing as this technology is, it's just the beginning. Again, this is a beta version. What's really exciting is the potential on the horizon. Elon Musk envisions a point where your car drops you off and then heads to work as an Uber-style vehicle. The car would pick up the tickets, drive them to their destination, and accept payments with its integrated computer system. He could also find charging stations and charge wirelessly before venturing out to make more money. It's not only an exciting way to generate passive income, but on a larger scale, it helps reduce parking hassles while driving emissions-free. Through wireless communication, cars could talk to each other and share a hive mentality. Fleets of cars would then work together to avoid bad roads and traffic jams while collectively learning from each other.

These are just the first steps, and like all technologies, they get better with each iteration and advancement. Some fear the advent of the robotic car, but I sense a new world of clean transportation that's more personalized and agile than anything we've ever seen.

* Jerry Mooney is a professor of languages ​​and communications at the College of Idaho and the author of History Yoghurt & the moon. Follow him on Twitter: @JerryMooney

Photos and video: Tesla Motors

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