US NTSB Sep 12 hearing: Probable cause of a crash using the semi-autonomous driving -

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Old 08-24-2017, 03:45 AM
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US NTSB Sep 12 hearing: Probable cause of a crash using the semi-autonomous driving

... August 23, 2017 at 5:34 pm by Pete Bigelow

It has also sparked discussion about how customers should be educated on the capabilities and limitations of semi-autonomous features.

The board released some findings from its investigation in June, and the results of the upcoming decision and board discussion will likely push both Tesla and the auto industry at large to give further consideration to the ways that advanced driver-assist features are marketed and introduced to consumers.

Members of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will meet next month to determine the probable cause of a fatal car crash in 2016 that involved the semi-autonomous Autopilot feature in a Tesla Model S. Following an investigation that has lasted more than a year, NTSB officials said Tuesday that the five-member board will meet on Sept. 12 and is scheduled to decide on the probable cause of the high-profile collision.

NTSB Will Focus on Tesla Autopilot Crash Next Month | News | Car and Driver | Car and Driver Blog
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:18 AM
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..... News provided by Consumer Watchdog Sep 12, 2017, 15:50 ET

NTSB Finding That Tesla's Autopilot Played Key Role in Deadly Florida Crash Shows Need for Enforceable Federal Safety Standards

NHTSA Asleep at the Wheel, Consumer Watchdog Says

"NHTSA should have been a partner with the NTSB in this investigation, but they were not," said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project Director. "Instead they're asleep at the wheel and didn't even bother to address Level 2 technologies in their new voluntary guidance."

NTSB chair Robert Sumwalt said the Tesla's "operational limitations played a major role in this collision." The board unanimously recommended that automakers be required to limit the use of partially self-driving technology by ensuring that drivers are actively engaged in driving at all times. The board concluded that Tesla's method of making sure the driver's hands are periodically on the wheel is not enough. A possible solution could be a camera that tracks eye movement.

"Tesla CEO Elon Musk played an active role in leading drivers to believe Autopilot was more capable of self-driving than was the case," said Simpson. "There were widely viewed videos of both him and his wife behind the wheel and waving their arms, clearly leaving the impression the car did everything. He should be held accountable for his deadly hype."

Consumer Watchdog has produced a video showing how Tesla and Musk have irresponsibly hyped their vehicles' capabilities, which has received significant attention online. View Consumer Watchdog's video here:

NTSB Finding That Tesla?s Autopilot Played Key Role in Deadly Florida Crash Shows Need for

Operational design was a problem

Brown was driving a 2015 Model S, using the original Mobileye-sourced hardware and running Tesla's Firmware 7.1. Although that system works like most other adaptive cruise control and lane keeping "Level 2" semi-autonomous driving systems offered by other OEMs, Tesla's Autopilot differs in that it allowed the driver to go much, much longer without interacting with the car. The industry standard allows for just 15 seconds before it prompts the driver to interact with the vehicle—fail to do so and the car stops controlling the brakes, accelerator, and steering. Autopilot, on the other hand, allows for several minutes to pass between prompting the driver, and NTSB's data reconstruction showed there was no driver interaction for two minutes leading up to the crash. (Driver interaction in this case is measured by a steering wheel torque sensor.)

Level 2 systems like Autopilot are not meant to replace a human driver; although they will handle the steering and acceleration and braking of the vehicle, the human driver is responsible for situational awareness at all times. Since the fatal crash, Tesla has modified Autopilot. The relationship with Mobileye broke down, and Tesla is now developing its own sensor suite (HW2) and software (AP2), which has yet to reach the same level of functionality as its earlier cars.
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