Empty statement of condolences from +Elon Musk to family of Joshua D. Brown 2 months after "Autopilot" car crash kills Joshua

Brown was an enthusiastic booster of his 2015 Tesla Model S and in April credited its sophisticated Autopilot system for avoiding a crash when a commercial truck swerved into his lane on an interstate. [ here... https://youtu.be/9I5rraWJq6E ] He published a video of the incident online. "Hands down the best car I have ever owned and use it to its full extent," Brown wrote.

Brown, of Canton, Ohio, died in the accident May 7 in Williston, Florida, when his car's cameras failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky and didn't automatically activate its brakes, crashed into the trailer which completely severed the top half of the car from the vehicle.

NHTSA announced 23rd of June that it has launched an investigation into the very first fatality in a wreck involving a car in self-driving mode. The government said it is investigating the design and performance of the system aboard the Tesla Model S sedan.

On the heals of this investigation, Mr Musk tweets his condolences to the family, not in the week of May that Mr Brown died, but on June 30th, and then rushes to make a blog statement to the family [ here... https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tragic-loss ] without so much as mentioning the man's name. Probably because Mr Musk didn't know about the death or the man's name (still) on June 30th when he was advised to rush to a statement for the press because the government was now investigating.

What I find amusing is that in the blog post there is a statement that says that Autopilot 'is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times,' and that 'you need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle' while using it and in the AP news article this statement: the system is an "assist feature" that requires a driver to keep both hands on the wheel at all times and even more astonishing and less contradictory is this statement by Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book: Tesla will have to repair the damage in two ways. First, the company needs to make sure its customers understand that autopilot is meant to assist drivers, not to fully take over for them. Second, the company should update the cars' software so autopilot will turn off if it senses the driver's hands aren't on the wheel for a certain period of time

I mean, seriously? Not withstanding the contradiction that the "Autopilot" requires you to maintain complete control of the vehicle at any given moment while it is on, but the insanely stupid comment at the end, turn off the autopilot if the hands are not detected on the wheel after a certain period of time? so basically the car is not driven by anyone at that point, not the autopilot and apparently not the driver if his hands are not on the wheel. Just freakin WOW at that statement.

Then after thinking of how stupid that was, I realized, what if someone fainted, had a heart attack, had a seizure of some kind, or just died and their hands fell off the wheel, wouldnt you want an autopilot system to come on or be on to detect this and begin slowing the car down, place the hazard flashers on, and move the car to the side of the road and stop? You know, to alert others that something is wrong, or you know, to keep it from being smashed into, sitting stopped on the roadway, you know, to keep the driverless car from causing any other injury or damage by continuing to drive until its out of gas.

Then I wondered if you are to keep your hands on the wheel at all times to keep the autopilot activated, and the autopilot suddenly jerks to avoid a vehicle about to crash into you, that would snap your wrists. Putting your hands on any mechnical device that is controlled by motors, servos, etc, is a HUGELY bad idea.

What is your opinion of Elon Musk, or Karl Brauer, or the idea of shutting off an autopilot after detecting no hands on the wheel?
Shared publiclyView activity