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British Tesla driver banned after caught in the passenger seat while Autopilot was engaged

British Tesla driver banned after caught in the passenger seat while Autopilot was engaged | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

A British driver has pled guilty to dangerous driving after a fellow driver took video of him sitting in the passenger seat, while his Tesla S 60 drove on its own with Autopilot, according to BBC News (via Jalopnik).

Bhavesh Patel was spotted by a fellow driver sitting in the passenger seat while his Autopilot was engaged on the M1 near Hemel Hempstead on May 21st, 2017. The Hertfordshire Police note that the car was set to drive at 40 MPH, and that Patel had left the steering wheel and controls unattended, and that there was heavy traffic on the road at the time of the incident.

Patel has pled guilty to the offense, and has been banned from driving for 18 months, and will be required to pay a £1,800 fine, carry out 10 days rehabilitation, and to perform 100 hours of community service. Hertfordshire Police officers testified at his court hearing that he said that what he did was “silly,” but pointed to his vehicle’s “amazing” features when he was interviewed. He reportedly had owned the car for five months at the time of the incident.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Such initially funny then scary stories will multiply as long as people do not seize what autonomy levels truly mean.

Reminder : level 1 = feet off; level 2 = hands off, level 3 = eyes off, level 4 = mind off, level 5 = driver off.

More and more Tesla drivers are at risk to overconfidently expect level 4 / 5 from what remains a level 3 car.

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Tesla's Autopilot is learning fast: Model S owners are already reporting self-improving

Tesla's Autopilot is learning fast: Model S owners are already reporting self-improving | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

During the press conference for the release of the Autopilot, Tesla CEO Elon Musk referred to each Model S owners as an “expert trainer” – meaning that each driver will train the autonomous features of the system to feed the collective network intelligence of the fleet by simply driving the electric vehicle on Autopilot.


He said that the system should improve every day, but that improvements might only become noticeable every week or so by adding up. Just a few weeks after the release, Model S owners are already taking to the Tesla Motors Club forum to describe how the Autopilot is improving…


A common problem with the early version of the system was that it had a tendency to try to take exits on the highway when it wasn’t supposed to, but after a few tugs on the Autopilot’s leash, trainers have corrected the issue.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

The car is the network.

Model S owners could add ~1 million miles of new data every day, which is helping the company create “high precision maps” according to Elon Musk

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Anonymous People In San Francisco Are Leaving Insane Fliers On Tesla Cars, Claiming To Expose The 'Truth' About The Company

Anonymous People In San Francisco Are Leaving Insane Fliers On Tesla Cars, Claiming To Expose The 'Truth' About The Company | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

People are apparently leaving fliers on Tesla cars in San Francisco, warning drivers that owning a Tesla means they are involved in "organized crime."

The flier accuses Tesla of "manipulating Congress" and questions the safety of lithium ion batteries. 

"Lithium ion batteries blow up if they get wet or bumped," the flier reads. "They have already burned planes, cars, homes & children. There have been tens of thousands of lithium ion battery fires & explosions. Tesla's (sic) have over 7000 "non-automotive designed" batteries in each car, that means over 7000 chances of having a catastrophic fire."

The flier also speculates that Google is a "silent partner" of Tesla's.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Weird. Detroit driven ?

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Hyperloop unveiled

Hyperloop unveiled | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Here is the 57 pages PDF memo released by Elon Musk on his much awaited Hyperloop project
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
(Hype)Rloop ? Need to read the memo before drawing any conclusion, but thanks to Elon Musk to bring some forward looks in the middle of a depleted european summer.
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Philippe J DEWOST's comment, August 13, 2013 9:03 AM
Looks like the PDF link is not always working. Here is another one: http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/hyperloop_alpha-20130812.pdf
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Tesla's Hurricane Irma Update Taps Into Our Deepest Fears Of 21st Century Driving

Tesla's Hurricane Irma Update Taps Into Our Deepest Fears Of 21st Century Driving | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Earlier this week, Tesla remotely upgraded select Florida Tesla owners’ cars to expand their mileage capacity in an effort to ease and assist with Hurricane Irmaevacuation efforts. The move was praiseworthy and appropriate, but at the root of the gesture lies a terrifying prospect of our automotive future.

 

Tesla briefly sold a 60 and 60D trim level of its Model S and Model X vehicles. These models had 75 kWh battery packs installed, but were software limited to have less range to artificially create a more affordable entry-level tier for buyers. Buyers still had the option to upgrade to the full capacity for a charge if they changed their minds, and Tesla would “unlock” the capability via an over-the-air software update.

 

With category four Hurricane Irma headed straight for Florida, Tesla unlocked the full capacity of 60 and 60D model owners in Florida to give them about a 30 mile range boost while evacuating. It was genuinely helpful and an extremely savvy public relations move for the company.

 

But what it also previewed is our imminent future of unprecedented corporate control over how we drive and what we drive. I briefly mentioned it in the article yesterday, but it’s not hard to imagine a worst case scenario where a company or corporation becomes a critical decision maker in disaster scenarios, like with Hurricane Irma, out of consumer and government control in a critical moment.

 

Now, I’ve never been one to play into the fears of autonomous driving or ridiculous theories of car hacking, though I recognize vehicle computer security as one of the most important developments in the automotive industry going forward. But this issue is concerned with the relationship between the company and the company’s product.

 

What would happen if Tesla didn’t unlock the range of those cars? It’s not likely that any of the owners would become stranded, as Electrek reported most of Tesla’s charging network was still functional at the time. But that could have easily been the scenario, and then we face a situation where people were physically capable of evacuating sooner but limited by an option box they didn’t check. We now face a reality where we know our vehicles may hold more potential than we have access to, and that gets complicated in life or death scenarios

 

.../...

 
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Interesting story reminding us that, like a Patek Philippe, you don't fully own a Tesla ; unlike a Patek Philippe however, there are software upgrades in a Tesla and they are not only triggered with an extra payment...

 
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Emmanuel HAVET's curator insight, September 13, 2017 8:16 AM
Cette mise à jour automatique de la part de Tesla met en lumière ce qu'il se passe déjà avec d'autres acteurs qui eux n'ont d'accès qu'à nos données. Et là, c'est la douche froide...
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Autopilot : The Whole Tesla Fleet Operates As A Network

Autopilot : The Whole Tesla Fleet Operates As A Network | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

While Tesla’s new hands-free driving is drawing a lot of interest this week, it’s the technology behind-the-scenes of the company’s newly-enabled autopilot service that should be getting more attention.


At an event on Wednesday Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk explained that the company’s new autopilot service is constantly learning and improving thanks to machine learning algorithms, the car’s wireless connection, and detailed mapping and sensor data that Tesla collects.


Tesla’s cars in general have long been using data, and over-the-air software updates, to improve the way they operate.

Machine learning algorithms are the latest in computer science where computers can take a large data set, analyze it and use it to make increasingly accurate predictions. In short, they are learning. Companies like Google , Facebook and now Tesla are using machine learning as a way to train software to help customers or sell them new services.

Machine learning is the way that computers can become artificially intelligent, and the technology is a form of AI. While Musk has taken a sort of alarmist stance against the dangers of AI, he clarified during the event on Wednesday that he’s only concerned with artificial intelligence that is meant for nefarious purposes.


When a reporter asked Musk during the media Q&A what made his company’s autopilot service different than other computer-based driving assistance features that competing big auto makers are working on, Musk emphasized learning.


“The whole Tesla fleet operates as a network. When one car learns something, they all learn it. That is beyond what other car companies are doing,” said Musk. When it comes to the autopilot software, Musk explained that each driver using the autopilot system essentially becomes an “expert trainer for how the autopilot should work.”

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

As per @elonmusk , each driver using the Tesla autopilot system essentially becomes an “expert trainer for how the autopilot should work.”

Interesting blur between the product and the service line here...

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The Apple Tesla Connection: Fun and Reason With Numbers

The Apple Tesla Connection: Fun and Reason With Numbers | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

For Apple devices the computation is more complicated — and more speculative — because the company publicizes battery capacity (in watt-hours) rather than weight. But after some digging around, I found the weight information for an iPhone 4S on the iFixit site: 26 grams. From there, I estimated that the weight of the larger iPhone 5S battery is 30 grams.

I reasoned that the weight/capacity ratio is probably the same for all Apple batteries, so if a 26g iPhone battery provides 5.25 watt-hrs, the iPad Air battery that yields 32.4 watt-hrs must weigh approximately 160g. Sparing you the details of the mix of iPad minis and the approximations for the various Macs, we end up with these numbers for 2014 (I’m deliberately omitting the iPod):

100M iPads @ 130g = 13,000 tons 
200M iPhones @ 30g = 6,000 tons 
20M Macs @ 250g = 5,000 tons 
Total Apple batteries = 24,000 metric tons

It’s a rough estimate, but close enough for today’s purpose: Apple and Tesla need about the same tonnage of batteries this year.

 

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