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Discussion: Nikola Tesla Boulevard

in: Orienteering; Off-Course

Jul 12, 2016 3:52 AM # 
AFAIK, completely unrelated to orienteering, but since it's in Hamilton, ON, thought it might get some attention -- especially from the N Tesla fans I know are among us...

CBC: Part of Burlington Street is now Tesla Boulevard
Jul 12, 2016 3:47 PM # 
They are having fun renaming some of the streets here. They also recently renamed part of the highway as the Alexander Graham Bell Parkway
Jul 12, 2016 4:20 PM # 
...and this Tesla Model S auto pilot video was filmed on the newly named Alexander Graham Bell Parkway :-) which is in a prettier area than the newly named Tesla Blvd in Hamilton's industrial area (though it starts very close to the very first Tim Hortons).
Jul 12, 2016 6:51 PM # 
There's also a Tesla Road in Livermore, California. It goes through a pretty area with several wineries. Not far from the site of this year's US Individual Championships.
Jul 12, 2016 6:55 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I have never cared about cars as anything except a means to handle transportation needs, often to/from orienteering events, but after a ~25 year wait I finally got a dual-engine (4WD) Tesla model S this year.

The 25 year figure is from when I first realized that burning oil products in order to get from A to B ought to be criminal, petrochemicals are far too useful as a raw material to be allowed to simply burn it.

My father was chairman of the board of the largest supplier (i.e. importer) of electrical vehicles here in Norway so we had electrical cars as car #2 for many years, but the Model S finally made it possible for us to have a single electric car.
Jul 12, 2016 7:08 PM # 
A Tesla S crashed and burned, killing the test driver recently. And the ugly truth emerged, as Google had already discovered: Distracted Driving crashes happen much more frequently, and endanger not only the car's occupants, but everyone else on or near the roadway. From the NYTimes:

....Tesla’s electric cars are not self-driving, but when the Autopilot system is engaged it can keep the car in a lane, adjust its speed to keep up with traffic and brake to avoid collisions....[but] technology that helps drivers can lull them into thinking they need not pay attention at all. Google’s driverless car project...tested a driver assistance system [and] some drivers became so dangerously distracted that Google pulled back on that concept. It has decided to focus its efforts on fully self-driving cars instead....
Jul 12, 2016 9:01 PM # 
What was the former name of the Alexander Graham Bell Parkway?

EDIT: Just found the answer, sort of: it's Hwy 403 (though it still might have had a prior name)
Jul 12, 2016 9:49 PM # 
There is a Tesla street on the west side of Madison, WI. However, they got the spelling wrong and for 30-40 years it was Telsa. When somebody noticed and corrected it, the residents (understandably) protested the change.
Jul 12, 2016 9:55 PM # 
Well, I suppose that is embarrassing to write all one's friends to say "my street is being renamed from Telsa to Tesla. It was a typo all those decades'.
Jul 14, 2016 1:35 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Clark, what "ugly truth" emerged? I hadn't heard if the truck driver, who turned in front of oncoming traffic, an action generally frowned upon/illegal, was determined to be distracted or just negligent.
Jul 14, 2016 1:58 PM # 
Well, to bring this back to orienteering, if you orienteer while texting or daydreaming to the music in your earphones or watching a video on your tablet, you may run into a tree. Auto-navigate mode could help on those bad orienteering days when nothing's going right...(or maybe not).
Jul 14, 2016 2:11 PM # 
...Clark, what "ugly truth" emerged?

Well notwithstanding the action of the truck, the Tesla driver should have been alert enough to see the danger and apply the brakes when the Autopilot system was momentarily blinded. Similar to an advanced 'cruise control' system, as I understand the Tesla Autopilot system, it merely keeps you between the white lines and acts as a backup for other possible hazards.

But the indication is that the Tesla driver was doing something else at the time...watching the dashboard TV? And he was failing to monitor the Autopilot system, all the way into the side of the truck where he was decapitated, according to this ABC report. Ugly enough for you?

And that's why Google pulled the plug on developing a similar system; the ugly truth their tests showed was that drivers just couldn't keep their attention on the road with those partially autonomous driverless cars, even to the extent of climbing into the back seat and falling asleep!
Jul 14, 2016 3:23 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
I wasn't aware that they had any details of how long the Tesla driver had to react to an illegal left turn in front of him. Plenty of people will be plowing into similar illegal lefts today, this week, and further out regardless of their level of distraction.

There is no dashboard tv in a Tesla. The guy who'd like to not end up in jail claims he heard harry potter and there was a separate portable player, last I read, which has not been determined to have been on or off at the time of the accident.

Do you dismiss Tesla's claims that the autopilot's miles/fatality is better than non autopilot?

For what it's worth, distracted driving fatalities about 1/6th as common as alcohol involved crashes.

And then I haven't figured out your end game - if drivers are you want or not want a system such as autopilot that helps out when they aren't paying attention anyway?

And I haven't figured out my end game - I normally avoid charged bait on AP. Why am I clogging the forum? I'm not changing anyone's mind, I don't feel better, and I could sign up for facebook if I wanted these sorts of arguments. It has nothing to do with Tesla named roads. (Detroit has none I can find, but does have an Edison.)
Jul 14, 2016 4:22 PM # 
Is the Tesla software really meant to completely remove the driver from any piloting responsibilities? One day all cars and trucks will have sufficient technology to keep humans from making dumb mistakes.
"Open the pod bay doors HAL"
Jul 14, 2016 4:40 PM # 
Vehicles already have a lot of computerized control of functions, as evidenced by the remote hacking of vehicles as they drive down the highway. A bit more IT security may be needed. It's not clear whether are already as safe at driving as humans, given that at least Google safety statistics include human disengagements, but it's also not clear that they're worse. Maybe the next few years will tell. Given that commercial airplanes reportedly sometimes take off and land, and often fly, without human control, it's more a matter of degree, whether vehicles can operate autonomously and safely in the more complicated ground environment. Tesla was slammed for not using LIDAR as Google does, with the suggestion that LIDAR might have seen the truck despite the blinding conditions. (LIDAR certainly seems to be useful to orienteering mappers, from what I've heard of a mapper remapping 4 sq km in five days using a LIDAR basemap, and from the time I've spent on a LIDAR basemap (adequate to orienteer across 1.75 km of detailed unfieldchecked terrain). OK that was only mildly relevant.)
Jul 14, 2016 6:50 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Auto-ish lidar is not necessarily the be all / end all yet - for example, U Mich's F250 $75k lidar only has 120 m range.

On dry, level ground, you are talking about ~50 m to brake from 70 mph / 110 kph, perhaps ~35 m ish from 60 / 100.
Jul 14, 2016 7:11 PM # 
OK, full disclosure: As some on A/P know, I don't own a car. And I've been speaking out on A/P criticizing our car culture and our tacit acceptance of global warming as inevitable for many years.

Not trying to be a internet troll, or to post 'charged bait' but since my wife and I walk and bike on city streets every day, the rapid increase in Distracted Driving since the advent of texting and cell phones is very worrisome. We don't confront these erratic drivers encased in an air-bagged, belted cocoon as you do.

So the impending arrival of thousands of Tesla S cars with this flawed Autopilot system and the additional threat for Distracted Driving just amps up our concern. I hope you understand our point of view.
Jul 14, 2016 8:22 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Friendly prop wager for the US Juniors? I'll say the CTA kills more pedestrians/cyclists in 2016 than do autopilot cars in the entirety of the US. Although depending on how you count, I'd already be ahead, so perhaps not fair.

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