My Car Quest

October 22, 2021

The Insane Love of The Tesla For Emergency Lights

by Wallace Wyss –

At last report, there’s twelve Teslas that impacted emergency vehicles that had their flashing lights going. In at least one case the Tesla driver tried to steer away from the emergency vehicle but no, the Tesla wanted to mate with the machine that was flashing lights.

After a NHTSA investigation was opened Tesla started sending out a fix for some models that consists of chimes, a notice to the driver to put hands on the wheel and slowing the Tesla down. What is unknown yet is what draws a Tesla to the emergency vehicle–is it strobe lights? Or regular flashers and which colors?

If life were a sci-fi movie, I’d say the plot of said flick would be love of one machine for another–the Tesla’s primitive brain interpreting the flashing light as some sort of machine that wants him or her (or are Teslas sexless?) to come hither?

Tesla Crash

Fire trucks are big. They have many flashing lights. Why did this Tesla steer a beeline for one?

At least Tesla is responding sooner than they did on the white truck incidents. That was when several Teslas tried in separate accidents to drive underneath long white tractor trailers bearing no signage. The Tesla guidance system, under Autopilot, interpreted the white tractors as just white sky. Tesla owners (literally) lost their heads.

I think Tesla needs to change the sensing system or the truck community could put stripes on the side of all white trucks as a defensive measure. But the biggest change could be done in 1/100th of a second: ban the use of the word “Autopilot” in Teslas which use that catchy phrase to describe its optional self driving feature. It is not like Autopilot on say a 747 where you could dial in an airport like LAX and the plane will fly there while you twiddle your thumbs. By calling it Autopilot Tesla leads consumers to think they need not pay attention while the car is moving. Well, guess what? It’s not an automatic pilot.

Tesla Crash

If Teslas could talk, the ones that broadside white trucks would say “What truck?”

A law should be passed forbidding Tesla from using that word until they can prove it doesn’t have these, uh, lapses in judgement. I applaud the success of Tesla in pioneering successful electric cars. But when these accidents happen, they have to admit that the improper use of one name for one option is fostering danger, causing drivers to over-depend on a flawed system.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss was a reporter whose beat was car accident research in the mid-to-late ’60s.

 
 
 

 

 

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Summary
The Insane Love of The Tesla For Emergency Lights
Article Name
The Insane Love of The Tesla For Emergency Lights
Description
At last report, there's twelve Teslas that impacted emergency vehicles that had their flashing lights going.
Author

Comments

  1. “A I” = Artificial Imbecility. More to come, for a long time.

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