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· Banned
2022 LT, Post Battery Recall. High Desert Climate
1,448 Posts
Autopilot in aviation can be used for everything other than the actual takeoff roll and landing flare.
I'll take your word for it as it exists today, but presumably it has improved over time and added features ?

Did it change its name to autopilot only recently ? Was it called pilotsLittleHelper (PLH) in previous iterations ?

And I still want to know why the NHTSA was (and remains) so negligent in allowing car manufacturers to continue to deceive the public with the automobile label. Surely they should investigate why these mobillity-assist-devices are being deceptively marketed to innocent consumers.

Why, it is entirely reasonable to ask if every traffic accident related to speeding is due to this labeling/safety defect !! And to keep on asking and opening investigations every time another speed related accident occurs !!

All in the interests of public safety, transparency, and even handed due diligence.

· Super Moderator
2022 Bolt EUV Premier: sold back to GM Jan ‘23
2,846 Posts
In aviation, it's been labeled autopilot for many decades. I've been a controller since '85, but the first rudimentary aircraft autopilots were created in 1912. I think the PLH is tied to some pre-autopilot functions, things like basic heading and altitude holding. I did a web search but found nothing. Checking Wikipedia, I found these details. The Sperry Corporation had a very basic system way back in 1912, just a heading and attitude holding system. Bill Lear (of Lear Jet fame, among many other things) was awarded the Collier Trophy in 1949 for his system which included the ability to fly an approach.

I do agree that that way Tesla markets their products is over the top, perhaps approaching the limits of legality. But that's for the NHTSA to determine, as they have the legal power to enforce something like that (I think). For everything Musk has done that is good and makes sense, this is one area that he's wrong, and simply won't back down.

· Registered
2017 Bolt EV
10,147 Posts
But what aviation autopilot does not do is look for other traffic and alter the aircraft course to avoid. That requires pilot awareness and action.
Pilot awareness is actually a redundancy in aviation, because most aircraft flying on autopilot (certainly the ones flying IFR) are under the auspices of air traffic control whose main job is to guarantee separation between them. And that's not even getting into TCAS, yet another redundancy.

That's certainly not the case with a self driving automobile, in the absence of "man-rated" software the onus is all on the driver.

· Registered
2,105 Posts
Using the phrases "Autopilot" and "Full Self Driving" to market what they're actually delivering supports the narrative that they're pushing the idea that the technology can do more than it's really capable of. Given the actual functionality, those terms are misleading at best IMHO.
And you have Tesla owners like the one posted about in this thread that say "trust the technology" when they don't even realize they are asking it to do more than it is designed to handle because of the hype.

All the hype about "constant improvements via over the air updates" boils down to not having to vet your software before you release it into the wild, and convincing people that this is a good thing.

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