17 September 2023

A Dangerous Moron

It looks like the Apartheid Era Emerald Heir Pedo Guy™ was nearly killed by his Autopilot technology, and learned nothing.

After faded lane markers nearly sent his car into oncoming traffic, he would confront his programmers telling them to do their job.

The problem is that the technology simply did not work.  It still does not work.

The solution devised was to (As Anna Russel would say, "I'm not making this up, you know.") was to pay to have the faded stripes on that part of the 405 repainted.

The man is a menace:

Way back in 2015, Tesla CEO Elon Musk would frequently give his engineers an earful after his car company's infamous Autopilot driver assistance tech nearly got him killed during test drives on multiple occasions — though there's a chance its dangerous behavior may have been due to Musk's stubbornness on how the technology should be built.

The scoop comes from Walter Isaacson's new biography of the tech magnate, simply titled "Elon Musk." Per its chapter on the launch of the driver assistance tech, Musk would learn firsthand that a curve on Interstate 405 caused Autopilot, thrown off by the road's faded lane lines, to steer into and "almost hit" oncoming traffic.

Whenever this happened, Musk would "furiously" storm into the Tesla office and proceed to chew out his engineers.

"Do something to program this right," he repeatedly demanded, as quoted in the biography.


But if Musk wanted safer software, he perhaps should've listened to his engineers, who have frequently petitioned over the years to incorporate what's known as light detection and ranging technology, or LiDAR.

LiDAR is essentially radar that uses light instead of sound, and Tesla's competitors, including Google's Waymo, have long leveraged it to help their autonomous cars "see."

Musk, however, has insisted that Tesla's cars only use optical sensors, likening it to how humans primarily use their eyes to drive, according to the biography, and as such, he's been tepid on using plain old radar, too.

As well as being a matter of arbitrary principle to him, there's also the matter of cost: ditching LiDAR makes manufacturing cheaper, according to Musk.

It really is disgusting what we allow billionaires to get away with in our society.


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