As Ted Logan would say, “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.”
While Elon Musk has certainly been a champion of private enterprise and a would-be hero of conservatives for his unabashed take on free speech, perhaps all that glitters is not gold.
For one thing, the multibillionaire and techno-wizard’s proposed buyout of Twitter has resulted in absolutely nothing; though for a few days, everyone was excited about the possibilities.
And although his unfiltered demeanor is a welcome addition to the cesspool of leftism that is Twitter, one must consider the detrimental effect and/or power Musk has with such lofty endeavors as fully electric cars, and moreover, the evidently deadly results of the malfunctioning self-driving features on those very sought-after automobiles.
A group named the The Dawn Project has brought their concerns over faulty automation software to light, going so far as to run an ad that states in part:
“Don’t be a Tesla crash test dummy,” the ad states. “We did not sign up our families to be crash test dummies for thousands of Tesla cars being driven on the public roads by the worst software ever sold by a Fortune 500 company.”
(Video: The Daily Mail)
Dan O’Dowd, the billionaire behind The Dawn Project, narrates the video and calls for Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta software to be banned from the road, admonishing that Tesla’s software is “the worst commercial software I’ve ever seen.”
Now, Musk’s company has sent a cease-and-desist letter over the commercial which depicts their cars in self-driving mode plowing through child-sized mannequins at 20 mph to illustrate how dangerous the artificial intelligence can be.
In one overtly clever jab, the Dawn Project challenges anyone and everyone to cite an AI-based driving assistant that DOES NOT result in critical driving errors every eight (8) minutes.
It only adds up if you add it up, but here are a few worth consideration:
Nearly 400 car crashes in the US within a ten-month period were caused by self-driving or driver assistance technology, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report found.
Teslas were involved in the vast majority of those crashes, 273 out of 392, which occurred between July 1, 2021, and May 15 this year and resulted in six deaths and five serious injuries the Mal reported.
But wait, there’s more.
Other deadly crashes linked to Tesla’s autopilot feature
January 20, 2016 in China: Gao Yaning, 23, died when the Tesla Model S he was driving slammed into a road sweeper on a highway near Handan, a city about 300 miles south of Beijing. Chinese media reported that Autopilot was engaged.
Joshua D. Brown, 40, of Canton, Ohio died in an Autopilot crash in May 2016.
May 7, 2016 in Williston, Florida: Joshua D. Brown, 40, of Canton, Ohio died when cameras in his Tesla Model S failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky.
The NTSB found that the truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way and a car driver’s inattention due to overreliance on vehicle automation were the probable cause of the crash.
The NTSB also noted that Tesla Autopilot permitted the car driver to become dangerously disengaged with driving. A DVD player and Harry Potter movies were found in the car.
March 23, 2018 in Mountain View, California: Apple software engineer Walter Huang, 38, died in a crash on U.S. Highway 101 with the Autopilot on his Tesla engaged.
The vehicle accelerated to 71 mph seconds before crashing into a freeway barrier, federal investigators found.
The NTSB, in a preliminary report on the crash, also said that data shows the Model X SUV did not brake or try to steer around the barrier in the three seconds before the crash in Silicon Valley.
Crash scene photos show the wreck on March 23, 2018 in Mountain View, California.
March 1, 2019 in Delray, Florida: Jeremy Banner, 50, died when his 2018 Tesla Model 3 slammed into a semi-truck.
NTSB investigators said Banner turned on the autopilot feature about 10 seconds before the crash, and the autopilot did not execute any evasive maneuvers to avoid the crash.
April 17, 2021 in Houston, Texas
A Tesla smashed into a tree and burst into flames in Texas, resulting in the deaths of two men – the car’s owner Doctor William Varner, and his pal Everette Talbot.
Police had said it was apparent that there was no one in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash in the wealthy The Woodlands neighborhood of Houston, on April 17.
But Tesla had refuted police’s claims, saying a deformed steering wheel suggested that someone was likely in the driver’s seat.
Varner, 59, and Talbot, 69, both died in the fatal crash when the Tesla Model S – bought second-hand off eBay in January – smashed into a tree and burst into flames.
Dr. William Varner, 59, and Everette Talbot, 69, both died in the fatal crash when the Tesla Model S smashed into a tree and burst into flames
May 5, 2021 in Los Angeles, California
Steven Michael Hendrickson, 35, was killed when his white Tesla Model 3 struck an overturned semi-truck at about 2.30am on May 5
Before his death, the married father of two posted social media videos of himself riding in the electric vehicle without his hands on the wheel or foot on its pedal.
The crash happened on the 210 Freeway near Fontana, California – about 50 miles east of Los Angeles.
A preliminary investigation determined that the Tesla’s partially automated driving system called Autopilot ‘was engaged’ prior to the crash.
A spokesman added that no final conclusion had been reached on what exactly had caused the fatal crash – the 29th involving a Tesla to have been probed by federal agency the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Turns out if you’re Fahrvergnügen, your odds of survival are good.
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