Report: Tesla is bleeding talent from its Autopilot division

Discussion in 'Motorized Vehicles' started by hmscott, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Tesla employee was filmed sleeping or unconscious at the wheel driving on Autopilot
    Fred Lambert @FredericLambert - Jun. 8th 2018 12:26 pm ET
    "Amid the controversy over the use of Tesla Autopilot and the few highly publicized accidents involving the driver assist system, a Tesla service technician has been filmed either asleep or unconscious at the wheel of a Model S driving on Autopilot.

    Tesla Autopilot under its current form is a level 2 driver assist system and the driver is always responsible to stay attentive and be ready to take control at all time.

    The automaker makes this clear in the user manual and when activating the feature in its vehicle settings.

    But it has never stopped some owners from abusing the system.

    Not long after first releasing the Autopilot’s Autosteer feature, a Tesla Model S driver was caught sleeping at the wheel while on Autopilot.

    But in a first, now a Tesla employee has been filmed apparently sleeping, though possibly unconscious, at the wheel of a Tesla Mobile Service vehicle.

    A friend of Tesla owner Mike Cagulada filmed the dangerous event on June 4th, 2018, near Fremont, CA and Cagulada posted it on his Youtube channel:

    Tesla worker sleeping while on autopilot
    Mike Cagulada
    Published on Jun 7, 2018
    It's a whole new level of autopilot. Or maybe his car is on full autonomous?
    Friend filmed this o/a June 4th, 2018, near Fremont, CA.

    The video says that the employee is sleeping and while it does appear that her or his head is resting completely down under the level of the steering wheel, it could also be a medical emergency and the person could be unconscious.

    We sent the video to Tesla for a comment on the situation and a spokesperson said: “We take safety very seriously and are investigating this incident.”

    Electrek’s Take

    Just like we discussed when music producer Zedd said that “Tesla Autopilot probably saved his life” after he fell asleep at the wheel, while it does show an advantage of Autopilot, it’s not a substitute for trying to recognize signs of fatigue and getting off the road.

    Though as people pointed out in the comments of that last post, it can be hard to recognize those signs if you have never fallen asleep at the wheel before.

    And again, we are not exactly sure that it is what happened here.

    Also, as Elon Musk pointed out, Tesla Autopilot accidents most often happened to experienced Autopilot users who become overconfident in the system.

    It wouldn’t be surprising that some employees who drive the cars for their jobs fall into that category, but they should of course lead by example and use the feature appropriately.

    But again, we don’t know exactly what happened here."
  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    "That issue is better in latest Autopilot software rolling out now & fully fixed in August update as part of our long-awaited Tesla Version 9. To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 10, 2018."

    Level1 News June 20 2018: Model S Sales on Fire
    0:49 - Tesla's Autopilot to get 'full self-driving feature' in August

    Tesla will start rolling out its 'full self-driving' package in August, Elon ...

    I'm laughing so hard I can't pick a "laughing meme face" that could possible express my incredulity at the claim that "full self-driving" will be released in August...not that it won't be released, but that it's *ready* for owners to ride hand's-free...Wheeeeeee!! :D

    Please pick your own favorite :)

    Tesla's Autopilot to get 'full self-driving feature' in August

    JUNE 11, 2018 / 3:47 PM

    "(Reuters) - Shares of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) rose as much as 5 percent on Monday after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted that its Autopilot driver assistance system will get full self-driving features following a software upgrade in August.

    Autopilot, a form of advanced cruise control, handles some driving tasks and warns those behind the wheel they are always responsible for the vehicle’s safe operation. But a spate of recent crashes has brought the system under regulatory scrutiny.

    "To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features," Musk tweeted here on Sunday, replying to a Twitter user.

    Musk said the autopilot issue during lane-merging is better in the current software and will be fully fixed in the August update.

    However, it was not clear what self-driving features would be included in the August update.

    Tesla has been gradually upgrading its Autopilot features with regular software updates."
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
  3. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Tesla testing 'Mad Max' autopilot mode
    By Motez Bishara, CNN
    Updated 6:18 AM ET, Tue June 26, 2018

    "(CNN) The futuristic film "Mad Max" is having a real-life moment, and those who drive in heavy traffic will understand why.

    Electric vehicle maker Tesla is trying out an aggressive "Mad Max" driving mode in its prototype autopilot feature, chief executive Elon Musk revealed Monday.

    The mode -- named after the post-apocalyptic 1979 Mel Gibson film -- is the highest setting of Tesla's blind spot detection system in its autopilot.
    The setting, which allows for a smaller distance threshold to nearby vehicles, is made for highways with heavy traffic -- like Los Angeles' notorious Interstate 405 during rush hour -- when changing lanes can be challenging.

    Tesla Semi Truck in Mad Max Mode
    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 24, 2018

    Musk responded to a Twitter user's creative image of a Tesla semi truck featured in a "Mad Max" dystopian setting with, "It's real."

    He tweeted a photo of Tesla's development-stage autopilot display, showing "Mad Max" mode beside the lower "Aggressive" and "Standard" settings.
    Musk, who reportedly owns multiple homes in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles, appears to be influenced by the city's snarling traffic.

    "We considered going beyond 'Mad Max' to 'LA Freeway' level, but that's too loco," he added in another tweet.

    It's real
    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 25, 2018

    In November, Tesla announced plans to enter the heavy vehicle market, starting with a semi truck to begin production next year. The Tesla Semi will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 20 seconds while carrying 80,000 pounds, according to the automaker, and can travel 300 to 500 miles in one charge..."

    Tesla News - Mad Max Autopilot Mode
    Tesla Trip
    Published on Jun 25, 2018

    Tesla’s new Model 3 assembly line inside a ‘tent’ is ‘way better’ and cheaper than other line, says Elon Musk

    Elon Musk considers crowdsourcing Tesla manufacturing by having owners ‘help build’ cars

    Tesla sues alleged saboteur engineer who also apparently leaked false reports to media

    Tesla production line was ‘sabotaged’, Elon Musk tells employees to be ‘on alert’

    Level1 News June 26 2018...
    15:10 - Tesla CEO: New "tent" assembly line is "way better" than conventional factory
    16:48 - Tesla to close a dozen solar facilities in 9 states
    19:33 - Tesla Autopilot Buddy safety bypass device ordered to cease U.S. sales
    21:01 - Tesla sues employee alleged to have stolen gigabytes of data
    Source Links:

    Tesla's Tent Put to the Test as Time Runs Out for Musk
    Bloomberg Markets and Finance
    Published on Jun 26, 2018
    Jun.25 -- Elon Musk has six days to make good on his pledge that Tesla Inc. will be pumping out 5,000 Model 3 sedans a week by the end of the month. If he succeeds, it may be thanks to the curious structure outside the company’s factory. It’s a tent the size of two football fields that Musk calls “pretty sweet” and that manufacturing experts deride as, basically, nuts. Bloomberg's David Welch has more on "Bloomberg Markets."
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  4. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Tesla raises price of full self-driving option–if you wait for it to work before buying
    Eric C. Evarts, Jul 11, 2018

    "Tesla has increased the price of a feature that doesn't yet exist—at least for customers who haven't bought it yet.

    That's according to Tesla's online configurator, which lists the price of Tesla's Full Self-driving Capability feature at $5,000 following the company's latest software update to its cars. Electrek first reported the price jump.

    Ever since the company launched its Autopilot 2 system it has offered the feature for an extra $3,000, only at some unspecified point in the future when the software becomes capable of doing all the things drivers do.

    Once Tesla perfects the software, it automatically will be downloaded and enabled for owners who prepaid for Full Self-driving Capability.
    Following the latest price adjustment, that part remains the same.

    If you don't pay up front for the software, the price has gone up to buy it later.

    The price increase applies to all newly purchased Teslas, including Model S's and X's.

    Since Full Self-Driving capability isn't available yet, the question is somewhat academic.

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the first features of the Full Self-Driving Capability will be released with Tesla's Version 9 software update for the Model 3 in August, according to The Verge.

    That issue is better in latest Autopilot software rolling out now & fully fixed in August update as part of our long-awaited Tesla Version 9. To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features.
    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 10, 2018

    Tesla buyers who didn't originally upgrade their cars from the factory were initially offered the feature at the increased purchase price, although Electrek reported that Tesla reversed the price increase for existing owners, citing a software glitch. Current Tesla owners interested in upgrading to Full Self-Driving Capability will still be charged $4,000 for the feature.

    Whether buyers order the feature now or later, they also have to order Tesla's Enhanced Autopilot for another $5,000 before Full Self-Driving Capability will work.

    Enhanced Autopilot adds active lane control and adaptive cruise control to the standard suite of active safety features on the car—automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitors.

    Those features work today on cars that were ordered with them. Owners can also have them activated on older cars that don't have them through an over-the-air upgrade. Adding Enhanced Autopilot after purchase costs $6,000.
    Tesla engineering lead Doug Field leaves the company
    He was supposed to be on a temporary break.
  5. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Prophet

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    If you're cheering when Tesla hit the 5,000 car per week bogey that St. Elon set, this is a really insightful inside-the-company piece.

    I get Musk has a save-the-world-messiah complex, but geez. Work your engineers and management 20 hours a day, 7 days a week? Put assembly-line workers in dangerous environments? Work them up to 16 hours per day? Cover up injuries from California officials? Fire all suppliers and make each component in-house? Insanity. And no, I wouldn’t put my family in any Tesla at any price.

    hmscott likes this.
  6. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Tesla whistleblower retains law firm famous for winning $22.5 million Monsanto suit
    • Accused of sabotage by Elon Musk, Tesla whistleblower Martin Tripp has retained a law firm that won a $22.5 million in a Monsanto whistleblower lawsuit in 2016.
    • Tesla has characterized Tripp as a disgruntled ex-employee out to harm the car company's business because he was passed over for a promotion at the Gigafactory.
    • Tesla is also suing Tripp in Nevada, accusing him of stealing company data and making false statements to reporters.
    Lora Kolodny | @lorakolodny
    Published 6:13 PM ET Wed, 11 July 2018

    "Martin Tripp, the Tesla technician who CEO Elon Musk accused of sabotage, has filed a formal whistleblower complaint about the electric vehicle maker and hired a prominent New York law firm to represent him.

    In his complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tripp alleges that Tesla has made several "material omissions and misstatements" to investors and taken steps that potentially compromised the safety of its customers.

    Tripp retained Meissner Associates, which won a $22.5 million judgement in 2016 in a whistleblower lawsuit over financial fraud at Monsanto. Stuart Meissner, who runs the firm, is a former prosecutor who worked in the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

    The Washington Post first reported on Tripp's complaint.

    According to the exact language in a statement from Meissner Associates, Tripp alleges that the company:
    • Placed batteries containing dangerous puncture holes in vehicles which proceeded to the end of the assembly line in a process known internally at Tesla as “Containment AR622” and which input into vehicles was tracked until the end of the assembly line process;
    • Overstated to investors the number of Model 3 vehicles being produced each week by as much as 44%. The whistelblower alleges that the famed factory board which reflects a daily Model 3 production count and often referred to by Tesla is inflated;
    • Lowered vehicle specifications impacting upon safety such as placing battery cells too close to one another and which were not properly affixed, risking future combustion; and
    • Systematically reused parts already deemed scrap/waste in vehicles without regard to safety.
    Tesla didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Stuart Meissner called the matter a "David and Goliath case."

    "It’s dramatic and serious as far as the materiality of the omissions and misstatements, and how they effect investors, and the general public regarding potential safety hazards of Tesla vehicles," Meissner told CNBC. "I’ve never seen a company handle an employee who has raised issues internally in such an aggressive manner. To me, this indicates that they are trying to send a message not just to Martin Tripp, but to all employees that they should not speak up if they see something wrong."

    In the past, Tesla has characterized Tripp as a disgruntled ex-employee who was out to harm their business because he was passed over for a promotion at the Gigafactory. The automaker filed a civil lawsuit against him, claiming Tripp hacked internal systems, exported company data and made false claims to reporters."
  7. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Tesla Model 3 unmanned on Autopilot travels 1,000 km on a single charge in new hypermiling record
    Fred Lambert - Jul. 16th 2018 7:19 am ET @FredericLambert
    "Just a few months after establishing the 606-mile (975 km) Tesla Model 3 hypermiling record, another team has beat it with a 622-mile (1,001 km) run with a twist: the Model 3 was also “unmanned” and on Autopilot.

    Hypermiling is the practice of driving vehicles as efficiently as possible in order to achieve the longest distance possible on one charge/fuel tank.

    It’s not a useful way to determine the range of a vehicle for normal driving, but it’s an interesting way to see how efficient a vehicle can be and how the way someone drives can impact fuel efficiency.

    The new Model 3 record was organized by electric car rental company ‘nextmove’ in Germany this weekend.

    A potential reason why they were able to beat the record is that they did the attempt at the DEKRA testing grounds in Klettwitz, Brandenburg instead of on public roads like the recent previous record.

    That said, it appears that Autopilot was actually a bigger factor since they also drove another Model 3 with an identical configuration next to the unmanned Model 3 on Autopilot and it ended up traveling 14 fewer miles (23 km) than the unmanned Model 3.

    nextmove Managing Director Stefan Moeller said that using a test circuit helped manage the use of Autopilot:

    “Naturally, a test circuit with clear markings, long straights, broad curves and few surprises provides near-ideal conditions for the Tesla autopilot. Admittedly, we did not know in advance whether the autopilot could reach the total distance without fault, even during the night.”

    When they say that it was “unmanned”, they actually used a dummy called Spacy, who is apparently the younger brother of Starman who is currently traveling through space in a Tesla Roadster.

    As for how they managed to keep Autopilot working, nextmove explained:

    “In order to make the autopilot think that there was a person sitting at the wheel, a number of tricks were employed: Stefan Moeller started the car and positioned the aids to imitate a hu- man driver in the Tesla Model 3. Finally, he climbed out of the side window during a brief stop: This ensured that nextmove could reenter the car at any time. So as not to lose any aerodynamics, Moeller taped up the side window. Spacy sat in the driver’s seat but during the night, he slept on a mattress that was placed on the folded-down back seats.”

    Obviously, this is not something that is recommended to do and nextmove acknowledged that, but they did it in a controlled environment.

    Here’s a video of they made about the new record:

    They ended up driving at 36 km/h for about 28 hours in order to get the record.

    The company says that the Model 3 consumed about 7 kWh of energy for every 100 kilometers traveled.

    For good measure, they decided to also attempt to break the Tesla Model S hypermiling record while they were at it.

    They also did it by reaching a distance of 701 miles (1128 km) on a single charge with a Tesla Model S 100D.

    Here’s another video for both attempts at the records:"

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