Archive for the ‘Car’ Category

Tesla’s Model S Get Over-Air Autopilot Update – Driving Becomes More Stressful Than Before

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Tesla Model S just got an update…

An update that now lets the car take the wheel while you clench every fiber in your being and level up your blood pressure to new levels when it does.

Tesla’s Model S just received an over-air update that allows the car to drive autonomously…well…sort of…

As long as the Tesla can detect the cars around it and the painted lines on the road everything’s great. It’s almost like “The Future is HERE!” great.


Still unable to read stop signs and light signals, the autonomous update appropriately called “Autopilot Mode” still has a long way to go before we can truly trust computer to fully take the wheel. Moving along in a crowd of cars, the Tesla will do everything for you including changing lanes. Once the car is the first car at an intersection, however, it’s up to the driver for a few minutes until the car is moving again.

Elon Musk, in the statement about the update, can’t be explicit enough about relinquishing control to an automated system that’s not anywhere near where it needs to be to just let go of the wheel and start episode-binging on Netflix.

“It’s almost to the point where you can take your hands off…but we’re very clearly saying this is not a case of abdicating responsibility. The hardware and software are not yet at the point where a driver can abdicate responsibility. [The system] requires drivers to remain engaged and aware when Autosteer is enabled. Drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel.”

Because there’s nothing more jarring than being yanked out of an intense Netflix movie to suddenly avoid dying in a collision.


Jaguar Shows Off New Experimental Auto Tech – Turns Range Rover into Smartphone-Driven RC Car

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

A long time ago on the WeirdThings podcast, because we’re always ahead of the curve when it comes to hypotheticals about how new tech might be used in ridiculous scenarios, we pondered how someone might use smart-car tech to commit manslaughter by hacking a vehicle and driving it into a squishy human being.

Jaguar is pushing that possibility into becoming a very real scenario.

Currently the vehicle has severe limitations on speed (it tops out at 4mph) and the distance that the phone is from the vehicle (the car stops when the phone is too far or too close).

It’s still early in development and still early to really understand how an average user might need this kind of control over their car with autonomous vehicles rolling into the public traffic and becoming part of our every day lives.

Sure….it all sounds safe…

But like the curious primates we are…

It’s only a matter of time before curiosity…and an unmanned Range Rover with a driver on smartphone miles away…kills the cat that’s crossing the road.

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