It’s interesting to reflect on what we put our faith in, and to what degree. Within the same week, I had two related experiences: first I got to go for a ride in a Tesla car. A friend of my sisters had bought one and kindly took my Dad and me for a drive. For a car worth over $100k I thought its styling was ok, a bit too ‘space-age bachelor pad’ for my taste, but nothing really surprising on that front. But what totally blew my expectations was the power. Holy fckng sh+t! The owner pulled out onto the motorway and floored it. We went from 50kmph to 150kpmh very rapidly, and with no variation in the power – it felt like it could have just kept accelerating. I’ve been in a few high performance cars in my time, but being pushed back into your seat like that I have only experienced on an aeroplane, when taking off. Really very impressive…
The owner also showed us some of the automated driving functions, eg he indicated to change lanes and the car did the lane changing. And when he tried to do it while a car was in the way, it would not move between lanes. Now he doesn’t have the full auto driving functionality installed, and his model requires the driver to have their hands on the steering wheel. But it was an interesting experience.

Second related experience, reading this news item

Two die in Tesla car crash in Texas with ‘no one’ in driver’s seat, police say

Who is to blame? The driver. But no one was driving.
Who is to blame? The driver. But no one was driving.
Who is to blame? The driver. But no one was driving.

“The 2019 Tesla Model S was traveling at high speed when it failed to negotiate a curve and went off the roadway, crashing to a tree and bursting into flames, local television station KHOU-TV said.”

Elon Musk, said in January that he expects huge profits from its full self-driving software, saying he is “highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year”.

Now those five words make me question my faith:

“reliability in excess of human”

“in excess of human” sounds like something a bot would say. And if you disagreed with the bot, maybe it might just drive into a tree and burst into flames.

Now I don’t know if this meme is for real, but I have a question:

The question is this:

Every Tesla car is fully capable of monitoring everything it does. I would imagine that is a fundamental part of the design of the car, to log its use for future analysis and scheduling maintenance etc…

So if a Tesla can monitor itself, and people die on the roads all the time due to excess speed, why not have built-in functionality where the car automatically issues speeding tickets?

I can appreciate why it would not be a popular feature with some people. But crashing into trees and killing unreliable humans is also not a very popular feature. If safety is a fundamental part of the use of every vehicle, and we have state laws that specifically restrict maximum speed, then surely if the Tesla car is to be evolutionarily progressive, then why not either limit the speed to the legal maximum, or as we currently do issue speeding tickets when caught exceeding the limit. “Normally” a speeding ticket is issued when one of those unreliable humans is also a police officer and observes the speeding. But the Tesla could have a virtual police officer built-in. And maybe it should.

A third question, with regards to unreliable humans is this:

Who do you put your faith in?



Would I like to own a Tesla?

Yes and no.
An accountant once said: “Buy the cheapest car your ego can afford.” I do not have an ego that needs a car worth $100k. For convenience and to save using fossil fuel I would love a small electric commuter vehicle, and in that respect, I have far more admiration for these tiny electric cars which are affordable enough to be ubiquitous and along with public transport have the potential to solve transport for all city dwellers, rather than egotistical elitist rich people, or those who enjoy being in debt for rapidly devaluing assets.

But none of those electric cars are going where I went in the last four days:
Off road, off grid, in 4WD.







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