“Death, Denial and Self-Driving Cars” (NYT)

Mike Isaac:

All of tech, and really much of the automotive industry, speaks of driverless cars with the gravitas of inevitability: In the future, driving yourself will be more foreign than you think.

That’s why something like this isn’t just bad for Tesla, it’s bad for everyone betting on this future. Go listen to the leaders at Lyft, Uber or General Motors talk about driverless. Things like this inhibit this vision.

What I sort of question is the response from Tesla on this one. The company blog post started out sympathetic, but then flooded us with a bunch of numbers and statistics. I’m not sure that strikes the right tone after a guy just died.

Anyway, how does the industry recover from this? Just keep marching toward inevitability?

[No doubt: yes.]

Source: Farhad’s and Mike’s Week in Tech: Death, Denial and Self-Driving Cars

I agree with Illah Nourbakhsh, as he says in his thoughtful post on the topic. Excerpt:

There is much, much more to this than statistics or bug-tweaking. There are underlying questions about interaction design: do we design autonomy to replace people in such ways that new forms of error surface, or do we empower people to become incrementally safer, even if it means our technological trajectory is slower and more intentional? You know where I stand.

Source: Layers of Autonomy.

Don Norman on Tesla’s “reckless” autopilot feature

Forbes interviewed Don Norman about Tesla’s partially autonomous “autopilot” feature. Quote:

Tesla is being reckless. From what I can tell, Tesla has no understanding of how real drivers operate and they do not understand the need for careful testing. So they release, and then they have to pull back.

Source: Is Tesla Racing Recklessly Towards Driverless Cars? — Forbes

See the article for some terrifying videos taken by Tesla pseudo-drivers that capture autopilot oops moments.

Don Norman has added more comments on the story at his blog here: http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/interview_is_tesla_.html. And Tesla CEO Elon Musk says don’t worry, it’s all good. So who are you going to believe — the charismatic billionaire Tony Stark guy, or the nerdy design professor?