Tesla engineer testifies that 2016 video promoting self-driving was faked

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by Georgina Rudkus, Jan 18, 2023.

  1. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Tesla engineer testifies that 2016 video promoting self-driving was faked • TechCrunch

    Tesla engineer testifies that 2016 video promoting self-driving was faked
    Rebecca Bellan@rebeccabellan / 4:25 PM EST•January 17, 2023
    [​IMG]
    Image Credits: Tesla

    Tesla faked a 2016 video promoting its self-driving technology, according to testimony by a senior engineer reviewed by Reuters.

    The video, which shows a Tesla Model X driving on urban, suburban and highway streets; stopping itself at a red light; and accelerating at a green light is still on Tesla’s website and carries the tagline: “The person in the driver’s seat is only there for legal reasons. He is not doing anything. The car is driving itself.”

    CEO Elon Musk used the video as evidence that Tesla “drives itself” by relying on its many built-in sensors and self-driving software. Yet according to Ashok Elluswamy, director of Autopilot software at Tesla, the video was staged using 3D mapping on a predetermined route, a feature that is not available to consumers.

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    In his July deposition, which was taken as evidence in a lawsuit against Tesla for a fatal 2018 crash involving former Apple engineer Walter Huang, Elluswamy said Musk wanted the Autopilot team to record “a demonstration of the system’s capabilities.”

    Elluswamy’s statement also confirms and provides more details on what anonymous former employees told the New York Times in 2021. While there appeared to be no legal ramifications for Tesla following the NYT’s investigation, an on-the-record testimony from a current employee could cause trouble for the automaker, which is already beleaguered by lawsuits and investigations surrounding its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) systems. (To be clear, neither system is actually self-driving. They are advanced driving-assistance systems that automate certain driving tasks, but as Tesla has made clear on its website, drivers should stay alert and keep their hands on the steering wheel when the systems are engaged.)

    When electric truck maker Nikola was accused of and eventually admitted to faking a video of its fuel cell–powered Nikola One semitruck prototype — Nikola had actually placed the truck on a small hill, allowing gravity, not the motor, to do its thing — state and federal investigations were launched into both Nikola and its chairman and founder, Trevor Milton. Milton was found guilty on charges of securities fraud in October.

    Tesla’s fake video was created using 3D mapping on a predetermined route from a house in Menlo Park, California, to Tesla’s office in Palo Alto, according to Elluswamy. Drivers had to intervene to take control during test runs, and the scenes that were left on the cutting room floor included the test car crashing into a fence in Tesla’s parking lot when trying to park itself without a driver.

    “The intent of the video was not to accurately portray what was available for customers in 2016. It was to portray what was possible to build into the system,” Elluswamy said, according to a transcript of his testimony seen by Reuters.

    Musk promoted the video at the time, tweeting Tesla vehicles require “no human input at all” to drive through urban streets to highways and eventually to find a parking spot.

    Neither Musk nor Tesla, which has disbanded its press office, responded in time to TechCrunch’s request for comment.

    The revelation comes at a time when Tesla is facing litigation for multiple fatal crashes involving its Autopilot system, as well as a criminal investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice for claims Tesla made about Autopilot. Just this week, a Tesla that had FSD engaged suddenly accelerated and crashed into a BC Ferries ramp in Canada, totaling the vehicle.

    Regarding the 2018 crash that killed Huang, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded in 2020 Tesla’s “ineffective monitoring of driver engagement” had contributed to the crash, which the board said was likely caused by Huang’s distraction and the limitations of the system.

    While Tesla does tell its drivers to pay attention to the road, there are ways drivers can fool the system to make the car believe they were paying attention, said Elluswamy. Many drivers even go so far as to buy Tesla counterweights on websites like Alibaba, which can be placed on steering wheels to mimic the weight of human hands that are otherwise engaged while the car is in movement.

    Even amid regulator scrutiny and reports of crashes, Tesla recently extended access of its FSD software to customers across North America.
     
  2. Todd Bonzalez

    Todd Bonzalez Member

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    FSD doesn't work, but people still want to work as crash test dummies for Elon.

    $15,000 for beta (that's another way to say "unfinished") software? Nice grift.:ROFLMAO:
     
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  3. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    real world winter fsd demo from GRM


    perhaps one or two other members here can guess why I subscribe to this channel..
     
  4. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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    Ralph Nader urges regulators to recall Tesla’s ‘manslaughtering’ Full Self-Driving vehicles - The Verge

    Ralph Nader Begs NHTSA to Pull Tesla's "Full Self-Driving" Software (motortrend.com)

    People took great delight in making fun of Mr. Nader and his actions when this was posted a year ago demeaning him as an individual and his concerns as nonsense. It would be interesting if any fess up and apologize for misjudging him and his action.

    Tesla is probably a good company with good people, but they missed the ball on this.
     
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  5. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    A lot of powerful people dislike Ralph. In the 60s GM went on record saying the reason for not putting seat belts in their cars was the cost.
    back than it was just lap belts, no wiszbang shoulder harnesses like are omnipresent, whatever one sits in now.
     
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  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    March 26, 2019 we bought our first Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus and paid an extra ~$2,000 for AutoPilot. Two months later, it paid for itself when on an unplanned, trip extension without my CPAP machine led to five micro sleeps. The Tesla stayed in its lane instead of wandering into the deep ditch or power poles while dynamic cruse control kept the speed safe and avoided driving into other traffic. But I'd had two previous, less successful experiences.

    Our 2014 BMW i3-REx had optically based, MagicEye dynamic cruise control while the 2017 Toyota Prime had a radar based system. Dynamic cruise control worked but only the 2014 BMW gave a visual indication of distant traffic. Display of other traffic was missing from the Prime so I could never tell if the radar detection was working in fog or rain. As for lane keeping, the BMW had none and the Prime revealed it would ping-pong in the lane and the third correction would cross the traffic lane lines headed for the ditch. In spite of early problems, Tesla AutoPilot was superior to both and problems were corrected via over-the-air software updates.

    AutoPilot was designed for highway use yet drove uncomfortably close to the center line on sweeping right turns. It also used to 'split the difference' if the passenger side lane line curved off for an access lane. Early AutoPilot dynamic cruise control also suffered more frequent false positives called 'phantom braking' events than it does today. But over time, these infantile problems were reduced and/or eliminated.

    In October 2019, I paid $6,000 for Full Self Driving (FSD) that was under development. Early beta testing revealed it brought lane keeping to urban streets lacking lane lines. It also handled stop and yield signs and traffic lights that AutoPilot failed. Early FSD problems were often corrected with each beta release. But when FSD developers switched from discrete code to an artificial intelligence architecture, it suspended new FSD betas for understandably a year.

    I read and watch videos about FSD and AutoPilot. Some have merit that I can replicate. Others are fantasies, like the staged running over a child sized manikin. But notice the phrase, "I can replicate." In Tesla forums we have no problem with sharing observations with other AutoPilot and FSD users. Perhaps the first touchstone of truth is to ask "Did you replicate this?"

    Bob Wilson
     
    #6 bwilson4web, Jan 19, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2023
  7. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Everyone knows Boeing 727 Pilots can get stumbling drunk, pass out in the pilot seat & the jet will taxi to the runway by itself ... take off by itself ... .... fly while avoiding bad weather & obstacles all by itself ... land and park all by itself. That's why they call it autopilot right? ... what, you mean only a moron could be so self-deceived? To the OP ... thank you for this great Revelation captain obvious. This kind of logic is why everyone that trips and falls wants to blame the store owner or concrete contractor. Pick up your feet for crepe sakes - or find someone to help you in your walker.
    .
     
  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Naming the feature autopilot isn't the issue being raised in the article. Though that is an issue with the general public's ignorance about aircraft autopilots.

    The issue is that Tesla made video of a car using technology, 3D map of the planned route, not available to the consumer, and presented it as demonstration of what a consumer's car can do. There were no disclaimers about it not being so. The video was even titled "Full Self-Driving Hardware on All Teslas" without a note the car in video was using different software.

    What Tesla did was basically give the car in the video GM's Super Cruise for that trip.
     
  9. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    And then Tesla had how many changes of mind about the hardware and the software to even begin to approach what it would take to do what the marketing label implied.

    Interstate cruising under driver supervising has been available in many brands for years. I'd guess I've done at least half my miles using Toyota's version of it.
     
  10. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    If everything in the 727 goes as planned, everyone continues life as usual. If on the other hand something unexpected happens, given that scenario, and how many of those incidents have been reported in recent years, the pilot is responsible.
    Taking cybenetics one step into the scifi realm, is the 1982 movie starring Clint Eastwood "Firefox" where Clint portrayed an american air force pilot whose parents were both russian. Clint was recruited to steal one of two russian prototype Mig 22 that had thought sensors in the pilots helmet that controlled the jets avionics and weapons. The technology was developed by russian jewish scientists that were forced by the russian military kgb to develop to technology under fear of death.
     
    #10 vvillovv, Jan 20, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Semantics, I wish "Autopilot" had been called "Copilot" because it assists the driver. A former private pilot, I understand why autopilot is appropriate because the original intended Level 4-5 objective for robotaxi. But Elon is attracted only to the hardest problems that challenge him and his team.

    This morning, I updated to software 2022.44.30.10 and the latest Full Self Driving (FSD.) After a short day of testing, both are much improved:
    • Side camera operation- that turns on the camera on the turn signal side. Unlike the side mirrors, the cameras have a wider field of view than the mirrors which is especially useful when turn-merging into a fast traffic lane. Not being so flexible and the "B" pillar blocking the driver side, rear view to traffic. When backing up or with rear view enabled, the rear and two side cameras provide an unobstructed, unmatched view.
    • Single lane and right intersection turns - much more confident and trustable. But if taking a turn at an intersection, doing the turn manually is less 'exciting.' My earlier strikes (i.e., disengagements) occurred while turning at intersections.
    • Lane bias for wider vehicles - when passing large trucks in adjacent lanes, the car smoothly snuggles to the far side its lane. This is a lot less exciting.
    • Sensitive to steering cheat devices - it easily detects simple weights and warns. So I'm already designing a spring mounted weight that should fool the car ... engineering challenge games.
    • Integrated navigation - the car will prompt for lane changes and adjust speed for exits and merging in traffic.
    Also, some functions like Supercharger invoices are in the Tesla App instead of the web page. I haven't found the cabin camera view yet but will check YouTubes later. But I am faced with a 'Sophies Choice.'

    If I trade-up my 2019 Model 3, I will lose Full Self Driving that now costs $15,000. It can not be moved to a new Tesla I might buy. But my 100% SOC range is down to 215 mi from the original 240 miles. It may be cheaper to swap the battery someday and keep FSD than swap the car and have to pay $15,000 for FSD again.

    Bob Wilson
     
  12. Todd Bonzalez

    Todd Bonzalez Member

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    Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) are two different MARKETING terms used by Tesla to describe their arguably unfinished features.

    Not sure why you got your panties in such a bunch???
     
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  13. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Rather than “unfinished” I would call it “continuous improvement.” Tesla changes other parts of their EVs all the time. For example replacing cabin heating and AC with a heat pump based system.

    Bob Wilson
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    until i can sleep from point a to b, it's useless to me
     
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Considering that the very last 727 ever built was delivered in 1984, its last commercial flight in the U.S. was twenty years ago, its last passenger flight anywhere was in Iran four years ago ...

    ... was the 727's 'autopilot' system ever advanced enough to perform that scenario in even the very best of conditions? I didn't think so.
     
  16. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Holding out for Robotaxi is something I understand. GOOD, FAST, CHEAP: pick two.

    The Macintosh world often discussed buying a discounted, end-of-manufacture when the latest hotness came out. Some power users needed the new Macs but most of us realized what the day before, the recently discounted Macs were ‘good enough.’

    Bob Wilson
     
  17. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    The 727 is alive and well in the form of the 737 which is essentially the same plane without the third rear tail engine.
     
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  18. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Same 'autopilot' too, without major or fundamental upgrades since that last 727 was rolled out?
     
  19. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    Do you mean downgrades, during the RayGun administration?
     
  20. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    My price point for a cell phone is $350 cash. I don't need a overpriced latest with sixty skillion mega anything.

    My wife and I have A50 and A51s. When their batteries run out, it will have cost us 1/3 of what a latest iphone would cost.
     
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