Tesla runs red light into a semi-trailer truck

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by bwilson4web, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    At 3:20 AM, this Tesla ran a red light and impacted a semi-trailer:

    Available about three months ago, I've enabled 'traffic aware' option that will not run a red light. It even comes to a complete stop at a green light unless overridden by the driver. Other reports are the NHTSA is sending an investigation team.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Semi trailers seem to be a tough problem for the software, specially the white ones. Either the program doesn't see it, or mistakes it for an overpass.

    There is an easy fix. One which Europe uses, and it would save on trucking fuel costs; require all trailers to have those side skirts.
     
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  3. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    I'm puzzled by the inability to recognize one of the most iconic shapes on the road. A big thing the size of a house with black round things at both ends.... A three year old knows that shape is "a twuk". And yet there are still collisions with plain white big rigs.

    Dan
     
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  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Because the human brain makes some tasks look easy. Extremely easy when we try getting machines to do some of those same tasks.

    Past threads on this topic covered the details, but this is a hard problem for machines. with the empty space below, a white trailer very well might be seen has empty space by the car depending on lighting and weather. Even with another sense like radar, it could get mistaken for an overpass. Then would should system do? False positives lead to customer dissatisfaction, or even to the car being rear ended for stopping unexpectedly in traffic.

    Plenty of threads here on unexpected behavior from Toyota's system, so this isn't just a Tesla problem.
     
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  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    cop's preliminary - tesla ran a red light, regardless if AP was on.
    ... so much for knee jerk speculations ... but if it's of any consolation ... count me in too.
    ;)

    NHTSA sends team to Detroit to investigate Tesla-semi crash

    NHTSA sends team to Detroit to investigate Tesla-semi crash
    .
     
    #5 hill, Mar 16, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
  6. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The driver wasn't paying attention at that point, but this has happened without a traffic light in the mix.
     
  7. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    That's not a good fix. There are some loads that couldn't possibly have side skirts (in my industry, wind turbine towers and blades are in that category) so the software needs to be able to see them without the skirts anyway.
     
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  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    How often has a Tesla on autopilot run into the trailer of an oversized load? Or any non-box trailer?

    These accidents seem to only happen with box trailers, and usually white. These have straight, vertical sides, and a bottom above the level of the semi's wheels. Gooseneck trailers, which many oversized loads are on such types, have the trailer bed sit much lower to the road surface. They also tend to be odd shaped. There doesn't seem to be any problems with a Tesla spotting them.

    The majority of good are moved on box trailers. These should have side skirts to just reduce fuel use.

    Now this might get mistaken by a Tesla.
    [​IMG]
    Then the non-visual sensors other use may not have the field of view to see it from the side. Or any of the cars might decide they can make it.
     
  9. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Who cares? If you are going to widely deploy these things, it'll happen eventually if it can happen.

    And how is that different than this?

    5D_15826.jpg

    Or this?

    IMG_8378.jpg
     
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  10. privilege

    privilege Member

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    think about it for a minute...

    if the Tesla driver ran the redlight and this was the result.... then the truck wasn't sitting still in the intersection, the truck was moving.

    if the driver was traveling at 50mph, and the truck was traveling at 50mph, how many feet of stopping distance would the Tesla have before the entire truck was in the Tesla's path ?

    yup, it's just another example of "do not trust computers with your life"
     
  11. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Nearly all these Tesla hitting a semi trailer in the side involved bot vehicles in motion.

    Vertical surfaces curved
    The bottom edge of the trailer is lower than that of a box trailer's
    The top and bottom edges of the object aren't horizontal with the road

    Which doesn't change the fact that box trailers should have side skirts to help reduce carbon emissions. Their making it easier for auto driving aids to call the trailer a trailer is just a plus.
     
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  12. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    That's quite an assumption, and invalid in many of the cases.

    The first widely publicized Tesla death was hitting a semi slowly turning left across a divided road. The Tesla did not slow down. It did not recognize the Semi , according to Tesla.

    The one that would worry me was the accident on US-101 in San Jose a couple years back. The Tesla did not figure out that there was an offramp to a flyover on the left side of the freeway. The car instead held to the middle of the ever widening lane right up to when it hit the barrier at the end of the lane divider. Yuck. A messy way to die.
     
  13. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Looking at the photos, it appears the left painted line had faded (wear pattern?) and the car found the wrong side of the right-side line. Then the left line became solid and the autopilot steered between the two lines into the previously defeated crash barrier. Reports are the Apple game developer driver was working on a new, life-time, high game score.

    Bob Wilson
     
    #13 bwilson4web, Mar 29, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
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  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    As I remember, this particular driver had previously reported the same failure at this particular spot ...

    ... then continued driving this road as if his Tesla A/P had true self driving, such that he could safely take his eyes and attention off the road for extended periods.

    But no Tesla has that level of automation. Nor does any car on the current consumer market. They are all still various degrees of just driver assist.

    Darwin Award.

    What impresses me about the OP case is that anyone in the submarined car survived. Apart from its misnamed A/P and FSD, it does have damn good cockpit crash protection.
     
    #14 fuzzy1, Mar 29, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
  15. privilege

    privilege Member

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    im only referring to the collision in this video, not other collisions.
    the video stated that the Tesla (more correctly the Tesla's driver) ran the red light and collided with the trailer.
    if they were both doing the same speed, with blind approaches, the Tesla's cameras would not have seen the trailer until it was in the intersection. I'm assuming a lot about these variables , but either way, the Tesla's driver was completely at fault for running a red.
     
  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    That could be, but on surface streets like those they may have been going slower, and we can't tell if they were blind approaches from the video. Going by how far the car got under the trailer, I don't think it applied the brakes at all.
     
  17. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Besides the assumptions (but let's pretend that we ARE in that unknown world) ...... statistics can lend themselves to this scenario. When distracted or inattentive drivers plow into vehicles in a T-bone situations, how often do accidents occur per million miles ..... most newer cars have some type of assist. Per million miles - driver-assist features avoid accidents / fatalities on a more favorable basis than driver alone statistics.

    These driver assist features on cars can be shut down by the varying authorities if the statistics get worse then unassisted drivers. The ubiquitous reality is that many drivers are inattentive, but we are inclined to be more forgiving our own driving failures than machine failures .... & often jump to the conclusion it must be the machine before anybody dies into reality.
    .
     
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  18. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    If you look closely, the roof of the car was sheared off. If the driver was sitting upright she'd have been decapitated. Unless there is an automatic seat back collapse when approaching a collision, she was just very lucky that something failed such that she was lower than the dashboard as the car went under the side of the truck.
     
  19. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    I agree with your premise. The reason that I call out this specific instance is that Tesla has a wealth of information at their disposal and they did not use it. There are thousands of Teslas traversing that intersection every day and all of the drivers make a decision to go left or right before hitting the barrier. There are maps that show the bifurcation of the lane. Someone on this forum said that the driver had reported faulty guidance at this intersection just a week before. Personally, in the case of Tesla, Elon Musk has handicapped the safety by mandating visual light cameras only for sensors. **

    Google's Waymo has not had these problems. We really need an infrastructure that will allow ALL the best technology to be integrated into one self driving SYSTEM. Not just a program. Not just a network. Not just certain sensors. There needs to be an integrated system that can be rolled out to all car manufacturers.

    Dan

    ** There may have been recent changes in his stance, but I've seen reports over the last few years where he eschewed Radar and Lidar and location specific maps.
     
  20. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    That is a big assumption. We simply don't know if the truck was moving at speed, or was just pulling out from a dead stop, or anywhere in between.
    When I look closely, I don't see it sheared off. Instead, I see only the rear portion of the car's roof, plus a giant divot in the underbelly of the trailer where the car roof shoved or wedged a good portion of the trailer underbelly upwards.

    With that wedging action, the passengers wouldn't necessarily have been decapitated at all. They may have neck injuries from the roof getting pushed part way down.

    But we effectively have only a single picture from a single perspective. That leaves a huge amount of necessary detail not revealed to us.
     
    #20 fuzzy1, Mar 30, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
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