In a recent post on LinkedIn, Tesla shared a video of the training of its Deep Neural Networks while inviting job applicants to apply for the Autopilot team in Buffalo. The video is pretty neat, as well as some of the conversations I noticed in the comments on Tesla’s LinkedIn post.
The comment section was filled with questions and answers. John-Michael McNew, an attorney, asked, “What happens when a stop sign is misaligned so the camera wouldn’t recognize it?” This had a few replies. Wyatt Dohrwardt pointed out that the chance of the autonomous Tesla running a stop sign and killing someone is still less than a human making the same mistake and noted that it’s a dark thought but, like people, it will learn from its mistakes. Joseph Shepin noted that the car will know there is a stop sign there even if it doesn’t see it due to the database.
Landon Hillyard pointed out that this is what happens when a new stop sign in your neighborhood is installed. “At first it takes you by surprise, but then it becomes second nature to stop there. This will be the same approach except only one of your neighbors needs to see the stop sign, then all of you have learned it.”
Saahas Goel asked, “What if a child is running on the road and accidentally comes in front of the car, how will it react?” This is a good question, and an all-too-common scenario, unfortunately. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen parents not paying attention to their young children who run out into the driving area in front of Walmart or at shopping centers. Fortunately, strangers are kind and have often intervened — I’ve done so before, too.
A great reply to Saahas’ question was shared by Robert Morales. It’s a video of FSD avoiding a deer at night. The video, which I shared below, was posted on YouTube by Dirty Tesla, who shared his experience of Tesla’s FSD Beta avoiding the deer back in December. It was night time and he was driving on dirt roads.
An Idea for Tesla
Chris Timpone shared an idea that I think is pretty brilliant. He asked Tesla, “Will you also interface with state DMVs to find stolen cars, Amber alerts, warrants, etc?” This is a great idea because it would help save the lives of children who have been kidnapped.
Someone noted that it could be a privacy issue, but CCTV is always recording anyways. Also, we have smartphones that pretty much give our info to Facebook, Google, etc. so that they can send us relevant advertisements. So, personally, I don’t see the issue in that regard. I’d rather Tesla have some type of partnership with the police that would alert them to a serial killer or kidnapper. For someone living in an average-sized city, the odds of you crossing paths with around 16 murderers a day is very high. That freaks me out more than Timpone’s idea.