DTNS 3290 – All Aboard the Hellscape Train

Elon Musk goes on a tweet storm about the truthiness of major media outlets. Musk wants to setup a website where the public can rate the credibility of news outlets and ‘core-truth’ of news stories. We examine the issue, the problem and proposed solution.

Starring Sarah Lane, Justin Robert Young and Roger Chang.

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Show Notes
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One thought on “DTNS 3290 – All Aboard the Hellscape Train”

  1. Hi Sarah, hi Justin, hi Roger,

    The preliminary report from the NTSB is short: 1400 words.
    https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/HWY18MH010-prelim.pdf
    You relied on Reuters reporting on the basis of the NTSB report, but the Reuters correspondent has made errors.

    You should have read the NTSB report, it’s not that long. When possible, go to the primary source.

    According to the NTSB report the testing procedure for the Uber self-driving system was designed as follows:
    – The operator of the car has TWO jobs:
    a) be attentive and intervene when the self driving system is in error.
    b) monitor diagnostic messages that appear in a screen ‘in the center stack of the vehicle dash’, and ‘tag events of interest for subsequent review.’ This explains why the operator of the vehicle was looking down frequently.
    – The self driving system had (of course) control over the brakes, _except_ in the case of emergency braking. That is, if the self driving system decided emergency braking was necessary it was barred from doing so. (According to Uber this was done to prevent erratic driving).
    – in the event of the self driving system deciding emergency braking was necessary, there was no provision to alert the operater.

    Of course, this is only a preliminary report, additional information may be uncovered that changes the assessment.

    The NTSB preliminary report states only facts, there are no judgemental remarks.

    My reading of the NTSB preliminary report is that it is very, very damning for Uber. The self driving system detected the collision danger, it decided emergency braking was necessary, but it was barred from doing so. This was not a technical fault, it was human error: the design of the testing procedure was wrong.

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