Germans rightfully expect vehicle drivers to be intelligent.
As their old saying goes…
Der Mensch denkt,
der Chauffeur lenkt
A man thinks, a driver steers.
Tesla has flagrantly violated this German saying on both ends by telling customers they don’t have to think when they sit in a “driverless” box that can’t steer.
The CEO of Tesla literally told everyone they should plan to fall asleep while driving his cars. The result predictably has been “luxurious ignorance” leading to a huge increase of crashes and deaths.
Unfortunately, the overtly fraudulent Tesla still seems to sell cars. And it’s buyers, especially Americans, sometimes believe any crazy thing they hear instead of checking the NHTSA records.
The latest news is a Tesla driven by a man in Germany under some unspecified influence (social media, drugs, alcohol, etc.) had to be removed from the Autobahn.
Police have described how the Tesla driver ignored a safety check, then completely ignored their chase from in front of him.
Der Fahrer war gegen 12 Uhr auf der A70 von Bamberg in Fahrtrichtung Bayreuth unterwegs, als die Polizeistreife ihn einer Verkehrskontrolle unterziehen wollte.
Teslas have a very sad reputation for ignoring safety lights and signs but this case is a new low.
In fact one of the first Tesla “autopilot” fatalities was in 2016 from driving straight into flashing safety lights and signs… a problem that only had gotten worse for a decade already.
The NHTSA is currently investigating at least 40 crashes involving faulty Tesla software.
Checkpoints to remove Tesla from roads seem like a great idea, until you factor they’d have to be staged as moving interceptions over many miles since Teslas are too blind and dumb to stop on any normal notice.
Apparently the driver confidently entered his vehicle unfit to drive (typical for Tesla owners), set cruise control then went to sleep.
While we can blame him for being the kind of person who would buy a Tesla in order to do the wrong thing, it also sounds like he was doing exactly the sort things the CEO has repeatedly encouraged.
Police sirens and lights failed to wake this man or disable his machine for fifteen minutes. They tracked the vehicle from in front observing a blindingly obvious inability to think.
When the driver finally was alert and forced to avoid disaster, he was charged with thoughtless endangerment. The police also noted Tesla’s safety feature to prevent drivers being “inattentive” had been trivially bypassed; yet another design flaw.
His driver’s license then was revoked. But when you really think about the design flaws and CEO messaging… all Teslas should have had their license revoked.
This incident follows German regulators warning since 2019 that Tesla’s abuse of the term “autopilot” is misleading to the point of being negligent fraud (the safety troll phrase “full self driving”, of course, is even worse).
More recently, German regulatory investigations this year reported unsafe “abnormalities” in Tesla software, highlighting unethical engineering practices.
Tesla manche Funktionen nur freischalte, wenn der Fahrer eine bestimmte Punktzahl in Abhängigkeit von seinem Fahrkönnen erreicht. Ein Fahrzeug müsse so sicher sein, dass es von allen Fahrern bedient werden kann, hieß es beim KBA.
Cars are meant to be safe for anyone to drive, yet Tesla introduced “political” points systems in their cars to deliberately curate a false sense of privileged access to safety.
They may as well have been charging $15K for Elon Musk bobble head dolls while telling owners it makes their car invincible.
Neither the points systems nor the high cost have any correlation to achieving basic safety. Tragically, this means “safety warnings” given to Tesla drivers makes them LESS safe because they falsely believe the CEO and think they don’t need the warnings.
I warned about this here way back in 2006, if you will, the year Tesla was founded by copying the tzero EV design:
…countermeasures sometimes may increase danger, rather than diminish it [because] in the rare event it is [needed], the warning will no longer be received and there may be a victim. […] A warning that is not perceived as needed will not be heeded–even when it is needed.
The news therefore continues to be about Tesla owners falsely believing the CEO he is personally elevating them into privilege (again, the “luxurious ignorance” often associated with fans of dictators), when in fact they are a threat to themselves and everyone around them.
Tesla engineering has in this regard always been quite predictably and uniquely toxic to road safety.
This brings me back to 2016 when I very publicly (BSidesLV keynote) explained how Josh Brown would not have been killed by Tesla if he hadn’t been misled by the CEO’s bogus “crash avoidance” propaganda.
Taking away one license isn’t going to solve this problem until that license is the one that gets all Tesla off the roads.