Oh but I'M such a good driver....nothing can go wron
Haggy | September 25, 2016
There are a few points, and some have to do with reality, others with law, and some with legal ramifications. Tesla doesn't "require" me to hold the wheel and only a regulatory authority can do so, strictly speaking. People may say I'm required to hold the wheel because Tesla says so, but in my state there's no legal requirement. The only reason we are told to hold the wheel all the time, aside from where it's legally required, are more for historical reasons than anything else. The car controls the steering, acceleration and braking. But even though we are as likely to need to take over any of those, we are told what to do with our hands but not our feet, even though braking might be the most critical of the three, and hand movement back to the wheel might be the quickest compared to getting a foot to the brake pedal.
Since I could use the car literally for hours on end if not for the nag, but need to be able to take over, level three is a more apt description when on highways but doesn't make sense for Tesla to claim that for legal reasons, and doesn't apply since the car can't handle most major functions in general driving. So 2.5 would make sense if there were such a thing. It would be hard to call it inaccurate since there's no strict definition of what it means.
It's clear that there's no correlation between holding the wheel and paying attention, and anybody paying attention should be able to grab the wheel long before there's any danger of losing control. Even Dave who insists that autosteer is completely unreliable seems to be able to grab the wheel in time. It's not the time it take to grab the wheel that's even the issue, but the time to react. If your hands are on the wheel, the reaction time delay is still there. Nobody has been killed for failing to grab the wheel.
Colloquially, it's a very different issue. We could say that it's self driving, but it's clear that we mean it in a given context. It's driving itself at times we relinquish control and isn't when we control it. Nobody could get the car from home to a freeway thinking the car could drive itself because the car wouldn't be able to get them there in the first place. I could say my car is self moving (i.e. automobile) but that's not true since I need pedals and a steering wheel to let the car know when and how to move. But colloquially we know what automobile really means. I don't think any Tesla driver should be under a mistaken impression of what the car does, and any comments otherwise (mostly in places aside from this forum) are from people who don't own the car and may have never seen one.
But there's a third group aside from owners and complainers, and those are the rest of the world. They tend to see it the same way we see that Google car that was involved in an accident a few days ago. It had nothing to do with whether it was self driving, and even those who want to debate whether the car was being driven manually at the time are missing the point. Somebody smashed into a car owned by Google and the same thing could have happened had it been parked at a curb.
Somebody recently asked me abut my car and whether it could drive itself. I explained what it could and couldn't do, such as being able to follow vehicles in traffic but not detect cross traffic. He figured I was referring to the case he read about in the news, which he dismissed as a guy who was driving without paying attention and he didn't much care about that, which he didn't see as a problem with the car, but had other questions. That's more typical when it comes to what people think about with respect to whether the car could drive itself.