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Autonomous driving/Tesla AP/FSD - legalities.

  • 28-10-2020 2:18pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,177 ✭✭✭ Kramer


    I had a heated discussion with someone regarding this recently & it's going to become more & more problematic IMO, until we achieve full level 5 autonomy (in 2120 :D).

    When we get there, responsibility will be removed from the driver entirely, as there won't be a driver.

    What between now & then though?

    What if a Garda witnessed you with your hands off the wheel for 10 or 12 seconds, while travelling at 120km/h on a quiet motorway, with adaptive cruise control & LKA/autopilot etc. engaged.

    Could said Garda prosecute for careless driving? Driving without due care & attention?

    What if you're in a dodgy Model 3 with its ubiquitous phantom braking? Your car brakes for no reason & the guy behind hits you. Are you up for careless driving?
    Can the car be prosecuted? :D.

    Before anyone says the driver behind is always at fault, that's not always the case. I've seen successful prosecutions for drivers slamming on brakes, possibly deliberately, to cause a rear collision. One involved a bus rear ending a car going through a junction. The driver braked, claiming he thought a dog or cat had ran out in front of him. Witnesses dispelled his claim & he was convicted.

    What if this was a Model 3 which phantom braked?

    What if you're on the M50 in bumper to bumper, start/stop traffic? Ideal self driving territory everyone agrees. But your car faults, doesn't stop & rear ends the guy in front?

    What's the charge against you? Without due care & attention? But it was the car's failure that caused it. Can you use that as a defense?

    As cars get better at autonomy, drivers naturally become more confident & pay less attention behind the wheel. Some even use bottles/weights etc. to bypass the nagging & defeat the car's safety systems.

    You "summon" your Tesla/Merq in a Tesco carpark & it prangs a parked car or knocks over a pedestrian. You weren't driving - can you be done for a driving offence? This would require new legislation IMO too.

    Opinions?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,063 ✭✭✭ JohnC.


    Don't know about phantom braking, but the first one with them seeing you with your hands off the wheel, they certainly could do you for it. Doesn't matter what aids your car has, you are still currently supposed to have your hands on the wheel. Even Tesla will tell you that. And the cars themselves will probably warn you to put your hands on the wheel if you do take them off. I can't say if every car does it, I just don't know, but I know some certainly do. It is still expected and the law.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,854 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    JohnC. wrote: »
    the first one with them seeing you with your hands off the wheel, they certainly could do you for it. Doesn't matter what aids your car has, you are still currently supposed to have your hands on the wheel. It is still expected and the law.

    That's a strong statement. Have you any bit of "the law" to back that up? Genuine question. I've never come across any legislation that specifically states you have to have your hands on the wheel at all times.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,063 ✭✭✭ JohnC.


    I don't think it is so much that exactly, as under current rules, a car needs to be under the control of a driver but autonomous software does not fall under the definition of a driver. But they have said they will be changing that to allow testing on our roads. But currently, if you're not controlling the car (to some extent), it's not under the control of a driver.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,177 ✭✭✭ Kramer


    JohnC. wrote: »
    a car needs to be under the control of a driver.......if you're not controlling the car (to some extent), it's not under the control of a driver.

    OK, steering can be overridden so that's OK.

    What about a car braking suddenly & without warning, erroneously, like Teslas who phantom brake?
    One can't easily override a car that brakes like that.

    Now, the funny thing is ALL new cars are mandated to have this AEB - auto emergency braking, to meet €uropean safety standards, not just fancy EVs with some level of autonomy.

    What if someone rear ends you because your car braked?

    Are you both criminally & civilly liable?


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