Road diets and bad Tesla

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note: this is a machine generated transcript and may not be completely accurate. This is provided for convience and should not be used for attribution.

Hi, and welcome to your daily relaxation podcast.

No, I’m kidding. It’s Be Afraid of Cars podcast. Oh, come on. I was looking forward to some ASMR. Oh, I’m sorry. Good morning again, gentlemen. Always a pleasure. Okay. Well, hey, listeners. It’s, It’s our the auto be a law podcast. So that means Tesla guys ever heard of the, this thing called a cyber truck.

Well, surprise. It looks like Tesla has issued a stop sale order for new cyber trucks because the cover on the accelerator pedal seems to slide off and then jam the accelerator in place. So you go full speed. Is that correct? Is that what I’m seeing? Jalopnik article.

Michael: Yeah. I mean, that’s what it looked like.

It’s just an extraordinarily, bad, both design and manufacturing issue because you’re seeing, the R2D2 accelerator pedal that’s right off of the actual, accelerator the pedal slips off and then there’s a notch in the console area that is, At the perfect spot to trap that pedal when it’s, or the pedal cover when it’s coming, sliding off the accelerator pedal.

And I think the best news about this entire problem is that your brakes supposedly still work in this situation. Even when the accelerator’s jammed, you can break your way out of it. Hopefully. Well, yeah, but that’s,

Fred: it was interesting because as soon as you let off on the brake. It starts to accelerate at full speed again.

So as a warning to our listeners, if you see a Tesla going down the road, alternating between stopping abruptly and and accelerating or abruptly, like a sewing machine in the in the lateral world. But, if you see that, then, there’s a problem and at least wave to the owner.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, that’s, I mean, look, this is one of those things. It just doesn’t look like they really did their due diligence designing this thing. You got an accelerator pedal cover that slides right off into a gap that allows it to, hold the accelerator down. That’s just terrible design. I mean, when you think sudden acceleration, a lot of people think about Toyota sudden acceleration from a few years back, where there were, both issues with, physical pedal entrapment by floor mats or otherwise, as well as a software issue that was causing it.

So there’s a lot of different ways sudden acceleration can happen from a software perspective, we often see it in, in physical entrapment of the pedal, typically involving floor mats. In this case, it’s just, a terrible design.

Anthony: Well, Yes, it is a terrible design, but unfortunately some Tesla customers are saying hey, I was expecting my delivery, but I got a text message saying it’s been delayed.

So you gotta wait on that. So I apologize to those Tesla people waiting.

Michael: Yeah, I think they stopped production for like a week so far. We still haven’t seen a recall pop up on this one, by the way. Typically when you stop production over an issue involving stuck accelerated pedals, there would be a recall involved, but so far I can’t tell if Tesla’s trying to avoid a recall in this circumstance or they’re just slow on the uptake.

Anthony: So for those Cybertruck people waiting delivery there are a number of medical products you can use to fill this void in your life. Brought to you by HIMSS. No? Okay.

Michael: You know what, if you’re buying a Cybertruck, you already have more money than you know what to do with. I’m sure you can find something to fill your time with.

Why don’t you go to the Center for Auto Safety website and give us a donation?

Anthony: That’s an excellent idea. I agree. I’m

Michael: sorry, I tried to break in and do one of those.

Anthony: Hey, you did it. It was good. I’m glad you’re stepping up. More Tesla news. This is the craziest thing I have ever heard of. There’s an article in Business Insider skip the silly title, called Tick Tocker, trapped hot dog.

Inside a hot Tesla car. So this woman, she is in her car and Tesla, the car says, Hey, let’s update software. And she’s like, okay. At first, the car says it’s only going to take 24 minutes or something. And having once worked for a large software company our internal model was don’t listen to the operating system.

It’s lying to you. So this woman, unfortunately, the Tesla user manual alerts owners that some safety features are disabled during software updates and warns you not to open the doors or windows of your vehicle while the update is installed or else you could damage the vehicle. Wait, what? I don’t have I’m wrapping my head around this.

I understand, okay it’s updating software, so you’re not gonna drive it. Sure, I get that. Probably you can’t access the AM FM radio. You’re not gonna play video games on it. You’re not gonna press the fart mode button. Whatever but if you open the door It’s gonna break the software update?

Ah help. I don’t understand this.

Michael: I don’t totally understand that. I mean, I think what the user manual is trying to do is to get owners to just leave the vehicle alone. While it’s getting an update that way there’s less chance of issues, but I mean, in this case, it looks like she was aware that there was a manual release.

The emergency manual release were there. But the TikToker didn’t want to use the emergency manual, at least because Tesla implies in their user manual that’s going to damage the vehicle. And so this person was, in a situation where the car temperature was rising, but it looks like they were.

sweating and, potentially entering the initial stages of hyperthermia. But, you, at that point, I think a lot of reasonable folks would have just gotten out of the car and said, I’ll take my chances rather than continuing to remain in the vehicle. While the temperature rose, so it’s an odd story in a lot of ways, Tesla could be a lot better on first of all, communicating to its customers where the emergency manual releases are because when you have doors with electronic lash latches and you have, a https: otter.

ai Electronic system problems. You need that emergency manual release to get out of the vehicle to actuate the latch and to open the door. So that’s a communication that Tesla needs to be doing to all owners when they buy the vehicle. Because we’ve seen a lot of fire cases where it appears occupants were unable to escape the vehicle, even though they were trying, they didn’t know where the emergency manual release was.

That’s. Critical, a critical part of vehicle safety is allowing for proper egress of the passengers.

Fred: So what am I missing about these Tesla’s that people are willing to literally risk life and limb or lose life and limb to sit there in an overheated vehicle sweating profusely while the software is updating?

What is it about these cars that I’m missing that people would say, it reminds me of people smoking cigarettes. And, when it’s 10 below zero huddling outside in the cold blast, the missing,

Michael: the, just the sheer amount of stupid things people will do to look cool. I mean, people certainly put themselves in a lot more danger to look cool than, it’s, it, then getting in a Tesla.

That’s not a very. High on the risk calculation. Some people are putting on fly suits and flying down mountains. And that looks fun. People do a lot of crazy things for attention and Tesla is probably pretty low on that list actually.

Anthony: So with Tesla saying, Hey, don’t open your doors. Don’t do anything while this is happening.

Is this just Tesla’s standard MO where. We want to, cover our ass and blame our customers at any chance that anything goes wrong. Cause we know that’s what they do. Hey, you you got, yeah, the car suddenly accelerated. Well, you did it wrong. You did it wrong.

Michael: You did it wrong. Your car’s now, you’ve got a failed software update and we don’t know how to fix it, but it’s your fault.

Right? Maybe that’s what’s going on. I don’t know They’re quite that nefarious, but I don’t put a whole lot past them.

Anthony: So I I got to sit in my first Tesla this weekend. It was a Tesla Model 3. It was a cab that picked myself and some friends up. And just my perspective from the backseat is it felt like being in a Kia from 1996.

I don’t know, maybe the front seat’s better, but I was really surprised how cheap it felt. But, the funny part is we got to our destination, and, I could see, I knew how to get out of this car, cause I pay attention to this podcast. But my friends they struggled with finding out how to open the door.

And I thought, that’s that seems like a mistake. But, hey, what do I know? I mean, most of our cars inside, a little handle, a little pull, a little mechanical release. Why would you go for an electronic release over a mechanical release? Is there a cost saving there?

Fred: I don’t think so, but maybe you just like to use artificial intelligence to open your door.

Seems like a great use of that computing power.

Michael: It just seems like part of this entire move by Tesla and some other companies to make things cooler. Hey my, my vehicle doesn’t have a manual latch. It’s electronic. I don’t know how, sound like the cool factor is very high there, but we’ve seen the migration of buttons and other features to the touchscreen.

And, I think ultimately it’s just a, it’s a cool factor is being able to open your vehicle electronically and everything’s automated and everything’s great and Tesla world that may be driving that, but I, who knows? Who knows? There are a lot of reasons people buy Teslas.

And I think the great majority of Tesla owners and buyers are, just looking for a nice vehicle. They’re not really into all the bells and whistles that we talk about all the time. And so The safety failures,

Anthony: you mean?

Michael: Yeah, they’re not aware of, some of these issues.

Anthony: Moving on, let’s skip away from our past little love to an article from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Changing the clocks helps pedestrians but hurts motorists. Setting the clocks forward to better align the workday with the rising and setting of the sun makes pedestrians and bicyclists safer, though the net effect on overall fatal crashes is minimal, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows.

I still just want to get rid of daylight savings time or non daylight savings time. This makes it better for pedestrians, better for other road users but cars are crashing? Is this what we’re seeing?

Fred: Yeah, this is, it’s interesting. I hate daylight savings as much as the next person. I think this may be suffering a little bit from granularity.

Just not a lot of. Not a lot of incidents that they’re using to base this on. So I think they would actually have to look at this over several years to make sure that the data they’re reporting is solid.

Michael: It is interesting. It was just very interesting that the, if the data can be supported over time, it’s interesting to see that you’re essentially getting overall safety is.

It’s not affected so much. However, you’re seeing a fairly significant increase and motor vehicle crashes and a decrease in pedestrian crashes and then a reverse in the, at the other end of daylight savings time in the fall or spring. So while it looks like everything might. Be equal over time.

It would be interesting to dive into this a little more to see, isn’t the only area where daylight savings time has impacts on safety and it might be, a good argument for either the elimination of daylight savings time or, if it doesn’t pan out to continue the practice that you both hate.

I enjoy that extra hour of light every spring.

Anthony: Can we explain to them how extra hours work?

Michael: Yes, I know how they work. But I just, I, it’s really based on the time you get off work and having light at that time is nice. I would like to permanently leave it in the more light after work.

Permanence works.

Anthony: I’m on board.

Michael: Driving home from work, is in the dark is, doesn’t seem to be a very good thing. It would be nice if. Daylight savings time was, in the winter, I don’t know. I want to leave it permanent daylight savings time. What do you think about that, Fred?

Fred: I think if anybody knows why changing our clocks twice a year for no apparent reason is a good idea, we’d love to know it. So please send in your comments and Michael, you work from home. What’s this about driving home at night?

Michael: Yeah, because I, even now when I’m stuck in the city at, 5 p.

m. If it’s, the. The summer, it’s great because there’s still light on the roads, roll your windows down, even the traffic’s not quite as bad. The winter is it’s a slog, it’s difficult, driving at night requires a lot more of your attention and you, you really have to be focused and, I think that’s probably a, the main reason behind that rise of vehicle crashes at night.

Is because of that. It’s just, it’s so much harder to drive at night.

Anthony: So if you have opinions about Daylight Savings Time please listen to Fred Perkins other podcast called Daylight Savings Time, Sleep at the Wheel. Okay, that was not the best one. Moving on an article in Governing. com, Governing.

com, for the people making government work. Ooh. The article’s titled One City’s Quest to Reign in Reckless Driving. It talks about Milwaukee apparently has some really dangerous intersections. And they’re trying to reduce These crashes and fatalities. My favorite line from the article is, The reasons for the increase in deaths and serious injuries are varied, including the growing size and weight of American cars.

We’ve talked about that. Americans got big fat cars. More weight equals more death. Right now is a good time to go down to your GMC dealer and put a deposit down on your Hummer EV. 9, 000 pounds of I hate everyone.

Michael: Alright. There were a couple of interesting things in this article. I mean, it was essentially looking at how Milwaukee as a city is trying to, Address reckless driving, which we saw driving, which we saw grow or increase during the pandemic.

And, while, I think we’ve seen decreases and crash fatalities now for 7 quarters or so in a row, they’re still very high. They’re smalling. They’re small decreases. We’re still over 40, 000 deaths a year. Milwaukee is continuing to try to address this issue. And, the article discussed a couple of things that I found interesting.

One is something we’ve encountered before, Milwaukee is trying to put in a lot of changes into, intersections and their roads and. At the same time, state lawmakers and the Wisconsin legislature who are focusing on the reckless driving problem are passing bills that basically just increase penalties for driving, increase penalties for people, after they’ve been called whereas, the solutions that Milwaukee seems to be trying to.

Get to our solutions that could actually prevent some of the reckless driving road diets, and there are a lot of other measures. What’s a road diet taking basically reduce the amount of lanes or. Traffic that can go through a road.

Anthony: Okay. So if it’s a three lane highway, they drop it down at two lane.

Michael: Yeah. You could, and it’s similar to when we talked earlier about, the more traffic there is, the safer the roads are. It’s like when COVID started in the roads opened up because less people were on the roads, that’s when we started seeing more people drive recklessly. So it’s a it’s a, It’s almost, and we also discussed, I believe, previously on the podcast, how you can reduce the size of lanes and just reducing the size of lanes has a positive impact on safety.

So that’s another form of a road diet, literally shrinking the lanes.

Anthony: I love this road diet. Oh my God. Forget about Atkins.

Michael: Yeah, my road diet is beef jerky and Gatorade.

Anthony: Oh, God. Don’t get into a car with Michael without the windows rolled down.

Michael: But it was interesting, it’s interesting to see the kind of the city state tension there.

There’s obviously They’re not on the same page and trying to address what the problem is. But also there was this just a brief note in the article. It’s something I’d never really looked into a lot before or thought about, but it’s, it described the risks of the people on the road in terms of like public health and infectious diseases, and it’s the cause.

of injuries and death and traffic collisions is kinetic injured kinetic energy. And, basically it’s It looked at kinetic energy as a pathogen that needs to be eliminated using some of the same ways you would eliminate, or reduce exposure to a virus. And I assume a road diet could be one way of going at that, but it was just a really interesting way of thinking about Autosafety and, traffic crashes in general is that they’re, it’s a virus.

Does that scare you a little?

Anthony: A little bit, but from the article, they talk about one of the ways as a Donovan, a Republican who served on the Milwaukee Common Council. What his argument is, what you, on his saying, he’s saying the best way to get a hold of the problem is to set the right penalties and consistently punish the worst offenders.

Which is interesting, cause I, there’s a pretty much every road around me, and the entire state of Connecticut where, I think it’s the Sawmill Parkway, I’m not sure which one. But the speed limit is 45 miles per hour. No one goes 45 miles per hour. If I drove the speed limit, I would be causing an unsafe situation.

Everyone’s doing a minimum of 60. There’s no enforcement of this stuff. And I’m not, saying, Hey, everyone gets speeding tickets, but There’s not really road laws being enforced. Is, does that kind of lax enforcement? Does that just encourage people to say hey, let’s drive like we’re all in Connecticut and people in Connecticut drive like there’s people around you.

Michael: Enforcement definitely comes into play. I mean, we also think that’s behind the rise in reckless driving and speeding during the pandemic is around the same time we were seeing lower.

Fred: Well, enforcement’s an issue, of course, but you’ve got to address the human Problems in the financial problems associated with putting enough police everywhere to actually have an efficient enforcement policy.

You can’t arrest everybody. Sooner or later, the public will is going to overwhelm the amount of resources you’ve got unless, unless you’re in 1935 Germany. But sooner or later, you’ve got to have laws that are, reflect what people are actually going to do. And this idea of penalizing way into traffic safety.

Is an awful lot like the drug wars, where people tried to penalize their way into eliminating marijuana. How’s that working out?

Anthony: Well,

weren’t you

chased by a tank trying to grow marijuana as a teenager?

Fred: Yeah, but that hardly ever happens. But really, you gotta have enforcement that’s reasonable, realizable, and that will be effective.

And you can’t arrest everybody.

Michael: Yeah, and the ultimate problem, I guess is that you can’t arrest everybody. And not only that, the really, the thing here that really makes me a little angry is we’ve got the technology that we could be putting in cars to prevent people from speeding and to prevent many accidents.

Reckless behaviors, intelligent speed assistance is ready to be installed in every vehicle in America, and it’s not being done because it’s not required. And because the automakers are resisting it furiously, because they don’t want to have to try to sell cars to Americans who think they should speed.

Be able to speed and go as fast as they want. And the technology is here. We could be putting that into vehicles rather than increasing penalties and trying the enforcement route, which has been tried now for over and over again. It’s never going to completely eliminate the issue. Whereas having a fleet of vehicles on the road that can’t speed would do

Anthony: but I like this road diet thing because that seems to be the exact opposite of how we approach roads in this country. We’re more like on the road stretchy pants. approach where it’s like, Hey, let’s just keep adding more and more lanes. Are there any cities or localities where they’re like, Hey let’s drop a lane off this road or let’s narrow these things.

Michael: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s going on all over America. I know for, in where I live, Alexandria, Virginia on seminary road used to be, that’s

Anthony: a little specific. Can you get a house number?

Michael: You wanted examples. It used to be a four lane road and it was 35. Mile per hour speed limit, people often went far faster than that, and it’s running past hospitals and homes and a seminary, but it.

What they did was take it, took it down to two lanes, reduce the speed limit to 25 miles per hour and put bike lanes on both sides. And, the alpha male in me was a little upset because, it’s going to slow me down on my way to my doctor’s office that’s on that street. Right. But then now, when you drive on that road, it’s just so pleasant experience of just being in one lane and not having to worry about, the guy who wants to weave in and out of every car and just staying in a set speed.

I like it. And, it’s something I think we should really consider particularly in, in urban areas. Well, Anthony, you can look out your window

Fred: across the Hudson River and look at Hoboken, right? Hey, don’t threaten

Anthony: me.

Fred: There are pedestrian deaths there. That’s true. It’s quite impressive.

Anthony: For those playing the home game, I wish I could see out the window.

But, Michael, so when you go to visit the doctor now, I imagine your blood pressure is lower, but they’re still concerned about your diet of Gatorade and beef jerky?

Michael: Yeah, they’re trying to put me on a new road diet, but yeah it’s, that’s not a wild guess there. I mean, my, my blood pressure does go up.

And in fact, sometimes I have to get it checked at the start of the appointment and at the end of the appointment because driving in D. C. in traffic raises my blood pressure.

Fred: Well, I think I had to switch to turkey jerky. It may not be very good, but it sounds funny to say. And you can get that at Piggly Wiggly.

Anthony: Oh, yeah. I’ve seen it. All right. What do you guys, as Americans, as good red blooded Americans, what do you guys think about roundabouts? Roundabouts. And not that great Yes song from 1972.

Michael: Well, being in, In DC now for over 20 years, I’ve gotten used to roundabouts driven in Europe, , in there’s, I don’t know they’re significant advantages to roundabouts.

This is the article that you’re referring to here is they installed a turbo roundabout in California and it basically allows people to. Move through what used to be an intersection without involving, vehicles that are. You don’t have people running red lights anymore.

You don’t have the severe side impact collisions that you would see when you install a roundabout, because everyone is flowing in the generally the same direction, what and what they’re seeing, California are, they’re seeing a lot more crashes, but overall those crashes are fewer. far less severe.

So they attributed to people getting used to the roundabout and that sort of thing. I mean, I think, even long term, you might see more crashes at a roundabout. In fact, you could probably see two or three times as many crashes at a roundabout. But ultimately, if no one’s dying because there aren’t any side impact collisions or head on collisions or any other type of high speed dangerous collisions in a roundabout, then It’s acceptable, the, the insurance company might be having to pay for more damage to vehicles, but they’re having to pay a lot less out in medical expenses and other really significant expenses that are caused by deadly crashes and crashes with severe injuries.

Fred: Yeah, but let’s be clear. This is a three lane roundabout that we’re talking about. So it’s like a blender where you’ve got. Three lanes and merging and into three lanes and people crossing over to get out of the exits there. There are some of those in Washington, D. C. I know, and those are always fun to navigate.

Washington Square, I think, is one of them. But not every roundabout has a characteristic. Most of them are one lane. And I think that if they were to combine. This this blender style roundabout with some traffic calming before the traffic got into the roundabout would probably eliminate a lot of that aggression that people are, seeing inside the roundabout trying to move over very rapidly through from lane to lane in a very constricted space.

Anthony: So this article from SFGate talks about the first turbo roundabout in California, which was installed at a notoriously dangerous intersection near Gilroy. And for those of you who don’t know, Gilroy smells like garlic. Because they have a massive garlic factory there. It’s amazing, they have a garlic festival, whole thing.

But the, what makes this turbo, which is mind blowing to me, is because I’ve gone through a number of roundabouts, and you can go from lane to lane just wee. This has they call it jersey barriers, basically concrete barriers separating them. So I guess what happens is people are not used to this, they panic and like, Eh, let me smash into this barrier.

Michael: Yeah, it’s weird. It’s like once you get into the lane that’s taking you to where you were intending to go, you’re stuck there and you can’t really get out. That’s part of what, and I guess some people are just, there’s certainly a learning curve with roundabouts, especially if you’ve, grown up in Mississippi like I did and never seen one.

Anthony: Right. And this is, they’re having a crash on average one crash every two and a half days on average compared to before they had this roundabout and it was one crash every eight days. And, basically, Caltrans, the California highway people who manage the highways, I don’t know. They they’re saying, this is just a learning curve, people will get used to this.

Which strikes me as odd, because there’s these great roundabouts I went through in Montana, and, like, no one had any problems there, and they were very pretty, and there was not, they were not turbo, though. I don’t know turbo pop and lock with ozone brought to you by electric balloon to wait

Michael: Yeah Turbo roundabout sounds cool But I’m sure it’s subject to the same learning curve that other roundabouts would be and you know I think they’re good.

They’re great. I think they’re they’re great They’re not really slowing you down. They might feel like some people, if you pull up to a green light and you keep going straight through, obviously that’s faster than a roundabout, if you factor in all those times with the red light stops you roundabout starts sounding like a pretty good idea, particularly for longer red lights.

And then when you factor in the. The fact that they’re going to be less severe crashes at intersections where roundabouts in play versus stoplight. It’s a no brainer. Man, it’s one more thing. I think a lot more cities and states need to look into.

Anthony: Listeners, tell us what you think about roundabouts.

And while you do that, and you think, and you’re starting to compose this message, and after you’ve donated at autosafety. org, we’re going to turn to Mr. Fred Perkins, and he’s going to give us an update on the Consumer Autonomous Vehicle Bill of Rights.

Fred: You’ve now

Michael: entered the Dow of Fred.

Fred: I’m ready to go here.

Fire away. Affectionately known as cave boar internally here. So We’ve had that out for about a year and there’s certainly been widespread public acclamation and acceptance of this. No, wait, maybe not. I like it. So why do we do this at all? Well, because there is no set of requirements that the AV industry needs to use when they’re building these things.

And too much of it seems to be a solution in search of a problem sometimes. We thought that we should put together this minimum set of requirements that AV should conform to before they put out on the road for public use. I’m just going to run through them quickly. We’ve reorganized what we had before a little bit into 2 sections, the operational design requirements and AV legal requirements.

And there’s some new information here. Just going through it quickly. AV shall not increase the risk of injury or death. Inside or outside of Navy compared with comparable conventional vehicles, but interesting. There was a note here that the industry has suddenly gone from 7, 000, 000 miles driven to 77 miles driven overnight, which seems like a remarkable thing.

But we’ll need to look into those statistics a little bit. Second, AV shall secure, verify and authenticate operational commands and external communications. You want to make sure that the person who is in control actually retains control, and that the person who is commanding the vehicle should be the person commanding the vehicle.

You don’t want somebody sending a vehicle to a destination that is unsafe or, is not where the occupant wanted to be. A. V. shall not prejudice for or against any group of living persons with respect to any other group. This is just basic equity. AVs must respond appropriately to emergency personnel, vehicle lights, audible signals, and manual directions.

Anthony: No, I want to stop. I want to jump in there real quick. Sorry on that one, because that one sounds very obvious and it seems like it should be easy. But this we’ve seen, maybe you’re just getting to this is one we’ve seen where both Waymo and GM crews have struggled greatly with this on the closed operating design domain of the city of San Francisco, where they’ll like, Hey, look, there’s a stopped fire truck.

Let’s hit it.

Fred: We

don’t know of any AV that has responded to this well, and we don’t know of any evidence that the future AVs will respond to this well. But we think that it’s an imperative. They simply must do that. Next one up is AVs shall not be programmed to violate motor vehicle laws or customary rules of the road.

As Anthony has observed a couple weeks ago, a lot of the activity that goes on in intersections in New York City. And probably elsewhere around the world is based upon the body language of the people in the cars, subtle cues like famous hand gestures sometimes and, and other body positions that give people information about when it’s safe to progress through an intersection.

Perfect example is you get,

Anthony: you come to a four way stop and who remembers what, you and four cars arrive there, which car has right of way. No one’s, wait, hold on, let me pull out my manual and remember this. No, you’re making eye contact and figuring out who looks like they’re on PCP and just going to ignore this and go ahead.

Fred: There’s all of that, yeah. Next, the AV shall expedite first responder safety and safe rescue recovery of persons injured or killed after a crash. Including providing means to readily render vehicles safe for first responders, second responders, and bystanders, and we’re happy to note that NHTSA is now responding to this, and they’re putting out a is it a rule, Michael, or a note that is requiring some Support for this among the developers?

Michael: They are putting out a a new version of their battery spillage rule. It’s what it used to be. It’s about, I think it’s around 20 years old. The electrolyte spillage rule. It’s FMVSS305 and what they’re doing is putting out FMVSS305A which I, Mostly harmonizes with the Europeans to prevent battery problems.

A lot of there’s a lot to it. There’s something we may cover in more detail later. But also, as part of that rule, they’re going to require, manufacturers to submit plans to 1st responders. So they know how to interact with, each and every model of that manufacturer’s electric vehicle. Battery

Fred: that’s a great movement.

So, thank you for that. It’s an excellent baby shall safely transition between political boundaries. Without increasing risk to occupants or vulnerable road users. Thank you very much. For example, a city may have a requirement that AVs stop and negotiate away from emergency responses, for example, if there’s a fire.

Some state may require some AV characteristics that another state may not, or you may be crossing from, let’s say, the UK into France, and you’re going from right hand drive to left hand drive. These are all things that we, as humans Learn to accommodate in one way or another. A particularly scary day in my life was when my very aggressive father in law was driving on the wrong side of the road in Ireland on winding streets with a lot of sheep around.

The transition with political partners can be interesting. Even though it seems obvious, that needs to be done, and I don’t know of anybody who’s doing that automatically. Cool. Next one up, AV shall assess safety critical functionality and parameters, report anomalies to operators, occupants, and authorized safety inspectors, and mitigate anomaly safety impacts.

Modern cars have a lot of hidden safety critical functions that are not visible to inspectors. In the old days, of course, the inspector would check your car, check your brakes, lights work, horn works, but no inspector can get inside of your computer to make sure that The safety margins built into your automatic braking system are, in fact, working as intended and are providing safe operation of the vehicle.

There’s got to be a way for AVs to report that out, and there’s got to be a way for third parties to inspect the vehicles to make sure that the damn things are working the way they’re supposed to work. That’s what this is all about. Next one, AV shall include on demand capability to expedite safe egress of its occupants, including when electric power is unavailable.

We actually talked about this earlier where somebody was in their Tesla cooking while the software was updating and was instructed to not open the door because that could damage the vehicle. This is just insane that anybody would ever put a car on the road that doesn’t let people get out of it safely.

Yet, there’s no requirement that AVs do that and we have several instances of people who are in AVs or AV like vehicles. Who are dying because they can’t get out of a car in an emergency situation. Most recently a woman in Texas who was trapped in a car that was submerged in a lake.

Anthony: Is there a requirement for non AVs, just for your average car, to have like mechanical releases so you can get in and out?

Michael: Well, there’s a door latch requirement that essentially covers that. However the issue that we’re seeing is with the electronic door latches, which aren’t a manual physical connection there.

Anthony: Well, that’s what I’m wondering, like, can, is, why isn’t that a manual requirement there?

Michael: NHTSA hasn’t gotten around to it.

Anthony: Hey, NHTSA, we applauded you on one thing earlier.

Michael: I think there may be a manual requirement. I just, the problem with the manual releases that that they’re not readily available and known to everyone in the vehicle. So it’s something you have to specifically look up for the vehicle rather than, NITSA coming out and saying, here’s where the emergency manual door release is going to be.

So that everyone knows it’s going to be here right now. The choice is to manufacturers to put it wherever the hell they want.

Fred: Manufacturers are putting cars on the road that can trap you and your family inside of the cabin when it bursts into flames. And they do burst into flames spontaneously sometimes.

This is just insane. You gotta be kidding me. How the hell is it excuse

Anthony: me. Again, that’s why I said welcome to this show called Be Afraid of

Fred: Cars! Oh, unbelievable. Okay. Those are what we’ve got as minimum requirements. No doubt there’s other requirements that should be there. But please, somebody, please somebody, put some requirements in place.

For God’s sake. People are dying. And more will die in the future. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t invoke higher authority from the politicians, but come on, let’s get on with this AV legal requirements. AV shall implement duty of care for insurance and liability identical to that for human drivers of the same vehicle class.

No AV vehicle occupants shall be liable for the actions or consequences of its automated controls. We’ve seen over and over again manufacturers. Forcing people into court into product liability claims when they’re injured by the car and this is, again, something that we need to mature away from.

This has long since been settled law for conventional vehicles and why it has not settled law for autonomous vehicles. Is again insane. It’s just advantages the manufacturers. I guess you could say, well, since the stock price of certain manufacturers is tanking anyway, what the hell? You might as well let it go down further.

But from the human perspective, from the perspective of the consumer, there’s got to be a simpler and more just way. Settling these claims than forcing people into court and how many years now for the settlement in California, Michael, five years since the Mr. Wang was killed. 2018

Michael: says six years.

Anthony: From a consumer point of view, would this be this sounds like a very helpful way for them to understand if like, let’s say I go out and I purchase a car and then I say, hey, for an extra 1. 99 a month, I’m going to buy something called full self driving. Everyone tells me it drives itself. It’s amazing.

It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. But if Tesla won’t take liability for it, it’s probably not autonomous, right? So until one of these companies says, yeah, it’s an autonomous car, and to prove it, we’re going to accept liability if something goes wrong because we’re driving, is that the only time a consumer should feel confident?

Michael: No, not even then, because that’s what Mercedes did with their level three. As they said, we’re going to take responsibility for X, Y, and Z. But I can’t remember the specific details of it right at the moment, but they were leaving out some really important parts. So if it’s

Anthony: a Tuesday

Michael: No, do not trust them.

It’s a good rule.

Anthony: Ever. Okay, so if a car company tries to sell you something that’s autonomous, they’re lying to you. Next

Fred: time you’re in the showroom, ask them about Phil Koopman and Bill Wyden and how their how the vehicle conforms to what they suggested the requirements for a duty of care. The salesperson will stare at you blankly, but you might be able to use that in a negotiation.

Maybe. And they’ll say, how did you get inside this lucid dealership? And they’ll say, well, we listened to, there ought to be a lot. We just know about these things. Next one up, AV shall not sell or distribute personally identifiable information to any person, to any third parties, without their explicit consent.

I just read something by Volvo touting their safety program and how now they’re using advanced chips with, 10 teraflops or something like that, and so everything is wonderful. And they said that they are bringing information in from all of their users. And you can, as a user, anonymize the data, right, so that they can use that to improve their safety.

This is pure bullshit, because if you are sending data to a company that identifies the geography, the intersections, the location Of the incident so the company can use that to improve their their safety performance or their profile or whatever they want to use the data for. If you overlay that with a person’s cell phone usage, they know exactly where you were and when you were there.

If, maybe you’re okay with the world snooping around and knowing exactly where and when you go, and maybe you don’t care about states regulating your medical care and putting you in jail for the, your choice of doctor. Maybe that’s not important to you, think about this. They really need to protect your data.

At least as well as they protect yourself.

Anthony: What if I get a discount? I’m sorry? What if I get a discount? Hey, spy on me and knock off my monthly payments. I guess then I’m giving consent. There you go.

Fred: Okay, fair enough. I’m surprised there’s never been a software company that monetizes your privacy by saying, Okay, all your privacy data goes through us.

We’re going to give you a cut. Of whatever value we get from selling this to the to the data brokers out there. You dirty rat communist. It seems like a really good opportunity for somebody, but I digress. Okay, finally, AVs shall collect and report research and development data to monitor safety, performance, and reliability.

This really AVs shall not do. Shall basically shall do no harm until you’ve got metrics and statistics that allow you to compare automatic operation with manual operation of these vehicles, including not only the

The metrics themselves, but also the statistical confidence you can place in those metrics until you’ve got that you cannot use driving your experience as a way of establishing that these vehicles are safe at all or safe enough, what you can do what the industry could do is set up test situations that they know are very challenging.

For the AVs and they’re very challenging for humans as well and start to generate some test case data on these very difficult circumstances. They’re really coming at it from the opposite end. They’re saying, well, we’re going to drive these things, easy. We’re going to define anything that, that isn’t within our scope of easy action as an edge case.

So we’ll just dismiss everything as an edge case that, is difficult for us to, to accommodate. What they should be doing, in my expert opinion here, is they should be establishing situations The test the limits of their capability, test the limits of the safety capability, and using those to develop the data that they need for both humanistic response, as well as the machine response going through those circumstances.

Easily done, it’s done in sophisticated development all the time, it’s expensive, and it requires the companies to use their capital. Instead of the deaths of unwitting test subjects. This actually harkens back to war capitalism and the cotton industry, but nevermind, we won’t go too far into that, but we’re, it’s just, we’re, we are allowing, we as a society are allowing people to preserve their capital at the cost of lives and doing it over and over again, and listening to the bullshit of these people who are killing us for the sake of their capital reserves.

A bit of a digression. Okay. But AVs shall collect, report, research, and development data to monitor safety, performance, and reliability. And that’s what we’ve got.

Michael: And there’s another one that I’ll probably try to add to it involving binding arbitration, forced arbitration, which essentially forces consumers who are involved in a crash or other issue with an AV into a kangaroo court.

It prevents them from accessing the courts of their choice. It’s county state of the United States in order to figure out, who’s at fault when a Navy collision occurs and instead, manufacturers, particularly in the tech industry, love to subject consumers to binding arbitration agreements that says you can’t go to court.

You’ve got to come to this little arbitration thing we’ve got going on over here and let us decide what’s going on 1st. That’s the problem.

Fred: This arbitration thing that we have funded. Yeah. And where we have selected the arbitrators. And and by the way, you have to do it here in Ypsilanti, Michigan. If you happen to live in Tulsa, well, that’s just too damn bad.

You got to come to Ypsilanti to get it done. So the last one. But before, excuse me, Anthony, just one more. This is still a work in progress. We are going to polish this off. We’re going to put it on the website with some supporting information. Please give us your comments. Please send in your, whatever comments you got, your observations.

We want to make sure that the consumer’s viewpoint is represented in this first and foremost, not the technology that’s driving this, not any kind of whiz bang factor, and not any kind of very rich person who happens to like to project their personal opinions out into the public sphere.

Anthony: So my first bit of feedback is the last one you talked about saying you got to collect the safety data.

How does that conflict with the one prior to that saying they can’t collect anonymous, collect data and anonymize it? Because there seems to be a slight rub there.

Fred: I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s a rub there because The data that says, using selected metrics that these vehicles perform according to the metrics or not, doesn’t have to have anything to do with the specific geography and the specific sites where those metrics were collected.

Okay, so what kind of, we’re looking at a statistical basis rather than specific instances.

Anthony: Okay, that clears it up for me. Any other questions? Bueller? Bueller. Alright and with that it’s time for some recalls. Yay, we love recalls. Oh, a rare entry to the field, Ford Motor Company. Four hundred and fifty six thousand 565 vehicles 2021 to 2024 Ford Bronco Sports.

And these vehicles have a insufficient calibration strategy for detecting sudden battery de degradations uhoh, which can lead to the vehicle unable to restart after an auto start stop event or experience a stall while coming to a stop at low speed. Oh my God. And this is for the 12 volt battery? This is not, yeah.

And this applies to, I’m sorry. This also applies to the 2022. 2023 Ford Maverick. And yeah,

Michael: there we go. And 21 to 24 Ford Bronco sport, which I believe is the ninth recall on those. They’re starting to rack them up.

Anthony: Well, Ford is, they’re more aggressive, it seems than other manufacturers on recalls.

That’s one way to

Michael: put it. You could probably suggest that maybe they worked their way into a lot more recalls than other manufacturers by, putting bad products out there. That’s still a debate. There as to what the what’s behind it. I think that the latter is probably more, more accurate.

Anthony: Okay. We got another one. Yeah. One

Michael: thing about this recall is it’s basically, you’ve got to have a the 12 volt battery has, there’s. A lot of calculations that are going on in the newer vehicles involving the 12 volt battery. We’ve started to see as vehicles have had more software and electronics loaded into them, we’ve started to see, more demand placed on the 12 volt battery, and in this case, you also see that the stop start buttons involved, which is also putting additional 12 volt battery since you’re restarting at every light.

Basically the system here wasn’t properly monitoring. The status of the 12 volt battery and the vehicle didn’t know that the 12 volt battery was out of charge. And. So the alternate, nothing was working right here. So NHTSA put a lot of pressure on Ford starting in October of last year because they saw a lot of owner complaints where all these problems were resolved as soon as the owner replaced the 12 volt battery with a new one.

And ultimately they found out, Ford did through, a few months of investigation that they had a problem. And so now they’re going to, I believe. Update calibrations for the battery and do some work on software. But there aren’t any physical parts being replaced here. And the recall is scheduled to start next month.

Owners of the new Broncos and Mavericks will have about a month to wait on this one.

Anthony: Alright, moving on, our next recall a little company called Ford Motor Company! Ha! Of 1, 209 vehicles, this is a Ford licensed accessory for the Ford Bronco Sport Hood Scoop. Yeah, hood scoops can detach while driving and can damage the windshield and or create a road hazard.

Oh, the root cause remains under investigation but contributing causes have been identified. Why? This is just a fetish thing.

Michael: Yeah, it is, it’s, this is, a hood scoop does absolutely nothing for the vehicles perforce. They’re meant to look like a real, I guess a real hood scoot scoop would be one that’s part of the air intake system that’s intended to let air flow over the engine compartment and cool the engine compartment here.

Ford is selling them as aftermarket accessories to people who just want to look like they have. A high performance Ford Bronco. They do nothing. The remedy here is not a fix because these parts don’t do anything. It’s a refund. They’re just going to give people their money back. So if you see a Ford Bronco driving down the road with a hood scoop, that’s it’s like a cuff link.

It’s an accessory. It doesn’t do a whole lot. Do more than hood scoops.

Anthony: All right. Next up we have. Fred’s automobile from Aston Martin, 2009 or two vehicles, the 2021 to 2024 Aston Martin dbx the battery fuse box, just, uh, basically they have problems with their battery fuse box. And now Fred, when you’re driving your Aston Martin and you’re drinking your martini, do you worry about your battery fuse box?

The best part of this is that Fred’s internet service has died and so I’m just layering it a Stuck photo of Fred looking at me with utter disappointment. So I Basically, yeah, their battery fuse box has some issues sound right?

Michael: Well, it looked like there were a lot of Just a lot of problems that occurred based on this, there were various types of things.

Vehicles can stall. They may get a battery warning message. The vehicle might not start. There were basically loose. Nuts in the part of the battery fuse box where the cables are connected where they just didn’t tighten them enough. And there could be fire thermal damage involved there as well, because there might be some arcing.

There may be a short circuits involved. Needless to say. If you’ve got an Aston Martin, this is one you want to get fixed as soon as possible. And it looks like there’s going to be somewhat of a staggered notification day. I mean, it looks like they’re starting in a week or so, but it’s Definitely something you want to get in touch with your dealer about if you’re one of these folks with an Aston Martin.

Anthony: Okay. And our next recalls are really small ones. Small in terms of the potential vehicles and for a bunch of companies I’ve never heard of such as Keystone RV company, 33 vehicles and this is the they’re. There may have a roller shade installed near the stovetop instead of a mini blind and that may cause fire while you’re making your jiffy pop.

Michael: Yeah. And this is what, when I’m going through recall this is recall database every week, not the, in fact the great, the majority, not the great majority, but the majority of recalls probably don’t involve, the manufacturers we’ve all heard of. There are a lot of recalls from RV manufacturers.

And it’s the RV manufacturers vary in size, they vary in their capabilities to, this case, you see a, a rolling window shade installed right over a stove. I mean, that immediately brings into question the pedigree of the engineers who are building these things.

If there are any engineers in the building but just this week, taking a look at the recalls, you’ve got. Bad wiring. You’ve got, brake lines touching a frame rail. You’ve got bad GCFI wiring. You’ve got power steering lines that are bad. You’ve got, there’s one recall in RVs this week that there are an LED backlight circuit board in the stove that fails when liquid from the stove contacts them and results in fire.

Basically RVs, they take a chassis from a manufacturer like GM or Ford, and then they are building what is basically Both a living space and a motor vehicle on top of that chassis. And so we see, if you ask me what the most recalled type of vehicle is, probably an RV. And that’s just mainly because if They’re design and production issues all over the place because the manufacturers are smaller.

They’re not, as well healed as a lot of the main vehicle manufacturers. And, it’s an area that is incredibly busy, but often overlooked.

Anthony: Well, I’m just going to hit one last one before we head out is Airstream. Because I’ve heard of this company. Airstream, 107, 172 vehicles. The rear axle weight information printed on the GAR portion of the federal certification label is incorrect.

This non compliance may cause confusion to the owner of the vehicle. Huh? Wait. That’s a gross

Michael: axle. So this is basically got the wrong rating. The only reason I’ve included that one in it, because the name of the vehicle is an Airstream Pottery Barn, which I’m still wrapping my head around what that means.

Are they joining forces? Like, have you ever been to a

Anthony: pottery barn? Yes.

Michael: An optometrist. And you’ve looked on the wall, all the glasses now, and NASCAR branded. Glasses, Nike, Adidas, everyone seems to be getting into that space. I wonder if, RVs are the next thing.

Now there’s a Pottery Barn RV. Are we going to have, even more interesting RVs?

Anthony: Oh,

Fred: So Hey, sorry, my power went out and I dropped out for a minute. Did I miss anything good? Besides Pottery Barn? Nope.

Anthony: Nothing. Nope. Nope. Don’t listen to the episode. Definitely don’t want to hear the last five minutes of the show.

Fred: Nope. Hey, Anthony, how do people send in their comments on the cave boar? Hey, they you can go to

Anthony: autosafety. org. And up top in the navigation, there is the A. V. Bill of Rights. You can click on that, and on that page, it lists out all of the current A. V. Bill of Rights. And then on there, there’s a little form where you can say, Hey, I’ve got some thoughts about this.

This is what I want to do. I want to put in my feedback and say, This is how I would change things. Or, Hey, you guys are nuts, man. There are 70 million miles of autonomous vehicles being driven, if we include boats with automatic tiller things and but that’s how you do it. Autosafety. org. Click on AV Bill of Rights.

At the bottom of that, there is a form. Very simple. You can also visit Michael in Arlington, Virginia on Seminary Road. Write down your suggestion on a brick. Include a 20 bill and just toss it through his living room window. Yep. Okay.

Fred: Do we have a prize for the best contribution or a gift certificate for Piggly Wiggly or anything we can give people to encourage them to send in their comments?


Michael: the Hey, how about a date with Mr. Fred Perkins?

Fred: That’s the part of the show you missed. I’ve been working on my conversation repellent skills for a long time now. I’m not sure that’s a good idea. Yeah, we don’t even have your microphone turned on.

Anthony: He’s checking his microphone. All right. All right.

With that thank you so much listeners. Please give the star five shows. Wait, what? Give the show five stars. Yeah, don’t drive drunk. Don’t drive drunk. I host a podcast, Drunk. Tell all your friends, subscribe, tweet, TikTok, retweet, don’t update your Tesla while you’re sitting inside of it. Don’t get, figure out where your manual releases on your Tesla.

That’s what I want people to write in. Tell me where your manual releases on your Tesla. Or any other weird car that has an electronic release thing. I don’t know. My car isn’t that fancy. Thanks.

Fred: Thanks, everybody. Bye. Thank you. Bye bye. For more information, visit www. autosafety. org.