A systems engineer who has worked in the "autonomous" industry recently went out to dinner with her boyfriend's family. The dad drove his Tesla with the "Full Self-Driving" feature. He asked if he could put it in self-driving mode, but she said no. But he still did it anyways, which caused her to freak out. In her own words, she took to Reddit to explain the situation.
Contrary to what some might say, according to the National Law Review, self-driving cars experience a greater frequency of crashes than vehicles operated by humans; nevertheless, the extent of injuries from these incidents is not as severe.
In light of these statistics, the author of the post is a systems engineer and has worked in numerous companies specializing in the "autonomy" related domain. She recently went out to dinner with her boyfriend and his family, whose father owned a Tesla equipped with FSD (Full Self-Driving) capability.
So my boyfriend, me, his parents, and his brother all squeezed into his dad's car and we went to the restaurant. I had a few drinks and his dad had two, since he was gonna drive. But on the way back his dad started asking me 'you work on self driving cars, yeah?'
Evidently knowing that she had a background as a systems engineer in the field, he asked her what she thought of his Tesla. In reply, she made her stance crystal clear: she liked the car if he was the one behind the wheel. Subsequently, he began discussing his newly installed FSD system and inquired whether or not he should switch it on.
She bluntly replied:
not with me in the car
But her boyfriend's father just laughed it up and wondered why she was still so frightened when she worked with these systems on a daily basis. And as she was about to explain her stance, he pulled over and stopped the Tesla to switch the self-driving function on.
In her own words:
I was like 'I'm not kidding, let me out of the car if you're gonna do this' and my boyfriend's dad and brother started laughing at me, and my boyfriend still wasn't saying anything. His dad was like 'It'll be fine' and I reached over my boyfriend's little brother and tried the door handle which was locked. I was getting mad, and probably more so because I was tipsy, and I yelled at him 'Let me the [redacted] out.'
Dr. Noam Shpancer, a clinical psychologist, reminds us that our fear response is an ancestral warning system that evolved to protect us in environments where death was omnipresent. In these circumstances, a false alarm was an evolutionarily wiser choice than overlooking the potential threat. But apparently, her boyfriend thought she was making a mountain out of a molehill and exaggerating out of fear. He tried to console her and stated that it might just be because she had been drinking, but she argued that this made no difference.
He told me to stop cussing in front of his little brother, and I told him to tell his dad to cut his [redacted] out and I wouldn't have anything to cuss over. His dad was like 'fine, I didn't realize it'd be suuuch a big deal' and drove home normally, but things have been tense as hell.
When they returned to her boyfriend's house, he was agitated and accused her of being overly dramatic during her first encounter with his family.
I got angry and was like 'I'm not the one who decided to do the ONE THING that I said I'm not comfortable with in the car, just after I asked him not to, to laugh at me.
But her boyfriend took the side of his father, claiming that he drives the Tesla often and it is not a problem. After a night's rest and the clarity of a sober morning, she had time to contemplate her actions but still stood by them.
What do you think?
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Thanks for reading,
Clifford Law Offices. "The Dangers of Driverless Cars." The National Law Review
u/denisennp. "AITA for yelling to be let out of the car when my boyfriend's dad turned on the one feature I asked him not to?" Reddit
"Full Self-Driving Computer Installations." Tesla
Shpancer, Noam Ph.D. "Fear Is Nothing to Be Feared." Psychology Today
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