Elon Musk Commends Tesla Owner’s Rebuttal To Consumer Reports’ Call To Disable Autopilot

Elon Musk


musk tweet 50

Some Responses To Musk’s Tweet

Elon Musk Tweeted a compliment in reference to a Tesla owner’s rebuttal (on the Tesla Motors Club forum) to Consumer Reports’ call to disable Tesla’s autopilot feature. Musk included a link to the thread in his Tweet. He made sure to make readers aware that the forum post was not suggested or padded by anyone at Tesla.

As usual, Musk referenced the intelligence of Tesla owners and the fact that the media cannot and should not speak for them. He cited a recent supposed poll saying that absolutely no one wants the feature disabled.

We can only assume that he means 0% of Tesla owners polled. A responder asked, “Recent poll by whom with n=?”. As of yet, there is no response from Musk or anyone.

The very well-written forum post uses clear lists to aid in understanding. It shares what NOT to do while utilizing the Tesla Autopilot technology. It also lists the reasons that Autopilot is useful based on the user’s 18,000 miles of experience. He lists his “pleas” to regulators and insurers. His words to Consumer Reports, summarized in yet another list, are as follows:

For your four recommendations, the only one I agree is about consumer education. The other three:

a) Disable autosteer till hands on wheel are required – definitely NOT. Not only is it a huge step backwards towards achieving autonomous driving, it defeats the very purpose of reducing driver fatigue. The current version gives just about sufficient time to relax your posture and reduce fatigue.

b) Stop referring to as Autopilot – It meets the current widely used concept of autopilot and changing the name is not going to make it safer. People will still call it AutoPilot no matter what Tesla renames it too.

c) No more beta releases – test within the lab. Do you know of any automotive lab that emulates every single road condition? Is it even possible to create one?? Google has been trying to collect real life data from its own Level 3 cars on public roads. However, that approach has been a slow process, does not collect sufficient data and delays the significant advantages of autonomous driving. The practice of using beta testers from public is prevalent amongst several industries including healthcare. If consumers are willing to pay Tesla or anyone else to pay for emerging technologies, then don’t brute force your way and cripple their rights.

The writer’s conclusion sums it all up to Consumer Reports and other media outlets:


Take the time, if you may, to read the entire post at the link below. It is very compelling.

Source: Tesla Motors Club Forum

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

56 Comments on "Elon Musk Commends Tesla Owner’s Rebuttal To Consumer Reports’ Call To Disable Autopilot"

newest oldest most voted

Maybe they aren’t speaking for Tesla owners but perhaps everyone else on the road? Talk about an ego…

I would be overjoyed if even 1% of the cars on the road were using Autopilot.

But everyone else on the road, is being mislead and misinformed by the Media, which is more interested in #clickbait and #drama, than saving lives.

Ego has nothing to do with it. Data does.

Its humility, not arrogance, to admit that Tesla’s autopilot is safer than you and me under SOME conditions. Some people have already been saved by an autopilot starting to brake within 1/1000 of a second. By 2017, Tesla should enable autopilot to see stop lights, signs and taking exits. It will be way safer when autopilot can stop at intersections and see trucks crossing the median. When I lived near Tampa Florida, I wished there was autopilot for the large numbers of dangerous elderly drivers on the road. I lost count of the number of near accidents I had to dodge! An autopilot would have also helped my late dad, who had two bad accidents the last two years of his life, because his mental ability was failing. Once he almost backed over me in a parking lot, because he didn’t remember to look for me. I had to dive out of the way. Note: Like most elderly, my dear old dad was in total denial about his bad driving, until the day the DMV finally took away his license. We had to say: Dad, you almost killed yourself twice! Its better to lose it than be dead!

Is Consumer Reports are going to call to disable Pokemon Go? It has caused more death and accidents than Autopilot.

+ 1

I call for banning that at my work place for sure.

So far, only the people I know are hooked on that are “Gen M” people…

Having driven through long stretches of road like the canadian prairies, I would say Autopilot could potentially be dangerous. Have you ever ridden in the passenger seat on a long trip and fell asleep while the driver kept going? Why is the driver able to stay awake while you could not? It’s the same thing with Autopilot except you’re in the driver seat. In the case of the Prairies, the road is so straight and flat that EVEN IF autopilot was able to follow that road, you’d have nothing to do for hours… Keeping an eye on Autopilot is different than actually driving the vehicle and with nothing to do you’ll fall asleep faster. That is why, when I get to the Prairies, I don’t even engage cruise control because I want to be engaged in the driving and alert just to stop from dozing off. I’m sure you’ve all seen that video of the Tesla driver in traffic taking a nap with Autopilot engaged. You disconnect the driver from the vehicle and he essentially becomes a passenger… and he’ll do what passengers do when bored… doze off. I think in most cases, Tesla drivers are not dozing off because… Read more »

I don’t sleep when I’m riding shotgun. I also watch the road with the driver.

If I’m so tired that I’m worried about falling asleep about driving, I would never sit behind a wheel.

*asleep while driving


Stupidest argument ever against technology. Even if you rode a horse, you can still fall asleep. At least you can trust your horse’s autopilot not to walk over a cliff.

The car is so high tech I’d get bored and not concentrate. Well then, go ride a bus.

A horse is motivated by self interest not to walk off a cliff.

Let me know when Tesla’s Autopilot is Three Laws Safe.

AutoPilot in planes isn’t “three laws safe” either.

I believe you are confusing Autonomous driving with Autopilot. Autonomous driving would require “three laws safe” type of operation. But Autopilot is a driver assist system, where it is still up to the driver to be “three laws safe” (and all other laws safe too….)

Perhaps you are confused about what you think “Autopilot” means in planes, and this is leading you to incorrectly believe that it is fully autonomous. It isn’t. Not in planes, not in cars.

Heck, Autopilot in planes won’t even stop a plane from stalling. Set a climb rate, and an engine power level, and autopilot will continue to climb until altitude and thin reduces effective engine thrust until it stalls.

“I’m sure you’ve all seen that video of the Tesla driver in traffic taking a nap with Autopilot engaged”

I’m pretty sure that was faked. Correct me if I am wrong.

I never fall asleep in a car.

“with nothing to do you’ll fall asleep faster”
If you are that kind of guy, don’t use AP, you’re endangering yourself and others.

Autopilot will slow and eventually stop the car if it doesn’t see hands on the wheel for too long. I guess maybe some people might manage to sleep with hands on the wheel, but it wouldn’t be easy.

The guy with his head uncomfortably rested on the window as most likely a fake, being as someone trying to stay awake would have their head upright and wake up if their head fell too far. If he actually meant to sleep, he would have picked a more comfortable position rather than a photogenic position.

AP’s shutdown feature is what could be said to have, indirectly, caused the accident on the PA turnpike – it would appear that the driver fell asleep, and then, when AP went through the warning process, then slowed down and attempted to pull over, the driver appeared to have awakened, most likely panicked, and jerked the wheel to the left to get back into his lane (enough to disengage AP, it appears) and then either his reaction time was too slow (being groggy), or he thought that AP was still functioning, such that the car kept going left and hit the median.

I’m not blaming AP – it’s the driver’s fault if he fell asleep (even though AP can make it easier for the driver to nod off) – but the lack of AP training and/or experience apparently was the issue where the driver did not react appropriately after waking up and redirecting the car back on the road.

Without autopilot he would have crashed a lot earlier. Having been a passenger in a car with a sleepy driver, I would feel a lot safer if the car had autopilot than if it didn’t.

I continue to see people creating opinions without knowing what they are talking about. My interpretation is also that the guy panicked…but it was NOT because the car attempted to ‘pull over’. It will bring you to a dead stop in the lane with hazards flashing. It is not intelligent enough to decide where to park the car safely- at least not yet. Trying to blame AP for this guy falling asleep after 50 miles on the road is a real stretch. Anybody who can fall asleep in that short of a stretch was a hazard to be on the road in the first place. He was going to fall asleep no matter what. I regularly drive a 1400 mile trip between 2 homes. AP has removed much of the accumulated fatigue and made me a safer and more alert driver. I truly was not expecting that. You have no idea until you have done these types of drives with and without AP.

Nice story, put together from “facts” gleaned from media reports I suspect???

Actually quite the opposite is true. Those long stretches highway are a great place for Autopilot. The reduced stress on the driver is why you stay more alert.

Oh……… and Autopilot can not drive on forever without input from driver. No input and the car stops.

You wouldn’t happen to work for Consumer Reports would you??? The lack of knowledge is the same.

Consumer reports is calling to stop the sale of smart phones specially Samsung Galaxy become people think they are in a space ship, until we don’t have any more idiots that text and drive.
Since when consumers report become a joke……


Certainly Tesla know which owners are actively using it and how much. I certainly agreed to it and to keep my hands on the wheel when Tesla had me read this during orientation. As well I agree each and every time I enable it in the car to use it since it reminds me to keep my hands on the wheel.

On my recent 3400 roadtrip AutoSteer/Pilot kept me *very* centered in my lane. I *cannot* say that about all the drivers around me who keep touching/crossing the center lane lines or the rumble strip! Glad I had my hand(s) on that wheel when the semi-truck tire appeared in one side of my lane.

It is much more relaxing on long drives and I didn’t have to take both my hands off the wheel. I could take one off at a time. As well the mental fatigue was *greatly* reduced as it maintained the task of staying centered in the lane and a safe distance from the car ahead of me.

To be fair Consumer Reports is NOT calling on Tesla to disable Autopilot. CR is calling on Tesla to disable automatic steering UNTIL it updates Autopilot to verify that the driver’s hands are on the wheel, which is exactly what Elon says you should be doing when you use Autopilot. Elon wants to have it both ways. Elon says you MUST ALWAYS keep your hands on the wheel while using Autopilot, while also saying there is no need for Autopilot to verify that drivers hands are on the wheel while using Autopilot and allowing hands to be off the wheel for minutes at a time before Autopilot starts to nag you to put your hands on the wheel. Those two statements are at odds and incongruous. Below is what Consumer Reports actually said: “‘Autopilot’ can’t actually drive the car, yet it allows consumers to have their hands off the steering wheel for minutes at a time. Tesla should disable automatic steering in its cars until it updates the program to verify that the driver’s hands are on the wheel.” http://insideevs.com/consumer-reports-calls-on-tesla-to-disable-hands-free-autopilot/ If Elon really thinks drivers should have their hands on the wheel at all times while using Autopilot, then he… Read more »

The trouble it is can be hard to technically tell if the users hands are “on the wheel” without them providing a lot of physical input. This is the balancing actual of physical fatigue and it keeping you centered in the lane.

I think the Tesla requires X grams/lbs of tension. I get the first visual warning often as I am not as “active” in the steering even with my hands on the wheel.

Here is the message that pops up if it does not detect your hands on the wheel.

So you have to squeeze the steering wheel (tighten your grip) for the Autopilot to register that you have your hands on the wheel? That brings a whole new light on the Model X crash in Pennsylvania. I can see the driver becoming confused when after hearing the nag alerts and placing his hands on the steering wheel only to have the alerts continue to sound because he didn’t grip the steering wheel tight enough. Likewise, in responding to the AP nag alert, the driver must “Be careful not to apply any steering,” because “Doing so cancels Autosteer.” So to respond to the nag alert and avoid cancelling Autosteer the driver must simultaneously “tightly grip” the steering wheel while “not applying any steering.” I could see how the Pennsylvania Model X driver inadvertently and unknowingly applied some steering when he put his hands back on the wheel, which cancelled Autopilot, but he thought it was still engaged and took his hands off the wheel. About 10 seconds later the Model X hits the guardrail. Elon should clear up happened in those last 10 seconds prior to impact by telling us what the logs say: whether the system detected any steering… Read more »

It does not require “squeezing the steering wheel” with torque sensing. And it is nowhere as hard as you make it sound for the driver to perform the requested maneuver.

It is much easier to use that most people understand *unless* you have actually used it.

Around the suburbs on mostly divided roads that are 45 mph, I hold on with a fair amount of steering tension and moderately tight to help maintain the center of the lane. I consider this training and sending data back. Useful when there are curbs or a fair amount of crack patching which is often between lanes where they matched up the asphalt as they laid it. Freezing/thawing in Chicagoland requires frequent patching of cracks.

If you are holding at 9 and 3ish or 10 and 2ish then you give a modest amount of tension with the help of gravity. If you are holding at 7 and 5ish then there is less steering tension.

I have never seen anyone so desperate to find flaws where there are none.

And failing so miserably!!!

Funny how so many drivers have absolutely no problem with this simple task of having a hand on the wheel, and yet in Sven’s mind this is some sort of unattainable Herculean task!!!

How many miles have been driven with Autopilot so far? But one driver screws up for some unknown reason, and all the sudden that one driver is somehow proof of how impossible a task it is to have one hand on the wheel?

I’m all for free and open debate. But this ain’t it.

No he shouldn’t. Just don’t use the ‘Autosteer’ function if you don’t like it.

Exactly. Hands on wheel is already required, per Tesla’s instructions. It’s just not enforced with an alarm for up to three minutes. No wonder some people are confused. Still, after all this, Tesla and Musk can’t get their message straight.

Other manufacturers have figured out an appropriate level of sensitivity to detect hands on wheel without excessive false alarms. Even the Honda Sensing system can do it, on a $15,000 car.

Well, let’s see what Consumer Reports actually published. Looking at the original source, CR’s website (source below) and not InsideEVs’ article excerpting that: ” ‘Autopilot’ can’t actually drive the car, yet it allows consumers to have their hands off the steering wheel for minutes at a time. Tesla should disable automatic steering in its cars until it updates the program…” Now, to be fair to Consumer Reports (altho arguably they have been less than fair to Tesla Motors), later on in the same article, in a higher-profile bullet point, they did call on Tesla to “Disable Autosteer until it can be reprogrammed to require drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel.” It seems whoever wrote that CR article is confused about the distinction between Autopilot and AutoSteer, and is spreading this confusion to whoever reads their article. Furthermore, what is CR actually communicating here? If they wanted to send a message to Tesla, they certainly could have used a private communication. But they didn’t; they published this on their website, available to all to read. The intended audience of that article isn’t just Tesla Motors; it’s the public at large. The real message CR is sending is ~”It’s… Read more »

the “intelligent” telsa owner doesn’t sound so intelligent to me. but then, i tend to believe that some tesla owners have more dollars than sense.

first of all, cars *are* road tested before being released; it’s just that the testing is limited to a qualified set drivers. my issue with the way that tesla has operated is that their only screening criteria for selecting beta-test driver is whomever is willing to pay tesla $3,000 to be a “beta tester”.

deploying a new feature to a car is not the same thing as downloading beta-test software to your personal computer. yet, tesla treats a car no different from a personal computer.

I agree that Autopilot shouldn’t be disabled (just renamed), but I would be very careful going up against CR. If Tesla makes CR into some sort of luddite bad guys, I think it will backfire. Let’s keep everything professional here.

Remember, Tesla loved CR when they said the Model S was the best car ever tested.

So, what, if you agree with what someone says, you have to agree with everything they say?

Further, CR is not monolithic here, and they are discussing different things. It is both possible to have a review of the Model S which ranks it as the best ever, and still disagree on the how autonomous driving deployments should be achieved without incongruity.

Again, just because someone is right is some things doesn’t make them right on everything.

Right, CR isn’t monolithic. We can praise the earlier test drive review by CR’s team of “car guys”; the one that resulted in a score so high it “broke the rating system” for cars! We can praise that as carefully researched and written by experts in the field of automobiles.

Contrariwise, we certainly are not required to show respect for a hastily written “clickbait” article from CR, based on ill-informed opinion rather than carefully researched facts; a “clickbait” article which comes off as grandstanding and sensationalism.

CR has earned a reputation for basing its reviews on solid research. This is definitely a black spot on their record.

You do realize that AutoPilot is a overall suite of driving features and that AutoSteer is what users are using and agreeing to?

See the user interface in the Tesla it is where it is enabled within the UI and it shows auto-steer is a sub-category under auto-pilot

Most people do not realize that AutoPilot = Autosteer + Auto Lane change …. sort of the same problem as with 130mil. miles traveled with AutoPilot on claim without specifying how many miles for AutoSteer and Auto Lane change separately …. questioned by many and not answered by EM, surprisingly.

Most people don’t down a Tesla with AutoPilot, so your statement is technically correct.

The ones that do, have chosen to activate it and know from MANUALLY SELECTING ITS OPTIONS on the Touchscreen.

Are you saying Tesla owners who have someone else activate AutoPilot Features, are not aware of the options they’re driving under? This assumes they also, never look at the center instrument cluster, which clearly shows your current driving modes.

I have to admit, I did not see this coming from Autoline

Nice video. Thank for posting. 🙂

Nice, gee whiz feature, but not worth $2500 to me. I’ll take the standard safety improvements for free, though.

If you experienced just one time Autopilot reacting before you did and saved you from an accident. Or how much better it drives than the humans driving the cars around it. You would never say that.

We have and to us Autopilot is priceless.

My thoughts exactly… the poll did not offer the $2500 back.. it nust asked how many folks would want it disabled.. well mine is disabled.. anyone can shut it off.. but what about a refund? You give me my $2500 back and Ill be the first one in line… let somebody else be TESLA’s test drivers.. not what I signed up for.. most folks aren’t brassy enough to admit the system is overrated.. and overpriced. .and the autobrake feature is not part of the AP… the vwhicle has autobrake and adaptive cruise without auto steer, lane change or park… the AP is autosteer , autopark, lane change and summon… the other features aren’t part of AP package .. they work with it.. but they are provided without it.. as far as being able to avoid an accident. .Ialready avoided 3 accidents without AP and any driver can.. by simply paying attention and being alert..

I don’t agree. .I’d certainly take my $2500.00 bucks back and have the AP disabled.. I don’t trust it.. and I don’t like how it drives the vehicle. .. you can do as you please.. but I will mot spend another penny on this autosteer system.. I don’t need a vehicle that parks itself.. nor one that drives itself..I’ve been driving hands on for 40 years.. and I can definitely do a better job of it than this beta system. . Let me when the checks are going to be cut..Ill certainly take mine… and in 15 years when all the kinks and issues are worked out.. if the car makes it’s own lease and insurance payments.. maybe I’ll consider it.. but as far as this system in present form.. you can have it..I’d rather have the $2500 in my pocket..

If everyone was a wonderful driver like yourself…………. then there would never be a need for Autopilot or autonomous driving systems now would there??? But they are not are they!!!

Driving safety is an issue we need to deal with Today……..Not 15 years from now.

There’s always going to be some fear surrounding that journey.

1) The Beta of Autopilot has ALWAYS been a program designed to continuously improve based upon actual road driving, and customer feedback. That is why it is Beta. If you don’t like what it is currently, offer Tesla CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. Participating in a Beta program means you play a part in making it what you want.

2) If you don’t like it now, wait for updates.

3) If you aren’t happy with the sound quality in an expensive stereo system, do you expect to get a refund? Don’t be silly.

I’m still waiting for someone to explain why AutoSteer – a feature intended to steer the car for you – requires the driver to keep their hands on the wheel.

From where I stand, it looks like the only purpose for that requirement is as a legal escape hatch for Tesla… so that they can say that technically the driver is still in control and has their hands on the wheel at all times.

All cars with lane keeping require the driver to have their hands on the wheel. See MB for an example.

This is because ‘autosteer’ is not reliable enough to be hands-off.

AutoSteer is not the same thing as Lane Keep Assist (or similar tech), which was already in pre-AutoSteer Teslas. The function of AutoSteer is to keep you in your lane around curves.

So again: if AutoSteer is supposed to steer the car for you, why do you need to keep your hands on the wheel? And what, exactly, are you supposed to be doing with your wheel-holding hands when AutoSteer is active (other than indemnifying Tesla)?

Spider-Dan — That’s the difference between level 2 driver assist, and full autonomous operation. Tesla doesn’t offer fully autonomous operation.

Essentially, your response is, “If your hands weren’t on the wheel, AutoSteer would have to be classified as a Level 3 autonomous system”; that’s a pretty clear case of a legal dodge, especially since [b]you aren’t supposed to actually DO anything with the wheel when AutoSteer is active[/b].

In other words, if AutoSteer had exactly the same capability as it does now but didn’t require your hands on the wheel, Tesla would be expected to meet the more stringent requirements of a Level 3 system. But since you are required to rest your hands on the wheel, Tesla can claim that [i]AutoSteer is really only Level 2 as the driver is still technically in control[/i].

This is fine print, implemented solely as legal protection for Tesla.

Don’t be tool. I didn’t say that at all.

All of that is crap you just made up. Do you seriously think I’m supposed to answer for crap that I didn’t say?

I asked why AutoSteer requires your hands to be on the wheel. Your response was NOT a technical limitation, or any kind of driver input required to assist the software, but simply that hands-off-the-wheel is “the difference between level 2 driver assist, and full autonomous operation” (i.e. different regulatory classifications).

So given that you literally just cited regulatory classification as the reason why Tesla requires your hands on the wheel, please, finish your thought: why does Tesla (or the driver) care about whether AutoSteer is technically classified as Level 2 or Level 3?

Because I’m unable to answer that question without arriving at legal indemnity.