Phoenix the Tesla Has a Message for Car Makers
I could weep with joy. I’m finally home.
Even though I kept myself busy tweeting my thoughts on Twitter, reading about the Kimye vs. Taylor Swift feud, and starting to work on my advanced mathematics degree, I am so happy to be home.
Thank you for all the messages and good wishes while I was down and out. I’m thrilled to be back on the road. Still looking good but a lot wiser.
It Could Have Been Worse
The mechanics thought it would take a long time. I was told I’d be in the shop for three months. I was lucky and made it home early.
It could have been so much worse.
Sadly, on May 7, the first fatality involving a Tesla running on Autopilot occurred when the vehicle collided with a transport truck in Florida. Tesla is now coming under fire for its Autopilot feature.
When I was first injured, I wrote to tell you my thoughts about how true vehicle-to-vehicle communication could have prevented my collision. The more I had time to think about it, the more I wanted to yell it from the top of the parking garage!
Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Will Save Lives
True collision avoidance systems include vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. No two ways about it.
Sensors alone won’t do it. If the sensor is in the wrong place, I may not see that other car coming. Need evidence? See the picture of my pretty face from early June.
Even if my sensors are perfect, if I’m the only car with sensors, I can’t prevent the car beside me from coming into my lane and side-swiping me (man, that would hurt).
When every car on the road can communicate its location and speed a few times every second to the cars and infrastructure around it, collisions will be prevented.
Security Must Be Part of the Equation
It can’t end there. For collision avoidance and vehicle-to-vehicle communication to work, it has to be as secure as humanly possible. Security has to be baked in from the very beginning of system development. No bolting on a solution after testing. No cutting security corners to rush a product to market.
Otherwise there is no trust. And car manufacturers that don’t implement proper security don’t deserve the customer’s trust.