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Florida man sues Tesla over autopilot feature, crash

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ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida man says the autopilot feature of his Tesla vehicle failed to detect a disabled car on a highway, leading to a collision that left him with permanent injuries, according to a negligence lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Shawn Hudson said in the lawsuit filed in state court in Orlando, Florida, that Tesla made false statements about the autopilot safety on his Tesla Model S. It’s the second such lawsuit in as many months. A Utah driver filed a similar complaint last month.

Hudson and his attorney said at a news conference that Tesla lulls drivers into a false-sense of security that the cars can drive themselves when the autopilot function is used. But when there is a danger on the road, drivers have no time to react, they said.

The company says, “‘We told you, we’re going to drive you … Don’t worry about the road, watch it, but we’re also going to put this giant 20-inch screen right here with Web-browsing capabilities so you can be distracted the entire time … but if you crash, that’s your fault,’” said attorney Mike Morgan.

Hudson said he suffers pain from fractured vertebrae and has some cognitive problems since the accident two weeks ago on the Florida Turnpike.

Hudson, who lives in Orlando but has a two-hour commute to Fort Pierce for his job as the general manager of a Nissan dealership, said the autopilot feature appealed to him because he could get some work done during his commute. Hudson had his hands on the wheel as the car traveled 80 miles per hour but he also was looking at his phone in the moments before his Model S slammed into the unoccupied Ford Fiesta, he said.

“I was looking up, looking down, looking up, looking down, and I look up and the car is disabled in the passing lane,” Hudson said. “When you’re traveling that fast, it’s like hitting a wall.”

A Tesla spokeswoman said in an email there’s no reason to believe the autopilot feature malfunctioned and that drivers should always maintain control of the vehicle when using the autopilot function. The spokeswoman, who didn’t want her name used, said the car was incapable of transmitting log data to Tesla, which prevented the company from reviewing what happened in the accident.

“Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn’t make the car impervious to all accidents, and Tesla goes to great lengths to provide clear instructions about what Autopilot is and is not,” the spokeswoman said.

Hudson’s attorneys said there is a disconnect between the official company policy and what salespeople tell customers in showrooms.

“What they say to federal regulators is very different from what you hear on the Tesla lot,” Morgan said. “It’s very different from what Mr. Hudson was told when he was buying his car.”  8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NHTSA issues ANPRM on camera monitoring systems as alternative to mirrors

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Last December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted an exemption requested by Stoneridge Inc. allowing its MirrorEye CMS to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors currently required on commercial motor vehicles in the United States. (Courtesy: STONERIDGE INC.)

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that could eventually lead to camera-based rear visibility systems, commonly referred to as camera monitoring systems (CMS) as an alternative to inside and outside rearview mirrors.

The federal motor vehicle safety standard currently requires that vehicles be equipped with rearview mirrors to provide drivers with a view of objects that are to their side or to their side and rear.

In a notice published in the Federal Register Thursday, NHTSA said the ANPRM responds to two rulemaking petitions: one pertaining to light vehicles from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Tesla and one from Daimler Trucks North America relating to heavy vehicles.

The agency said the ANPRM builds on the agency’s prior efforts to obtain supporting technical information, data, and analysis on CMS so that the agency can determine whether these systems can provide the same level of safety as the rearview mirrors currently required under federal regulations.

There is already some development underway in the CMS arena.

Last December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted an exemption requested by Stoneridge Inc., allowing its MirrorEye CMS to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors. The exemption applies solely to Stoneridge’s MirrorEye system, making it the only CMS that allows for complete removal of traditional mirrors in the United States, Stonebridge said in a news release.

In issuing the ANPRM Thursday, NHTSA acknowledged that part of its responsibility in carrying out its safety mission is not only to develop and set new safety standards for new motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, but also to modify existing standards, as appropriate, to respond to changing circumstances such as the introduction of new technologies.

“Examples of previous technological transitions that triggered the need to adapt and/or replace requirements in federal safety regulations include the replacing of analog dashboards by digital ones, the replacing of mechanical control systems by electronic ones, and the first production of electric vehicles in appreciable numbers,” the Federal Register notice said.

The agency said it was publishing the ANPRM to gather information and receive feedback to enable the agency to decide whether (and if so, how) to propose amending federal regulations on rear visibility to permit camera-based systems as an alternative compliance option in lieu of outside rearview mirrors or in lieu of all rearview mirrors, both inside and outside ones. Specifically, NHTSA said, it hoped the ANPRM, through the public comment process, will provide the agency with additional safety-related research and data to support a potential future rulemaking on this subject.

NHTSA said it was asking for information based on 21 questions among the following seven categories:

  • Existing industry standards
  • System field of view and related test procedures
  • Image quality and related test procedures
  • Rearview image display type related human factors
  • Side rearview image display locations, driver acclimation and related test procedures
  • Camera durability, reliability and related test procedures
  • System availability when vehicle ignition is off

The ANPRM can be found at https://federalregister.gov/d/2019-22036, and on govinfo.gov

The deadline for public comments is December 9.

To comment online, go to www.regulations.gov, follow the instruction on the site using docket number NHTSA–2018–0021.

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Transflo offers Samsung Galaxy Tablets running the Transflo Mobile+ Platform

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Developed specifically for professional drivers, the Transflo Mobile+ app allows users to manage all their work from a single mobile app on one device. (Courtesy: TRANSFLO)

TAMPA, Fla. — As Transflo continues to grow its digital workflow platform for commercial truck fleets and drivers, the company now offers the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8-inch 32GB LTE tablet compatible with the Transflo Mobile+ app and all Transflo products and services, including the industry’s leading electronic logging device (ELD) for mobile platforms.

Drivers can easily access information including electronic records of duty status on the Galaxy’s clear, bright 8-inch touch display, and its LTE connectivity ensures seamless cloud integration and compliance with U.S. FMCSA regulations for wireless transfers of hours-of-service data.

“The Samsung Galaxy Tab A running the Transflo Mobile+ app is the perfect solution for anyone currently using our ELD or who is about to transition to one,” said Vice President of Product and Innovation Doug Schrier. “It’s the only device that fleets and drivers need to manage a mobile workflow and get more done, anywhere and everywhere the job takes them.”

Schrier said the Samsung Galaxy Tab A uses the Android operating system, has 32GB internal storage, dual cameras (for document scanning), and a 1.4GHz quad-core processor for a combination of fast performance and power efficiency. Transflo also offers a range of mounting and charging options to keep the device powered up and secure inside the cab.

Developed specifically for professional drivers, Schrier said the Transflo Mobile+ app allows users to manage all their work from a single mobile app on one device. Additionally, Transflo’s ELD bundles offer complete fleet solutions that integrate with the mobile app and include: document scanning; integrated GPS-based navigation; weigh station bypass technology; two-way messaging; and services for finding fuel, truck scales, and other essential services.

Transflo offers the Samsung Galaxy Tab A with data plans through AT&T and T-Mobile.

For more information about tablets and Transflo’s ELD bundles, please visit transflo.com.

 

 

 

 

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McLeod Software creates AI Truck Racing League for understanding machine learning

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A McLeod Software official said his company believes its creation of the AI Truck Racing League as a learning tool is important and how it will be fun to see which company lifts the AITRL Champions Cup at the end of the inaugural season. (Courtesy: MCLEOD SOFTWARE)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — McLeod Software has created the AI Truck Racing League (AITRL), a new organization focused on advancing the understanding of Machine Learning technology in the transportation industry.

“Machine Learning is not yet widely understood by many, but to help companies gain a better understanding, we have set up a fun racing simulation as a way for companies to learn and participate. At McLeod Software, we realize Machine Learning is the future happening now. That is why we have created the AI Truck Racing League and the McLeod Software Racing Team,” said Vice President of Special Projects Ken Craig.

AITRL’s open platform enables member-racing teams to use industry standard cutting edge AI technologies. Developers can train, evaluate and tune their AI models using either Supervised Learning, Unsupervised Learning, Reinforcement Learning or any combination thereof.

Virtual world simulation will be done on AITRL’s website or locally at the racing team’s office. Teams will be able to select virtual trucks to race in the 3D simulator on tracks inspired by famous raceways. Each track will bring new challenges that the AI models need to conquer as they prepare for the AITRL Championship Cup.

Craig said the company invites transportation companies and allied suppliers to experience the excitement of racing mixed with the thrill of teaching an inanimate object how to think.

Each member of AITRL will have their own intra-company team which will train virtual trucks as they hone their AI models. Each member team will produce a champion by racing their virtually trained trucks on a virtual track with a 1/18 scale semi-truck. These champions will represent their member team in inter-company competitions and compete for the AITRL League Cup.

“We look forward to working with this great group of companies to advance the goal of understanding how Machine Learning will become both practical and efficient for transportation companies,” Craig said. “We work continuously to ensure that McLeod customers sustain a competitive advantage, and have full access to important technologies, developed by McLeod Software or our Partners. We believe our creation of AITRL as a learning tool is important for this reason, and it will be fun to see which company lifts the AITRL Champions Cup at the end of the inaugural season.”

Initial entrants fielding a racing team for the AITRL include Kingsgate Logistics, SONAR, Decker Truck Lines, and Echo Global Logistics.

To learn more about the AI Truck Racing League and how you can participate, please visit www.AITRL.org.

McLeod Software is a provider of transportation and logistics ERP solutions. The company’s LoadMaster and PowerBroker products include CRM, dispatch operations, EDI, accounting, billing and settlements, carrier, driver and trip management, business process automation, visual workflow management, and document management systems, all specifically developed for trucking.

For more information about McLeod visit at www.McLeodSoftware.com

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