Tesla Twitter tries to quash Biden’s NHTSA safety adviser over Autopilot / FSD Beta criticism – .

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Tesla Twitter tries to quash Biden’s NHTSA safety adviser over Autopilot / FSD Beta criticism – .


“Tesla Twitter,” a group of Tesla fans who use Twitter extensively, is trying to “reverse” the new appointment of US President Joe Biden for a role as senior safety adviser to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The group has an issue with the new appointee’s criticism of autopilot and the full self-drive beta, as well as his independent seat on the board of directors of Veoneer, a Swedish company. driver assistance sensor technologies and software solutions that she also owns shares

The new appointee is Missy Cummings (Twitter), a distinguished professor of engineering and computer science at Duke University who was also one of the Navy’s first female fighter pilots.

She recently focused her research on AI and human-robot interaction, which led her to autonomous driving.

With the advent of autonomous driving technology, it would make sense to bring its expertise to NHTSA as the regulator navigates the evolving autonomous driving space.

But not everyone agrees with his appointment.

Tesla Twitter, as some refer to the Tesla superfans who dominate discussions about the company on Twitter, has launched an effort to quash his appointment.

The group believes Tesla is threatened by Cummings’ appointment because they see her as “anti-Tesla.”

Going through “Autopilot Users to Progress,” they wrote in a petition on Change.org:

We are concerned about the conflicts presented by Dr. Cummings’ role on the board of directors of Veoneer (a Swedish LIDAR company), his membership and his association with “TSLAQ” (an anti-short-selling and online hate group). -Tesla), and public statements that suggest Tesla’s bias and distinction from the technologies that have now become the norm in the auto industry. At times Dr. Cummings has made public statements that seem to reflect an emotional bias against Tesla, even insinuating that she should be “restrained” from hitting Tesla CEO Elon Musk if she meets him. We expect impartiality from our regulators, or at least the appearance of it – not that. If Dr. Cummings needs to strike someone at Tesla, we are simply asking that the millions of Americans who depend on vehicle automation do not become collateral damage.

More than 5,000 people have signed the petition at the time of writing, and even Elon Musk has commented, saying Cummings is “extremely biased against Tesla.”

Cummings replied:

Due to its use of a block list used by some people who associate with “TSLAQ” on Twitter, which is a tag originally used to talk about short selling Tesla shares but which has evolved to become any Tesla opponent, they believe her to be “anti-Tesla”. “

In an interview last year before there was any question of her NHTSA membership, Cummings said she “liked” Tesla, but had issues with the company’s automation effort. :

I love Tesla as a business. Electric cars are the future. But, the pride around what automation can do, especially a car that doesn’t have LIDAR on it, worries me. Any car that hangs its hat on a computer vision perception system is woefully flawed.

There have also been valid criticisms of Tesla’s unrealistic timelines like this Tweet from 2020:

The Biden administration has not commented on the “cancellation” effort.

Tesla Twitter presents the nomination itself as an ‘attack’ by the Biden administration on Tesla after leaving Tesla out of a White House electric vehicle ad and favoring union-made electric vehicles in a reform of the federal electric vehicle incentive program.

We have reached out to NHTSA regarding her stake in Veoneer and whether she will divest when she takes over.

Taking Electek

Tesla Twitter getting on the “cancel” train isn’t too surprising, but I think the group is just looking for an enemy here.

Yes, she criticized Tesla Autopilot and Full Self-Driving. Yes, like most people in the automotive industry, she believes that LIDAR sensors can greatly improve safety.

But guess what? We actually want to people who criticize a technology for regulating it.

Yes, Cummings has posted questionable tweets, but if you want to find questionable tweets, you’ll find them whether they are anti- or pro-Tesla, or Elon Musk himself, for that matter.

For example, the group wrote in the petition:

In another tweet, a user asked Dr. Cummings, “Why not keep it simple: Missy vs. Elon? Dr Cummings posted a response saying ‘@GaryMarcus would be there to hold me back’, alongside an animated GIF showing a woman hitting a man in the face so hard he was knocked off his chair. Someone who shows that kind of anger towards the CEO of Tesla, to the point that she admits that someone should ‘hold her back’ to prevent him from hitting Mr. Musk in the face, is not fit to give advice on business regulation. Regulations should be evidence-based and impartial, designed primarily to improve public safety. They shouldn’t be motivated by the desire to punch Elon Musk in the face, with millions of autopilot users across America as collateral damage to this strange personal vendetta.

The petition appears to have been written by Omar Qazi based on the mention that the author is in a feud with Aaron Greenspan who is suing Qazi.

To me, his tweet seemed to be about “not holding punches” in a discussion with Musk, but Qazi presents it as menacing violence.

Qazi, who calls himself WholeMarsBlog on Twitter, an account he must keep anonymous because he was banned by Twitter, tweeted this about Cummings’ appointment:

If we’re talking about menacing violence, it’s a whole new level and hypocritical when you complain about the same about Cummings.

But do I really think Qazi threatens to start a riot if NHTSA takes action against Autopilot? No, just like I don’t think Cummings literally meant to threaten to hit Musk. It’s just bad faith.

These Tesla folks on Twitter are spending far too much time on Twitter creating this closed loop of opinions about Tesla, and anyone who doesn’t agree with those opinions is labeled as “enemies.”

You can see it by the way they talk about accessing information:

Through this blocklist, TSLAQ executives can control the information Dr Cummings sees when she checks the news each day by ensuring that negative and bogus propaganda gets to her quickly while all the positive comments from real users. of Tesla Autopilot are completely hidden.

I am not a fan of using a block list. You can block whoever you want, but a blacklist will inevitably include people who may never have interacted with you, and you rely on the opinions of others to know who you can and cannot interact with.

However, the comment makes it seem like she can’t get accurate information from Tesla if she doesn’t have access to Tesla’s Twitter, which is nonsense.

You may never have used Twitter in your life and still be well informed about Tesla. One of the most knowledgeable people about Tesla I know, ElectrekJameson Dow does not use Twitter like millions of other people.

They use a similar tactic to Trump fans who say you can’t trust everything the mainstream media says and have to rely on themselves, the fans, for information.

Working for a blog myself that is considered alternative media, I don’t really trust mainstream media, but I don’t think they’re all in the same basket either. I think people should get information from as many sources as possible.

I also think we should all calm down and stop labeling people with whom we have disagreements as enemies.

From all points of view, Cummings seems to be qualified to give advice on safety as we move on to autonomous driving.

It’s okay to stay vigilant and make sure she doesn’t treat Tesla unfairly, and she should probably give up her seat on Veoneer’s board. But to call it “anti-Tesla” and to cancel it seems to me to be an overreaction.

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