AD #2782 – Pedestrian Deaths Rise; Tesla Refuses to Release Autopilot Data; Details on New Volkswagen Golf GT Models

February 27th, 2020 at 11:52am

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Listen to “AD #2782 – Pedestrian Deaths Rise; Tesla Refuses to Release Autopilot Data; Details on New Volkswagen Golf GT Models” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:07

0:23 Pedestrian Deaths Rise in the U.S.
1:30 Tesla Refuses to Release Autopilot Data
2:32 U.S. SAAR to Top 16.5 Million
4:02 More Passenger Cars Come with AWD
4:47 Details on the GT Versions of the VW Golf
6:31 DS Shows Wild Aero Concept
7:30 Ford Expands e-Scooter Startup
8:06 Last Chevy Impala Rolls Down the Assembly Line

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40 Comments to “AD #2782 – Pedestrian Deaths Rise; Tesla Refuses to Release Autopilot Data; Details on New Volkswagen Golf GT Models”

  1. Lambo2015 Says:

    Tesla refusing to provide auto-pilot data doesn’t bode well for the appearance or perception of innocence. Makes ya think it must be incriminating otherwise it would be a key defense.

    AWD is a nice feature especially with the weather we had yesterday and today, but I doubt if it will do much to sway people back towards sedans.
    Sad to see the last Impala’s built today. They’ll be back, maybe not as a sedan. 45K units a year is still more than most of the Cadillac models.

    Ford scooters; the new model T handle? wonder if you’ll be able to buy them too in addition to renting?

  2. Larry D. Says:

    Tesla should never have called its system an “Autopilot” because it never had full such capabilities and some buyers who (like most ICE buyers) never read the manual or the e-manual, had no clue of its limitations.

    Clueless Hackett still has his bald head on his shoulders because he is best pals with clueless Bill Ford Jr. Hackett and Farley will not ‘fix’ Ford, they will ruin it.

  3. Larry D. Says:

    The Impala is a mass market cheap model. One Impala is not equal to one Caddy. even the most successful luxury cars have much. much, lower sales than mass market cars like the Accord or the Camry, which used to sell 400,000 and 450,000 a year.(now compact crossovers sell this kind of numbers)

    GM’s mistake is to offer too damned many car models in a market that does not care for cars. It was truly RIDICULOUS, to offer the Spark, the Sonic, the Cruze, the Malibu AND the Impala (and if you add Buick and caddy models, many many more car models)

    The current Malibu even looks like an Impala twin (15/16 scale). It is truly ridiculous and the pruning of the model range was LONG overdue.


  4. Bob Wilson Says:

    The abysmal ignorance of the Tesla autopilot could be resolved IF the agencies bought one or more Tesla and tested them at Idaho, Argonne, and other government labs. But the current administration shutdown those programs. Willful ignorance comes to mind.

    But lessons learned, individuals can install their own cabin dash cams and Tesla monitors. It is defensive monitoring.

  5. Bob Aubertin Says:

    With regards to Chevrolet’s declining passenger car sales namely Impala and Cruise the main reason being MARKETING.In today’s automotive marketplace if you DO NOT ADVERTISE you will not sell your product.Proof fact Toyota,Hyundai,KIA,Volkswagen,Volvo and others are constantly running ads in the mass media about their passenger portfolio along with their CUV and SUVS.Ford and FCA have done the same.Reason being,their Pickup Truck sales are hauling away HUGE Truckloads of Cash profits to their bottom line.In the meantime the Japanese and Korean manufacturers have taken over the passenger car segment Big Time.It is only a matter of time when the cost of gasoline will go back up and the Big Three will suffer.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    4 if it is NOT a true Autopilot, it is very dangerous, not to say inappropriate, to call it that. Tesla Owners have lost their lives assuming it is a real Autopilot.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I like Cadillac’s name for their semi-autonomous driving system, “super cruise.” As others have said, “autopilot” is not an appropriate name for such a system, but I suppose Tesla might have a hard time changing the name at this point, and might open themselves up for even more law suits if they did.

    Impala is/was genuinely competitive with Avalon, etc., but none of those cars have been selling at all well, so it’s not surprising that Impala is being dropped.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Almost no one needs AWD in a front-drive based car. I drove front drive cars in Indiana for about 40 years and, with regular all season radial tires, any of them would go through snow, until is was deep enough that the front end of the car was plowing snow, and it got compacted underneath the car. You can certainly accelerate better on ice with AWD, but you can’t decelerate any better.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 The current Malibu is a nice car, and I think looks better than my Camry, but the hybrid version was not competitive with the Camry in mpg. Also, the Malibu lost truck space to the battery, while 2018 and later Camry hybrids do not. If I’d been shopping for a non-hybrid 4 cylinder sedan, the Malibu would have been higher on my list, but in that case, I probably would have bought an Accord.

    In reality, the Impala is a better car relative to its direct competition, than the Malibu, but the “mid-size” sedan market is higher volume than the large sedan market, so they kept Malibu, at least for now.

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    9 The problem which is typical of most all car makers is they launch a decent vehicle and with each refresh they grow in size. The Malibu was similar in size to the grand-am a much smaller car than its latest version. It grew so much, the Malibu and Impala were almost the same car. GM did the same thing with the CTS and STS. The CTS grew to a point it made the STS obsolete. They do the same thing with the trucks as the S-10 and Ranger are far smaller than the Colorado and current Ranger. As is the full size. Not sure why the size needs to grow with each redesign but for some reason it seems to be common practice.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    9 nice does not cut it. I would never choose the Malibu just because its styling is marginally better than the Camry, when it not only lags in efficiency but most important in RELIABILITY AND interior quality. Not that I care about that market segment anyway, when I did I got an Accord 5 speed coupe.

  12. Larry D. Says:

    10 that’s not a problem, if the Malibu is too big for you, you get a Cruze, if you insist on a Chevy. The problem is too many car models in Chevy Alone, CANNIBALIZING each other. People here only see things from the viewpoint of the buyer and his convenience, and not the maker who will go Bankrupt AGAIN with this kind of policy of a RIDICULOUS number of car models, even in Chevy only.

  13. Roger Says:

    GM logic. Kill off the Chevy Impala even though it outsells 10-1 the number of electric vehicles that will be sold at the plant, AND is more profitable than the electric models which manufactures still lose money on every one they sell.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 I haven’t seen the interior of the current Malibu, but I might like it as well or better than the Camry, for styling. The “quality” of the Camry interior is a mixed bag. Those two rattles I fixed do not exude quality. The fit and finish is excellent, though, but the interior styling is a little “busy.”

    Overall, after two years, I am very satisfied with the car, especially the mpg, and the seamless way the powertrain works, and the seats are very comfortable to me. Also, the controls are much more user friendly than in many recent cars.

  15. Lambo2015 Says:

    12 It is a problem! As they probably contributed to the drop in sales of the Impala by making the Malibu so close in size and yet its a cheaper vehicle. Its exactly why the STS was killed. They grew the CTS to almost similar size and it was 10K cheaper. Buyers then wonder is that extra inch here and there worth 10K? Overwhelmingly not and the sales of their larger car suffers.
    The Impala was only 0.3″ longer in WB than the Malibu had the exact same width 73″ and was only 1.6″ taller. Biggest difference was the overall length of 8″. That’s how you kill your large car segment.

  16. XA351GT Says:

    You know this whole tesla autopilot situation could be easily solved by just banning it. If you don’t want to drive take a Uber/Lyft, a taxi, the bus or train. All this tech is only as good as the programmer and the end user keeping it up. How accurate will all these sensors be , when people are too lazy to clean snow off the vehicle. How will even minor damage affect the system? I just think it is more problems waiting to happen. Also why is it even needed? It’s just that much more to go wrong and cost the owner a small fortune to get fixed .

  17. Bob Wilson Says:

    “Autopilot” has the same performance characteristics as they do in private aviation: heading, altitude, and speed. To blame the word for bad behavior of the operator is as misleading as calling a crash an accident. Someone was responsible, the operator. Still, what else could it be called?

    How about “Twice As Safe” after the one accident “every 3.07 million miles” on Autopilot versus “1.64 million miles” without from the Tesla safety report (see web link.) As the “LA Times” article points out, no one else is even trying to capture autopilot or other driver assist system performance metrics.

    My hands-on, “lying eyes” show daily Autopilot usage is much safer than without. The 8 cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors, Autopilot changes lanes better than 2 eyes, 3 mirrors, and head swivels. It measures the gap and relative speed and adjusts the car to fit in the adjacent lane better than any human outside of a NASCAR driver can accomplish.

    So when a bad driver causes an accident, do we blame the car? The same is true with any technology including Autopilot. Personal experience has shown it is much better than not having it.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 The Impala offered a V6, which differentiated it from Malibu, but there was probably too much price difference between the two, even for people who’d rather have more cylinders. In 2019, Malibu outsold Impala about 3 to 1.

  19. XA351GT Says:

    #12 Chevy also killed the Cruze. #10 the reason they get bigger is content. They can shove more crap in people will barely use if ay all and then charge twice as much for. When midsize trucks are bigger than my 20 YO full-size you know something is wrong. also they cost almost as much as a full-size does.

  20. Lambo2015 Says:

    17 The auto-pilot probably is better than not having it with one huge caveat. Is it being used properly? Just as you mention about the similarities of it in the aviation industry. You don’t have pilots turning it on and expecting it to land the plane. It has its limitations. So the big difference is pilots get a much more involved training about the system where as anyone can go buy a Tesla with a standard drivers license and no further training and flip this system on. Know whos what their expectation is and if they use the system properly.
    I remember the old story or maybe it was a big hoax but I remember hearing about the middle eastern oil tycoon who bought a very expensive motorhome set the cruise control thinking it was an autopilot like his planes and went to the rear to make a drink. Of course the RV crashed and the rest of the story was not really important.
    Point being that AVs can be a great assistant and create safer roads if used properly but without proper training they will be misused and not safe and give AV a bad reputation.
    Personally I feel they are making a huge mistake offering these systems when they are not 100% reliable and open themselves up for lawsuits like the one Tesla is in now.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17,20 Autopilot is much, much easier to do with airplanes, than with cars, because most of the time, there is nothing nearby to run into with an airplane.

    I’ve read reports that Tesla Model S has about 4 times the fatality rate of competitive cars, like S-Class, 7 series, and LS. If that’s true, it is probably the driver, not the car. I remember years ago, I think in the 1980s, a Camaro or Mustang cost more than twice as much to insure as a Corvette, not because the Corvette would be safer in a crash, but because mainly older people could afford to buy ‘Vettes, while young, often drunk and stoned kids were driving often “well used” Camaros and Mustangs.

  22. merv Says:

    dramatic drop in car sales….I recently swapped my pickup and the wife’s suv for a mid size and a small size car,and couldn’t be happier.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 I’ve done my share of buying cars, not trucks, over the last few years, but I won’t be buying any soon, having lost about 10% of my wealth over the last three days, with the market crash.

  24. cwolf Says:

    Kit, I’m really sorry about your investment loss. Knowing you are retired and, thus, not taking high risks, how is it possible to loose 10%? You do have a financial advisor, right? But do not fear your loss. The down turn has nothing to do with any virus,…it’s a long over- due market correction. Thus far the correction is about 14%. It sounds like a large number but in reality we are still in a bull market. Just remember, in 2009(?) we had a correction of 20% without panic. The market trend indicates we should level off, for about a year, but move upward after. You will regain your losses during that time.
    Your investments are long term or should be, so don’t look at them more than every month or three. You will go bonkers if you do.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 About 2/3 of my assets are in mutual funds. Actually, after checking, I only lost about 7% over the last 3 days. No, I’m not worried about it, but I won’t spend money I don’t need to, that would involve cashing in investments. As far as cars, I have a nice, varied variety right now.

  26. cwolf Says:

    Damn Kit, I feel really bad for you. My advisor just left the house after dinner. If you don’t have one, you should get one!
    I am of simple means much like you but I am told to be well off, yet maybe some of the direction given me will help you as well. More of my cash reserves are again being invested in stocks but ones that have a growing potential of quarterly returns.
    I also have a smaller IRA that was more risky. It tripled its value in three years. If the market proves to level off as history shows, it should regain momentum for maybe 2 years. If indicators show different, then shift to higher risk bonds. You should still see 8-9 % annual yields.
    Just don’t put any of your money in the auto industry!

  27. cwolf Says:

    Kit, do you have an advisor? I don’t think you do…..No, I am assured of it! Find one! I will offer to guide you to get the help you need if you ask. My heart goes out to you… really!

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26,27 I have an advisor, sort of, with a large investment company. My assets have grown an average of about 11% a year over the last 20 years, so I am not concerned about the last 3 days. If that slide continues… For now, I’m not concerned.

  29. Bob Wilson Says:

    Autopilot needs driver training to recognize the risk areas: (1) poor lane lines; (2) curved lane lines in an intersection, and; (3) lane encroachment by other vehicles. So I’ve documented one reproducible limit (see web link.)

    Rather than add another game, Tesla would do itself a lot of good by releasing a video about Autopilot short comings. But having documented the problem areas, I have more confidence in how to use it safely.

  30. TERRENCE Says:

    Whether or not it is legally required, if Musk doesn’t release that information, I think it makes him a fraud.

  31. cwolf Says:

    The Dow dropped another 1200 pints. today because of the virus; don’t believe it for a second!
    The market has been prime for a correction for a long time and this virus is the immediate excuse. The market has been over extended and over valued for a long time. This is the reason! Greed is being replaced by caution, market values will re-adjust then level off. Then, because of the lower prices, people will start buying again thus causing prices to increase once again.
    Look at the graph starting from 2009 to present. The pattern has repeated itself again and again.
    This correction is a good thing. Despite the 14% correction, we are still in a bull market and gains should continue for at least 18 months.
    I don’t know the reason, but every time the market becomes askew, they always try to find some excuse, like a flu, for an adjustment that’s just common sense and needed.

  32. woscar Says:

    I’m sad to see the end of the Impala line. We currently have a 2015 Impala and it’s the best vehicle we’ve ever owned. We bought it, as we always do, as a certified used car. It’s got about 65,000-miles on it and hasn’t had any problem yet that wasn’t due to operator error. All we’ve replaced so far is oil, filters, and tires and those all at less frequent intervals than previous models. We tend to keep them a while; still driving a ’97 Dodge pickup and the Impala replaced a 2000 Buick LeSabre. At our age, it’s possible the Impala will outlast us, but if autonomous vehicles become a reality, we might consider buying our 3rd brand new car.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    “Part of the reason they’re (PEDESTRIAN DEATHS) on the rise, is the consumer shift from sedans to trucks and SUVs.”

    I missed this paragraph yesterday.


    I am on the record in this forum, past months, commenting on all our students and others who walk without seeing where THE HELL they are going, NOT BECAUSE my neighbor drives a Subary and my other neighbor always drove RAV4s, but because they have their noses and faces buried in their GOD DAMNED i-phones.

    Sorry for the rare profanity, but it is and has been an EPIDEMIC as is this damned coronavirus.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 Not only testing while walking, but also, testing while driving the RAV4, or F150, or Corolla would contribute.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 texting, not testing. How did I do that twice?

  36. Larry D. Says:

    There should have been millions of pedestrian falls, not involving vehicles, just because these lunatics are not looking where they are stepping their feet in.

  37. JWH Says:

    AWD Benefits – While it’s possible to survive without AWD. I purchased a 1970 Corvette when I got out of school in 1969, & it was my only vehicle. I survived & got where I needed to go.

    Today we have two vehicles with AWD (one with winter tires & the other with all season) & I consider it a good winter when the tractor with snow blower sleeps in the pole barn all winter. We’re in south east Michigan & tractor stayed in the barn yesterday.

    As #8 said, stopping is not any better with AWD compared to FWD or RWD (winter tires are better).

  38. Larry D. Says:

    I have driven RWD cars in MI the last 15 years and the tire condition can make all the difference.

    I never used winter tires or chains, always all-season tires, but when they are close to replacement time, the car can easily slip.

    A brand new set of all-season tires makes all the difference.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My 1974 Plymouth Duster came with 70 series Goodyear Polyglass bias belted tires, which lasted about 30K miles, and weren’t too bad in snow until they were about worn out. The Michelin X tires that replaced them were much better in ice and snow, and had less road noise. At the time, there was a lot of BS floating around that you shouldn’t use radial tires on cars like that Duster, but the Michelins made it a different car, in a good way. I suspect it would not have been good to mix bias or bias belted with radial tires on the same car.

  40. veh Says:

    Yes, definitely never mix radials and bias plys on the same car. That was lesson #1 when I worked at Sears.

    I had a 73 Valiant Scamp with Sears Roadhandler tires, made by Michelin. But I had snow tires too, which went religiously on the back two wheels each of the 5 winters I owned the car. I was a new driver at the time and I managed to make it through those years with no problem.