DTNS 3373 – Tesla Shocks With High Ratings

Tesla, Tesla, Tesla. We discuss the reviews of Tesla’s Model 3, what’s going on in Elon’s brain case and why Tesla is under investigation by the US Justice Department.

Starring Tom Merritt, Sarah Lane, Roger Chang, Len Peralta and Shannon Morse.

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Show Notes
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2 thoughts on “DTNS 3373 – Tesla Shocks With High Ratings

  1. About Elon Musk on Joe Rogan’s show:

    Here’s what happened: Joe Rogan started smoking weed, and they talked about that for a bit. Joe wanted to offer it to Musk, but said something along the lines of: “Of course you can’t smoke this now, because of your shareholders”. Musk verified: “Is it legal in this state?” Joe: “Perfectly legal, man.” Then the weed changed hands, and Musk took a draw.

    It was clear to see that Musk is blissfully unaware of how you smoke weed. He inhaled little if any of the smoke; he let it go from his mouth right after drawing. There was no effort to avoid inhaling on purpose, he just didn’t know. Elon Musk shrugged and gave the weed back to Joe. A few minutes later (the conversation had moved on by then) Musk remarked something along the lines of: “You know, I don’t notice any effect.” Well, duh!

    (clip of Jimmy Fallon trying to strike up a conversation with Willie Nelson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9pfuI8nzOw )

    In terms of reporting:
    This story goes to the theme of bias. When you have a preconceived notion you will interpret information in terms that confirm your bias.

  2. So the question is: is Elon Musk irresponsible?
    To an extent yes; Musk took a joke from the Mel Brook movie ‘Spaceballs’ and made it for real (They took a weed burner, and added some grips to it).
    (Spaceballs clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnXKE0nfAjI

    A weed burner is not a flamethrower, but of course it is still stupidly irresponsible to sell a weed burner as a toy.

    About the way Tesla cars were discussed:
    It was clear that the DTNS team was pushing to find ways to downplay the Model 3 ratings. Tesla cars are the only cars on road that have a five star rating in _all_ the NHTSA categories. So the Tesla cars are ahead of any other car on the market. Then the DTNS team started speculating: ‘Yeah, but what if the NHTSA was using outdated standards?’ The atmosphere was one of pushing hard to uphold a bias over reality.

    Consumer reports had found a single issue: the stopping distance from 60 mph was several yards longer than the stopping distance of the best stopping cars. Instead of putting that into perspective the DTNS team turned a feather into a chicken.

    Tesla cars have been on the road for long enough now to have good statistics. In a Tesla car your odds are better than in any other car. People have walked away with bruises from accidents that would have been lethal in other cars. Statistically cars with a combustion engine catch fire more often than Tesla cars.

    About computer security:
    I agree with Shannon Morse that going forward testing of cars should involve rating of the computer security.

    As we know, among the strongest safety precautions is: make the computer air gapped. You want strong security: make it so that you can only update the computer if you have _physical access_.

    As we know: Tesla cars receive over-the-air updates. (Tesla enthousiasts regard that as a killer feature). Worst case scenario: a supply chain attack, such as the one that was found in the CCleaner software.

    So yeah, to assess the computer safety of their cars Tesla must make all of the encryption and cryptographic validation technology that they use open to inspection.

    (If implemented correctly the Tesla engineers have used only standard, well-proven cryptography – meaning there should be no need to be secret about it.)

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