In the ideal technolibertarian world, being unable to start your car in an emergency is just normal.

Oh gods, this is going to be the new flat battery trope in horror flicks, isn't it?

@abby welcome to $currentyear$ we have 5 critical updates for your car. And this is exactly why i will not buy a car newer than 2011

@JonQuan I like to attribute this one to Elon Musk more than just being every car. As far as I know, no other cars do this. This is an Elon's Tesla thing.

@abby no my parents have a ford escape that its super computer reliant. Like the thing has about 2 billion warnings if you dont connect a bluetooth device to it. I mean thats not as bad but the annoying ding sound can distract you when driving

@abby uhhh this is super alarming because it suggests they found a problem with the car that's so serious they're not going to let you drive it until you install some code they wrote to mitigate it

@leifurhauks @abby I believe the problem is "not enough ads are being delivered"

@abby can't wait for this to replace the car won't start trope in horror movies

@abby oh we're sorry a hurricane is coming and you need to GTFO, but the car needs updating

@abby image description: picture of car dashboard with alert "Unable to start car, Software update required"

@io not just any car, a Tesla. Sorry for the lack of transcription.


"Software needs to be updated from time to time"

"Why? It was working fine yesterday."

"Yes but when software running different versions tries to communicate, it fails."

"...It's a car. What is the ignition communicating with?!"

"Well you see we pushed out an update to the gas tank but didn't actually test it holistically because our bottom line is to make money and we don't care, so now we have to update the console too."
"If you don't like it just leave..not like you're invested."

Even if I take picture for real, it is a nice slandering way to put it as. What if the car system had a critical error somewhere that was detected and promptly fixed OTA, instead of allowing you to drive at once and potentially damage something? This is one problem, once. How likely is it that it will happen at the same time as an emergency where that car is the only available?

I drive a Tesla multiple times a week, no update so far has forced me to install it before driving.

@Lingondraken In an ideal world the computer wouldn't be the freaking car and the two would be independent and work independently. But no. Musk wanted to put an iPad in every car and make the iPad the car, because future.

Also have fun with the quality issues.


That critique is utterly ridiculous. Without a computer motoring batteries, drivetrain and so on, the system would risk suffering a lot more wear and tear and likely perform worse. It is not an Ipad; technically it is a Linux machine with a touchscreen for input. I understand if some people like knobs and buttons (and I have some minor complaints there for the sometimes overly heavy touch focus) but that is a personal preference, nothing objective.

Beyond that, attacking a manufacturer for "quality issues" which are overrepresented due to the high fame status of the company and it's CEO is utter nonsense. There are huge economical incentives for people to see TSLA fail, so these things are blown out of proportion.

I love the car, and I cannot think of any other manufacturers models that ticks as many boxes on my list as Tesla does. And I've tested a lot of EVs.

@Lingondraken @abby If and only if there’s an “I don’t care, start anyway” bypass button, I might agree.

@tek @abby

That might not be a terrible idea, at least if the car is really transparent with you what the problem is and as long as it doest risk causing any danger to someone else in the traffic.

@Lingondraken @abby I think overrides *must* work always, without exception. A car isn’t qualified to assess my real-world situation to know if the risks are worthwhile. Maybe I’m out in the middle of nowhere and I’d much rather risk my car catching than having to walk 20 miles through Death Valley.

If I can’t trust that someone I own will do what I tell it, when I tell it, then I wouldn’t own it. It wouldn’t be useful to me.

@tek @abby
While I understand the logic, the likely scenario is rather that people who are not in any kind of emergency would force their vehicle to run when it is not safe to do so.

It is all about which option is the least bad, really.

@Lingondraken @abby Put a big “not covered under warranty” warning, maybe. Flash “UNSAFE!” in big red letters. Speak it loudly through the stereo. But for the love of Pete, if I tell my car “go anyway!”, I want it to go anyway. Again, it’s not able or qualified to assess the whole situation.

Perhaps living somewhere with disaster potential makes me a zealot on this, but if my vehicle refused get me away from earthquake wreckage or a wildfire, I think I’d literally shoot it.

@Lingondraken @abby After doing a quick search, it looks like the conditions that can cause that message are updates that had been started but didn't complete - as in, the car is partially updated, but not fully.

That's a potentially dangerous inconsistent state, so it's understandable that they don't allow driving in that case.

As far as removing the software altogether... on an electric vehicle that basically means going back to lead acid batteries and brushed motors - effectively, you're dealing with 1900s technology. On an ICE vehicle that means going back to 1980s fuel injection with its poor emissions control (and which is really 1960s technology).
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