TWIT 914: Autonowashing

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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I’m a Tesla FSD Beta user. I agree that the term Full Self Driving is misleading. Currently the system Tesla is testing is a very sophisticated Driver Assistance system - for driving on city roads. That said - I am finding its getting really good - not perfect yet - but I can regularly drive 10-20 miles without any interventions - and extreamly safely. It pays attention 100% of the time. My wife already prefers me to have that engaged rather than drive myself.

As for Dan O’Dowd - firstly he does own a compeditive company in this space - that is now working on driverless systems. I don’t think its right for your panalyst to deny that on this show - and mislead your audience.

There is no way that any FSD equiped car behaves the way he shows in his video running down anyone or anything. I am not sure what he is doing but my guess its deeply fake.

Here are the community notes that are posted on any of his tweets.
Dan O’Dowd owns a competing company writing self driving software.

Dan’s previous attempt to show FSD will “run down a child” was debunked.

Another user performed a test and it worked as expected.

Tesla’s FSD has over 55 million miles driven w/o any reported injuries.

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My main issue with Tesla FSD as a more vulnerable road user is I’ve never agreed to share the roads with this beta test. When I step out on that crossing, or a car comes up behind me in a narrow lane when cycling, and I take ‘primary’ position to prevent an unsafe overtake, I’m the one most likely to come off worst if the beta makes a bad decision.


The world lost the initiative when the Hindenburg became ash.
Hydrogen was element-non-grata until the hydrogen bomb made it respectable.
Hydrogen balloons can make it to the edge of space and have fuel to take it further.
All we need is a non-burstable shell which can be converted to a solar sail.
I liked the concept so much, I wrote a #SciFi series to explore the heliosphere with solar sail ships

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Fun discussion about airships, not something I was expecting on TWIT this week. As a humble zeppelin/blimp pilot I clarify that both are manufacture/household names and not technical names for airships. For instance zeppelin is a manufacture of both rigid and the new semi rigid types of airships, while blimp is a made up name for a non rigid airship. How the the term “blimp” came about in the first place has several different and un verifiable stories behind it. For this reason Goodyear calls the new Zeppelin NT a “Blimp” because well that’s just what people call them. Total aviation geekery here. Often we get into the same conversations with ATC and other pilots. Anyways love the show, been listing since 2007. Also really liked that section of the book critical mass.


And Zeppelin makes more than just airships. I drive past a yard, where their earth movers etc. are sold/rented on a regular basis. It seems they are a manufacturer of everything motorised you need on a building site or roadworks, plus the biggest service partner for CAT (formerly Catepiller) in Germany.

It looks like Zeppelin is a conglomorate with fingers in a lot of pies these days, not just airships.

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How cool @Boatdrinks ! Is dirigible piloting your day job? Tell us more!!

Hi Leo, yes flying airships is my day, and often night job depending on the event. I flew for the airlines for 6 years and have spent the last 10 years at Goodyear flying both the older style ships and the newer Zeppelin NT. All said and done I absolutely love the job. When most people ask what I do, I typically say that I travel like most pilots searching for the best place to grab a bite to eat. After all, it’s one of those things everyone has in common and a great way to experience new places and people.


That’s so fantastic. If you’re ever in the Bay Area and if you ever offer ride-alongs, you know who to call. And dinner is on us!