Apparently Tesla updated their Autopilot system and I was watching this video showing it off. To me it was like a horror movie.

The narrator is ever so slightly worried about the car straying left into a head on collision. Whatever. But to me, these roads reminded me of the tens of thousands of kms I’ve ridden a bicycle out training and traveling in the rural middle of nowhere. And although city cycling requires plenty of polished steel balls, I feel these almost empty country roads can be the most insidious. There’s often no shoulder (as shown) and a passing/oncoming squeeze happens way too often. My directive "if you can’t pass safely, don’t" (pass) comes from this kind of situation. The fact that I need to telepathically communicate that so often that it has become a personal homily should tell you something.

So how does the Autopilot do at not slaying cyclists? That’s a damn good question. One job I’d be extremely good at is being a sort of stunt rider to find out. If I knew that the car passing me on a test track might be driving like a drunk redneck, I am confident I would be able to dodge it. I’ve bet my life on those skills against bigger morons than Tesla’s software could possibly be. (I’ve even seen commendable videos of Teslas smartly avoiding wild animals, so I’m pretty hopeful.)

After a lot of research I have discovered quite a few psychological tricks to use a driver’s car-induced torpor to bend them to my will. For example, one of the most effective is to feign drunkenness. At a certain Doppler pitch, especially in the pick-up truck register, it’s often good to weave stupidly into the road, the cycling equivalent of a stumble. This is anything but stupid; it is coldly calculated to move the car like a border collie moves sheep. I would love to try that out on an auto-piloted Tesla. If Tesla needs a fearless matador to fight their cars, they now know whom to call.

UPDATE 2017-10-13 -


Yes, this job does exist! And I would be very good at it.