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auto-pilot malfunction (accelerated behind another car causing crash)

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Michael128711, May 27, 2016.

  1. Michael128711

    Michael128711 Member

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    I know there has been recent news this week about apparent malfunctions in auto-pilot mode. I know it's not super clear cut, but I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences. My model S in auto-pilot mode actually accelerated while driving behind another car, causing a collision. Anyone else?
     
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  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Can you provide more details about happened.
    I assume you rear-ended the car?
    Was s/he changing lanes?
    Were you in bumper-to-bumper traffic or were you going highway speed?
    etc.

    Not to be pedantic, but you caused the collision, not the Model S. As the driver, you are responsible for the actions of the vehicle, the Model S is not autonomous.
     
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  3. Michael128711

    Michael128711 Member

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    I like how you ask for more details but then reach a conclusion regardless of the details.

    Anyway - yes I rear-ended that car. I had my hands hovering above the steering wheel and was very alert. I've never previously had an accident. I was going under the speed limit - 60 mph on the hwy. The car in a lane next to me cut over and got in front of me. When that happened, the Model-S actually accelerated - I immediately applied the brakes, but it was not enough time to prevent a collision. Had the auto-pilot not accelerated, I would not have had the accident.
     
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  4. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    I want more details to know if autopilot malfunctioned, but that doesn't mean that the accident is autopilots fault. See the difference?

    Autopilot is a driving aid, it's not meant to take over, you're fully responsible and need to be aware of your surroundings and what the car is doing. Have I given a little too much liberty to AP, in expectations that it will work as advertised, 100% yes, if I got into an accident, I'd know that it was my fault, for not paying full attention.

    There's been enough people who blame AP for accidents, and assume they're not responsible. If that's not the case here, then I do apologize

    Thank you. That does sound... very wrong, I've never experienced anything close to that.

    I hope no one was hurt.
     
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  5. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    If a car moves out of your lane, TACC will speed up to close the gap to whatever you have set.
    If someone else cuts in front of you, it will slow down. However, lots of times drivers will cut in front without leaving much room or time for TACC to respond.
    Could this have been what happened?
     
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  6. CSFTN

    CSFTN Member

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    Before I read the whole thread, I will make 2 comments:
    1) driver is always responsible
    2) there is or was a setting somewhere on the driver assistance tab titled something like "passing acceleration" i.e. when you are in TACC mode and the car thinks you are trying to pass someone, it will momentary accelerate (maybe even above your set speed) in order to pass, and then slow down. If your car actually accelerated when another car was crossing in from of you AND passing acceleration was turned on, then I can see how you might feel out of control as the car accelerated. I turned that option off long ago, mostly for electric efficiency, but I do recall not at all liking how the car accelerated without any input from me. I'd like to suggest most if not all of us turn it off, except when you specifically want it.
     
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  7. mark80908

    mark80908 Member

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    I'm impressed with all the dialog above, different points of view handled in a vary mature manor. Often not so on Tesla's FB page. During a 30 day free trial, I also experienced things I would characterize as AP malfunctions, but no serious consequences. I also realize that AP is not foolproof, and that by turning it on, I'm responsible for what ever happens.
     
  8. JenniferQ

    JenniferQ Member

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    AP takes getting used to and constant vigilance, especially until you know its advantages and limitations. It has not been good, imo, at "seeing" and letting cars merge in when a right lane appears and cars are cutting in. I always turn AP off during those few moments as I don't trust the current sensors to pick up everything that's going on. It cannot "see," for example, a turn signal on another car to "know" what that driver's intention is. Humans are still very much needed at this level.
     
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  9. kavyboy

    kavyboy Member

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    I often "rest" my foot on the go pedal when in AP/TACC. (I wish there were a good place to rest my foot. The brake doesn't work for me.) However, it sometimes presses down hard enough that I accelerate ever so slowly. There is no indication that this is happening other than the fact that I'm getting too close. I could see how, in the circumstance you described, I could have some kind of ideomotor effect where I thought about pressing the brake and pressed the accelerator instead. I'm not saying that's what happened, though. I would guess that AP just didn't see the new car fast enough and thought the way ahead was now clear. I see similar behavior (but predictable, and discussed elsewhere on this site) where, coming up to a red light, the car in front changes lanes and AP immediately "floors it" to the next stopped car.
     
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  10. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Yes, mine has accelerated and would have caused an accident if I hadn't stopped it. Mine was in slower moving traffic though. Some on the forum don't understand that Tesla can't shield itself from all liability by using the word "beta" or saying you should be ready to take over at any moment. If the car suddenly and with no reason were to steer into oncoming traffic and you didn't stop it because you didn't have time (nobody has reflexes fast enough to stop ANY mistake AP could make), Tesla is certainly going to be liable in a court of law. Its only a matter of time until this happens. I don't trust AP anymore. I use it, but I keep my hands on the wheel and am vigilant. Even so, if it wants to kill me it will - there won't be anything I can do to stop it. Your life is in the software's hands (or the programmers, to be more precise). I hope Tesla retrofits all AP 1.0 cars, and I think they're going to have to when AP 2.0 comes out, to prevent deaths and lawsuits.
     
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  11. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Did this happen recently?

    Did Tesla respond with info from the logs?
     
  12. Wshowell

    Wshowell Member

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    The OP has 2 posts. I'm calling BS on this "short seller". For the sake of the legitimacy of this community, post some pics, a police report etc. otherwise it's someone trying to create quotes to be used in headlines to generate negative PR and potential have a bearish trade (short sale, long put, short call etc)
    For those wanting a painful reminder that these things go on....
    Chicago Tylenol murders - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I'll be more than happy to delete my post and apologize if the OP can provide more evidence than just what was written. Until then, this smells like the cow barn BIG TIME!
     
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  13. dedicatedtek

    dedicatedtek Member

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    i totally agree with wshowell !
     
  14. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    I don't agree because what he described is too exact - it matches the behavior I've had in my car. It he wasn't an owner describing his own experience it wouldn't sound authentic, but it does. At least to me. Its unnerving when you're in heavy traffic and you have to stomp on the brake and ask the car where its going in such a hurry.
     
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  15. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    The car will only accelerate to close a gap when a car leaves your lane. If a car pulls in front of you too closely, you should apply brake.
     
  16. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Never had an experience like this with autopilot. Is it possible the car cut in front of you and then started braking, making it seem as though your car was accelerating?

    You say that the car cut in front of you and your car started accelerating so quickly that you didn't have time to react. Unless you weren't paying attention, for this to happen the other car must have cut almost directly in front of you. In that case, there's a good chance the other driver is at fault (at least partially) for making an unsafe lane change. How closely did the car cut in front of you? Do you have dashcam footage? (Strongly recommend a dashcam).

    Otherwise, ask Tesla for the logs. It will reveal one of three things:

    1. The car did indeed accelerate, in which Tesla has some 'splainin' to do, or
    2. The car did not, and it was just your perception that was fooled--if that's so, it's not a personal attack on you--anybody's mind can be fooled, or
    3. The logs will prove that you're a complete liar.

    So it's one of these 3 :). I don't know which :). Nevertheless, in hindsight it probably would have been a good idea to cover the brake the minute that car started to cut over. And make sure your following distance is set to something in the 5+ range. I understand that people like to have it set lower because other cars cut in front, but lower following distances both reduce autosteer's ability to stably maintain a lane (because there's significantly less visible lane marking for the camera to track), and also significantly increase the risk of an accident (obviously).

    And again, if this really happened so quickly that you didn't have time to react, that car must have cut DIRECTLY in front of you, in which case there's a good chance the other driver is at least partially at fault. But whenever the car accelerates on TACC, it's always gentle, which means you should have plenty of time to react unless the car cut in front and stepped on his brakes.

    Is there something about this story you're not telling us or a detail you're leaving out? I've driven tons of miles on autopilot in busy traffic, and for a car to turn into your lane, the Model S to accelerate, and for you to rear-end it without enough time to apply the brakes, it would have had to change lanes so closely to you that its rear bumper would be less than 3 or 4 feet from your nose.
     
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  17. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I should add that with hundreds of millions of miles already logged on autopilot, you would (as far as I can tell from other discussions here) be the first to report this type of behavior. I know about ElectricFan's experience he mentioned above--I've experienced what he experienced one time before, where I was basically stopped behind a car and the Model S started moving--but it then stopped again about a foot or 2 behind the back of the car in front--definitely a different situation. That situation was due to a car being a stationary radar target. This is different.

    I think this would be the first report of this kind of incident. And with so many miles already driven on autopilot by the general public, the liklihood that you were the only one to experience this is really small--which is why I think your perception of what happened probably isn't what really happened.
     
  18. Beryl

    Beryl Member

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    Maybe he has a faulty sensor or camera. I hope he simply reports it to Tesla and updates the thread with their response.

    Given the OP hasn't returned to the thread he started, I'm giving this situation a "side-eye" for now.
     
  19. Naonak

    Naonak Member

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    I just wanted to correct your pedantry: You state that "Not to be pedantic, but you caused the collision, not the Model S. As the driver, you are responsible for the actions of the vehicle, the Model S is not autonomous."

    Assuming the OPs version of events are correct, he did not cause the collision. Autopilot caused the collision. There are many instances where you are not the CAUSE of an accident, but you are the one responsible or at fault. You seem to misunderstand cause, effect, actors and those acted upon. If autopilot was in control of the vehicle at the time, autopilot caused the collision. OPs failure to act such that intervention would prevent the collision makes him responsible, but it does not, under any sane interpretation, make him the cause.
     
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  20. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I agree. I think we have been trolled.
    Say goodbye to this thread.
     

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