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Auto Pilot

My new (1st) model S arrives in a couple weeks. With respect to autopilot. 1st - I assume using
auto pilot in heavy rain, and certainly snow, is not a good idea. Lane markings need to be visable.
I would think a light rain might be O’k. 2 - Sensors on front & rear bumpers, camers on fenders and B
pillar need constant attention, i.e. after inclement weather, car wash, and summer buggy weather.
I always carry Windex in my vehicles. I would use a micro cloth, or something as soft, to clean
all such sensors when anticipate using autopilot, or in any situation a sensor might activate.
Comments?
 
It depends what version of Autopilot you have, AP2+ seems to handle better on heavy rain that AP1. As for snow, if the car feels the road conditions are not the best it will disable AP and park assist (at least on AP1). Had that happen to me after a massive snow storm here in Denver, roads where slippery and icy.
 

bmah

Moderator, Supercharger Hunter
Global Moderator
Mar 17, 2015
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11,384
Lafayette, CA, USA
My new (1st) model S arrives in a couple weeks. With respect to autopilot. 1st - I assume using
auto pilot in heavy rain, and certainly snow, is not a good idea. Lane markings need to be visable.
I would think a light rain might be O’k. 2 - Sensors on front & rear bumpers, camers on fenders and B
pillar need constant attention, i.e. after inclement weather, car wash, and summer buggy weather.
I always carry Windex in my vehicles. I would use a micro cloth, or something as soft, to clean
all such sensors when anticipate using autopilot, or in any situation a sensor might activate.
Comments?

1. Lane markings need to be visible for lane-keeping, unless you're following another car that autopilot can lock on to. I've been surprised by the ability of AP1 to function in moderately heavy rain. But in any case you're going to be paying attention to what AP does and be ready to take control, particularly in non-ideal driving conditions...right? :)

2. I would say "constant attention" to keep sensors clean is a bit of an overstatement, although my AP1 car has only a single front camera, radar, and ultrasonic sensors. Keeping the radar unit clear on pre-refresh cars can be a problem in snowy climates, less of a problem on post-refresh cars. Autosteer and/or TACC won't engage if the sensors needed for their operation are obscured.

For new autopilot users, I recommend reading this thread (or the start of it anyway):

A flight instructor teaches Tesla Autopilot

Bruce.
 

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