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Autopilot Accelerator Suggestion and AEB "Save" (Dashcam Example)

MarkS22

Member
Apr 6, 2015
808
2,037
Morris County, NJ
This is a bit of a PSA for people who use Autopilot often. See the dashcam video here (I kept it private until Tesla was able to review the logs and confirm what happened):


From the description:

IMPORTANT: This was user error and NOT an Autopilot malfunction and AEB did activate as intended. However, based on this event, I'm suggesting a usability feature.

As you'll hear, Autopilot engages at the beginning of the video and doesn't disengage. At :45, AEB beeps at the slower traffic and I slam on the brake. I was caught by surprise because Autopilot was active, so I didn't know why AEB would trigger as opposed to simply just slowing down earlier.

After investigating the logs, it turns out my foot was resting on the accelerator just enough to be overriding TACC. (By design, Tesla allows the user to accelerate while Autopilot is active.)

I'm proposing something similar to other vehicles I've owned with "Intelligent Cruise Control" (from Infiniti, for example), where the accelerator pushes back with force feedback if it detects accelerator input and a potential collision.

Again, this is user error, but with "one foot driving" I think it's common to gently rest your foot on the accelerator. Clearly I wasn't gentle enough, but as you can see it the video, I wasn't pushing enough to be significantly increasing my speed in a noticeable way. Most of the time, resting your foot won't do anything, but if you push just enough, it might override the TACC. This incident reminded me to be more aware that it overrides the preset distance from the car in front.

Of course, the video also demonstrates Automatic Emergency Braking worked perfectly. It notified me with plenty of time to prevent a collision. I was caught off-guard because, while I was watching, I was expecting TACC to slow the car on its own.
 
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Vitold

Active Member
Aug 10, 2015
1,688
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NM
Of course, the video also demonstrates Automatic Emergency Braking worked perfectly. It notified me with plenty of time to prevent a collision. I was caught off-guard because, while I was watching, I was expecting TACC to slow the car on its own.

If AEB did not engage you'd still press on the brake, only later - right?

Anyway, I think giving driver feedback through accelerator pedal is a good idea.
 

MarkS22

Member
Apr 6, 2015
808
2,037
Morris County, NJ
If AEB did not engage you'd still press on the brake, only later - right?

Anyway, I think giving driver feedback through accelerator pedal is a good idea.

Correct. This was relatively low speed (under 40mph) and I have AEB set to "early." As you can see, there was still reasonable time to brake and, while it sounded loud, it wasn't a particularly fast deceleration.

This was more about being caught off-guard that I was accidentally overriding TACC.
 
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Electroman

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Aug 18, 2012
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TX
I gently press the accelerator sometimes when the car starts from a dead stop. Because with TACC on (Auto steering is nothing to do with this), it generally is a bit slow to start to give some reasonable gap and then it is a bit slow to accelerate to maintain the safe distance. I sometimes get a bit impatient and gently nudge the accelerator and keep giving gas (or electrons) until I reach cruising speed.

And I have had loud beeps from AEB at times in those situations and slammed on the brakes. I love the fact that it allows me to accelerate faster than what TACC would do. Providing feedback in the accelerator is a good idea.
 
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kavyboy

Active Member
Jan 13, 2016
1,300
2,279
Spring, TX
I encounter this all the time. Since I have AP configured to chime when I go 5+MPH over the limit, I often notice it right away. I am now in the habit of monitoring the speedometer against the TACC setting to see if I am "drifting up", but it's just one more thing besides the road to keep an eye on. A visual indicator, like turning the TACC speed setting display to red and making it larger and/or pulse, would be very welcome.
 
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Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
7,088
Delaware
Is there any reason to believe Tesla has an actuator on the accelerator pedal?

At this point, my assumption is that they have just a spring and a digital encoder set.

Force feedback on the accelerator is a reasonable idea, but if I'm right about the system, they'd need to add new hardware to do it.
 

thimel

Member
Feb 27, 2015
610
483
I encounter this all the time. Since I have AP configured to chime when I go 5+MPH over the limit, I often notice it right away. I am now in the habit of monitoring the speedometer against the TACC setting to see if I am "drifting up", but it's just one more thing besides the road to keep an eye on. A visual indicator, like turning the TACC speed setting display to red and making it larger and/or pulse, would be very welcome.
I keep my foot on the floor in front of the accelerator when TACC is on. I find it more comfortable and it avoids this problem.
 

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,527
1,979
SF Bay Area
Is there any reason to believe Tesla has an actuator on the accelerator pedal?

At this point, my assumption is that they have just a spring and a digital encoder set.

Force feedback on the accelerator is a reasonable idea, but if I'm right about the system, they'd need to add new hardware to do it.

Maybe it is just my imagination, but in my car the accelerator pedal gets stiffer/heavier/harder to press at very low state of charge. I always thought the increased effort was a nice, subtle way to influence more efficient driving at low charge situations. Could probably be used to provide some TACC/AEB feedback as well.
 

MarkS22

Member
Apr 6, 2015
808
2,037
Morris County, NJ
Is there any reason to believe Tesla has an actuator on the accelerator pedal?

At this point, my assumption is that they have just a spring and a digital encoder set.

Force feedback on the accelerator is a reasonable idea, but if I'm right about the system, they'd need to add new hardware to do it.

Yeah, I don't know. It may need to be a hardware upgrade.

All I know is that my 6+ year old Infiniti had it and it worked really well. After this experience, I think it would be a great addition.

Unfortunately, OTA can only do so much. :)
 

MarkS22

Member
Apr 6, 2015
808
2,037
Morris County, NJ
Honestly, I'm amazed at how much Tesla can do by OTA updates. :)

Apparently, the iBooster can be configured to change pedal feel. So, there may be some hope here, even if it's not physically pushing back on the pedal:


Specifically, as seen @1:30 it can change via software for different driving modes. Maybe it should get stiffer when Autopilot is active? Or there should be a larger "dead zone" at the beginning of the depression?
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
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Delaware
Apparently, the iBooster can be configured to change pedal feel. So, there may be some hope here, even if it's not physically pushing back on the pedal:


Specifically, as seen @1:30 it can change via software for different driving modes. Maybe it should get stiffer when Autopilot is active? Or there should be a larger "dead zone" at the beginning of the depression?

I think I'm missing something? You were proposing changing the stiffness of the accelerator or having the accelerator push back weren't you?

The iBooster is connected to the brake pedal. Yes, it can certainly change the brake pedal feel, but I'm not sure how that helps in the situation described?
 
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MarkS22

Member
Apr 6, 2015
808
2,037
Morris County, NJ
I think I'm missing something? You were proposing changing the stiffness of the accelerator or having the accelerator push back weren't you?

The iBooster is connected to the brake pedal. Yes, it can certainly change the brake pedal feel, but I'm not sure how that helps in the situation described?

No, you're not confusing my original post. In my last post, I was suggesting if they don't have the ability for force feedback/push back (due to the lack of an actuator), then perhaps changing the brake feel would be a good OTA interim solution.
 

SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,197
5,792
Houston, TX
This didn't look like AEB to me. AEB is Automatic Emergency Braking, which applies the brakes for you to reduce the severity of a collision. Here, it looks like what you experienced was FCW, Forward Collision Warning, which is just an alert, and you hit the brakes when the alert sounded.

The selection item you referenced for Early / Medium / Late in the driver settings is also a FCW setting, not an AEB setting. AEB is not adjustable.
 
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MarkS22

Member
Apr 6, 2015
808
2,037
Morris County, NJ
This didn't look like AEB to me. AEB is Automatic Emergency Braking, which applies the brakes for you to reduce the severity of a collision. Here, it looks like what you experienced was FCW, Forward Collision Warning, which is just an alert, and you hit the brakes when the alert sounded.

The selection item you referenced for Early / Medium / Late in the driver settings is also a FCW setting, not an AEB setting. AEB is not adjustable.

Thanks. You're absolutely correct. Since the brakes didn't engage autonomously, it was Forward Collision Warning. I mistakenly combined the two features in my mind because I see them working in conjunction.
 

PacManMX

Member
Jul 14, 2016
72
92
Seattle
I had an Infiniti Q50 for 3 years. LOVED having the accelerator pedal push back at me when there was something in front. It's the single thing the Tesla doesn't do as well.... Would be great if there was an option to have the Tesla reduce acceleration AND/OR brake well in advance when objects are detected in path of car *when AP is disengaged*. I don't use AP on residential streets, so I guess I'm at "higher risk" of getting into an accident. No reason why it can't brake more in advance prior to rear ending someone instead of just emergency braking.
 

MarkS22

Member
Apr 6, 2015
808
2,037
Morris County, NJ
I had an Infiniti Q50 for 3 years. LOVED having the accelerator pedal push back at me when there was something in front. It's the single thing the Tesla doesn't do as well.... Would be great if there was an option to have the Tesla reduce acceleration AND/OR brake well in advance when objects are detected in path of car *when AP is disengaged*. I don't use AP on residential streets, so I guess I'm at "higher risk" of getting into an accident. No reason why it can't brake more in advance prior to rear ending someone instead of just emergency braking.

Yup, agreed. I miss that pedal pushing back and it occurred to me that it would have prevented the situation shown here. I almost wonder if it contributed somehow... that I was used to the push-back, so I'm more likely to rest on the accelerator?

For anyone who hasn't used it, it pushes back on the accelerator when it detects something ahead, well before Forward Collision Warning would beep. (You can always override it by pushing against it.) It's a great feedback of "hey, I see something, you might want to stop accelerating." The only drawback was false positives when a car in front was turning off the road, well ahead of the vehicle. But again, this was six years ago... I'm sure Tesla could do wonders with it.

I'm pretty sure Automatic Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Warning ARE on all the time when AP is disengaged if you're going over 4mph (for FCW) and 5mph to 85mph (for AEB). Accelerator push-back would just be an earlier iteration of Forward Collision Warning.
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,739
6,897
Snohomish, WA
I'm curious if they can accomplish this because I know the brake pedal at least does move down by itself when TACC brakes. Unless I'm a crazy person and I imagined it.

I haven't paid any attention if the accelerator has an actuator. I don't think it's really doable unless it's on the accelerator.

When driving manually (or overriding TACC) I prefer FCW warnings/vibrations as opposed to AEB because I'm concerned about false positives. Especially as we go from 8.0 to 8.1 when the radar can trigger a braking event without confirmation from the camera.

If the car is controlling the accelerator/brake then I'm okay with it braking with TACC and if necessary AEB.

With 8.0 Tesla has really changed the two things that I found problematic. The first being it wasn't always clear to people when they accident disengaged tacc, and the other is AEB would cancel out if the user braked even if they're braking wasn't enough.

If they could make this change down the road then it would improve it even some more.
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
7,088
Delaware
I'm curious if they can accomplish this because I know the brake pedal at least does move down by itself when TACC brakes. Unless I'm a crazy person and I imagined it.

I haven't paid any attention if the accelerator has an actuator. I don't think it's really doable unless it's on the accelerator.

When driving manually (or overriding TACC) I prefer FCW warnings/vibrations as opposed to AEB because I'm concerned about false positives. Especially as we go from 8.0 to 8.1 when the radar can trigger a braking event without confirmation from the camera.

If the car is controlling the accelerator/brake then I'm okay with it braking with TACC and if necessary AEB.

With 8.0 Tesla has really changed the two things that I found problematic. The first being it wasn't always clear to people when they accident disengaged tacc, and the other is AEB would cancel out if the user braked even if they're braking wasn't enough.

If they could make this change down the road then it would improve it even some more.

You're not imagining it - the car does move the brake pedal. It caught me off guard when it did that at a light to engage hill hold.

The iBooster is tied to the same master cylinder shaft that the pedal is on, so the car applies the brakes the same way you do.
 
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