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Autopilot cautionary tale

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,372
1,644
Orange County, CA
I'm as enthusiastic about AutoPilot & FSD as anyone, but yes, I think it's entirely reasonable to conclude that
- The car should not accept and initiate AutoPilot engagement, if doing so requires immediate and abrupt emergency corrective action.
- Whether it's L2 (now) or L3,4,5 (in the future), the engagement command cannot reasonably be used as "save me right now from an existing or rapidly-developing emergency that started while I was in control".
- Therefore, and considering the obviously common scenario that the car is not presently positioned or driving exactly how AP would have had it, an abrupt transition into AP's preferred condition is unwarranted, confusing to everyone and very likely dangerous by causing nearby vehicles to take emergency-avoidance action.
- It's only a no-win scenario if AP interprets the request as an inescapable and immediate mandate to get the vehicle into what would have been its chosen condition.

It really doesn't matter whether experienced Tesla AP users, diligent manual-readers or forum-watchers would know not to request AP engagement while not well-centered and driving in full agreement with the computer. Unnecessarily abrupt maneuvers are dangerous.

If you are holding a glass and taking a sip, and your wife asks you to empty the dryer, it's not correct to spit out a mouthful and drop the glass to the floor.
My experience is that AP would not engage when the car is traversing a painted lane line. But, hey, maybe yours is different.
 

JHCCAZ

Member
Feb 2, 2021
107
128
Tucson
My experience is that AP would not engage when the car is traversing a painted lane line. But, hey, maybe yours is different.
It isn't my own experience; I'm here on the site in anticipation of becoming an actual Tesla owner. The OP related this incident, and based on replies here and similar discussions in other threads, he isn't being challenged or contradicted regarding the AP engagement behavior (excepting your own quoted statement just now). Rather he's being told this is his responsibility for putting the car in a difficult situation and/or not knowing the consequences of engaging AP from an unsuitable state.

I'm just saying that AP engagement, intentional, accidental or misguidedly, shouldn't create a dangerously abrupt response - as long as we can agree that there's no mandate or expectation for AP to perform an immediate emergency-response maneuver upon engagement.
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,372
1,644
Orange County, CA
It isn't my own experience; I'm here on the site in anticipation of becoming an actual Tesla owner. The OP related this incident, and based on replies here and similar discussions in other threads, he isn't being challenged or contradicted regarding the AP engagement behavior (excepting your own quoted statement just now). Rather he's being told this is his responsibility for putting the car in a difficult situation and/or not knowing the consequences of engaging AP from an unsuitable state.

I'm just saying that AP engagement, intentional, accidental or misguidedly, shouldn't create a dangerously abrupt response - as long as we can agree that there's no mandate or expectation for AP to perform an immediate emergency-response maneuver upon engagement.
It's not like the car's steering wheel is moving so forcefully that a driver who had his/her hands on the wheel, as required, could not react. But I get it; my wife doesn't like when AP makes a move, even when immediately canceled. But such events are increasingly rare (per mile driven).
 

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