Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Autopilot draws first blood

Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
310
196
Surrey, UK
Well, the autopilot honeymoon is over.

Driving home from work this morning along a pretty straight bit of 40mph A road on autopilot, enjoying the world go by when the car suddenly swerves left. No other cars or anything that I noticed about that could have obviously upset it. Unfortunately, I didn’t react fast enough to stop the car turning into the curb and managed to give the front wheel a nice big scuff. I took control back and the car had the cheek to pop up a message saying it had applied corrective autosteer!

Off to the alloy refurb place I’ll have to go. :rolleyes:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tigers

PR-UK

Member
Jul 1, 2020
69
24
Bedfordshire
I’ve not really used AutoPilot since I picked it up back in December but yesterday as I had a trip on the local bypass and I have this EAP trial I thought I’d give it another go. I didn‘t really like it:

It follows the lanes fine and maintains the distance from the car ahead but when I want to overtake I indicate turn the wheel and the system resists for half a second before releasing and causing you to veer hard in to the next lane rather than simply merging. My previous car an Audi A4 had the full driving assistance systems and that would happily release lane assist let you merge in to the next lane and then resume with zero fuss. In the Model 3 it feels like I’m wresting back control.

Later on as we approached the roundabout we started to slow then the car ahead changed lanes causing Model 3 to speed up before seeing the Lorry in front and slamming on the brakes far too hard bringing the car to a near stop with still plenty of space between us and the lorry. Once the car came to a stop it seemed to get twitchy with the brake pedal clicking as it applied braking force whilst at a standstill and then kept nudging forward, I didnt like it and pressed the brake to cancel the whole thing. On the Audi driving assistance systems automatically slowed for bends/junctions/roundabouts and I know from previous experience using this bypass that the car would start to slow irrespective of what traffic was doing ahead and correctly approached the roundabout. That said the Audi A4 Traffic Jam Assist (navigating stop/start traffic) was only ok, having similar issues to those I experienced Model 3 of unevenly accelerating and braking hard, sometimes, it felt, at the same time.

Hopefully it will inherit functionality/understanding from the FSD betas eventually.
 

Tigermad

Member
Mar 1, 2021
180
17
UK
Well, the autopilot honeymoon is over.

Driving home from work this morning along a pretty straight bit of 40mph A road on autopilot, enjoying the world go by when the car suddenly swerves left. No other cars or anything that I noticed about that could have obviously upset it. Unfortunately, I didn’t react fast enough to stop the car turning into the curb and managed to give the front wheel a nice big scuff. I took control back and the car had the cheek to pop up a message saying it had applied corrective autosteer!

Off to the alloy refurb place I’ll have to go. :rolleyes:
If you had recorded it you could show Tesla. They would sort the wheel out then surely? Your car is not that old either.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,432
7,272
Visalia, CA
...the car suddenly swerves left...

I bought and have used Autopilot/FSD since 2017 so I got used to its deficiencies very early on and I learned to place at least one hand on the steering wheel with my own counter-torque at all times just to override such scenarios like yours above (on the first drive after the delivery at the factory to my home 200 miles away.)

It has its own mine and it could steer very wrongly but I could feel its torque so I could detect its correct or incorrect steering very instantaneously.

My own intervention/correction/overriding reflex has been seamlessly, effortlessly, naturally, and relaxing.

I guess I am a beta guy so I enjoy using the imperfect system.
 

GeorgeSymonds

Member
Mar 16, 2018
921
525
UK
I don't know how you hold the wheel on AP, I tend to hold it single handed but fairly firmly at about 4pm and let the wheel take most of the weight of my lower arm with my elbow resting on something. I can feel what its doing and often feel it do something odd before I detect it with my eyes or a movement in position on the road. For straight ahead driving it also only really allows smallish movements left and right before its fighting my grip. I guess I've never had a really hard veer to one side to know whether that would save me but so far, touch wood, I've always caught the issue before its become a problem.

It doesn't do much for your confidence though when it does this, luckily it was just a clipped wheel.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,432
7,272
Visalia, CA
If you had recorded it you could show Tesla. They would sort the wheel out then surely? Your car is not that old either.

I've never heard Tesla would pay compensation for Autopilot accidents (including slow speed like smart summon from a home garage or public parking lot ) so far.

In each and every complaint so far, Tesla has always said that its system functioned as designed.

My guess its designed is beta so what do you expect?
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
3,262
2,422
Scotland
Well, the autopilot honeymoon is over.

Driving home from work this morning along a pretty straight bit of 40mph A road on autopilot, enjoying the world go by when the car suddenly swerves left. No other cars or anything that I noticed about that could have obviously upset it. Unfortunately, I didn’t react fast enough to stop the car turning into the curb and managed to give the front wheel a nice big scuff. I took control back and the car had the cheek to pop up a message saying it had applied corrective autosteer!

Off to the alloy refurb place I’ll have to go. :rolleyes:
So was it on the type of road that Tesla specifically tells you AP is not suitable for? I also experiment on non recommended roads occasionally by when I do I apply more attention than I do driving normally for this very reason.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,432
7,272
Visalia, CA
...I've never had a really hard veer to one side...

In 2017, I would experience the above scenario very often.

Luckily, some were predictable. Whenever it approached an intersection, and if there are no lane lines continuously throughout the intersection, the AutoSteer would go crazy and would veer over to one side abruptly. I had no problem with that at all because I just stiffened up my grip and keep the steering straight but if I had a passenger, the passenger would be all startled and asked me not to use Autopilot while it's still in beta!

The AutoSteer is now much better and it seldom happens anymore.
 

Tigermad

Member
Mar 1, 2021
180
17
UK
I've never heard Tesla would pay compensation for Autopilot accidents (including slow speed like smart summon from a home garage or public parking lot ) so far.

In each and every complaint so far, Tesla has always said that its system functioned as designed.

My guess its designed is beta so what do you expect?
I didn’t think Autopilot was beta, just FSD. I guess its always going to beta then. Swerving for no reason is functioning as designed?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alwayshopeful

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,432
7,272
Visalia, CA
Swerving for no reason is functioning as designed?

Exactly! Now you got it!

When the NTSB investigated the fatal autopilot deaths (not one, multiple deaths in multiple different Autopilot accidents), they also agreed that when the cars didn't automatically brake for the obstacles, they functioned as designed.

I didn’t think Autopilot was beta, just FSD.

Whenever you create a new driver profile for your car such as when you first buy it, it would require you to acknowledge that it's beta in order to use it. If you don't agree and don't accept it, you can't use it. It's not activated until you agree.

When you can access a Tesla manual, you can search for the word "BETA". It's there since 2014 (FSD didn't come out until 2016) until now in 2021.

 
  • Informative
Reactions: DenkiJidousha

VanillaAir_UK

Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2019
7,153
4,675
Surrey, UK
I didn’t think Autopilot was beta, just FSD. I guess its always going to beta then. Swerving for no reason is functioning as designed?

It also sounds like it may have been being used on the sort of road that it is not meant to be used on. Basically, its operational domain is motorways and dual carriage ways by a fully attentive driving, with clean cameras on roads with well defined road markings, in fair weather with good visibility and constant traffic conditions.

Tesla said:
Autosteer is intended for use only by a fully attentive driver on freeways and highways where access is limited by entry and exit ramps.

Use it outside that, its anyone's guess how it might behave. Best to forget any pre conceptions on its capabilities before finding out the hard way. The manual is littered with warnings and caveats in the TACC, Autosteer, Auto lane change and Navigate on Autopilot sections. YouTube videos are not a good indicator of how and when Autopilot is safe to use.

Unfortunately Tesla do themselves no favours by constantly tweaking behaviour and introducing ne capabilities that may or may not work as expected. To make matters worse, pre conceived ideas on how the car should function are often based on scenarios that are not officially supported by Tesla.
 
Last edited:

Tigermad

Member
Mar 1, 2021
180
17
UK
It also sounds like it may have been being used on the sort of road that it is not meant to be used on. Basically, its operational domain is motorways and dual carriage ways by a fully attentive driving, with clean cameras on roads with well defined road markings, in fair weather with good visibility and constant traffic conditions.



Use it outside that, its anyone's guess how it might behave. Best to forget any pre conceptions on its capabilities before finding out the hard way. The manual is littered with warnings and caveats in the TACC, Autosteer, Auto lane change and Navigate on Autopilot sections. YouTube videos are not a good indicator of how and when Autopilot is safe to use.

Will TACC be a bit better though in regards to swerving or applying brakes randomly because of lorries in the next lane etc, or will it happen with that too?
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,432
7,272
Visalia, CA
Will TACC be a bit better though in regards to swerving or applying brakes randomly because of lorries in the next lane etc, or will it happen with that too?

TACC deals with speed and braking based on the vehicle in front. It has nothing to do with the steering. The steering belongs to AutoSteer or generic terminology Autopilot.

Tesla's automatic braking system primarily depends on RADAR. With RADAR, you can get phantom brakes for "no reasons". It's not for Tesla only but also for other brands that depend on RADAR.

Other brands believe LIDAR is more accurate in automatic braking than RADAR.

Elon Musk promises to drop RADAR altogether and use cameras only (instead of LIDAR) in a few more days on April:

"Next significant release will be in April. Going with pure vision — not even using radar. This is the way to real-world AI."
 
Last edited:

Cnixon

Member
Mar 5, 2020
374
108
Basingstoke
If you had recorded it you could show Tesla. They would sort the wheel out then surely? Your car is not that old either.
I raised a similar concern with a Mobile Ranger about nothing in front or on screen but braking, or like you I have had...corrective steering applied! Apparently, if you raise a bug (not sure how) with Tesla giving time and date, they can look into any issues like this. For the benefit of the fleet of course!
 

Tony Hoyle

Member
May 7, 2019
917
549
Stockport, UK
TBH I doubt they'd do much.. the AP code branch is very likely dead.. unless they find something that's going to cause half the fleet to crash they're not touching it. All the development work is (and has been for many months) going on in the FSD branch which will eventually replace it.

Until the latter happens we'll just have to cope.
 

Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
310
196
Surrey, UK
To those defending AP, I’m not here to slag it off. Just a friendly warning/reminder to those that like me are new to the Tesla world. I’ve found it is very easy to become complacent with AP, as it works quite well, most of the time. For those saying it doesn’t work on A roads, don’t forget many dual carriageways are A roads. Though that wasn’t the case, in this situation.

I tried to check the dashcam footage, as it happened within minutes of arriving home, this morning, however it appears it only saves the last 10 minutes, literally. So there was no dashcam footage available, as the car hadn’t been driven in the past 10 minutes. In future, I’ll make sure I tap the dashcam icon straight away (or blip the horn!) if something happens that I may wish to review, later.

I’ve got the car booked in for detailing / ceramic coating in a couple of weeks. I’ve asked them if they can sort out the wheel, whilst it’s there.

And here’s the damage. o_O
B71478EB-7684-45DF-95AA-BE8A5AB30621.jpeg
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,809
1,828
Bath, UK
The first scratch/scuff is always the worst.

I would be pretty annoyed myself, to be honest. I haven't experienced that myself on AP (touch wood), but the car does tend to drive too close to the left for my liking, almost hitting drain covers, etc.

I wonder if it was Lane Departure Avoidance that did it? I turned that off and only have it set to warn me, not take corrective action itself. I can't remember the name of the setting exactly I'm afraid.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top