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Autopilot near miss

Discussion in 'Model X' started by Hitman007, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Hitman007

    Hitman007 Member

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    While driving today using autopilot on the interstate I learned autopilot does not recognize the big orange and white construction barrels. My X almost drove right into the barrels that were closing off a lane. However because I actually follow the Tesla autopilot warnings I had my hands on the wheel and it was an easy correction to take over. But I can see somebody plowing into those barrels and then blaming the autopilot for wrecking their car. (Because they would be texting instead of driving which is exactly what I saw today in the Suburban who almost went in the ditch...)
     
  2. wanaxnow

    wanaxnow Member

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    I've noticed too that autopilot also has trouble seeing lane dividers which do not have painted lines in its patterns (rumble strips are the worst as far as I can tell). I can't truly say this is the case, but it appears that there is less sensitivity to being able to detect yellow vs white lines.
     
  3. Hitman007

    Hitman007 Member

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    Interesting.... I would think yellow would be a big contrast for the cameras. I will keep and eye on this....
     
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  4. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    What was it that made you think it would recognize construction barrels? it recognizes lines painted on the road. A barrel sitting on the road does not resemble a line painted on the road. .
     
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  5. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    Exactly. And even if it did, were you expecting it to change lanes by itself? It doesn't do that.
     
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  6. Hitman007

    Hitman007 Member

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    No I was expecting it to "see" the barrel and start to break to stop. The barrels have a very large surface area but apparently not enough to trigger the collision warning. A barrel does not resemble lines but it does resemble a small car or motorcycle.
     
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  7. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Tesla uses radar, which generally "sees" metal. It does not "see" plastic.

    I'm glad you are learning about what AP (steering assist) can and cannot do, and that you were aware with your hands on the wheel. Now, if we could only tell the other AP drivers who think their cars do more than see white lines. I don't know how we can do that. I fear there will be many more accidents before more people want to learn.
     
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  8. Hitman007

    Hitman007 Member

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    Agree. I would never take my hands off the wheel. When I was in Pilot training I learned "never trust an autopilot completely." You must stay tuned in to the situation at all times.
     
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  9. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    Glad everything worked out. I always remove from Auto Pilot in construction areas. The lanes may shift and be poorly marked, vehicles may be entering the road way, and obstructions (as the barrels) may not be recognized since they aren't cars/trucks.
     
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  10. KaiserSoze

    KaiserSoze Member

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    Hmmmm... a human, cow or moose is not metal, either. Will the Tesla AEBS see them?
     
  11. KaiserSoze

    KaiserSoze Member

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    Additonally, the cameras don't recognize temporary speed restriction signs typically used in construction zones. So don't count on the instrument panel to tell you if you are speeding.
     
  12. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    Wow.. hopefully, where there are humans, cows or moose no one is driving in Auto Pilot.
     
  13. wallstguy

    wallstguy Member

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    OP, the construction barrels were the first thing my delivery specialist told me about when I went to pick up my car.

    The Do's and Don'ts of Autopilot. He specifically said "Autopilot does not recognize construction barrels and will drive right into them if you do not take over"
     
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  14. KaiserSoze

    KaiserSoze Member

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    Hopefully, but my thoughts were of automatic emergency braking for pedestrian avoidance.
     
  15. animorph

    animorph Member

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    I thought a lot of the AEB was due to the ultrasonic sensors. Hence it works decently at low speed, like for parking and up to 20 MPH or whatever. Faster than that, the ultrasonics don't see far enough ahead (only 18 feet) to begin braking in time. Hence at high speeds AEB can reduce your speed by about 25 MPH before a collision, but can't prevent one.

    It's been clear that neither the radar nor the camera are good at identifying stationary cars, much less traffic barrels. I've seen several mentions on this forum of the car in front of a Tesla changing lanes and the Tesla not slowing for a stationary car now in its lane that it was not previously following. My understanding of the radar operation is that it throws out returns for everything that matches the road's relative "speed". If that is the case, it would be useless for avoiding stationary objects. The camera should have a better shot at it, but doesn't seem to be used.

    I wouldn't trust AP to stop by itself for anything but a moving car that it is tracking on radar in stop and go traffic. I'm hoping AP2 will be much better at avoiding objects and watching its blind spots.
     
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  16. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    I know this post may seem a little "nick-picking" on what happens and what things are called. My point is there are multiple settings that affect the systems that owners should be aware -- hope it is helpful to some:

    Autopilot is primarily a "lane keeping" system -- maintains the lane while driving, hence the blue lines indicating the lane markings are sufficient; The speed control is Adaptive Cruise control -- maintaining the speed selected based on traffic in the lane in front of the car -- generally in moving traffic and not for stationary objects; Collision Avoidance System recognizes a quickly slowing or suddenly stopped vehicle in the path--That sudden RED vehicle avatar that appears if you begin approaching a vehicle in your path and the Tesla is not braking sufficiently (hopefully not seen too often). Collision Avoidance is active always. Adaptive cruise slowing is based on the number of car-lengths you set on the stock (cruise control rotating knob). I keep mine at 3 cars, which is enough to slow comfortably but not so far back other drivers "squeeze" in. Anything less than 3 car lengths scares the "heck" out of me.

    Autopilot, with lane keeping activates the lane keeping function as well as Adaptive Cruise Control when double clicking the Cruise Control stock. When using the "double click" the systems look for several settings -- posted speed limit and the Speed Offset in the driver's profile as well as the car length setting. I set the "offset" in my profile to ZERO after discovering that if the posted speed was 50mph and the offset was +10mph the Tesla would immediately attempt to get to 60mph (posted speed and offset) when activating Cruise control function or with Autopilot. This may not be an issue on an Interstate hwy with light traffic, but can be on a surface street where I may not intend to drive 10 over the speed limit. There also appears to be a correlation with the Steering setting in the profile as well (sport vs comfort) when Auto Pilot is selected. I had mine set to sport, and the Tesla seemed to steer more trying to maintain the lane keeping function, so I set to comfort, and it appeared to correct less -- no 100% sure since there were software updates occurring that may have affected my perception.

    Just keep in mind there are several systems in play when we double click what we tend to call "Autopilot" and those systems' settings are affecting the Tesla's driving, handling and our safety.
     
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