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Autopilot slammed on breaks in middle of highway

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Zybd1201, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Zybd1201

    Zybd1201 Member

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    Hey everyone. I wanted to share a heads up (I have already called Tesla).

    This morning I was driving to work on the Veteran's Expressway north of Tampa, FL and I had two separate events.

    The first event occurred where traffic slowed down, I had my autopilot following distance set to 5 (i prefer a defensive, conservative driving style) and the traffic in front of me slowed significantly. The autopilot slammed on the breaks and stopped short of the car in front of me. The car behind me slammed on their breaks and came to a screeching halt as I gave it some gas to not stop short and cause a wreck.

    The second event occurred northbound on the veterans expressway without any other vehicles around. I was on autopilot going exactly the speed limit (trying to save battery) and the car suddenly gave me an alert, showed a red flashing car touching the front of my car in the heads up display, and slammed on the breaks in the middle of the highway.

    I turned autopilot off and pressed the gas and proceeded and called Tesla.

    I updated my firmware 2 days ago. Not sure if that matters.

    Stay safe!
     
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  2. Krypto Kat

    Krypto Kat Member

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    Are you stating that the car stopped short by 5 car lengths? If is stopped short of hitting the car in front then it did it's job. If however it stopped short by a few car lengths I see the problem.
    Do you mean the center console, I don't believe there is a heads up display in Tesla.
     
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  3. e101

    e101 New Member

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    My Model S tends to wait too long to decelerate on the freeway when it comes to suddenly stopping traffic. I tend to detect the problem and feel the impulse to start gently braking a few seconds before Autopilot does. That said, as drivers we're supposed to be ready to take over at any time, and I think it's good to just know that the Autopilot can NOT see as far ahead as we can. I am not sure how many feet the forward sensor is good for, but it's definitely not good for sudden traffic when you were otherwise going at freeway speed. Be careful out there, drivers.

    As for the false positive on an open freeway... that kind of thing does worry me, and I'm certain there are either malfunctions that can occur, or a very rare set of conditions that causes an illusion for the autopilot system. Either way... be ready, don't use it as a chauffeur (not saying you are... but too many are).
     
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  4. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    The setting of "5" is a time factor not car lengths.
     
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  5. Zybd1201

    Zybd1201 Member

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    Yes, it stopped short 4-5 car lengths.

    By heads up display I mean the display which shows the things I am talking about. Which is the display behind the steering wheel.
     
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  6. Zybd1201

    Zybd1201 Member

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    I am quite careful in my use of autopilot and driving in general as a result of some things that have happened in mine and my family's lives. I have actually turned a camera towards myself inside the car instead of as an outward looking rear view camera to document my driving in case something like this does happen to document what actually happened inside the car.

    Unfortunately, my cameras are not working right now because my car was delivered last week with a malfunctioning 12V system/cigarette lighter. :-(
     
  7. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    I wonder how Tesla would handle the open road false positive if someone had rear ended you during that event.

    Now, the car behind that actually did the hypothetical rear-ending would technically be at fault, but if they had a dash cam, they could see your vehicle applied its brakes aggressively in the clear and could argue you were "brake-checking" them. That might turn into a nice argument with the insurance company, I would imagine.
     
  8. Zybd1201

    Zybd1201 Member

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    Which is exactly my concern. Also, who is responsible? I did not apply the breaks and as soon as I noted a dangerous situation had occurred I immediately intervened and was ready to do so because I was alert and not distracted.

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE autopilot btw and am passionate about a future with zero auto fatalities because of autonomous cars.
     
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  9. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    I also have a '08 MB S550 with Distronic Plus. And this behavior is identical in that car.
     
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  10. jfoxny

    jfoxny Member

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    I've had TACC slam on the breaks for an impending crash into a ghost car. A car suddenly appears on the display in red right in front of my car, the collision alert sounds and the car hits the breaks hard, but, there's nothing actually there. I assumed it was something hitting the sensors confusing the system.
     
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  11. Petra

    Petra Member

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    I've experienced several open road collision alert false positives using TACC while driving up I-5... It's one of the reasons you have to be ready to hit the brakes or the accelerator at any moment, even when you're just using TACC.
     
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  12. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    Can you use "regular" cruise control instead of TACC in an autopilot enabled car?
     
  13. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    No. If AP is enabled on your car, you only get TACC + Autosteer (if you choose).
     
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  14. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    It used to be the case that it was far more delayed in its braking when it is approaching a nearly stopped car coming in at say 70 mph and I would get very nervous.

    But now after a few updates I see that the slow down starts comfortably well ahead and I am quite at ease when approaching stopped traffic from at high speeds.

    Not seen a false positive and brakes slamming - yet.
     
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  15. MGMDaware

    MGMDaware Member

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    This has happened many times over the years in my dodge durango with tacc equivalent (adaptive cruise control or acc as they call it).
     
  16. Shawn Snider

    Shawn Snider Member

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    What time of day did this even occur? Could the camera have momentarily been blinded by sunlight? Maybe a large piece of malleable debris smacked up against the detector in front? (thinking bag/paper) Would a cigarette having been thrown out a window be detected as a threat? If it bounced in the 'perfect spots' to be detected?

    I'm just running off idea's as I think about this problem, hope it's solved soon!
     
  17. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    This is from the Owners Manual:
    "Adjust your following distance

    To adjust the distance you want to maintain between Model S and a vehicle traveling ahead of you, rotate the cruise control lever to choose a setting from 1 (the closest following distance) to 7 (the longest following distance). Each setting corresponds to a time-based distance that represents how long it takes for Model S, from its current location, to reach the location of the rear bumper of the vehicle ahead."
     
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  18. Zybd1201

    Zybd1201 Member

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    I suspect it was an overhead traffic sign. Tesla said they would call me with more info after looking at logs. I will update here when they do. However, Tesla saying they will call has not frequently ended up in an actually phone call or email from Tesla. Hopefully that will change.
     
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  19. richrootes

    richrootes Member

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    I was thinking that too, but maybe the audio system just decided to play some Kurtis Blow at very high volume....
     
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  20. Zybd1201

    Zybd1201 Member

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    Or I'm on my iPhone which autocorrects everything.... As it sees fit. My car slams. On its BRAKES without me and my iPhone decides to say what it wants... ;-) either way, there is a legitimate conversation to be had here too
     

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