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Autosteer scary on Highway 17 in California

Discussion in 'Model X: Driving Dynamics' started by onethumb, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. onethumb

    onethumb Member

    Jan 17, 2016
    Los Altos, CA
    Has anyone else used Autosteer over Highway 17 (Los Gatos <-> Santa Cruz)?

    It was scary, but not for the reasons I assumed. There was a reasonable amount of traffic, so it had a car to follow the whole way, otherwise I think some of the curves and dividers might have been a little dicey...

    Instead, the scary part turned out to be when it read the "TRUCK - Speed Limit 35MPH" signs as if the speed limit for the Model X were 35mph (instead of the 55mph) and braked hard, then refused to go back up in speed until it saw a 55mph sign. Then it did it again at least one other time on the drive. Finally just disabled Autosteer. :(

    Very scary having the car brake in the middle of traffic for "no reason" since it mis-read a sign. First time I've seen it do this, has anyone else had any experience with this?
  2. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    I have, at least in stretches in my S... Highway 17 isn't really a good use case for AP in it's current form. There are some sections where it lends well but any of the twisty parts isn't a good fit for the system with it's current limitations...

    • Like x 1
  3. Colby Boles

    Colby Boles Member

    Dec 29, 2015
    San Francisco, CA
    I just drove 17 yesterday with my child in the back. No way I was going to try AP there, but I'm glad you did as I was curious.

    One would think that they would have some sort of GIS-like data with speeds for "known" roads that would be the primary source of information and that they sign reading would only kick in on roads with no data.
  4. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

    Jul 27, 2014
    Just don't even try.
    Hwy 17 is not suitable for AP... (it's not really even suitable for human drivers).
    • Funny x 3
    • Like x 1
  5. RobertSeattle

    RobertSeattle Member

    Mar 10, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    I wonder if Tesla is pushing for some kind of standardization of roadway signs so it will be easier for AI to detect road signs accurately.
  6. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Member

    Sep 3, 2015
    Martinsburg, PA
    When I use autosteer in a 40 mph zone in my area, I pass a sign that says "school zone 15 mph when lights are flashing". Autosteer doesn't care about the lights -- it immediately drops to 15 mph.

    And that's why I don't use autosteer near there.

    Another case is using autosteer in a 45 mph zone where a side road takes off at an angle. Autosteer reads the 25 mph sign on the side road and immediately drops my speed.

    Autosteer doesn't work well at all on rural highways.
    • Like x 1
  7. KaiserSoze

    KaiserSoze Member

    Mar 27, 2016
    In my experience the signs are quite standard; Autopilot just can't read them. Especially temporary construction or curve limits.
  8. ccutrer

    ccutrer Member

    Sep 3, 2015
    Saratoga Springs, UT
    I've also had the school zone speed limit sign be read. And one of the yellow diamond signs with a speed limit and an arrow notifying you of an upcoming speed limit decrease. It made my X slow down about a half mile early.
  9. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

    Jan 19, 2016
    Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
    #10 Ulmo, Jul 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
    Seems Hwy 17 isn't an autosteer and autospeed use case yet.

    Thing is, they already are completely standardized. Well, enough, anyway. Software would have to be extremely bad to misinterpret speed limit signs, as obvious as they currently are.

    Waze and TomTom both have speed programmed in, but it's often wrong. Also, Hwy 17 has temporary speed limit signs posted on it sometimes during construction. I recently ran into that on Hwy 152, too; they covered up the 65MPH signs and posted some construction signs. But, they were standard.

    There is one exception: they are starting to come out with digital speed limit signs. I like these, because someday I want to post signs every block that say how fast you have to go to hit every green light and never have to stop or go faster than the speed limit, but it's just yet another type of sign to figure out.

    The positioning of the signs, the standardness of them, the context of the signs --- the depth of the sign compared to the roadway, the positioning of the sign with respect to the roadway -- where the roadway is, what lane is what, which is on which level, etc.; those can all be figured out by software. I have this nagging feeling Tesla is doing none of that, though.

    The yellow sign has to do with warning. White and black is law. Orange is construction. "When children are present" or "Trucks" are particular to those events.
  10. EVie'sDad

    EVie'sDad Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    Newark, CA
    Speaking as a driver with personal local experience driving vehicles many many times between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz for the past four decades and as a Tesla Model S owner for the past 9 months I can unequivocally state that beyond the last onramp from 17 south out of los gatos the curves are too severe to allow for adequate safety to be maintained by auto-steering. This I know first hand, and still drive it at least a few times a month without incident.

    The issue really is that the OP does not appear to fully understand the limitations of the TACC and Auto-Steering components in the Tesla Tech package, and therefore it likely to end up wrecked and trying to blame it on 'auto-pilot', when we all should acknowledge this is barely semi-autonomous, more like advanced driving assistance and cruise control, lane maintaining when not too fast or too curvy or with cross traffic or intersections.

    Please learn where and when to use (and not use) this newly introduced feature, I treat it like any first time driver behind the wheel, it may be capable of handling something but would you trust your life to find out one way or another? I would not, my Tesla is my latest 14 year old teenager, and I completely expect at least 3 to 5 years of driving before I feel AP2 or AP3 releases (both hardware and software/firmware updates) are going to be able to handle such uniquely challenging situations on the road.

    Use your own judgement, but be aware "The driver is entirely responsible for the actions or lack of actions" to avoid crashes and accidents. Vigilance is necessary, and take over any time you don't believe AP can handle it. I do it all the time, and it will eventually learn from those mistakes, but only if it survives long enough to share responsible driving data with the rest of the fleet.

    Do your part and be the solution, not the problem.
    • Like x 2

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