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Camera(s) blocked or blinded

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
2,154
2,797
Seattle
Hi All, i've noticed a few times now when driving in the pitch black that I get an error message:

Left door pillar camera blocked

I was wondering if anyone else has had this issue? I presume this isnt normal? as i'd expect both cameras to fail so looking to add it on to the list of other issues I have, so will log them all on the service app.

It happens to me also when it's very dark outside .. nothing to worry about. The car is basically assuming if it can't see anything then something might be blocking the camera (a cautious and safe assumption). The warning will go away as soon as it sees something.
 

Sparkeur

Member
Feb 23, 2020
479
687
Nouvelle Aquitaine
I've just driven home in the dark (22:30) on a country road and had 'Right door pillar camera blocked' message for the first time. Given I am driving on the right, this is presumably the same condition as the UK Left Door pillar camera blockage. I've driven this short trip many times in the dark but this is the first time I've seen the message. Temp is 19c, no humidity, no water on the car - pleasantly clear night and no obvious blockage on the pillar.
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
2,154
2,797
Seattle
I've just driven home in the dark (22:30) on a country road and had 'Right door pillar camera blocked' message for the first time. Given I am driving on the right, this is presumably the same condition as the UK Left Door pillar camera blockage. I've driven this short trip many times in the dark but this is the first time I've seen the message. Temp is 19c, no humidity, no water on the car - pleasantly clear night and no obvious blockage on the pillar.
Basically the camera system assumes if it cant see anything there is a fault ... reasonable really
 

Cnixon

Member
Mar 5, 2020
497
160
Basingstoke
Hi All, i've noticed a few times now when driving in the pitch black that I get an error message:

Left door pillar camera blocked

I was wondering if anyone else has had this issue? I presume this isnt normal? as i'd expect both cameras to fail so looking to add it on to the list of other issues I have, so will log them all on the service app.
Every night. No illumination must confuse the poor thing. It comes back as soon as I get to street lights.
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
2,154
2,797
Seattle
Every night. No illumination must confuse the poor thing. It comes back as soon as I get to street lights.

It doesnt "confuse" it at all .. it's s safety system .. if the AI "sees" black it assumes a camera fault somewhere in the hardware/software chain as this is safest assumption. When it starts seeing something, it can cancel the warning. After all, how could it tell the difference between "black because its dark outside" and "black because a bird pooped all over the camera" ?
 

hcdavis3

HCD3
Supporting Member
Mar 3, 2019
2,342
1,535
02571
My car does this on both sides in broad daylight. Neither camera is blocked or dirty. I believe this is a bug.
 

Glan gluaisne

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,912
UK
I'm pretty sure that the cameras don't have an IR cut filter, so should be at least as good as any cheap CCTV camera, and be able to get some usable imagery when there's no visible light. Also, the difference between a defective camera and one that's just partially obscured, should be very easy to detect, as an obscured camera will still have some noise from the sensor.

My guess is that this message pops up when the image processing software can't resolve enough detail to be of any value. I've noticed that this message comes up in spring and autumn, when low sun blinds one or other of the side cameras, and that would tally with it being possibly a signal processing issue. It may be that some of the problems can be resolved in software, perhaps by a combination of better adjustment of the camera iris/exposure control and by selectively processing only the part of the sensor that's not been saturated by a bright spot. It may be that the night time issue can be resolved by better noise reduction software. The newest CCTV camera I've installed seems to have an amazing ability to pull an image out of the noise, and it seems to be able to do this primarily by signal processing, the sensor is still a cheap CMOS one, rather than a CCD.
 
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Zakalwe

Member
Oct 16, 2020
457
453
UK
CMOS camera have come on amazingly in the last 4 or 5 years. They have incredibly low noise and very high sensitivity, right down to being able to measure double digit electrons.

For low light applications they are streets ahead of CCD CMOS.
 
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Twurzel

Member
Aug 1, 2020
52
14
Salisbury, UK
I live in Wiltshire and get this quite frequently at night driving around country lanes. First time I got it it started with the left door camera, then reported the same with the right door camera and eventually went to multi cameras blocked or failed. I'd only had the car about a week so wondered what was happening.
 

Glan gluaisne

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,912
UK
I live in Wiltshire and get this quite frequently at night driving around country lanes. First time I got it it started with the left door camera, then reported the same with the right door camera and eventually went to multi cameras blocked or failed. I'd only had the car about a week so wondered what was happening.

We're ten miles or so west of you, and I pretty much always get the side cameras blocked message when driving along the A30 either early morning or evening, when the sun's a bit low. I also used to always get the bong warning about being too close on the left hand side, until I turned the audio warnings off, as they were just a nuisance. Clearly the designers of the system hadn't ever driven through Wilton regularly, with narrow streets and loads of parked cars.
 
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Beej4

Member
Aug 14, 2020
48
10
Cambridge
Moderator comment - thread merged from "Camera warning popups randomly"

I wanted to ask if anyone else sees this warning popup randomly, as I do.
I clean all cameras (1 rear and 2 side indicator ones) before I set off so I'm not sure why I get this.
Any solutions?
 

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Glan gluaisne

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,912
UK
Pretty normal, happens to me pretty much every time I drive the car, more so at this time of the year with the dark evenings and low sun when it is shining.
 

TsunamY

Member
Dec 3, 2020
18
11
Alameda
I’m going to say me too. I’ve had it occur three or four times on the same right panel camera. I get the fault warning on my screen. I’ve reported it as a bug and when I brought in to the SC I was told it’s just a glitch and unless I get it constantly they can’t really do anything about it. I keep my car clean so no dirty panel and I don’t live in a location with severe adverse weather. Something must be up if so many are getting fault warnings.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,769
6,337
Surrey, UK
Something must be up if so many are getting fault warnings.

Its not a fault. Its a warning that the cameras vision is compromised by some environmental condition like low sun. The warning is to let the driver know that some features may not work as expected, such as blind spot detection (including when it happens to rear facing indicator cameras) or the EAP/FSD NoA automatic lane change.

It can also happen with condensation fogs the b-pillar cameras, but that should clear. If it doesn't within an hours driving, then SC's will listen to possible fault. Another so called 'fault' is it can be triggered by the protective film covering the b-pillar cameras not being removed prior to delivery - an easy DIY fix.
 

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