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"Hold Steering Wheel" - What's the purpose?

Torpedo Ted

Member
Oct 14, 2013
71
0
Norway
I was under the impression that "Hold Steering Wheel" was supposed to appear when the car was having trouble reading the road. But that does not appear to be the case.


Does anyone know what triggers it, and why it won't go away before we actually "hold" the steering wheel? Is it to meet regulations? Does it differ in USA and EU?


My experience: I was testing the car under very bad conditions (heavy rain/dark) on small roads. The message never appeared, even though the car had a super hard time reading the road (tried to drive off the road 10+ times). I only got the last second, audible alert every time with no "heads up" before. I expected to get the "Hold steering wheel" when it was having trouble reading the road.


But when driving on a nice road with perfect lane markings, and the car reading the road very well, I keep getting this message every few minutes for "no apparent reason". To me, the car feels like it reads the road with no problem, which is confirmed if I don't hold the steering wheel - because it will continue to drive perfectly fine. Until it actually starts to slow down and changing message to "Hold steering wheel to maintain set speed". If the reasoning for this message was that it was uncertain about the road, the message should dissapear when it got certain about the road again... Anyway, this message feels like a regulation requirement to me... Ruins the experience a little bit :-/
 

msnow

Active Member
Jul 14, 2015
4,951
2,236
SoCal
My understanding was that it was timed to make that alert every minute or two to ensure the driver is engaged. Possibly a nod to regulators.
 

Soolim

Member
Jun 11, 2015
852
38
Vancouver, BC, Canada
I was under the impression that "Hold Steering Wheel" was supposed to appear when the car was having trouble reading the road. But that does not appear to be the case.


Does anyone know what triggers it, and why it won't go away before we actually "hold" the steering wheel? Is it to meet regulations? Does it differ in USA and EU?


My experience: I was testing the car under very bad conditions (heavy rain/dark) on small roads. The message never appeared, even though the car had a super hard time reading the road (tried to drive off the road 10+ times). I only got the last second, audible alert every time with no "heads up" before. I expected to get the "Hold steering wheel" when it was having trouble reading the road.


But when driving on a nice road with perfect lane markings, and the car reading the road very well, I keep getting this message every few minutes for "no apparent reason". To me, the car feels like it reads the road with no problem, which is confirmed if I don't hold the steering wheel - because it will continue to drive perfectly fine. Until it actually starts to slow down and changing message to "Hold steering wheel to maintain set speed". If the reasoning for this message was that it was uncertain about the road, the message should dissapear when it got certain about the road again... Anyway, this message feels like a regulation requirement to me... Ruins the experience a little bit :-/
Does the dash show blue or white lane marking when it asked you to hold the wheel?

- - - Updated - - -

Had this for the first time today during perfect weather on a straight portion of i75 while driving down to MIA.
What version of AP do you have? Is it .7.56 or .7.77?
 

Torpedo Ted

Member
Oct 14, 2013
71
0
Norway
Does the dash show blue or white lane marking when it asked you to hold the wheel?
Blue lines - nothing indicating that it has problems reading the road. I have .77 btw.

My understanding was that it was timed to make that alert every minute or two to ensure the driver is engaged. Possibly a nod to regulators.
My understanding was that unlike competitors, Tesla did NOT force us to put our hands on the wheel every x minutes. And reports from USA indicated that it wasn't the case either. Could it possibly be a EU-only thing?
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,460
6,211
Snohomish, WA
I haven't been able to figure out the behavior.

At first it seemed to coincide with significant amounts of steering when the freeway would bend, but then it started happening on straight aways. I have audible alerts enabled, but I haven't heard an audible alert.

I haven't attempted to ignore it. When it happens I go from using one finger on the steering wheel (I use it for feedback) to having one hand on the steering wheel.

It's very random in that sometimes it will happen every few minutes to not happening for miles and miles.

I don't use it when conditions aren't warranted for it. The tracking accuracy of where I use it is 99% or more so I doubt it's losing tracking.

I'm in the US so I don't think there is any regulatory.

It seems to do it more now days than it did initially. Initially I don't remember it ever happening without losing tracking.
 

msnow

Active Member
Jul 14, 2015
4,951
2,236
SoCal
There's a little more detail on page 72 of the new owners manual below but my experience is that it's not consistent.

"Hold Steering Wheel
Autosteer uses data from the camera, sensors, and GPS system to determine where to drive. It also requires you to hold the steering wheel. When entering a curve, if Autosteer does not detect your hands on the steering wheel, it displays the following message on the instrument panel and eventually sounds a chime:

When you see this message, you may need to tighten your grip on the steering wheel. When your hands are detected, Autosteer resumes normal operation.
Note: Be careful not to apply any steering. Doing so cancels Autosteer.
If Autosteer does not detect your hands on the steering wheel, the Hold Steering Wheel request escalates by sounding two additional chimes. The chimes increase in frequency until Autosteer detects your hands. If no action is taken, Autosteer begins to decelerate Model S and displays the following message on the instrument panel:"
 

jlucero

Member
Jun 23, 2015
482
57
DALLAS
i drove on a major freeway yesterday for 2 hours, and really never got that message unless alot more traffic was coming ahead or some curve was coming. my hands were off the wheels most of the time.
 

LetsGoFast

Active Member
Oct 13, 2014
1,329
101
Virginia
My understanding was that it was timed to make that alert every minute or two to ensure the driver is engaged. Possibly a nod to regulators.

This is absolutely not the case. I've had stretches of an hour or more without the notification.

It appears to me that it most frequently asks you to hold the wheel on sweeping curves where confidence is low. You may not notice the first time it asks, because it usually asks silently the first time and then adds a chime if you don't see the notification a minute or two later. Sometimes I miss the first notice and by the time I get the chime I'm already well past the original spot that activated it.

Times when the lines are blurry or faint or completely missing it seems to more often just panic and go into "red alert -- you take over" mode directly without ever passing through the "hold the wheel" phase.
 

Matias

Active Member
Apr 2, 2014
3,250
3,581
Finland
Message seems to come randomly. Sometimes it appears although car sees lines well, on the other hand, sometimes car plays ping pong between lines and still no message.
 

Lesifass

Member
Oct 24, 2015
94
94
Germany
Maybe it asks you to hold the steering wheel when it attempts to learn something? That is, holding the wheel = "Yes, autopilot, the way you are driving right now is correct. Keep on doing this and remember it for next time.". Or maybe not. :)
 

boonedocks

MS LR Blk/Blk 19” OD-1/1/21 RN#1143376 NO Del Date
May 1, 2015
2,797
4,242
Gainesville GA
I drive over 45 miles a day on two stretches of Interstate Hwys. There is only one spot the entire way that "hold the steering wheel" pops up for me. It is the exact same place every time. Nothing out of the ordinary or meaningful about the short stretch at all. There are other areas that I would expect it to ask for reassurance before that particular stretch so it is very odd. It asks me to hold daily and has since Ver 7 was installed. As far as "learning" it has had a hard head about that one spot. Lol lol
 

pedriscoll

Active Member
May 30, 2015
370
209
Indianapolis, Indiana
Interestingly I have yet to have it occur, but I usually don't go for more that a minute or 2 without touching the wheel at least lightly. I have a 50 mile round trip commute on 2 different stretches of Interstate highways. I am now using AP for 95% of the time. I am having to make a conscious effort to let the car drive in heavy traffic instead of taking over. I guess I am training myself to trust AP.
 

electrish

I Sing the Body Electric
Nov 8, 2014
242
6
Ohio
There is only one spot the entire way that "hold the steering wheel" pops up for me. It is the exact same place every time. Nothing out of the ordinary or meaningful about the short stretch at all.

I'm just speculating, but could this be part of fleet learning? Other drivers may have deactivated AP at this spot, so your vehicle is requesting confirmation on what to do at exactly this location.
 

boonedocks

MS LR Blk/Blk 19” OD-1/1/21 RN#1143376 NO Del Date
May 1, 2015
2,797
4,242
Gainesville GA
I'm just speculating, but could this be part of fleet learning? Other drivers may have deactivated AP at this spot, so your vehicle is requesting confirmation on what to do at exactly this location.


Could be but it would be a very odd place to do it as it is in the PeachPass limited access lane and you can't enter or exit for another 2 miles.
 

Sean Dunn

Member
Feb 12, 2015
9
0
Hillsboro, OR
It certainly pops up when the car under autopilot enters into a challenging condition.

Until we get confirmation from Tesla, the following is speculation. I suspect it will also pop up when it nears into an area where people have disengaged autopilot manually. I'm basing this off of driving into my work, were several people own Teslas, and I get the "Keep hands on wheel" message when getting close to places you turn into the parking lot.
 

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