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How to avoid road debris

I was cruising along the highway at about 85 mph on autopilot when a car in the next lane caused a tire tread to spin into my lane. I didn't want to over-turn at high speed, so I tried to gently steer around it - but I forgot that autopilot would require me to turn the steering wheel forcefully. So the tread ended up hitting my front bumper and cracking the parking light bracket, which will cost me several hundred bucks to repair because the bumper needs to come off.

My advice to anyone who hasn't thought of it is to keep your foot above the brake when on autopilot, and not above the accelerator like an ICE car. I've practiced a light brake-tap to disable autopilot coupled with a gentle turn to avoid road debris - something I wished I had thought of sooner.
 
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jmaddr

Active Member
Mar 29, 2019
1,070
1,069
Florida
Turn the wheel just like you would in any car. Yes, the initial push will be heavier but it won’t make you suddenly veer left. Besides, BEVs like ours have a very low center of gravity unlike ICE, and it’s less prone to rollover.
 

DanCar

Active Member
Oct 2, 2013
2,055
2,157
SF Bay Area
Where is FSD when you need it? I want it to react in 1 millisecond, and have a replay of what it was thinking (options) and actions it took.
What it was thinking: When it figured out there was road debris and projected path of road debris
Options:
  1. Accelerate
  2. Deaccelerate
  3. Turn left
  4. Turn right
  5. Take it on the chin
 
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Turn the wheel just like you would in any car. Yes, the initial push will be heavier but it won’t make you suddenly veer left. Besides, BEVs like ours have a very low center of gravity unlike ICE, and it’s less prone to rollover.

This isn't my experience. The force required to turn the wheel is often much greater than if you need to slightly veer out of the way of debris while trying to maintain your own lane. Turning enough to disengage often causes you suddenly going into other lanes.

This exact experience is definitely the thing that makes me nervous in autopilot. On day 1 of having the car I had this happen but luckily was able to avoid it (by jerking dangerously across multiple lanes of traffic, thankfully the road was empty).
 
Huh, didn't know CA had 80mph speed limits. I've driven them in Montana and Texas. I thought i read somewhere they had 85mph... What's crazy is in Texas the trucks are doing those speeds. LOL
I was driving through Utah at the time.

It is a little uncomfortable driving with your foot over the break instead of the accelerator. The times I mostly switch my foot over the brake is when I am in the far left lane. That is the lane where there is often accumulated debris against the center divider - hubcaps, fenders, tire treads, etc. In LA, you will find a surprising amount of poles with concrete bases. Recently, LA started putting in plastic poles to separate the HOV lanes. What people don't realize is that they are fairly stiff plastic poles that are anchored in by concrete. Drivers think they can drive right over the poles and they will flex, but they actually do major damage to cars, and then end up in the middle of the HOV lane - this happened to my friend when the car in front of him tried to drive over a pole and the pole with a chunk of concrete attached flew into the lane and hit his car. If you look at the percentage of plastic poles that are missing or laying on the road, it's apparent that hitting the poles, accidentally or on purpose, is a very common occurrence. Finally, although it has greatly improved, autopilot has issues when driving in the far inside lane when the occasional pillar decreases clearance to the painted lines to a matter of inches.
 
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Where is FSD when you need it? I want it to react in 1 millisecond, and have a replay of what it was thinking (options) and actions it took.
What it was thinking: When it figured out there was road debris and projected path of road debris
Options:
  1. Accelerate
  2. Deaccelerate
  3. Turn left
  4. Turn right
  5. Take it on the chin
I decided to take it on the chin, and got my tooth cracked!
 

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