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Lane Positioning for Autopilot/Autosteer

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,870
3,581
Maine
If your car is not tracking properly, you should most definitely have it checked at a SC. It's a safety issue. Having said that, I have always liked to drive to the outside of my lane. If I'm in a left lane, I like to be closer to the left. If I'm in a right lane, I like to be closer to the right. Just my habit, and I've had to adjust after getting LKA, lane-keep assist, on my Volt, and now on my Model 3.

Also, I suggested in the thread about one thing we'd like to change, that the driver have a way to adjust the tracking, 6" either way. For Californians, who have legal motorcycle lane-splitting, it would help to avoid the motorcycles hitting your side mirrors. And for those of us who have a preference to drive toward the outside of a lane, we wouldn't have to resist manhandling the steering wheel, not to mention, it would help us avoid the pothole line in Spring. Right now, centered tracking puts you right in line to hit all the potholes. If you could adjust it to the left or right 6" or more, you could avoid hitting potholes dead center.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,189
Vernon, BC, Canada
Update: Service centre did not seem to think it could be anything but poor alignment. As I've had the car for too long without going to a service centre or complaining, it will not be fixed free of charge and alignment is $175 in Vancouver BC. Noticed the tires are wearing very quickly anyways (as OEM rubber does), so I'm just going to leave alignment until winter tire swap and will report back then.

It does still hug the left in all scenarios. I just don't use it anymore.

EDIT: Before someone points it out, no I'm not happy with this result. Take it as a warning that you should raise all issues as soon as possible, even if your nearest Service Centre is a 5+ hour trek away. It's at least noted somewhere as a fault on delivery (like my paint scratches that they're no longer willing to cover...)
 
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KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,870
3,581
Maine
If you have any issues, send an email to Customer Service, then you'll at least have a record, even if you don't actually take it in for service.

Plus, you don't have to have Tesla do the alignment. You can take it to a tire shop and let them do it, it'll be cheaper. Lots of tire places will check your alignment for free, so at least you'll know whether the SC is correct.
Update: Service centre did not seem to think it could be anything but poor alignment. As I've had the car for too long without going to a service centre or complaining, it will not be fixed free of charge and alignment is $175 in Vancouver BC. Noticed the tires are wearing very quickly anyways (as OEM rubber does), so I'm just going to leave alignment until winter tire swap and will report back then.

It does still hug the left in all scenarios. I just don't use it anymore.

EDIT: Before someone points it out, no I'm not happy with this result. Take it as a warning that you should raise all issues as soon as possible, even if your nearest Service Centre is a 5+ hour trek away. It's at least noted somewhere as a fault on delivery (like my paint scratches that they're no longer willing to cover...)
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,189
Vernon, BC, Canada
Update:

I finally had a mobile service appointment in which this was one of the work items. My camera calibration was apparently good, and leftward hugging is just something that current AP does a lot of apparently.

The mobile service tech also confirmed that my idea that Autosteer accounts for any normal sideways pull due to alignment issues is, of course, reality. (And is something other manufacturers do too!)

Not everything was on the record, but the result was that for the roads I drive on, I might be at the limits of what autosteer can appropriately manage, especially given that it does have a leftward hug issue in general. Future big updates (V10?) may address this. Basically, until things improve, try to only use autosteer on fairly straight roads and be the paranoid babysitter. Or just drive the car, it handles fantastically and we should just drive the thing :p

We couldn't reproduce the issues I was having on the nearby roads (they're bigger and straighter), so this was based on my description of the problems.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,870
3,581
Maine
Update:

I finally had a mobile service appointment in which this was one of the work items. My camera calibration was apparently good, and leftward hugging is just something that current AP does a lot of apparently.

The mobile service tech also confirmed that my idea that Autosteer accounts for any normal sideways pull due to alignment issues is, of course, reality. (And is something other manufacturers do too!)

Not everything was on the record, but the result was that for the roads I drive on, I might be at the limits of what autosteer can appropriately manage, especially given that it does have a leftward hug issue in general. Future big updates (V10?) may address this. Basically, until things improve, try to only use autosteer on fairly straight roads and be the paranoid babysitter. Or just drive the car, it handles fantastically and we should just drive the thing :p

We couldn't reproduce the issues I was having on the nearby roads (they're bigger and straighter), so this was based on my description of the problems.
Weird. Do you have a picture of your center screen showing your car hugging the line? Mine shows my car completely centered. And do you have an image from when your wife followed you, showing how close you are to the center line? Basically, how close are you to the center line? A foot? 6"?

What kind of roads are you talking about? Highways have to meet certain standards, ie they follow formulas on how much bend and what speed. I've never seen a bend on a highway that my car could not handle. Now, on surface roads, where I make a sharp right after a rise in the middle, the car can't see over the rise, so it can't see the sharp right, that's not going to work. I know that, so I don't use AP in those situations.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,189
Vernon, BC, Canada
Weird. Do you have a picture of your center screen showing your car hugging the line? Mine shows my car completely centered. And do you have an image from when your wife followed you, showing how close you are to the center line? Basically, how close are you to the center line? A foot? 6"?

What kind of roads are you talking about? Highways have to meet certain standards, ie they follow formulas on how much bend and what speed. I've never seen a bend on a highway that my car could not handle. Now, on surface roads, where I make a sharp right after a rise in the middle, the car can't see over the rise, so it can't see the sharp right, that's not going to work. I know that, so I don't use AP in those situations.

I may or may not have video of both the screen and the road, which may or may not have required me to hold my phone while I was driving, which may or may not be able to be used against me in my province if posted publicly. If I had such videos recently, they would be from my trip to this appointment.

The route I took to the mobile service appointment was this (I have no idea if this link works, sorry): Google Maps

Turns like this cause my car to not just hug the left of the lane, but actually cross the line into opposing traffic by a couple inches: Google Maps (EDIT: I think it was this slightly earlier corner: Google Maps )

(my dashcam stopped working prior to that wonderful experience, so I have no proof). I know this not only because I know where my tires are, but because the centre line has a rumble strip that I heard and felt.

Note that the above curve has no speed caution signs. It's tighter, yes, but doesn't even have the speed cautions that otherwise get littered around many corners on our highways when there is a legitimised concern about speed through a corner. IIRC the speed limit here is 90 km/h, with folks often going 100 or 110 (I believe AP caps it at 100 through this section, as it does most of the route).

Crossing the line is rare. Hugging it within perhaps 4" from the front bumper corner is common around rightward corners. Leftward corners have me in the middle or still a bit to the left.

The common routes we take are Kelowna BC to Salmon Arm BC. Look it up on maps if you're curious. There are certainly more curves to the roads than, say, an interstate. There's also a fair amount of local elevation change and road banking that might inhibit AP's ability to track lines well, especially when traffic is higher (i.e. on the way to work, when most people drive...). Perhaps it is naive of me, but I do expect Autosteer to work even in the morning rush if it is ever to become non-beta. Note that "morning rush" still has people going at or above the speed limit, there's just more cars.

If I use AP more in-town or on backroads, I drop the max speed and am absolutely locked focus on what the car is doing. Any funny business at those points is currently excusable and I do not expect good performance. It's specifically called out as an unsupported case for AP right now.

More direct answers...
  • No video from following the car, good idea. We'll set this up next time we're driving separate vehicles in line (it'll be at least a month before this happens).
  • No video or pictures showing the screen yet, but see below. Coming soon.
  • On straights, distance from the centre line varies due to variation in road width. 6" is excusable when there is 6" on both sides. I'll express it as a percentage ratio. It's perhaps 30/70 if centred is 50/50. Sometimes though, on straights, it will track in centre. If it doesn't, it's always leftward.
  • On rightward corners, it's often 10/90 if not worse. On leftward, again mostly 30/70 to 50/50.
  • The in-car screen does show the leftward hugging and even line crossing when it occurs. This aligns with service's statement that the camera calibration is good.

I'm making a long trip soon (next week) to Vancouver Island. This will have me on highways that are generally more friendly to AP, with some travel during dark which also works better. I've just got a tripod and phone mount set up that I plan to have the phone set up in back to record the screen and road as a sort of dashcam, so I will soon have video footage demonstrating these behaviours. All testing will be done at speed limits or with speed reduced when signs dictate so.

That said, I might stop testing if it becomes overly annoying or dangerous. My wife will be a passenger for this trip, and I know AP is not a good experience as a passenger.
 
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Reactions: DopeGhoti and KenC

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,870
3,581
Maine
Thanks, that's a well-marked corner. AP should see it clearly. When I first got my Model 3 last December, I think a corner like that would be difficult to manage if AP took it at 100kph. Now, AP slows a little as it approaches a corner like that. Still, that's a separate issue than non-centered tracking.

What I'd do, if the car is not slowing, is as I approach these bends, just scroll the speed down 5mph to give the AP more margin for error, until it improves enough to manage on its own. Did you already tell us what version of firmware you're on, on the prior page?

Did the SC tech drive with you in the car to see the 30/70 bias on-road and on-screen? And he thought that was normal?

AP should be relaxing for you, not more stressful for you and your passenger. Seems to be wrong.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,189
Vernon, BC, Canada
Thanks, that's a well-marked corner. AP should see it clearly. When I first got my Model 3 last December, I think a corner like that would be difficult to manage if AP took it at 100kph. Now, AP slows a little as it approaches a corner like that. Still, that's a separate issue than non-centered tracking.

What I'd do, if the car is not slowing, is as I approach these bends, just scroll the speed down 5mph to give the AP more margin for error, until it improves enough to manage on its own. Did you already tell us what version of firmware you're on, on the prior page?

Did the SC tech drive with you in the car to see the 30/70 bias on-road and on-screen? And he thought that was normal?

AP should be relaxing for you, not more stressful for you and your passenger. Seems to be wrong.

Currently on 2019.32.2.2, I believe that's fairly recent if not the latest common build.

Tech mostly saw something more like 40/60, but it was a multilane fairly straight highway which is quite unlike what I normally drive. 30/70 around a curve which didn't seem outside of AP's expected performance to him. The bias was visible in reality and on screen.

Many others have said their passengers know and feel when AP is on and don't like it (whether it's the lane tracking or the speed tracking). Heck, I don't like it and I'm able to override any poor action it takes as the driver. Even when AP is holding a reasonable enough lane position through a turn, it's not a smooth cornering process. Going straight isn't as straight as one would expect either due to how lane lines come and go (which I get, but makes the car hunt around more than a human would). Ever had auto lane change decide to cancel after it was halfway over? Oof that was an alarming steering correction to get back in the other lane. Passengers were very alarmed because I let it do its thing instead of forcing it to keep with the lane change.

In the dark, I must say AP performs significantly better. Lane positioning is still an issue but everything seems a lot more smooth and predictable. I suspect this is because the line/road contrast is much better (reflective bits in the lane marker paint, I think this is standard across North America?) so there's a far better indicator of where a lane is. Come to think of it, I don't think I've had phantom braking in the dark either.
 

Juice

New Member
Sep 24, 2019
2
0
Seattle
I'm having a similar issue with my Model 3. In the morning, when first driving the car, autopilot centers itself nicely. But after about 30 minutes of driving, the car will start to weave back and forth, then eventually it will with bias towards the left side of the lane. At times it will drive with the tires riding on top of the line, even on straight roads with highly visible lines. And when you engage autopilot when it's reached this point, it'll swerve the car to the left and often times go over the lane line, then slowly reel itself back into the correct lane. The display renders the lines correctly, so when the car is over the line it's properly reflected. I find it interesting that it resets overnight and seems to accumulate error over time. Obviously this is a serious safety issue.

I've had my car in for service twice for the issue. They've aligned it, calibrated cameras, and verified the hardware is working fine. At this point they're thinking it's a bug with firmware. They might be right, I'm on early access and the car didn't do this until the car was updated with an early access build. Though if it was a firmware bug, I would suspect I'm not the only one who would be seeing it and they can't seem to find any bugs/reports on this issue.

The service center now has a service engineer team looking into the problem and I get the impression that they don't want to look at my car until said team comes up with recommendations.

I've also found some residue on the inside of the windshield, within the camera housing. You can only see it when light hits it at the right angle. It looks like residue from a piece of tape. I assume that, even though it's hard to see the residue normally, at times it would interfere with the cameras (the car has never complained). I brought it up with the service center, and they've passed it on to the service engineer team but I'm thinking I need to go down and insist they clean it.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,870
3,581
Maine
Currently on 2019.32.2.2, I believe that's fairly recent if not the latest common build.

Tech mostly saw something more like 40/60, but it was a multilane fairly straight highway which is quite unlike what I normally drive. 30/70 around a curve which didn't seem outside of AP's expected performance to him. The bias was visible in reality and on screen.

Many others have said their passengers know and feel when AP is on and don't like it (whether it's the lane tracking or the speed tracking). Heck, I don't like it and I'm able to override any poor action it takes as the driver. Even when AP is holding a reasonable enough lane position through a turn, it's not a smooth cornering process. Going straight isn't as straight as one would expect either due to how lane lines come and go (which I get, but makes the car hunt around more than a human would). Ever had auto lane change decide to cancel after it was halfway over? Oof that was an alarming steering correction to get back in the other lane. Passengers were very alarmed because I let it do its thing instead of forcing it to keep with the lane change.

In the dark, I must say AP performs significantly better. Lane positioning is still an issue but everything seems a lot more smooth and predictable. I suspect this is because the line/road contrast is much better (reflective bits in the lane marker paint, I think this is standard across North America?) so there's a far better indicator of where a lane is. Come to think of it, I don't think I've had phantom braking in the dark either.
Doesn't seem right to me. My car is very smooth, and doesn't seem to hunt. Strange that it would work better in the dark. Implies that maybe the cameras aren't really functioning properly. As you say, it seems to be detecting contrast better. It may not be a calibration issue, but a camera chip issue.

If you know anyone else with a Model 3 or S or X, you should try driving their car to see if theirs is any different. Or at the SC, ask if you can take a 3 out for a test drive.
 
Last edited:

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,870
3,581
Maine
I'm having a similar issue with my Model 3. In the morning, when first driving the car, autopilot centers itself nicely. But after about 30 minutes of driving, the car will start to weave back and forth, then eventually it will with bias towards the left side of the lane. At times it will drive with the tires riding on top of the line, even on straight roads with highly visible lines. And when you engage autopilot when it's reached this point, it'll swerve the car to the left and often times go over the lane line, then slowly reel itself back into the correct lane. The display renders the lines correctly, so when the car is over the line it's properly reflected. I find it interesting that it resets overnight and seems to accumulate error over time. Obviously this is a serious safety issue.

I've had my car in for service twice for the issue. They've aligned it, calibrated cameras, and verified the hardware is working fine. At this point they're thinking it's a bug with firmware. They might be right, I'm on early access and the car didn't do this until the car was updated with an early access build. Though if it was a firmware bug, I would suspect I'm not the only one who would be seeing it and they can't seem to find any bugs/reports on this issue.

The service center now has a service engineer team looking into the problem and I get the impression that they don't want to look at my car until said team comes up with recommendations.

I've also found some residue on the inside of the windshield, within the camera housing. You can only see it when light hits it at the right angle. It looks like residue from a piece of tape. I assume that, even though it's hard to see the residue normally, at times it would interfere with the cameras (the car has never complained). I brought it up with the service center, and they've passed it on to the service engineer team but I'm thinking I need to go down and insist they clean it.
Yours gets worse over time. Seems like the computer chip is heating up and then it starts acting flaky. I would be changing out whatever chips there are, imaging chips, mcu chips, HW2.5 chips. In my layman's opinion, these are just computers on wheels, and they have computer-like problems, and a common problem with computers is heat sensitivity. The fact that the car acts wonky after 30 mins, correlates nicely with the chip heating up.
 

Mikeydeek

Member
May 8, 2018
144
49
Ottawa
Interesting to read this thread.

I feel like Autosteer is too far to the left too, especially when going around right bearing bends.

However this is on two way streets with no central divider, which I know from the user guide, is not a current situation where Autosteer is supposed to be used.

I have noticed since getting my model 3 and seeing my lane positioning on screen, that I am a driver who has always driven to the far right of the lane (especially on two way streets or the right lane of a highway).

So activating Autosteer from my normal right hand position in the lane always causes an aggressive correction to the left!

It would be awesome if Autosteer had a setting to define your default preferred position in the lane (when safe to do so). I would definitely set slightly to the right!!
 
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camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,189
Vernon, BC, Canada
Interesting to read this thread.

I feel like Autosteer is too far to the left too, especially when going around right bearing bends.

However this is on two way streets with no central divider, which I know from the user guide, is not a current situation where Autosteer is supposed to be used.

I have noticed since getting my model 3 and seeing my lane positioning on screen, that I am a driver who has always driven to the far right of the lane (especially on two way streets or the right lane of a highway).

So activating Autosteer from my normal right hand position in the lane always causes an aggressive correction to the left!

It would be awesome if Autosteer had a setting to define your default preferred position in the lane (when safe to do so). I would definitely set slightly to the right!!

I immediately looked at your location when you said yours behaves like mine... I'm starting to develop a theory.

Online, I get a lot of "AP is perfectly centred what are you talking about". Most owners on this forum are from the US. In person with other Model 3 owners around here, I get "Yeeeaaah it really likes to pull left and cut corners on highways". But also online, from Canadian Model 3 owners... they more often claim it hugs the left than others.

Is this leftward AP tendency somehow specific to Canada? Part of me says it makes sense that AP would behave differently depending on the country so that may be the case, but I don't think Canada is sufficiently different from the US to warrant different behaviour. However, the US does get different features (e.g. stoplight warning).

Your note about two-way with no divider is interesting. Considering that's what many highways are around here, I just assumed that AP supports that since it's a highway (not that it does excellently on the 4-lane with central barrier either) and reading the owner's manual seems to be supported? I might be missing something. If I am indeed trying to use it on the wrong types of highways, that might be part of the problem.
 

superbaka

Member
Feb 28, 2019
137
267
California
In the long term, there are two ways this will play out :

1. As more people in the world use self driving, we will surrender to how the systems drive. IE: You are on a bus.

2. The car will learn your driving style like how siri learns your voice or fingerprint. Drive for the first 1000 miles, and it emulates it.
 

srs5694

Active Member
Jan 15, 2019
1,276
1,588
Woonsocket, RI
Is this leftward AP tendency somehow specific to Canada?

I can't rule out the possibility that AP behaves differently with respect to lane positioning in different areas, but the problem is not exclusive to Canada. I experience it, too, although not as badly as some people, and I live in Rhode Island, USA. To quantify it, if we say that -10 is the car hugging the left lane marking (being in the lane, but moving another millimeter left would move it partially out of the lane), 0 being perfectly centered, and +10 being hugging the right of the lane, then I'd say my car spends most of its time between -5 and 0, with occasional deviations out to -8 or so. This is annoying enough, and occasionally unnerving enough, that I sometimes disable AP to take control and center the car better or move it away from a truck or whatnot. It's not bad enough that I completely avoid AP, though.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,870
3,581
Maine
I can't rule out the possibility that AP behaves differently with respect to lane positioning in different areas, but the problem is not exclusive to Canada. I experience it, too, although not as badly as some people, and I live in Rhode Island, USA. To quantify it, if we say that -10 is the car hugging the left lane marking (being in the lane, but moving another millimeter left would move it partially out of the lane), 0 being perfectly centered, and +10 being hugging the right of the lane, then I'd say my car spends most of its time between -5 and 0, with occasional deviations out to -8 or so. This is annoying enough, and occasionally unnerving enough, that I sometimes disable AP to take control and center the car better or move it away from a truck or whatnot. It's not bad enough that I completely avoid AP, though.
That's also weird behavior. If it's going to track off-center, it should at least be consistent. Without consistency you can't trust it. I would definitely take that to a SC.
 

lolder

Member
Jun 11, 2016
952
855
SW Florida
Those of you that think the car is in the left side of the lane need to confirm this with another vehicle observing from behind. The design is for the cars to drive in the exact center. Many drivers feel this is too far left as they are used to driving a little to the right on two-lane roads.
 

Juice

New Member
Sep 24, 2019
2
0
Seattle
Those of you that think the car is in the left side of the lane need to confirm this with another vehicle observing from behind. The design is for the cars to drive in the exact center. Many drivers feel this is too far left as they are used to driving a little to the right on two-lane roads.

Without a doubt my car will cross the left lane line when autopilot is activated. It's obvious when the car is half way into the lane to the left of me. Also, it's easy to confirm lane bias using the rear camera, assuming the lane has visible lines on both sides.

My car is not normal and clearly has an issue. I'm taking the car to service for this on Thursday. It'll be the third visit for the issue. Wish me luck.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,870
3,581
Maine
Would be interesting to hear if any of the earlier posters had any resolution to their lane tracking issues. The latest software v10 seems to have slowed my car during turning; slower than I would take the turns, where before, it would take turns faster than I would take the turns.
 

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