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Model S AP crashes

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Squish300, Dec 23, 2016.

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  1. Squish300

    Squish300 Member

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    A week ago I was headed to work in my Model S and the AP pulled me into a truck driving by my side. I was driving into the sun so had the AP on to assist with my safety. Cruising along just fine until all the sudden I hear an impact and a crunch to my right. My car had pulled me into a Semi. Fortunately I had my hand on the wheel and was able to pull away from the truck before going completely under it. I was in the left lane and easily had 20-30 feet of road and shoulder before the median wall. Tesla just got back to me today and stated that AP is more of a novelty and shouldn't be used for safety and the Tesla engineers determined the AP acted exactly how it was supposed to during the crash. Has anyone else had an experience with a crash in AP. I am also curious if anyone has had success getting the AP log to see what it showed? Tesla's stance has been consistent that AP is beta and shouldn't be used for safety. I am also curious why the sales reps were so adamant about me using the AP and not touching the wheel. We coming any feedback.
     
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  2. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    if you were paying attention how could you not have seen the impending collision?
     
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  3. Squish300

    Squish300 Member

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    Just staring straight ahead. Was trusting of the car not to make an abrupt move right. Car didn't make any signal of an object on my right.
     
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  4. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    It doesn't take long for a car to move out of its lane. There's not much "impending" time if it's an unexpected maneuver caused by a misbehaving AP.

    On the other hand, a good AP design should try to avoid driving along side (or in the blind spot) of any vehicle...especially a truck. I'm still waiting for my AP2 to get enabled. Caution will be key.
     
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  5. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    How did you let that happen? Were your hands on the wheel and where you paying attention at all times. It's known that those conditions must exist for it to be safe and it's also known that there's a tendency under certain conditions for the car to move towards trucks to the right.

    You should be able to get Tesla to send you a summary of what the logs show or I guess it can be subpoenaed. I'm pretty sure it will show you what you already know - you drifted into a truck.

    Good luck getting those Tesla sales people to say they were "adamant" you drive with no hands.
     
  6. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Say WHAT? I think you just Squished yourself.
     
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  7. Drone Flyer

    Drone Flyer Member

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    AP 2.0 will be no different. It's just designed to help you, that's all. You should never depend on it to take you from point A to point B, unless you are a taxi.
     
  8. hmmm

    hmmm Member

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    "Staring right ahead" may be a problem whether riding a bicycle or driving a Tesla...:rolleyes:

    Pics?
     
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  9. Squish300

    Squish300 Member

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    Shockingly the Rep is no longer with the company.
    The whole "help" idea is what I am trying to figure out. It helped me get in an accident. I paid for the AP upgrade to help avoid an accident. I drive 90 miles a month and purchased the car to be as safe as possible. Not feeling terribly safe after that.
     
  10. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    The car uses the camera to maintain lane position. I doubt it can see any better in bright light conditions than you can -- probably not as well since it can't put on sunglasses or use the visor. You might argue that they should be more adamant about warning that the AP can't function in those conditions. I think there is a warning in the documentation, though.

    I wouldn't expect the car data to show anything. The computer reacted to the information it had, and the information it had is what is recorded. I would expect that the records would show that the car reacted appropriately to the information it had.
     
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  11. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I wish I had access to a transcript of the phone call you had with Tesla because it seems improbable that Tesla told you that AP is a "novelty" and that when on AP it is acceptable performance for the car to suddenly veer out of its lane and impact an adjacent vehicle.
     
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  12. Squish300

    Squish300 Member

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    IMG_7599.JPG
    That's what $22,000 in damage looks like. Looking straight on a 3 lane highway that doesn't bend is pretty standard In a car that is supposed to stay straight between the lines, and has been pretty consistent for the first 10k miles.


     
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  13. Tech_Guy

    Tech_Guy Ludicrous + you say, well I got Ludicrous -

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    Basic drivers training teaches you to be aware of your surroundings, while driving you should constantly be checking your mirrors to monitor traffic around you. Unlike humans, Autopilot can only really see in front of you its your job to pay attention to everything else, and the car reminds you of that every time you turn on autopilot, keep hands on the wheel and be ready to takeover at any time... Autopilot is only a level 2 autonomous system, the cars that Tesla sells now are attempting to be a level 5 fully autonomous system they add multiple cameras all around the car to monitor its surroundings and this is only IF the regulators allow it and not until the end of next year... If you want transport where you don't need to pay attention use someone else like uber a taxi bus or train to take you where you want to go...
     
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  14. drklain

    drklain Member

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    I think part of it is that so many people are treating the auto-pilot as "hands off" and with the new nag system, hands off except when I get a nag or tug it every few minutes to avoid a nag. As a pilot, we treat autopilots very differently. We do go "hands off" when in cruise where there are literally miles between us and other traffic. When an autopilot is first turned on, experienced pilots have their hands on the yoke because autopilots sometimes can immediately induce a significant pitch or (more common) roll movement -- generally caused by human error (going to NAV mode when the fix is off to one side or HDG mode before setting the bug). More analogous to the Tesla autopilot is flying a coupled approach. At this point the autopilot has to fly VERY precisely (only a few feet of tolerance as you get close to the runway). Experienced pilots know that an autopilot can sometimes act unexpectedly and, during an approach where the penalties for an excursion are very possibly death, they have their hands on the yoke with a light grip and are monitoring. Should the autopilot command something unexpected in pitch or roll, the pilot overrides the autopilot by gripping the yoke harder so it never turns/moves enough to compromise the flight path and then the autopilot trips offline due to the manual override of the yoke.

    That should sound very familiar to how Tesla's control implementation goes. Forget the marketing...if you are on a narrow road or congested traffic where an autopilot excursion could lead to a crash or collision, hold the wheel all the time and pay attention. If the autopilot doesn't take a turn the way you want/expect -- you move the wheel and take control. If you are supposed to be driving straight and don't expect a turn, as soon as the autopilot starts to move the wheel, you grip it to prevent the wheel from turning and the autopilot trips offline.

    This is clearly NOT how the autopilot has been marketed by demo users and certainly not how many people use it, but when driving in traffic or near a road guardrail or concrete barrier, that is exactly how I would use it....

    All that said, very sorry about your collision. Obviously not what you were expecting or wanting. Hopefully your insurance will cover it but I'm not sure how they would handle a crash where you tell them you had your hands off the wheel and were not paying attention. I guess most likely the same as if a person has a collision with cruise control on where the customer says he didn't have his feet on the pedals and wasn't paying attention....
     
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  15. Lump

    Lump Active Member

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    360° long range ultrasonic sonar, basically establishes a protective cocoon around the vehicle...
     
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  16. Sonny Daze

    Sonny Daze Member

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    How many times safer is AP than a human driver? I've lost count. :rolleyes:
     
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  17. drklain

    drklain Member

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    Yeah...but with any automation, the possibility of the autopilot doing something unexpected is always there. Most of the time we accept it because the allowable error tolerances are such that the deviation will not cause damage to property, injury or loss of life. When those allowable tolerances get narrower, additional controls (including the human ability to immediately detect the excursion and correct it before it causes a mishap) are required.

    When traveling at highway speeds in close proximity to other stationary or moving objects (meaning withing a few feet), having your hands on the wheel and being able to detect the excursion through a tactile feeling (in the case of this accident "the wheel is starting to turn on a straight road to an extent beyond the normal straight line adjustments") and then immediately override it by gripping the wheel is exactly what I would think the expected driver behavior is..

    It's kind of like when you are driving down the highway in a non-autopilot car with your hand just loosely gripping the wheel because the car is driving along straight. As soon as the car starts to slide towards one side of the lane or another, most experienced drivers grip the wheel more tightly and apply a little bit of pressure to counteract the drift immediately and, in many cases, subconsciously. I would suggest that for Tesla autopilot use in tight traffic at high speeds, this is exactly the appropriate behavior and the wheel nag system is Tesla's approach to trying to ensure people ARE keeping their hands on the wheel and monitoring. I'm less than thrilled with the current system as it actually penalizes people who rest their hands on the wheel but don't create detectable torque on it and would much prefer that there was some other (capacitive or pressure) technique used, but I can certainly understand their approach. I can also understand the increased nag policy given so many current user's propensity to go completely hands free and engage in truly distracted driving (reading, email, watching movies, etc.) where they are in no position to detect, let alone prevent, an excursion. Of course the Tesla marketing efforts and the way they demonstrate the current autopilot don't exactly help address/prevent this behavior either....
     
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  18. Chopr147

    Chopr147 Active Member

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    Unfortunately this is true. I personally have avoided at least 2 AP accidents by taking over. One was just like the Op says. For some reason my S veered into the right lane from the middle lane and nearly hit a truck. Lanes clearly marked. I don't know why so I just chalked it up to the learning curve. Other time was with a truck (why is it always a truck? ) :)
    stopped at a red traffic light and my S was not slowing down. I had to slam on the brakes. I'm talking real close, maybe 15 yards. As it is I don't like how it waits to slow down for stopped traffic but this was a complete misread by AP. Now, I love AP and continue to use it but it is a reminder that AP is a driver assist feature.
     
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  19. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    nonsense, if you were paying attention you'd be able to react in time
     
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  20. drklain

    drklain Member

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    #20 drklain, Dec 23, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
    This is about more than just this incident, but I think in general many Tesla drivers who don't have experience with autopilots really are trusting it more than they should be given the current development level of the technology. Those who say it is really a very good cruise control with some amount of auto-steer have a better feel for it.

    I know that in both aircraft and on ships I have been surprised on more than one occasion and been left wondering "why did the system do that?" In almost every case, the autopilot did work correctly given the inputs/command it had received....the unexpected behavior was because of errors on my part in configuring the system or the inputs I had selected. Once you get a couple of those excursions, you become (a) far more alert to unexpected commands and (b) sensitive to what inputs you have given to the system. I'm sure I'm not the only pilot who had those experiences and they don't make us badmouth the system. We just acknowledge its limitations and are always alert lest the system bite us in the butt and try to kill us.

    Personally, I view the Tesla autopilot the same way -- a darn good, capable and impressive system but still one that is always looking for new ways to kill me or damage the car so it can't be fully trusted. I don't think that opinion will change until such time as FSD has been implemented and has years of demonstrated success. I don't think that makes me a Luddite (I love tech) but rather a person who is all too painfully aware of the limits of automation.
     
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