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My first "automated assistence" experience almost killed me.

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Ulmo, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #1 Ulmo, Jan 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
    I do not have any type of autopilot or self driving mode turned on; I didn't pay for it, and I have HW2 so the feature set is very limited. However, this didn't prevent my car from doing a very unexpected and dangerous thing, a few days ago, and I've only now come up with the time, words, and patience to describe it:

    I was making a left turn from southbound Highway 17 (up the hill on Santa Clara County side) to go around a traffic condition, onto one of those mountain roads. Oncoming traffic was about 3 cars. Two buched up in the #2 lane, and another further behind also in #2 lane. I waited until all were going to stay in same lane. I decided to take the #1 lane position, brake, and get ready to go either in between the first 2 cars and the 3rd one, or after the 3rd one, depending on conditions. This would get my car, then currently parallel with 17, turned toward the side road (almost perpendicular, of course), so that acceleration would be easier. Plus, if I timed it right, the rolling start would give more speed.

    As I did this maneuver, my car made all sorts of alerting beeps, and cut the accelerator out. There I was, in angle-from-head-on 70mph traffic at an angle which would kill me since it's not head-on, and the car decides to take over and try to kill me. WHAT THE HELL! I submitted a bug report a few minutes later with no explanation. But, to me THIS IS NOT A SAFETY FEATURE: KILLING ME IS NOT A SAFETY FEATURE. I was VERY lucky that there was a HUGE gap of traffic after car #3, otherwise I would have died. While having that huge gap was part of my decision, as you saw in my above description, it could have been less huge. I was able to react by turning RIGHT into the #1 lane head on to figure out what the hell to do while my car was in NO GO mode, and I was able to take control again and floor it, making a 120º turn into the road I wanted, but hell, what if the car decided to stop again?! Tesla, stop trying to drive for me when I know what I am doing. I have made this turn half a hundred times in my old Mercedes with much less problem. I always thought "the 4 wheel drive of the Tesla must be amazing on this turn", but as it turns out, that's the opposite of the truth!

    Is there a certified way to turn off this feature during such a high-stakes turn?

    And before you tell me to stop taking Highway 17, you can buy me a $1,200,000 house in Silicon Valley no debt or go stuff it. And yes, I know, I could move to Idaho and freeze to death. We all have our situations.

    More information: no road there is straight or at right angles, and nothing is level. 200' trees and 200' valleys and mountains surround everything. Traffic is heavy in most directions. Life lives. Staying still does not.
     
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  2. hmmm

    hmmm Member

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    Glad you're ok.

    Regardless of the car, I would not put myself perpendicular to traffic, block one lane and assume that incoming cars will stay on the other lane. A Tesla (even a 60) has plenty of pickup to go across 2 lanes in a flash and if you felt like it was too tight, then the safe things would have been to wait. (If I get your description right...). I don't mean to lecture you, so hopefullly it doesn't come across that way btw.

    As for what happened, I wonder if the car "saw" incoming perpendicular traffic and decided that you probably should stay where you were. Not saying that this is the right behavior. AFAIK, you can't turn these off.
     
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  3. Zooomer

    Zooomer Member

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    Glad you are ok. Not very encouraging...
     
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  4. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Member

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    I'll be happy to lecture. I drive 17 occasionally. There are any number of good reasons it's (one of many) known as "Blood Alley" -- there are accidents and "traffic conditions" quite regularly. One of these reasons is people doing things like you describe. Oh, they usually don't die. It's the people trying to avoid them who die.

    Your maneuver is at best irresponsible and at worst deadly. Stop it. If being uncertain what your car is going to do prevents you from doing this sort of thing again, I say good for Tesla. Your Tesla has plenty of acceleration to turn left safely, including in many situations where other cars may not be.

    And yeah, I get to lecture because you are putting my life at risk, as well as my family.
     
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  5. idoco

    idoco Member

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    Ignoring the traffic maneuver part completely. ...can you be more specific on the alerts from car, both visible and audible? It might have been something as simple as having your foot on both brake and accelerator at the same time (gives an audible and visible alert).
     
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  6. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    So you were in the oncoming traffic lane to make the left? That sounds crazy to begin with. But I agree about the both pedals pressed might have been the cause. Or a collision alert with the oncoming traffic cut the throttle. That happened to someone at a really bad entrance ramp where you have to got from stopped directly into high speed traffic just a few feet away.
     
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  7. idoco

    idoco Member

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    I'm a bit skeptical of the collision alert. From the car's standpoint is this any different than head on traffic, on a curve, on a two lane highway? Both are cars coming right at you.
     
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  8. tezzla

    tezzla Member

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    Everybody wants/needs something different:

    1. The car knows my house is in front of me, why won't it stop if I press the accelerator?

    Or

    2. The car should let me drive, I know what I'm doing!

    To me, cars do the best they can to minimize interference and accidents, one size does not fit all.
     
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  9. toxicpenguin

    toxicpenguin Member

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    Didn't your post start with "didn't have autopilot turned on and you didn't pay for it"? I don't get what automated assistance you mention in your post heading. If you didn't purchase EAP (which is not even active yet ) the only auto assistance would be cruise control. As you started to turn from a full stop, that obviously was disengaged.

    As @idoco mentioned .... you probably accidentally pressed the accel and brake @ the same time to speed between the oncoming cars which gave the error and stalled vehicle.

    Try this: in a safe place, put your car in drive and press both pedals, and then accelerate. See if it replicates your experience.

    When I got my MS initially at the stop sign it did that a bunch of times (size 12 shoes doesn't help). Just learnt to keep the foot more towards the right.
     
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  10. immolated

    immolated Member

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    #10 immolated, Jan 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
    AEB is overridden by pressing the accelerator. You must've hit the brake by mistake in a panic (brake + accelerator = no acceleration, and beeping alert). Also AEB doesn't engage below 25 mph. This was your fault.
     
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  11. Max*

    Max* Banned

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    Really? I thought it was lower... but I might be thinking of TACC...
     
  12. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #12 Ulmo, May 28, 2017
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
    For the record, according to TeslaFi, I was in that position on:
    • January 12, 2017 2:37 PM
    None of the other drives seem to match.
    Thanks for asking. I don't recall now. Since I know of that problem, I'm pretty certain I kept one foot in the pedal area on purpose, so the stomp on accelerator could be completely isolated.
    Only during the turn across lanes. My original description was pretty good.
    I was very careful of execution on that turn, so that can't be it. I usually drive barefoot, especially that deep into a drive, so that takes away most shoe problems. And the EAP thing is just wrong; this was a "feature" they had even on non-EAP cars.
    Hahaha, nice try; sounds like a lawyer spouting false stuff.

    No, that's not what happened. I had my foot solidly and completely on the accelerator, and nothing else in the pedal area, and the car did not want to comply, and signaled its disobedience loudly. I had to react by steering into the oncoming fast lane as an escape route to avoid oncoming traffic. Luckily, I was able to regain control of my car by fully taking my foot off the accelerator and putting it back on again, and drive normally.

    +++

    I think one thing I started doing ever since that experience is not trust the car to go when I tell it to, and I put myself in situations where that would be OK. I recommend this for other people as well. However, I have also gotten better at understanding the limits of acceleration, and can better guage crossings than when I first got the car, and am able to do things with it I was unable to do when I first got it. I think tire break-in, temperature, and road oils are different now than during that rainy season, though, so it might have been worse in the wet rain with new tires, and me being unfamiliar with the car didn't help.
     
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  13. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    @Ulmo

    Is it possible you accidentally hit the "gear" stalk and put the car on neutral? The other thing that comes to mind others mentioned already, accidentally pressing both pedals at the same time would also stall...

    That has stopped me in the middle of the road a couple of times... dangerous design, the stalk. I know, from Mercedes... it sucks there too.

    If your car has AP2, it would not have had AEB or TACC or anything of the sort in January 2017, so that should be out of the picture...
     
  14. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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  15. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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  16. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

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    #16 dhanson865, May 28, 2017
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
    and as in that thread @Ulmo "you should report this to NHTSA"

    Just take your first post in the thread and put it into the NHTSA form and ignore the people that try to blame you for this issue. Personally I'd avoid inflammatory language like "the car tried to kill me", make it a calm business class tone but it's your report you can make it as hot or as calm as you like.

    If it helps CR has suggestions on what to include How to Write a NHTSA Complaint - Consumer Reports

    It's not a new issue but NHTSA goes by number of cases reported so if you experience it they want your input.
     
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  17. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    I should hope people report issues to the proper places irrespective of what we discuss here.

    But in addition to that I am genuinely interested if we can track this down. As said, @Ulmo 's was an AP2 HW car so that AP1 example may or may not be applicable...
     
  18. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Sorry if this may be off topic but would you please clear up one thing: among limited standard features, is conventional cruise functioning without paying for AP2?
     
  19. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    #19 SMAlset, May 28, 2017
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
    Hey Ulmo just reading your thread for the first time I think. Glad the experience didn't result in an accident and can understand being shaken by it. I guess I don't understand what capabilities your car has if it doesn't have the EAP.

    I wanted to mention that I recall reading a few months ago a post by someone driving on 17 that sounded like he was in a similar type of situation. I don't think it was you but who knows since yours was originally from January, but there might be another thread on here. Did you ever get any report back from Tesla as to what actions they saw the car taking at that time that might explain what happened?

    The only thing that comes close to this for me was driving a 1968 Plymouth Fury, automatic with v8 back in the early 70s. I was making a left turn out of a residential street onto a busy road that had a curve to the left of me (so short time to spot cars coming around the bend from the street I was on). No traffic coming from the right and looked to the left and no one coming around the bend. I started pulling out to make my left turn towards the bend and then, just at that split second, saw a car rounding the bend. Cars always travel down this stretch pretty fast too I might add. That instant, since I was already partially pulled out, I remember making the decision to accelerate into my left turn (okay probably floored it) and get into my lane when my car kind of died for a few split seconds until it suddenly lurched forward and made the turn in time. I must have been 17-18 at the time and honestly distinctly remember my short life flashing before me in those split seconds not knowing if I was going to be hit or not. One of the memories from back then that got burned into my memory and still feels fresh! We lived off this street and really had no alternative but to take it exiting out of this block and always considered it dangerous pulling out either left or right. Just really bad street planning. Don't know if this in any way has any bearing on why your MS would appear to stall but I felt in my case it was a matter of my powerful engine having to suddenly get up to speed in that brief moment.
     
  20. dknisely

    dknisely Member

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    It is so easy (for me) to hit the brake and accelerator together with the performance pedals. I really can't figure out why, but I've done it at least twice with P loaner cars (don't have the perf. pedals on my baby toy MS). I don't have big feet or shoes.
     

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