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Reliance of Autopilot on network access after today's outage

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by 2virgule5, Aug 15, 2016.

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Did today's network outage in US and Canada affected Autopilot behavior?

  1. Yes, it clearly made a difference

    1 vote(s)
    3.1%
  2. I'm not sure...

    1 vote(s)
    3.1%
  3. I didn't see any difference but I know I didn't have data access

    21 vote(s)
    65.6%
  4. Cannot tell - not affected by lack of internet access

    9 vote(s)
    28.1%
  1. 2virgule5

    2virgule5 Member

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    We know that Autopilot is using high precision GPS maps and other data it downloads along the way, but today's outage on AT&T network shed some new light on the importance of this access.

    I knew something was not right on my commute back home ; Autopilot would ping pong like crazy and would drift during turns in a very unusual pattern. Even on straight lanes. When I saw the absence of traffic data I initially blamed the last firmware update and I stopped at a gas station (a first in 2,5 years!) to reboot. It quickly saw that I had no data access after the reboot but I was not sure it was the source of the impact on AP. It became clear when I used my phone Hotspot access. AP went back to normal almost instantly.

    For those of you that did AP without access did you have the same experience?

    If confirmed it would appear that internet access really is one of the secret sauce of AP superiority over the other level 2 systems (ie Mercedes).
     
  2. KZKZ

    KZKZ Member

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    A scary thought that a car would "ping pong like crazy" in a lane and "drift in an unusual pattern" if it loses a cell signal or is in an area without cell service.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. 2virgule5

    2virgule5 Member

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    "like crazy" may be a bit exaggerated, say, like Mercedes Drivepilot ;) Didn't feel any danger but I clearly took over several times.

    I would assume that it downloads data ahead of time in a relatively large perimeter around your position - maybe even using the address you entered into the Nav. The thing with cell service is that they probably mapped this one too, so there is a way to make sure data is downloaded for zones w/o data coverage; at least it is feasible on paper.
     
  4. NikeWings

    NikeWings Member

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    I was on a plane today. Did the cars receive any specific system warning or does anyone know if there are warning/backstop messages in the event of a major network fail? I've assumed all along they are masters at such disaster/recovery planning but perhaps its worth asking about.
     
  5. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    That's odd.

    Does it not keep a large cache of data on the SD card?
     
  6. DJung

    DJung Member

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    I received no warnings. I was eating at a restaurant and wanted to precool my car. The app kept saying "Waking Car" and would refuse to load. So I assumed it was because I parked in a semi-underground parking structure and there was no signal.

    I get into my car and lo and behold the vehicle has full bars of 3G (I don't have LTE). I just assumed Tesla was having server issues again. I start driving and my map tiles wouldn't load, the nav wouldn't load destination searches, my music streaming didn't work, etc. My vehicle indicated that it had 3G full bars but nothing worked. I rebooted multiple times but no dice. I thought it was a bug and shrugged it off. Maps began to load but incredibly slowly. I got home and went on the forums and figured it was a network outage. Everything then made sense. But the vehicle did not indicate that there was any issues. The Nav search didn't even bring up the offline address entry either
     
  7. Tamar

    Tamar Member

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    Maps and slacker didn't work, but auto-pilot seemed fine.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. 2virgule5

    2virgule5 Member

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    No notification of network outage, LTE bars would appear as usual but no data received..
     
  9. ShotgunF15E

    ShotgunF15E Member

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    I drove up in the mountains all weekend on autopilot with no problems or difference noted and I had no cell signal. Same today. System worked fine.
     
  10. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    did you consider shutting down the AP when you saw that this was happening?
     
  11. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    AP shouldn't have been affected. It's not pulling data over the air in real time to make auto steer decisions. There's an onboard model that does that. That model is likely updated from time to time over the air.

    What you saw was more than likely a cognitive bias at play.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  12. 2virgule5

    2virgule5 Member

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    There is always a possibility of bias I guess. Yet something was so not normal that I felt the need to stop - related or not to the network outage, before I realized there was even one. The rest is extrapolation and post-rationalization.
    Short of any practical way to disable data there is no way to scientifically test this. I'd appreciate a link or two to articles that describe Autosteer and how/why the so called high precision GPS maps are used by AP. If they are not used to anticipate curvature of the road (and adjust speed) in addition to the front camera to smooth steering, what are they used for?
     
  13. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    You could have had an additional data point if you had continued driving after the reboot but before the tethering to your phone. If AP had still acted up after the reboot, but then settled down when you connected to data, that would be interesting.

    Otherwise you don't know if the reboot solved the AP problem vs the data outage.
     
  14. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    Before KZKZ and Drivin get all excited, I absolutely don't believe AP has any reliance on the availability of network connection.

    I have driven with AP on areas with no cell coverage with no issues at all
     
    • Like x 4
    • Funny x 3
  15. NikeWings

    NikeWings Member

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    So what type of events could interfere with AP's execution?
     
    • Like x 1
  16. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    Same here.
     
    • Like x 2
  17. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    +1.
     
  18. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I had no service and used autopilot without issues.

    And KZKZ...really...I'm still yawning at every post you make.
     
  19. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes a scary thought, but since Tesla AP does not need a cell signal to function, an irrelevant thought.

    There are many areas of the US with no cell signals and sections of freeways and highways that are suitable for AP, and AP still works fine.
     
  20. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    With the AP 1.0 hardware, the software is intended to be used only on highways between on ramps and off ramps - staying in the current lane, and using data from multiple sources to determine the current speed limit. These functions should not require network access, and likely only use the map data to determine speed limits (in addition to looking for the speed limit signs).

    Things will be much more interesting as the software moves closer to true self-driving, where the software has to make decisions on the route and navigate through traffic, changing lanes and finding entrance/exit ramps and intersections. That's where the high resolution map data comes in - likely coupled with major improvements over the current navigation software and use of more accurate up-to-date map data. And unless Tesla is able to store all this information and do all of the processing onboard, it's possible the software could require network access to access additional data or utilize cloud servers to do some of the navigation processing.
     
    • Informative x 1

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