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Take autopark warning seriously - ruined the driver side door

ManacledGerm

Member
Oct 2, 2019
18
-14
ATL
Turns out the m3 does not take happily to autoparking in a garage with pillars.

I was minding my own business and backing my 2-day old m3 into my usual parking spot at work, when the m3 offered to autopark (pre-v10). And i let it.

It tried a couple of times, backed in nicely and then decided it was too close to the right (pillar was on the left). It pulled out - turning sharply to the left and scraped up against the pillar before I could so much as react.

It took out the right side mirror and scraped the right side door pretty badly. I could not open it from the outside. Drove it to the body shop - door has to be replaced.

I looked in the manual and it does say all the legalese - you are responsible, gotta have control, is not effective in the following circumstances etc. But I really was shell shocked when the car, with all its sensors, made contact with the concrete pillar in auto mode.

Key takeaways:
1. dont use the autopark unless you are in an open parking lot. Now I am definitely gun shy to try and let it parallel park. I am going to do what I did when my daughter started learning - put it through its paces in an empty parking lot with cones

2. There should be no way a car with this many sensors should ever make contact with a solid object at parking speeds (of 1 or 2 mph). But it looks like the system turns off its proximity sensors while autoparking - because I received no audible or visible warning before it crunched into the pillar. If so, this is a serious bug and needs to be fixed pronto.

Anyone else experienced anything similar?
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,609
3,281
Maine
Just like all the beta software features, whenever you get an update, to test things very carefully to understand what use cases it can handle and what it can't. Having to replace a door is a painful lesson. Parking next to a pillar would definitely raise my antenna as a potential edge use case.
 

kailm

Member
Jul 23, 2019
95
41
San Jose
You must understand the tech before you can use it, is all I can say. It has many aspects both good and bad. Understand the bad before using.
 

Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
6,554
9,305
San Diego
Autopark only uses the ultrasonic sensors and there aren't any on the sides of the car. Also, the ultrasonics sensors can't detect many objects (soft objects, high bumpers, posts, small trees, etc.). There is some hope that a future "Smart Park" feature will use the cameras and work better.
 

ManacledGerm

Member
Oct 2, 2019
18
-14
ATL
Sorry to hear that happen to your brand new Model 3... I hate to ask, but do you have any pics of the damage ?
sure. The first is the spot it tried and failed.
20191002_101036.jpg
what it looked like after the fact
20191002_112855.jpg
 

Rottenapplr

Active Member
Apr 6, 2019
1,013
483
LOS ANGELES
It important to recognize there are no sensors on the side. The car is blind. The ultra sonic sensors are in the front and back, recognizable by the small circles. The doesn’t see those big ass concrete pillars. I’ve seen a few smart summon videos already with those attempting to go through tight areas and hitting the top back front fender.
 

ManacledGerm

Member
Oct 2, 2019
18
-14
ATL
Autopark only uses the ultrasonic sensors and there aren't any on the sides of the car. Also, the ultrasonics sensors can't detect many objects (soft objects, high bumpers, posts, small trees, etc.). There is some hope that a future "Smart Park" feature will use the cameras and work better.

I do understand that - now :-( But this was a solid concrete post and it passed it twice without incident trying to position in the parking spot.

I understand the problem the algorithm was trying to solve: how to shift about 6 inches to the left. The conservative approach would be to go straight out, spin the wheel left, start backing in and then straighten out. The car tried: spin left, go forward, straight and then straight back. If it did the former, it would have recognized the pillar from the rear sensor and at least stopped. With the latter, it ran into the pillar. The former maximizes its strengths - the forward and rear sensors. The latter exposed its weaknesses - not very good at looking sideways.
 

ManacledGerm

Member
Oct 2, 2019
18
-14
ATL
It important to recognize there are no sensors on the side. The car is blind. The ultra sonic sensors are in the front and back, recognizable by the small circles. The doesn’t see those big ass concrete pillars. I’ve seen a few smart summon videos already with those attempting to go through tight areas and hitting the top back front fender.

i see that. How does this affect lane switches at higher speeds where it has to know what is on the side? Is it going to barrel into a motorcycle that may be at front door level if i tell it to shift lanes?

Also, if I am on a hov with a divider to my left and right (boston has this) and I accidentally hit the lane switch - is it smart enough to sense a divider?

This is my first tesla. And I am a computer geek. So, bear with me if my curiosity gets to be annoying or hypothetical.
 
Last edited:

Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
6,554
9,305
San Diego
i see that. How does this affect lane switches at higher speeds where it has to know what is on the side? Is it going to barrel into a motorcycle that may be at front door level if i tell it to shift lanes?
Possibly, that's why all these features are beta and require you to monitor them. It does use the cameras for lane changing so it should see a motorcycle there.
However there have been a few similar accidents to yours even when using Smart Summon so it seems like they still haven't figured out how to use the cameras to see pillars that are very close to the side of the car.
 

ManacledGerm

Member
Oct 2, 2019
18
-14
ATL
Thanks for the pics and sorry to see the damage. Are those pieces of your side view mirror on the ground next to the pillar ?

I hope your repairs go smoothly and you don't have to wait long for parts. Good Luck !
yes and the parts were surprisingly easy to get - the car will be ready wednesday - this happened on wednesday.
 
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Reactions: GOOCHY and KenC

xxxholic

Member
Aug 15, 2019
70
32
Washington, DC
Sorry for your accident. You're quite lucky about your repair on average you're looking at around 2-3 months or longer for something that significant.

Your accident definitely taught me something about auto park. I did not realize the camera and sensors did not work in tandem. This would explain the lack of bird's eye view for the model 3.

I typically like learning about my cars through trial and error - but it looks like I may actually need to read through the owner's manual.
 

Rottenapplr

Active Member
Apr 6, 2019
1,013
483
LOS ANGELES
Sorry for your accident. You're quite lucky about your repair on average you're looking at around 2-3 months or longer for something that significant.

Your accident definitely taught me something about auto park. I did not realize the camera and sensors did not work in tandem. This would explain the lack of bird's eye view for the model 3.

I typically like learning about my cars through trial and error - but it looks like I may actually need to read through the owner's manual.
Is “I did not realize the camera and sensors did not work in tandem.“ that even in the owners Manual? Id be surprised if it is.
 

xxxholic

Member
Aug 15, 2019
70
32
Washington, DC
Is “I did not realize the camera and sensors did not work in tandem.“ that even in the owners Manual? Id be surprised if it is.

The owner's manual doesn't say we don't use cameras and sensors together. However, when description how autopark works, its says the following:

Autopark uses data from the ultrasonic sensors and GPS to:

• Simplify parking on public roads by maneuvering Model 3 into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces. See Parking on Public Roads on page 79.

• Automatically park and retrieve Model 3 from outside the vehicle on private property. See Using Summon on page 81.

Warning: Autopark's performance depends on the ability of the ultrasonic sensors to determine the vehicle's proximity to curbs, objects, and other vehicles.

So it can be inferred since cameras aren't mentioned - they aren't used in autopark.

Seems odd to me that a car with this many cameras does not use them in a function such as parking.

Model 3 Owners Manual 79.png
 

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