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Tesla "Emergency Assist"?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by vangot, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. vangot

    vangot Member

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    I had an unfortunate circumstance happen to me a few months ago in my '16 Model S. While driving to work early one morning on an access road that was merging on the interstate, I had an epileptic seizure (first one in my life) without warning that rendered me unconscious. At that point, according to a witness in a car behind me, the car veered to the right glancing off a barrier then headed left to merge onto the highway. It crossed 4 lanes of traffic (missing a semi) before slamming into the median on the left. The car was totaled (see pics) but fortunately no one else was involved in the accident. When I regained consciousness a few minutes later I discovered that the driver, left side, and window curtain airbags were deployed. I was able to climb over the center console and exit the right passenger door with the help of EMS. Minor broken bones aside, I must say I am appreciative of the passive safety features of the car as it clearly saved my life by sacrificing it's own. Now some may say if autopilot was activated it would have prevented this from happening. However I typically don't engage AP until I am on the highway.

    In looking for a car replacement, I searched all the luxury car competitors to see if they offered safety technology that allows always-on monitoring with emergency features that sense when a driver is incapacitated and safely pull the car over and call emergency response crews. The closest thing I found wasn't even in the States - it was the Volkswagen Arteon and in Europe has a feature called Emergency Assist 2.0 (see link: How VW's Arteon keeps you alive if you pass out while driving). I was contemplating waiting to see if it comes to the US, but due to regulatory hurdles with levels 3,4,5 autonomy here I figured it wasn't happening any time soon. I therefore abandoned that idea and put all my chips in the Tesla corner again - this time with the Model 3. Of course I can't drive it yet (not for 6 months of being seizure free according to my doctor) but I will not stop hoping that sometime soon Elon will have the company push out an update that gives Teslas this enhanced safety feature. And why not? Our current autopilot technology can already do this if engaged and senses no driver response after a certain time. How hard would it be to have a passive "Autopilot" that can do the same thing? It would have saved me the loss of a wonderful car (and a 100K hospital bill)!

    p.s. I would request that the car pull over to the slow lane before stopping. It seems equally risky the way the current Autopilot stops in whatever lane it's on - (just ripe for getting rear ended by some high speed driver who's texting while on the passing lane.)

    Thank you
     

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  2. commasign

    commasign TeslaAdviceBlog.com

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    Sorry to hear about seizure and crash. I think a feature like you describe is needed and will come to Tesla, but only after more full self driving features are introduced. Some more development is needed for the car to figure out if it’s safe to pull over (I.e. not drive off a ledge or into a ditch). Don’t think it would be wise to just stop in the middle of a highway and get rear ended though I guess that’s the least bad option at the moment and is what autopilot will do if you don’t respond to the nags.

    Note that with Navigate on Autopilot activated, you can engage autopilot as soon as you enter an on-ramp.
     
  3. trident

    trident Member

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    Cadillac has Super Cruise on the CT6 and in 2020 most Cadillacs will have it. It has an eye on the steering column that focuses on your face and detects your movements and if you do not meet the criteria that is set with Super Cruise on it will slow down and stop. I know it is a Cadillac, but he asked. Mercedes has a similar detection which reacted to a time I fell asleep and it beeped and kept me from running off the road. Picking up my Tesla this week, so on a learning curve with the new Tesla.
     
  4. Exiom

    Exiom Member

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    I have actually had my car detect, what it thinks as possible side impact... (it was some scrubs protruding from highway barriers) and it engaged to swerve away from it for a few seconds and then returning control... (AP was not active at the time)

    and then I have also had it another time where the car in the adjacent lane getting too close to me...

    So it may have possibly engaged for you also? Just that it wasn't enough to prevent a crash however it may have prevented more serious injuries.
     
  5. vangot

    vangot Member

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    Its hard to know what the car did or didn’t do. All I have is the eyewitness report from the guy behind me who saw the car head toward the right, hit a construction barrel then bounce to the left and cross all the traffic lanes until it hit the median destroying the 2 left tires which caused it to stop moving. But you touch on my point exactly. If it has certain automatic features already, how hard would it be to utilize the full power of autopilot and take over control of the car in these situations? It certainly can’t be worse than what happened to me regardless of what people may say about level 3,4,5 automation being allowed in the US.
     
  6. vangot

    vangot Member

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    Believe it or not before I ordered my model 3 in late December to replace the model S, I did actually configure a Cadillac and a Mercedes and almost went to test drive them. However I kept coming back to the point that all of these cars have to have the automatic driving feature activated before it will do anything on its own besides beep at you. My hope in purchasing a model 3 is that this feature can easily be pushed out as an OTA update given they already have the proven self-driving technology (which in my opinion is superior to the other luxury brands). All that’s needed is to overcome some of the legislative hurdles. What is the difference between the car automatically tugging the wheel to avoid someone getting too close to your lane and having the car keep you in lane and slow to a stop while turning on the hazards and calling for help?
     
  7. vangot

    vangot Member

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    Yes I probably would have activated that much sooner in retrospect, but the nav on autopilot wasn’t a feature on my car as I didn’t have all the extra cameras (don’t think it was an option when I got the S years ago, or didn’t think it would have been cost effective - can’t remember). When I’m released to drive again this May I will definitely be activating autopilot much more often in my day to day commutes as a safety backup in case I have another episode.
     
  8. Hugh Mannity

    Hugh Mannity Mediocre Member

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    Wow, first of all thanks for sharing your story, scary; secondly hope you find what you are looking for. The software that’s in a Tesla now would have in theory brought the car to a halt had autopilot been engaged.

    I suppose the software if not engaged could also monitor driver input every few seconds from various sources and stop the car?

    With minimal fuss I suspect that could be coded in if it would work.
     
  9. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    Did you look into the new BMW X5?

    It has an interesting feature called Emergency stop assistant.

    New BMW X5 Gets Standard Advanced Safety Features | AutoInfluence

    "Emergency stop assistant is a new and unusual feature that helps drivers who have become incapacitated or otherwise unable to continue driving due to medical emergencies. Pulling the electric brake switch will allow the X5 to pull over to the side of the road, turn on all the hazard lights, and calls the BMW Assist center for help."

    In your situation that might not be all that useful as you need to pull the electric brake switch. But, perhaps it can auto-detect when a person is incapacitated.

    So it's worth looking into.
     
  10. tranzndance

    tranzndance Member

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    I hope Tesla would some day have a Copilot mode where it will be on standby mode until necessary to take over. It doesn't need to be for emergencies.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. Bladerskb

    Bladerskb Senior Software Engineer

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    Sorry about your accident.

    By the way all new 2019 BMW has emergency assist. You push a button and it will change lanes and stop on the shoulder.

    It uses a driver monitoring camera I'm not sure if it can activate the emergency assist if the driver becomes unconscious. You will have to visit a Bmw dealership. I'm gonna check the manual to see if it does.

    It also has steering corrective assist which you can leave on at all times. It will prevent your car from leaving its lane.
     
  12. vangot

    vangot Member

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    Thanks for all your suggestions. I have a question for all of you now. In this race to push these features out to consumers, don’t you think Tesla is most likely to do so given how easily they send out OTA updates? I would’ve purchased a BMW, Merc, or Cadillac instead of my model 3 if I felt they were as easily upgradable, but I’ve not heard of them pushing out major upgrades that way. Perhaps I was wrong in my assumption. But 1) I needed a new car and 2) I wanted it to have those features now or in the near future. Tesla seemed like a good fit again. Who knows...
     

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