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Tesla (vision based) Safety Systems potentially flawed(?)

When I received my Model S the driver side repeater camera was faulty and non-functional. Because of this autopilot functionalities were unavailable. This was not much of a deal breaker. But during this time, I also noticed none of the driver safety system functionality, i.e. lane departure warning, forward collision warning/avoidance were also working. I figured I was not hitting any of the threshold conditions for this system to issue a warning or react to. So stopped thinking about it.

The camera was replaced last week which restored full AP/EAP functionality. And I noticed all the safety systems have also started working.

As I am still getting used to yoke buttons, there have been times when I merge lanes thinking I have hit the blinkers or hit the wrong button and merge into the wrong lane. Before the camera was fixed, I would never get the lane departure warning, but now I get these warnings. Which was my first indicator that safety systems have started working.

Yesterday, while driving, a car about a block away came to a sudden stop and the forward collision immediately warned me about the car stopped ahead of me.
I had a similar situation before the camera was fixed, and the forward collision never came on with a warning. I remember at that time, thinking why the system did not do anything.

Has anyone else with Vision based Teslas had similar experiences when one of your cameras failed?

I would have to replicate this by disconnecting one of the side repeaters and seeing if the Safety system becomes inactive as well. Since this is a new car, I don't yet feel comfortable going around and messing with the electronics. I know it's a simple wire harness plug behind the camera which can be disconnected, but it's a matter of getting to it and trying to replicate it.

Anyone who is comfortable or has worked with the repeaters willing to give this a test?

Now all of this could be, that as a new car, the cameras had to do initial calibration to enable all the autopilot and safety systems. If this was the case, it begs the question why Tesla is releasing cars that have inactive safety systems and why they cannot be calibrated and enabled at time of release (?)

This is a potentially serious flaw and could impact a lot of the Vision based Tesla owners and their safety.
If I am wrong, I am wrong, but if I am not this needs to be validated.
 

vcor

Tech Specialist
Nov 29, 2012
570
332
California
I expect you are right, in that the system must be operating properly to offer safety systems. I also expect this is true of non-tesla vehicles as well. I'd not recommend anyone disconnecting parts of the safety system as a test - that could get you into a crash!

Unless there are a lot of camera failures, and it doesn't seem like it from forum posts, I don't see this affecting many owners. The car did detect the failed camera, although perhaps Tesla could offer better warnings when the safety systems are inactive.
 

DerbyDave

Active Member
Jul 2, 2020
3,114
1,832
Kentucky
I agree with @vcor. The systems are designed to work as a unit. If one critical piece is down, it should warn of issues and degradation of safety features. Don't count on it working after that. Vision uses all cameras. If one is not working, it won't work because a significant amount of data is missing. I'd say you are good to go now that it is fixed.
 
When I received my Model S the driver side repeater camera was faulty and non-functional. Because of this autopilot functionalities were unavailable.

The most severe failure pointed out by OPs story is the absolute failure of any form of quality mindset or culture being demonstrated by Tesla as evidenced by their knowingly delivering a new vehicle to a customer with an obvious manufacturing defect. While the OP commented that wasn't a deal breaker, it should have been a deal breaker at one of the multitude of places in the process well ahead of this that should have driven corrective action.

People can make what seem to be like revolutionary comments about developing an F1 pit crew speed service event, but that mindset is still totally flawed if they are unable to recognize the first point of focus should be what's needed to prevent an owner from ever needing to seek service. The quickest service event will always be the one that was never needed.

I'll get off my soapbox ... enjoy your Tesla.
 
With competition, Tesla should begin to improve quality control and service -- hopefully.
I've quit holding my breath ... I started turning purple long ago with all the repeated comments about improving customer service experience. As much as I've enjoyed my MS90D for over 6 years, I will admit there is a lot about Tesla as a company that fails to impress me.
 
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I expect you are right, in that the system must be operating properly to offer safety systems. I also expect this is true of non-tesla vehicles as well. I'd not recommend anyone disconnecting parts of the safety system as a test - that could get you into a crash!

Unless there are a lot of camera failures, and it doesn't seem like it from forum posts, I don't see this affecting many owners. The car did detect the failed camera, although perhaps Tesla could offer better warnings when the safety systems are inactive.
I agree with @vcor. The systems are designed to work as a unit. If one critical piece is down, it should warn of issues and degradation of safety features. Don't count on it working after that. Vision uses all cameras. If one is not working, it won't work because a significant amount of data is missing. I'd say you are good to go now that it is fixed.

Agree with both of you. Since the system is functional, I am not going to go around meddling with it.

@DerbyDave
I understand the system works as a single unit, but my biggest concern and quite frankly shocked, is the lack of fault tolerance in the system. Where a single camera failure cripples the entire Autopilot and potentially the safety suite. For a system that is the benchmark in advanced ADAS and a car that has been touted as having the best safety system this is quite disappointing to me.

And as you mentioned, in the very minimum Tesla could provide a warning like they do for AP, that the safety suite is offline due to faulty camera, so drivers are not being complacent about the car's driver safety systems.

I imagine, this only applies to the Camera based Vision vehicles, and might not be an issue with the vehicles that have radar.
 
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