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The Nag makes driving on Autopilot almost impossible for me...

bws

Member
May 18, 2015
29
17
USA
I am very strongly considering getting one of those devices that disables the nag in the autopilot because I can no longer use it reliably since it was updated to be so frequent.

I am a long time Autopilot user. We did an over 5000 mile road trip in our 2015 Model S, I did most of the driving, and it was mostly on (Mobile-eye) Autopilot.

We did a 1200 mile road trip in 2017 in our April 2017 Model X (Autopilot 2.0).

I have done countless 40-100 mile day trips in both cars.

I have long been a fan of Autopilot, and I have told people that I think it makes me a safer driver, because I can increase my situational awareness, due to having more mental capacity to focus on it, because I do not have to focus as much on maintaining lane position and following distance. I always keep my hands on the wheel when autopilot is engaged, but I have been trained to keep a loose grip, due to early disengagements of autopilot if I was applying too much force.

We no longer have the 2015 Model S, I upgraded to a performance Model 3.

Since the big update (and in every subsequent update, including the 9.0 update we received today), I have had an extremely hard time keeping Autopilot even engaged for about an hour in our Model X. (We use that exclusively for family trips). Just today, I was unable to drive about 45 miles, I think I made it about 30 miles when I received the red 'Autopilot has been disengaged do to inattention' warning and it was disabled.

Ever since the update, I have to spend more and more mental energy playing the 'Autopilot game' and less on paying attention to the road. I have to be hyper vigilant to notice when the screen starts flashing, because if I wait until it beeps, then that's one of my three strikes before disabling autopilot. I would guess you have about 5-8 seconds from the first flash before the beep and it is too late, which means I need to glance down at the controls about every 5 seconds, which is much more frequently than I would normally do it.

I used to shake the wheel back and forth (just enough to trigger the sensors but not enough to disengage the autopilot) every time I got the warning, but I know about the recent update that lets you turn the thumb wheels instead, so I now do that. In fact, when I am paying attention, I try to play the autopilot game by nudging the volume wheel back and forth one notch constantly so I will not get nagged. But it is not habit yet, and I have think about it constantly, and I failed 3 times today (the kids were being kids after a long day out) and then Autopilot was disabled again. I'm not sure if I have been able to manage an hour trip with autopilot since that update which made it impossible to use.

We have a long road trip planned for thanksgiving, and unless Tesla does an update, I am not sure there is another solution other than a defeat device for me.

I know I am 'supposed' to just hold the wheel tighter, and I have tried to do that, but my hands end up hurting after a short period, or I stop thinking hard about holding them stiff and I get warned anyway (and my hands hurt). I have tried a different wheel position (at the bottom pulling down, etc) but nothing feels natural or right.

Has anyone used one of these devices? Do they interfere with your driving? I want to be able to keep my hands on the wheel and drive normally without feeling extra friction in the wheel.

I feel like I have been penalized, even though I was using the system correctly, in order to cover Tesla legally for those who were using the system incorrectly and I am very frustrated about it. If Tesla continues to use steering wheel tension sensors to detect engagement, it makes me much more likely to jump ship to a different maker EV, once there is a reasonable alternative. I wish they used a camera instead. (It would also be much better at instantly taking over when the driver collapsed due to a medical condition).

bws
 
I have had exactly the same issues as you. I am paying attention to the road and as a result don’t see the flashing of the warnings to move wheel on dashboard and then get locked out of Autopilot.

As a result I went ahead and got an Autopilot buddy (I believe they are now called phone holders to get around restrictions) and I now enjoy driving on Autopilot again. I find it does not eliminate the nags (must be very finely balanced), but reduces to about once every 10-15 minutes which I think is fine. Nice to know that if I did become unconscious for any reason it would eventually nag and bring the car safely to a halt.

These are expensive for what they are, but in the scheme of things, if it makes driving your Tesla on Autopilot a pleasure again, then worth it.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
12,146
11,178
Visalia, CA
...hands end up hurting after a short period...

I got your all your problems when I first drove Autopilot home from delivery but then I realized that I could rest my arm by hanging it on the steering wheel to create a constant downward torque.

My hand would create a c-figure and hook it on the steering wheel bar and let the arm's weight pull it down.

Since my hand is on the steering wheel, I could monitor the Autopilot torque and correct it instantly and effortlessly.

I have been doing that for long trips for 4 to 5 hours non-stop with no problems, no error messages at all for the past 19 months.
 
All you need is a little weight on one side of the steering wheel. Put 60 quarters in a sock, tie a knot and drape it through the steering wheel on one side. This works in my model x. I am attentive and DO NOT take my eyes off the road for even one second, but at least I do not get the nag alert. You have to know the capabilities of autopilot and anticipate where it might have problems. My hands are always ready to take over. This summer, I traveled 3100 miles with my dog in under 72 total hours and my system worked flawlessly.

I agree with your reasons why a functioning autopilot makes you a better driver and how dealing with the constant nag is a distraction that a safe, alert driver should not have to deal with. Also, if you do have to deal with the nag and apply pressure to the wheel, make sure that you don’t unknowingly disengage autopilot.

Good luck, let me know if it works in the model 3.
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,289
4,293
Buford, GA
First, the nag is not based on pressure on the wheel. All it takes is one finger to keep the nag happy. It's torque, rotational force that keeps it happy. If you use two hand to drive, I feel that's generally the hardest to overcome the nag, because your force tends to be symmetrical, keeping the wheel straight.
If you hold the wheel with a single hand and let it rest, pulling down on the wheel, that's the perfect way to overcome the nag.

Yes, it is different, yes, no one likes it. But because of a few (and you can still hear them talk about adding weight to one side of the steering wheel) we have to put up with this.

In the Model 3, the key is to keep the side of your eye looking at the speedometer. It will start glowing blue when it is time to add a little interaction. Torque seems to be needed about every 1/2 mile. If I am thinking about it, I tend to add many more interactions than needed.
 
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Ormond

Endless Peacock
Jul 10, 2016
1,425
2,866
Central Florida
You can just scroll the control dial on the steering wheel now - no need to grab the steering wheel just right anymore. This update came a couple weeks ago and has made AP easy again. Try it out!
Does it matter which one?

I guess this is why Consumer Reports preferred the system employed in the Cadillac that uses a camera to monitor the driver.
 
The benefit of holding the wheel with one hand is the instantaneous feedback it offers if the vehicle suddenly veers off course. Even if you might be distracted visually, the abnormal movement of the steering wheel gets your attention fast. Since your hand is on the steering wheel, corrective action can be applied immediately.

The hands-off Cadillac Supercruise could delay reaction time while moving your hand(s) to the steering wheel.
 
Although some frown on it, using a weight on the wheel is the only way I travel long distance. It is your car, and you know how diligent you will be, regardless of how you choose to satisfy the autopilot software. I simply use a 16 oz beanbag my kids made for the game cornhole, resting in the nook of the arm on the steering wheel. I just completed a 2000 mile trip, and it was a joy. I always payed attention to what the care was doing, because you can not trust autopilot fully in the current build. It just makes long drives that much more comfortable.
 
I find that the nagging that comes from the passenger seat is worse :eek:

On a serious note though; I will mention something that happened to a co-worker on his model S. She did one of those defeats and then got into an accident. Actually, it was not her fault. She was side swiped on a city surface street. When the cop saw that on the steering wheel and made a note of it in the accident report, the insurance company charged her with 50% liability of the accident instead of not charging her at all. The accident report said it was NOT her fault. She tried to fight it and lost in court. Something to keep in mind that might occur.
 
I seriously don't get people who think its ok to drive for extended periods without any hands on the wheel. Maybe if there are no other cars on the road this would be ok, but otherwise I think its dangerous. As good as autopilot might be, I don't trust it 100%.

I agree with Tam, holding the wheel with one hand so that some of the weight of your arm hangs on the wheel is more than enough to prevent any nags. I usually either hold with my hand under the right spoke at about 4 o'clock or just to the side of the bottom center spoke and I never get nags. This is basically the way I've always driven on the highway, so it seems natural.

I also like getting the tactile feedback of what Autosteer is doing with the wheel.

Maybe someday when the Autopilot error rate is down by a few orders of magnitude, I'll think holding the wheel while the car drive is silly.
 
The benefit of holding the wheel with one hand is the instantaneous feedback it offers if the vehicle suddenly veers off course. Even if you might be distracted visually, the abnormal movement of the steering wheel gets your attention fast. Since your hand is on the steering wheel, corrective action can be applied immediately.

The hands-off Cadillac Supercruise could delay reaction time while moving your hand(s) to the steering wheel.

I think the Cadillac Supercruise system gives you some time to respond if I’m not mistaken. GM didn’t want to classify it and you’re required to pay attention but I’d guess it probably has the capability to be a level 3 system on mapped, divided highways.

I too hate the autopilot nag. It nags even when I’m holding the steering wheel because it hasn’t registered the force of my hands light hold so I need to apply force in either right or left direction. A camera monitoring the driver would’ve been much more effective and comfortable.
 
The nag is to keep you alive.

I have learned to keep at least one hand on the wheel at all times using the weight of the hand to keep the nag away.

The nag is there for a very good reason.
Agreed. I don't understand what the big deal is. I have an AP1 Model S and an EAP Model 3 and have never had an issue keeping one hand on the wheel to provide enough slight torque to keep the majority of the nags at bay. Never have I missed enough nags to have Autopilot put me in the penalty box.
 
Agreed. I don't understand what the big deal is. I have an AP1 Model S and an EAP Model 3 and have never had an issue keeping one hand on the wheel to provide enough slight torque to keep the majority of the nags at bay. Never have I missed enough nags to have Autopilot put me in the penalty box.

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. No problem here, and frankly speaking, the subtle silent nag of the Tesla is much preferred over the older manual voice nagging of the spouse in the passenger seat.... "Will you keep your hands on the steering wheel? You are making me nervous." :rolleyes:
 
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alexdav

Member
Supporting Member
Nov 28, 2015
213
269
Long Beach, CA
I recently swapped from my AP1 Model S to AP 2.5 Model X. One thing I noticed about the nags is that it takes more torque than it did on my S for it to detect my hand.

Previously, I could rest my hand on the S at the bottom of the wheel towards to the center and it'd be fine -- no nags. That doesn't work in the X.

This is why I think we see so many complaints about it being fine versus always nagging. I've basically given up on it detecting my hand in the X and instead just try to consciously apply torque to the wheel every 20 seconds or so.
 

boonedocks

MS LR Blk/Blk 19” FSD BETA 2nd round
May 1, 2015
3,402
6,375
Gainesville GA
I recently swapped from my AP1 Model S to AP 2.5 Model X. One thing I noticed about the nags is that it takes more torque than it did on my S for it to detect my hand.

Previously, I could rest my hand on the S at the bottom of the wheel towards to the center and it'd be fine -- no nags. That doesn't work in the X.

This is why I think we see so many complaints about it being fine versus always nagging. I've basically given up on it detecting my hand in the X and instead just try to consciously apply torque to the wheel every 20 seconds or so.
Welcome to the nag club. I always keep one or the other hand on my wheel and have to constantly watch for the “nag message”. It is an issue for some of us despite the “you aren’t holding the wheel correctly” brigade
 
I got my 3 about 3 weeks ago and haven’t gotten a nag yet while using AP. My default driving position has always been resting my left arm on the door while gripping the steering wheel, and I don’t see a reason to change that while on AP since I want to be able to feel what the steering wheel is doing at all times so I can take over immediately if it does something funny.
 
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