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Very Interesting Model S 1st Gen Autopilot Observation

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Alex Van Ness, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Alex Van Ness

    Alex Van Ness Member

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    Last weekend, my wife and and drove home from Cincinnati, OH to Richmond, VA. We were on a long, strait, flat highway in Ohio with autopilot on. Sitting upright in the seat as I normally would, the car tells me to hold the steering wheel once every few minutes, give or take. A ways into this boring stretch of highway, I slouched in the seat to get a little more comfortable ( I scooted my butt forwards and leaned back against the seat). As soon as I switched to this position, the car asked to to hold the steering wheel. 30 seconds later, it asked again. As soon as it asked me to hold the wheel, the boarded immediately started flashing every time. It went on like this for a while, asking every ~30 seconds , and I was rather confused as to why it was constantly asking for attention when nothing had changed but my seating position. I went back to sitting upright and it went back to normal, asking me to hold the wheel every few minutes. I went back to the slouched position and it reverted back to asking me every 30 seconds. Absolutely nothing had changed with the speed, slope, curve, etc. I tested it several times going back and forth in seating position and the change was consistent.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Can anyone explain how the car determines what it may deem a less safe position for the driver?
     
  2. Barry

    Barry Member

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    There's a sensor in the seat which detects you sitting in it. Apparently autopilot wants to know you're still there. Just like when you lift your butt up in reverse and it shifts into park.
     
  3. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Is it possible you applied some pressure to the accelerator when you moved forward? Eventually you will get a message saying the the accelerator is pressed but the initial reaction of the car is to check you are still there...
     
  4. immolated

    immolated Member

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    If you're touching the accelerator at all it will do this
     
  5. XIAOMAGE 003

    XIAOMAGE 003 Banned

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    Is it possible you applied some pressure to the accelerator when you moved forward? Eventually you will get a message saying the the accelerator is pressed but the initial reaction of the car is to check you are still there...
     
  6. Alex Van Ness

    Alex Van Ness Member

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    No, I definitely did not touch any of the pedals. The only difference was change in my seating position. I tested it several times moving back and forth. I was very careful not to change anything else.
     
  7. Alex Van Ness

    Alex Van Ness Member

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    Definitely was not touching the accelerator when changing position. It must have something to do with the seat sensor as Barry commented above.
     
  8. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    Early Youtube videos when AP first came out had drivers leaving the seat and sitting in the back. Seeing this caused a demand that Tesla stop this from being possible. Hence the steering wheel nags. Apparently there was also a requirement to be in the seat that perhaps never got triggered.
     
  9. CLACHAPELLE

    CLACHAPELLE Member

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    I have noticed that there are times when it queries me almost constantly, and other times it is a longer interval between queries. Now I'm wondering if it has to do with how I'm sitting in the seat. I probably do shift around when on a longer drive. I will test this theory. It also has odd definitions of holding the wheel. I like to leave light fingers on the wheel, but you have to set them firmly enough that they will push back against the car sometimes yet not enough to disengage the auto-steer.

    One fun thing is that it will put you in "time out" if you disobey the command to grab the wheel. I had to see for myself, and it turned off the autopilot. It wouldn't come back on until I stopped at the next exit - 100 miles later. She sure knows how to hold a grudge.
     
  10. Alex Van Ness

    Alex Van Ness Member

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    Haha yep. I usually rest my hand on the bottom of the wheel when autopilot is on and it usually does not detect it and asks me to hold the wheel.

    I'm interested to see if you have the same results as I did with changing your position in the seat. I'd imagine the seat sensor must be towards the back of the bottom cushion, as it got very aggressive alerting me to hold the wheel when I scooted forward and leaned back.
     
  11. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    Maybe the sensor is also sensitive enough to tell how tightly the cheeks are clenched, so it knows when you see danger ahead... ;)
     
    • Funny x 2
  12. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

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    It doesn't detect your hand resting on the steering wheel. What it detects is a difference in torque, like the effort the electrical steering assist needs to provide while the car is making steering adjustments. Basically the car detects that your hand is there because it's harder for it to turn the steering wheel. If you have a very light touch, or if you're deliberately tracking the steering wheel's motion, it thinks you're not holding the wheel.

    I also usually put my hand on or near the bottom of the steering wheel, but I have this almost subconscious habit of nudging or jiggling the wheel very gently every so often (my way of making sure the autosteer is still engaged). That's usually way more often than the car would nag to hold the wheel, so I almost never get nags.

    Bruce.
     
  13. muleferg

    muleferg Active Member

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    "Maybe the sensor is also sensitive enough to tell how tightly the cheeks are clenched, so it knows when you see danger ahead"

    HeHaw.. ;)
     
  14. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    Holding the wheel slightly to the side, just above the flattened part, rather than the bottom works well. For me, it's comfortable to put my elbow on the console and hand on the wheel. Just the weight of hand and forearm us plenty to stop all nags.
     
    • Like x 1
  15. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    I think the above comments suggesting you're off of the seat weight sensor are probably correct.

    The other thing that creates the result you describe is construction zones.

    As I discovered on my big road trip last month, AP1 recognizes the big orange and white barrels, and sets a sub thirty second steering wheel interval whenever it sees them under 8.1 (not sure if older versions do it, not sure if it understands the slender orange posts or other construction markings as well.)
     
  16. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    +1 that's how I hold it and I never have had a nag.
     
  17. Hota

    Hota Member

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    Ahhh..that explains what happened the other day. I was in reverse but slowly coasting down the driveway at about 1-2 mph applying no throttle when the car suddenly slams into park. I was moving around and getting comfortable and settled and I guess the butt sensor thought I was leaving the car!
     
  18. The Duke

    The Duke Member

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    On our road trip the big orange barrels were sometimes placed in the lane. When our AP2 car could see the line on the other side of the barrels we got uncomfortably close as if the lane markers mattered more than the barrels.
     
  19. rhumbliner

    rhumbliner Member

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    I would concur with this and I have AP1. I regularly drive a construction zone where the large, orange barrels sit right on the white line. When the occasional barrel is pushed too far into my lane, AP1 does not swerve at all. I believe it is watching the white line.
     
  20. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Yup. At this point I'm pretty sure it sees the barrels as barrels and uses it for nag timing, but I've never seen evidence of it trying to follow a barrel line.
     

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