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Walk-Away Door Lock Doesn't Work Near Home

There’s lots of other threads about the “Walk-Away Door Lock” feature, but I couldn’t find one on this specific issue…

This feature works very well for my Model 3 EXCEPT, I've recently noticed it doesn't work at all anywhere in a shopping center parking lot near my home anymore. I've also noticed that if I turn off "Exclude Home" (which I normally have turned on), the walk-away lock then works properly at the shopping center. So, it's seems like the car thinks it's parked at home, even when it's not.

It's several blocks and minutes to drive from my home to the shopping center. As the bird flies, the distance from my garage to the shopping center is only 1,200 feet. However, given GPS accuracy, that should be more than enough distance for the system to recognize that the car isn't at home anymore.

I've already tried removing the home address and adding it back in. The touch screen has also been rebooted. Any other suggestions to correct this issue? I’m on version 2021.4.15 now, but this has been going on for a little while. Unless I’m missing something, it seems like a bug that was introduced over the last few weeks or months.
 
Could be that the GPS data changed and now both your home and the shopping center are within range of wherever the car thinks your home address is. Does the mobile app show the correct location when your car is parked at home? Does Google Maps show the correct location for your address?
Yeah, I wondered that too about the distance from home. If that's the case, seems like Tesla should really tighten that radius quite a bit!

Good idea about the location shown on the app. The app shows the car to be in the correct location when parked at home. I'll check the location on the app the next time the car is parked in the shopping center. Google Maps does show the correct location for my home address.
 
A few months ago, I watched a YouTube video where someone was testing walk away distance and found that if you walk away from the front of the car the distance to lock is much shorter than if you walk away from the back of the car. I’ve noticed this as well. Sometimes I’m so far away I don’t hear the horn honk (probably because of ambient noise), but it is locked. Could this be what’s going on? Do you have your mirrors set to fold on lock? That’s the only way I’ve been able to confirm that it was locked when I came back.
 

MrF06

Member
Mar 12, 2021
25
44
VA
So, it's seems like the car thinks it's parked at home, even when it's not.
Could they have done this intentionally to prevent GPS inaccuracies that would come from being parked inside a garage interfering with the "exclude home" feature?

1200' is pretty far though... almost 1/4 mile. Have you tried any spots the same distance away but in other directions from your house?
 
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A few months ago, I watched a YouTube video where someone was testing walk away distance and found that if you walk away from the front of the car the distance to lock is much shorter than if you walk away from the back of the car. I’ve noticed this as well. Sometimes I’m so far away I don’t hear the horn honk (probably because of ambient noise), but it is locked. Could this be what’s going on? Do you have your mirrors set to fold on lock? That’s the only way I’ve been able to confirm that it was locked when I came back.
I walked much further away from the car (3x) than it normally requires to lock, but could still see that the side mirrors had not folded. I then turned off my phone's Bluetooth just in case any stray signals were still making it to the car. The car still wouldn't lock. I could then use the app to manually lock the car at which point the mirrors would fold.
 
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I've completed a bunch more testing. It included parking the car at many difference distances, in different directions away from my house, checking to be sure the app showed the car to be in the correct location, etc. Side note: Anyone who watched me test probably thought "Wow, they're super indecisive or overly picky about where to park, and then they gave up parking around here!" o_O

Based on my additional testing, it appears Tesla has applied a radius of .50 km (nice round number!) or around .31 miles from my home as the limit for whether or not the car is considered to be parked at home or not. So, for the purposes of the walk-away door lock feature, this means my car won't ever automatically lock itself anywhere inside this rather sizable circle around my home address since I prefer to have the "Exclude Home" option turned on. The automatic locking worked very well outside of this exclusion zone.

For perspective, think about how many blocks away this distance is from your place. For me it's over five blocks away and includes all kinds of stuff that's not even housing. GPS is orders of magnitude more accurate than this. I think .50 km is really excessive and Tesla should decrease this radius by whole lot. Unless my car is parked in front of my house, in my driveway, or in my garage, I don't consider it parked at my house.

What would you like to see Tesla use for the radius from your home address? I'm also curious if others are also seeing this right now.
 
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MrF06

Member
Mar 12, 2021
25
44
VA
Agree that 0.5km is excessive. The 99% position accuracy of GPS is on the order of 12m or so, assuming worst case DOP. Even if they were trying to give some leeway for any kind of multipathing or signal interference from being inside a garage, I can't see that error approaching anywhere near half a kilometer.

I feel like a couple hundred feet would be a more that reasonable distance. You don't assume much risk if your car locks in your garage when you don't want it to... you just unlock it. The risk is much greater if your car doesn't lock away from your home when you expect it to. I'd err on the side of the car locking itself if I were in charge of this feature.

This is all assuming that this is intentional and not a bug.
 
Do you have your mirrors set to fold on lock? That’s the only way I’ve been able to confirm that it was locked when I came back.

You can set the car to honk the horn when it auto-locks. This is a great feature.

Or check the lock icon in the phone app. You can tap the icon to lock the car if needed (assuming the car can reach the internet).
 
Yup 500 meters matches the distance from Walk away lock "Exclude Home" distance

As we approach almost 1 year with this bug, it seems pretty low priority for Tesla to fix.
Thank you, Mardak.

I think I'll call Tesla support to ask them to fix this. A year of this is long enough considering it's probably a relatively easy fix on their end. Might have to turn it off "Exclude Home" in the meantime.
 
I agree. It's on (mirrors folding too), but I don't always notice/hear it in a busy shopping center parking lot as I walk into a store. It works so well everywhere else, that I'm also used to trusting it to work without having to check on it.
This is my problem too. It is too quiet sometimes to be heard over ambient noise, but I don't want it louder any other time.
 
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Just want to make one picky comment: the software is working, most probably as intended by Tesla, it's not a bug. Some users don't like how it works and would like to reduce the distance.
In terms of priorities : Ask yourself this question : will leaving this give us such bad publicity that we lose sales? Will changing this bring in additional sales, is that what will change the mind of a hesitating potential buyer?

You can still wish that it gets changed, that's fine. I also think 0.5km is big. Unless there's a technical gps reason, I would also suggest changing it. I just want to point out that this is a feature change request, not a bug, and hopefully I help some people understand why it's deemed low priority.
 
You can still wish that it gets changed, that's fine. I also think 0.5km is big. Unless there's a technical gps reason, I would also suggest changing it. I just want to point out that this is a feature change request, not a bug, and hopefully I help some people understand why it's deemed low priority.
We're mostly in agreement. I recognize that's it not a "bug" -- particularly with people independently finding the round number of a .50 km radius to be in effect. It's clearly intentional. It's also clearly annoying since it defeats the wonderful feature in various use cases while working perfectly further away from home. This .50 km radius also been in place for around a year. That's also annoying since it's likely easily adjusted by Tesla.

Is something like FSD a higher priority? Sure, but that takes years. I'm asking for a quick win change that requires little effort. There's no reason for small yet valuable changes to wait for something else that takes years to implement. These things can and should be worked in parallel.

In my case I've had to turn off the "Exclude Home" option since that's been leaving my car unlocked all around my neighborhood when I would reasonably expect it lock itself. Just this morning, I wanted to unplug my car, only to realize that it's locked -- in my own garage. So I had to find the nearest thing to unlock my car and come back. That's annoying. That's unnecessary. That's all.
 
Being the owner for a software product is hard. You need to constantly prioritize limited resources on a huge and ever-growing list of requirements. A lot of time is spent trying to open up new markets, finding new users (new revenue). You do need to continue to satisfy existing users too. A good balancing act is to have a few bug fixes and quality of life improvements in every release, along with some new features. The thing is, there are probably thousands of "small, quick things" they could do. People seem to assume that a fix takes 2 minutes. The item must be reviewed, its impact assessed. In this case someone needs to think of GPS accuracy in all sorts of scenarios, around the world. A developer needs to take some time to think about it, do it, write new tests or otherwise verify that nothing was broken. What seems like a 2-minute thing might take a couple of days or more.

A big part of the team must be on FSD, yes, but I'm sure there are other people doing other things. UI enhancements, cold weather improvements, efficiency improvements, multimedia improvements, adding games... Each little thing takes time.
 

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