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Why is Autopilot always trying to Kill me?

Travelhead

Member
Aug 3, 2019
40
13
Fl
Hey guys,

I'm a new 2019 Model S (raven) Performance owner, and autopilot is continually trying to kill me. Nearly every time I've enabled it, within 10 to 15 minutes I have to take over due to the car not being able to figure out how to navigate a situation and endangering my life.

1) Driving on a highway (not an interstate, but a road that has on-coming traffic). The car in front of me merges into the middle lane and breaks to make a left turn, my Tesla mistakenly thinks it's the car in front of me and slams on the breaks?!

2) Driving on a interstate (huge 4-lanes), I'm in the right lane. The right side of the right lane widens a lot, so instead of just aligning to the left side of my lane, autopilot starts ping ponging between the left and right side of the lane!?

.. and SO many more examples!
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,933
7,722
Visalia, CA
...SO many more examples!

I hope consumers are aware that they are buying a beta feature that does not work like a final quality product.

As Consumer Reports has kept reminding people such as with the latest article:

"Jake Fisher, CR’s senior director of auto testing, says consumers are not getting fully tested, consumer-ready technology. In essence, he says, Tesla owners are being enlisted as beta testers to help fine-tune the technology for the future—even though they’re paying $6,000 up front for the promised automation.

“What consumers are really getting is the chance to participate in a kind of science experiment,” he says. “This is a work in progress.”

...endangering my life...

I've been using it since 2017 or more than 2 years and 46,000 miles, I feel my driving is much safer with Autopilot.

You need to use it properly and I just learn what works and not and it's very relaxing for me with Autopilot so far.

If you feel it's endangering your life, then you are not using it correctly and you should either learn how to or you should not use it.
 
Last edited:

Bmac

Member
Nov 17, 2017
198
70
SE Pennsylvania
Hey guys,

I'm a new 2019 Model S (raven) Performance owner, and autopilot is continually trying to kill me. Nearly every time I've enabled it, within 10 to 15 minutes I have to take over due to the car not being able to figure out how to navigate a situation and endangering my life.

1) Driving on a highway (not an interstate, but a road that has on-coming traffic). The car in front of me merges into the middle lane and breaks to make a left turn, my Tesla mistakenly thinks it's the car in front of me and slams on the breaks?!

2) Driving on a interstate (huge 4-lanes), I'm in the right lane. The right side of the right lane widens a lot, so instead of just aligning to the left side of my lane, autopilot starts ping ponging between the left and right side of the lane!?

.. and SO many more examples!

Both of your examples have happened to me as well. It is quite annoying when the computer gives more preference, it seems, to the right hand side traffic marking then to the left-hand side. Further, to add to your examples, the autopilot does not seem to know how to react to a left-hand turn lane. It wants to turn into the left-hand turn lane but given the opportunity it will make up its mind to stay in the current lane – however, that's disturbing to the passengers.
 
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Bodyhauler

Member
Jun 20, 2019
145
261
Cedar Park, Tx
After I first got my Model S I had similar 'problems'. But after driving it a while I've figured out what the car could do and could not do. It was a little learning curve. Now I just know what to expect when driving so it doesn't bother me because i anticipate the situations and make corrections as necessary.
I think once you figure out the quirks of your car's driving , you'll have no problem with it. I love driving with the autopilot and really have no problems with it now.
 

f205v

Member
May 12, 2018
646
748
Tessin, Switzerland
Both of your examples are exactly the way that AP is programmed to behave!
In first instance, it is forbidden to overtake on the right (at least in Europe).
So if a car in the lane left to you slows down, your car slows down as well to avoid overtaking on the right.
This is valide for speeds above a certain threshold (I do not know which one, but it is definitively not happening at lower speeds) or when the traffic is so dense that everybody is stuck in a column and sometimes it happens that a rightmost columns start moving while the left is stil stopped: in this case it is not considered overtaking.

In second instance, the car is programmed to always stay as centred as possible in the lane. If the lane widens, the car moves to the middle point.

This is way AP is still considered a beta version and requires 100% supervision by the driver.
 
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murphyS90D

Member
Jul 2, 2016
675
474
Horsham, PA
Drive your new car with both hands on the wheel and predict what you expect the car to do. If it starts to do something different tighten your grip on the wheel and stop it from doing it. This is not a self driving car. It's driver assist and will be for a long time.
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,836
2,276
Seattle
From the Tesla manual: "Autosteer is intended for use only by a fully attentive driver on freeways and highways where access is limited by entry and exit ramps."

Being blunt, if you use autosteer/AP in other circumstances, then I would say its your fault that you are getting into dangerous situations, not the cars.
 
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Travelhead

Member
Aug 3, 2019
40
13
Fl
From the Tesla manual: "Autosteer is intended for use only by a fully attentive driver on freeways and highways where access is limited by entry and exit ramps."

Being blunt, if you use autosteer/AP in other circumstances, then I would say its your fault that you are getting into dangerous situations, not the cars.

in both my examples I’ve used autopilot on a freeway and highway as instructed by the user manual.

it’s funny how some people in this thread are defending this technology even though both examples I gave were also experienced by others and can definitely endanger passenger safety.

I think the tesla community needs to stop this BS idealism that autopilot works when used as directed, that is NON-SENSE. It is clearly not working in the two example I provided when used as instructed by the Tesla manual.

tesla just purchased an auto pilot technology company probably because they realized how bad autopilot is in its current state.

honestly as a new tesla owner (just over 1 month), I am SHOCKED at the hyperbole of the Tesla “autopilot” fanatics versus the reality of what autopilot is actually capable of.. you guys are SETTING THE WRONG EXPECTATIONS for new owners!
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,836
2,276
Seattle
in both my examples I’ve used autopilot on a freeway and highway as instructed by the user manual.

it’s funny how some people in this thread are defending this technology even though both examples I gave were also experienced by others and can definitely endanger passenger safety.

I think the tesla community needs to stop this BS idealism that autopilot works when used as directed, that is NON-SENSE. It is clearly not working in the two example I provided when used as instructed by the Tesla manual.

tesla just purchased an auto pilot technology company probably because they realized how bad autopilot is in its current state.

honestly as a new tesla owner (just over 1 month), I am SHOCKED at the hyperbole of the Tesla “autopilot” fanatics versus the reality of what autopilot is actually capable of.. you guys are SETTING THE WRONG EXPECTATIONS for new owners!

Your first example quoted a "left turn lane". You dont get left turn lanes on freeways. You second example was a dislike of the car "centering" in a merge lane situation, which doesnt sound like "my car is trying to kill me". In fact, more recent AP versions have got much better at handling this situation.

As for hyperbole, your thread title is that. I quoted the Tesla user manual. How is that hyperbole?

As for setting expectations, there are many many posts here with people pointing out the correct use of AP and its limitations. Yes, you can view a few YouTube videos of people using AP on non-freeways, and pushing its limits. You can also view YouTube videos of guys doing handstands on the edge of tall buildings. I leave you to judge the validity of these versus more sensible and sober advice in the owners manual and in these forums.

MY initial expectations for AP, after reading MANY MANY descriptions of AP, and viewing the videos, and reading the owners manual, was that AP would be good at the things humans are bad at (consistency, vigilance, no fatigue) and bad at the things humans are good at (situational awareness, anticipation). And that has turned out to be the case.

--Tim
 

Oldschool496

Member
Sep 27, 2017
707
401
Florida
I think the tesla community needs to stop this BS idealism that autopilot works when used as directed, that is NON-SENSE. It is clearly not working in the two example I provided when used as instructed by the Tesla manual.

I agree with you completely, but if autopilot is used the way it is supposed to be used(limited access highways), and keeping in mind its a beta product, one should not have any troubles. Now my car is first gen AP or MCU1 car. its steady as a rock. I use my autopilot only on highways and only when things don't get hairy, and never around construction zones, and only on highways I have experience with.

Other users are using it incorrectly. If someone is making a turn in front of you, your using it in the wrong place. If the road widens, you must take control, you know this because its a road you are familiar with.

I had 5 users talking about autopilot on this forum around school zones complaining it slowed down too much. Well thats improper place and use.

This gentlemen below has the right prescription for AP use ONLY

From the Tesla manual: "Autosteer is intended for use only by a fully attentive driver on freeways and highways where access is limited by entry and exit ramps." adding with your hand(s) on the wheel.

Being blunt, if you use autosteer/AP in other circumstances, then I would say its your fault that you are getting into dangerous situations, not the cars.

Read your manual carefully or it could be your life or the lives of others.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,933
7,722
Visalia, CA
...both examples I gave were also experienced by others and can definitely endanger passenger safety...

There's no question that there have been crashes, injuries, and deaths while on Autopilot.

Consumers need to know why they bought it.

If I bought an unfinished house that I am willing to spend a night there, I need to know why it's so dark in there. It's because it's not finished and there's no electricity hook up just yet. Once I know that it's easy for me to spend one dark night in there because I would be prepared with flashlights and other portable power.

It's ridiculous to complain that the home is so dark and dangerous because that's exactly its nature when there's no electricity hookup!

That's the same with Autopilot. It's not finished. Of course, there would be many imperfections as examples cited by this thread. But that is the nature of an unfinished work.

Beta products are not for everyone. I enjoying using Autopilot but my almost all of my passengers ask me not to use it in their presence.

My passengers are right because they didn't buy it.

I did, and I enjoying using it because I learn what works and what doesn't.

If you don't enjoy using it, then it's not for you. You need to stop using it or learn how to use it.
 

Travelhead

Member
Aug 3, 2019
40
13
Fl
If someone is making a turn in front of you, your using it in the wrong place. If the road widens, you must take control, you know this because its a road you are familiar with..

There seems to be a lot of confusion about my first example so let me go into detail..

87AC8511-4722-4437-98F0-A1FD3E40523B.jpeg


This is CO-93 connecting Boulder to Golden, Colorado. According to Wikipedia

“State Highway 93 is a state highway in Colorado that connects Golden and Boulder.”

So to clarify people saying it’s not a highway, it is clearly a HIGHWAY! I’m driving north, and then the lane splits so there is now a left turn lane. The car in front of me moves into the left lane to make a left turn and he then breaks, and my Tesla slams on the break, thinking the car is in front of me when actually the car is making a left turn in a separate lane..

**** READ BELOW ****
for the record, I was planning on turning OFF autopilot before I got to the traffic light.. but i was driving on this highway for 10 minutes and it doesn’t have any traffic lights or stop signs or exits so it seemed appropriate to enable it. The problem occurred BEFORE the traffic light as soon as the left lane divided.

#2) In my second example below, I’m in the right hand lane and the lane expands a bit to the right side. Instead of autopilot staying in the lane left aligned, it bounces back and forth from the left to the right side of the lane like a ping pong ball..

EB4647FD-0B1A-4074-B9CA-BCD83FAC3385.jpeg
 
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Oldschool496

Member
Sep 27, 2017
707
401
Florida
State Highway 93 is a state highway in Colorado that connects Golden and Boulder.”
I would not use AP here, full self drive maybe when its fully implemented.

I had a friend die on AP in just this situation. I wish I had a chance to sit down with him in his Model 3 long before anything happened to him.

Let me say it another way

Freeway, turnpike with limited access and certainly no street lights. Sorry thats where it is.

Your second example someone is turning in the lane next to you or turning anywhere, not proper place for AP either.
 
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vexige

Member
Mar 23, 2019
178
166
NJ
I rarely use the Autopilot, but after my EAP saw the ghost in the middle of almost empty highway (that's what saved me, there was no car behind me) and decided to panic brake from 75mph to 30mph, I stopped using it completely. Problem solved. This technology is not for my nervous system, besides I love driving myself.
 
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Travelhead

Member
Aug 3, 2019
40
13
Fl
I would not use AP here, full self drive maybe when its fully implemented.

I had a friend die on AP in just this situation. I wish I had a chance to sit down with him in his Model 3 long before anything happened to him.

Let me say it another way

Freeway, turnpike with limited access and certainly no street lights. Sorry thats where it is.

EXACTLY my point! As a new Tesla owner and reading the manual, one would EXPECT Tesla would be able to navigate on a highway like this (besides the traffic light which I was prepared to take over if it changed to red)...

HOWEVER that is not the case at all! Tesla is NO WHERE near able to handle a situation like this..

Which is why the point of this thread is to say to the Tesla community to stop BS’ing new owners into thinking that autopilot works if used as instructed, it’s simple not the case.
 

tomas

Out of warranty...
Oct 22, 2012
4,279
3,880
Santa Barbara/New York
As @drtimhill quoted:

From the Tesla manual: "Autosteer is intended for use only by a fully attentive driver on freeways and highways where access is limited by entry and exit ramps."

1: read his whole quote, then
2: RTFM

autopilot is not yet for hands free driving anywhere, and particularly on roads and highways with signals.

Tesla has made no bones about that. And, I think most of the owners you have accused of being starry eyed about the technology are - in fact -realistic and have learned to use it VERY productively within its capabilities.

drive it with hands lightly at 2 and 10 resting on spokes. After a time, you will find a cyborg state where you and the AP are sharing control of the vehicle.

Like everything, it takes a while to learn.
 

Travelhead

Member
Aug 3, 2019
40
13
Fl
I rarely use the Autopilot, but after my EAP saw the ghost in the middle of almost empty highway (that's what saved me, there was no car behind me) and decided to panic brake from 75mph to 30mph, I stopped using it completely. Problem solved. This technology is not for my nervous system, besides I love driving myself.

totally agree! How is it that some people in this tesla community think auto pilot can do no wrong, and then others like us have horrible experiences and realize the limits of autopilot very quickly?
 

Oldschool496

Member
Sep 27, 2017
707
401
Florida
reading the manual
Before i even sat in my car, I read the manual twice, not having the car in front of me and certainly only a test drive or two under my belt, I was understanding maybe 80%. Then I drove it for a year and then people started hitting fire trucks on this type of road in your example and freeways. I was astonished. Then I had an awaking, I read the manual again, that brought me to God.

Then my friend died, that really hit me hard, I was sure my car would stop for everything in that first year. I mean everything if I missed it the car would take over somehow AP or no AP engaged. I was wrong.

Nope your driving this friggin car and your in charge of its actions, AP no AP, no full Self drive, enhanced summon, no enhanced summon. YOUR IT, nothing has changed at all, ever. Keep your hand on the wheel and your eyes on the road and slow down just a bit. Leave all those car lengths also, you'll need them.

Will it change someday?
Probably.

Will it be great?
Probably.

Will it not take lives? Iit'll definitely take lives an some innocent lives.
 
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Travelhead

Member
Aug 3, 2019
40
13
Fl
Then my friend died, that really hit me hard, I was sure my car would stop for everything in that first year. I mean everything if I missed it the car would take over somehow AP or no AP engaged. I was wrong.

can you go into more detail about the situation that caused your friends death that was similar to this? Were there any articles written about it or analysis of what happened to cause AP to fail?
 

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