TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Will Automatic Emergency Braking work during dust storm?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Patrick W, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. Patrick W

    Patrick W Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Messages:
    834
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    We had a dust storm pass through northern Utah today. Winds so strong several 18 wheelers were blown on their sides. The winds also kicked up so much dust that visibility went to zero in places.

    One of those places was I-80 west of Salt Lake City where a big rig slowed to a crawl when the visibility got bad. Unfortunately vehicles behind the truck continued at high speed (despite not being able to see ahead) and the result was a chain reaction involving 6 or so big rigs and 12 to 15 cars. One dead, 25+ injuries.

    Can Tesla's systems see through stuff like dust storms and slow and/or turn the car to avoid a collision?
     
  2. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    AFAIK the systems only work right in perfect dry weather conditions.
     
  3. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,107
    Location:
    Fairfax, VA, USA
    The front radar (which I believe is all the collision-avoidance system uses) should see through dust reasonably well. Of course, if you can't see, you need to slow down. Not that you can count on other people doing it.
     
  4. BerTX

    BerTX Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    635
    Location:
    Texas/Washington
    Automatic Emergency Braking does not avoid accidents. It is designed to lessen the impact in an unavoidable collision.
     
  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,496
    Location:
    Maine
    It can and should avoid accidents. Someone has already had it avoid an accident, kind of. Unavoidable means "the meatsack can't react quickly enough". The car will be gaining over a second in reaction time, which makes a substantial difference.

    If it works using radar then it might work through dust. But I wouldn't be depending on it.
     
  6. green1

    green1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,105
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    AEB Does avoid collisions, but that's not it's stated goal in Tesla documentation, they say that it will only lessen the impact of an unavoidable collision. I agree though that avoiding the collision (as it does now) is a better option. That said, nobody should EVER rely on it doing so, and one should always manually brake when they think there is a reason to do so, regardless of if AEB would have saved them or not.

    The only time I would ever intentionally wait for AEB to do it's thing rather than braking manually first is on a test track when facing a cardboard box (possibly covered in tinfoil for the radar) as a test of the system where failure has zero consequences.

    That's not to say I don't want AEB, I think it's an amazing safety feature. I just won't be testing it on the freeway the same way I don't test my airbags on the freeway. I want both to be there, and I don't want either to ever be used.
     
  7. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,690
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    According to Tesla, the feature applies brakes in a situation where a collision is unavoidable in order to lessen the impact. The feature is not designed to avoid accidents. That's what your other safety features are for.
     
  8. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,300
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I wouldn't be surprised if it were designed to avoid collisions, but Tesla might claim only to lessen impact in order not to incur liability for injuries in a truly unavoidable event.
     
  9. krisg81

    krisg81 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    CA
    I didn't work in the Tornado I drove through, so I'd say probably not.
     
  10. Patrick W

    Patrick W Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Messages:
    834
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    Still no car (but it went into production Monday) so downloaded the owners manual and it answered the question:

    "Forward Collision Warning cannot always detect vehicles, bikes, or pedestrians, and you may experience unnecessary, inaccurate, invalid or missed warnings for many reasons, particularly if:
    Visibility is poor (due to heavy rain, snow, fog, etc.).
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,850
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    From my experience with an Infiniti G37, heavy rain will disable the radar, rendering adaptive cruise unusable (it goes beep, flashes a message, and cruise turns off). Presumably collision avoidance is similarly impacted.
     
  12. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,326
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    It seems clear to me that Tesla has to phrase it that way because the system cannot be perfect nor can it overcome physical principles: if someone runs in front of the car from a sidewalk a few feet away it is impossible to stop the car's forward motion quickly enough to avoid collision unless the car is only going 5mph or so.
    There are many real world examples of possible situations where today's collision avoidance technologies can only mitigate the consequences of a collision, not avoid it completely.
     
  13. green1

    green1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,105
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    People need to start thinking of AEB as a safety feature, and not a convenience feature. It's in the same category as seatbelts, airbags, and crumple zones, things we don't want to rely on whenever we are driving. Any time AEB kicks in, that means that you as a driver have failed to do your job correctly and the car is doing it's best to keep you alive. Much of the time the AEB will manage to avoid a collision, but relying on it to do so is akin to relying on your crumple zones to stop you safely instead of using your brakes.
     

Share This Page