spinning car icons on dash

spinning car icons on dash

Occasionally the car icons on the dash of cars adjacent to mine start spinning. It happens when I'm stationary, but I also noticed it when driving through a parking lot. I think the software engineers might be trying to show that a vehicle is perpendicular to the direction of travel, but haven't quite got the algorithm correct. Kind of amusing and annoying at the same time.

David Trushin | 05. Juni 2019

On my dash that is. Eats, shoots, and leaves.

Teslapalooza | 06. Juni 2019

I see it too. Typically when I am stopped at a traffic light, with cars all around my car.

Vawlkus | 06. Juni 2019

I see that once in a blue moon. Not quite sure what the cause is yet.

MIGHT be from water on the camera lenses, but I’m not sure.

Johnzal | 06. Juni 2019

Regarding the new visualization update. Has anyone noticed that when stopped in traffic or parked in a parking lot the surrounding vehicle avatars seem to spin like tops and float and bump especially when stopped or parked with or without vehicles around my car. When moving they seem to the appropriate but when stopped they go crazy. There was a little bit of this previously but nothing like it is now.

Yes, kind of fun to watch as, if I didn't know better, I would think that they are dancing to the music. But seriously, practically speaking it is annoying to say the least and does not give confidence that the car is seeing or displaying the information properly. It also sometimes does not see a large city bus coming up next to me and even will initiate self parking indicator while I am stopped at a stoplight surrounded in three lanes of heavy traffic and no parking anywhere in sight. Hard to trust the system with all of these bugs. I would like to assume that they test before releasing but it doesn't appear that way. I would think it would be more important to make sure that the technology is working properly then to worry about whether the color of the car is showing up the way we would like. I would think it would be better use of the engineers' time to resolve these basic bugs that affect the credibility of the underlying technology then to spend time on displaying a fire place for fun. Has anyone heard if this is otherwise been reported and or if they are planning on doing anything about it?

Johnzal | 06. Juni 2019

Update: contacted customer service who say they have no record of this being an issue for anyone. To just wait and see if it's corrected in a future update.

PawelSokolowski | 06. Juni 2019

I see dancing cars around me very often. The software is full of bugs, I will never trust self driving autopilot. I will drive by myself as long as the car lets me to.

David Trushin | 06. Juni 2019

I reported it as a bug so this is an issue for some people. As I mentioned, it also happens when the car is moving but the adjacent cars are stationary. It has to be related to the attempt to detect when an adjacent car is perpendicular to the travel direction of your car. Also, I noticed in the new release that the size of the "my car" icon on the dash varies with the conditions of speed and proximity to other vehicles. Sometimes it's really small.

colorczar | 06. Juni 2019

I've noticed a significant increase in this behavior (dancing/spinning surrounding vehicles in the visualization when stationary) with the 16.3 update. | 06. Juni 2019

@David - the myCar size changing size is a new feature. I seems to work well for me - slow or stopped it gets larger, with a freeway and many lanes it is smaller to show all the lanes. Rather cool.

On the spinning/moving cars on the display, I see it sometimes, but only when stopped. While driving it seems to be stable. An older release had similar stability problems looking at cars around you while stopped. It was fixed, and now back again, although the spinning seems new to me. My guess is analysis accuracy is dramatically better when vehicles (you or other cars) are in motion as the vehicle and background are easily identified.

paul | 06. Juni 2019

Happens *all the time* for me. I've noticed it when I'm stationary.
I'm on 16.3.1.

Makes for a pretty display... lots of dancing cars, trucks and buses.

bob | 06. Juni 2019

If I were to believe my display there are multiple semis parked in my garage. And yes, when at a stop light in traffic my neighboring vehicles frequently have a dance party. It’s entertaining.

bp | 07. Juni 2019

With the early AP2 software we would see dancing lane lines, even when stopped. As the software improved, the lane lines stabilized.

We're going through the same thing with processing of the side and rear cameras.

Tesla could do averaging on the dashboard display and minimize/eliminate this from the display.

But a better solution is to focus on the vehicle detection software - and get that to properly detect the surrounding vehicles - so the AP software is using the actual locations and relative locations of the nearby vehicles.

Patience... This should get better.

For now, this is a good reminder that this is early-stage software and that drivers should be monitoring the software's operations at all times.

colorczar | 09. Juni 2019

Software v. 2018.20.1 significantly improves the stability of the visualization of stationary surrounding vehicles (vs 16.3 in my case)

colorczar | 09. Juni 2019

I spoke too soon, 20.1 remains unstable re: orientation of stationary, surrounding vehicles.

David Trushin | 10. Juni 2019

Today I saw a car icon pass me on the right, get ahead of me, spin once and drive off. Very funny. But I suspect that this same buggy software is used by autopilot and self driving to inform the computer about the surrounding environment and that's a pretty scary thought. What will it take to get Tesla to fix this?

ebender888 | 10. Juni 2019

I have the same issue. we like to think that the cars/trucks are dancing to the music playing. So many glitches with the Model X software. Also, issues with SiriusXM not working properly most of the time.

jimglas | 11. Juni 2019


tesla-martin | 11. Juni 2019


Nothing about this display inspires confidence in auto-pilot. As a software developer I am kind of surprised they would ship something in this state. I would prefer if they just showed the lanes and the proximity data. As it is the display isn't very useful, you certainly can't rely on it to tell you what is around you because vehicles frequently disappear from the display.

David Trushin | 12. Juni 2019

Actually, even with the bugs it is a far superior blind spot detection system than the typical "look at the side view mirrors" system that most cars have. That being said, it did not detect the semi that crossed the rod ain front of me the other day. | 12. Juni 2019

I see the dancing cars, but I'm not sure it is only when stopped. I agree that most companies would never ship partially working software like this. I figured they collected data from all the many Teslas on the road, so I used to report bugs on issues like this and even use the various autopilot features even when they weren't working well. I've since been told the bug reports are nothing but a time stamp in the massive history file of all the messages running around in the car. No one looks at them unless you contact someone to report a repair issue. Even then I'm told they have very poor tools for looking into this file. Seems it takes a lot of manual work to wade through all the messages in the file even if you know the time of the event. If this was a Google product they would have tools for this so humans wouldn't need to deal with it.

me | 13. Juni 2019

Im seeing this too, on a new model 3, mostly when stopped at traffic lights

tesla-martin | 13. Juni 2019

I don't consider it to be superior to other systems. It has the potential to be superior, but right now I really don't trust it. My Honda minivan has the blind spot warnings on the rear view mirrors, it is very basic and conservative, but it works. With the Model X I don't have any indicators on the mirror, instead I have this display I need to look down at and even then I can't trust that what I am seeing is accurate. I have had it fail to recognise cars in my blindspot multiple times. I'm not sure what would happen if I actually started to move into a car in the other lane? Does it take over, is there a chime? I'm checking and double checking my blind spot in my model X a lot more than I do in my 6 year old Honda.

ricoant | 14. Juni 2019

add me to the list of the spinning top/ dancing vehicles....not a huge bother but fix it please!

yeroca | 14. Juni 2019

Add me to the list too. Quite annoying. I don't know what the correlation is between the display and the autopilot, but it definitely makes we wary of using autopilot under any circumstances.

keiki | 15. Juni 2019

Jumping all around. Used to see this about a year or two ago. Tesla has to know. Wish they could answer a little more honestly. Credibility factor?????

dysert2 | 16. Juni 2019

I have the spinning vehicles as described above in my Model S

bikeandsail | 16. Juni 2019

I also see spinning cars!

bkb1 | 17. Juni 2019

I also see spinning cars.

NoMoICE | 17. Juni 2019

tesla-martin has a valid point. The X blind spot warning, while better than my 2015 S, lacks an obvious safety location. There should be a warning at the mirror. Have you tested the dash by activating the turn signal when you know there is some one in the blind spot? Red, enlarged signals.

jimglas | 17. Juni 2019

its a feature, not a bug

David Trushin | 17. Juni 2019

Spoke to someone at Tesla not particularly authoritative, and he said that they had fixed the spinning cars about 3 months ago and distributed the fix then. However when they reconfigured the car on the dash they reintroduced the problem. But they have a new load that prefixes it. Maybe, maybe not. Btw the "1st phone call after starting" problem is still there although intermittent. Wiggling the volume wheel still works.

smusaji | 18. Juni 2019

Since today all cars, trucks etc have completely disappeared from my screen. No clue why. let's hope this is just a temporary glitch and will be fixed with a next SW update?

smusaji | 18. Juni 2019

(Model 3)

gpeters | 18. Juni 2019

Cars around mine dance and spin. Also just posted about other problems under "computer glitches", worst of which was dash screen (not the tablet) saying "car off" and going blank while I was driving on a busy freeway. For $120K, I really expected better....

jimglas | 19. Juni 2019

its a feature not a bug. Lucky you didn't have to pay extra for the dancing cars

TDUB | 19. Juni 2019

My two cents: this phenomenon reflects how the car processes images from different cameras. When the car is moving, the images from different cameras can be transitioned smoothly. But when can is still, you will have images displayed from different cameras simultaneously. I think it shouldn't be difficult to fix it for the developers.They can choose to display images just from one camera when the car is not in motion.

Charliek | 19. Juni 2019

same problem here, i thought it was my wrap, glad to see others have the same problem, hopefully it will get fixed soon, as it does not inspire confidence.

grahamburnette | 20. Juni 2019

Well, Tesla seems to have fixed the spinning car bug in my X with the new dashboard software. Except the way they solved it was to remove any other cars around me from the display. Now I get no information about traffic around me as I change lanes. Thanks, Elon.

gnluce | 17. Juli 2019

dancing cars here too. leaves me with no confidence what autopilot sees.

jimglas | 17. Juli 2019

Its a feature, not a bug

prelljr | 18. Juli 2019

I am still waiting. But I do enjoy the show!

20854 | 18. Juli 2019

Probably gets fixed before the robotaxis are put in service.

gtimbers | 25. Juli 2019

The toy car display is totally useless, stupid and in every other way a waste of dash real-estate and computational power. They dance around like the bride and groom at a wedding and have no value whatsoever regarding what is actually around me or what I might do about it. Tesla took their original multifunctional display which was centered on the dash and included speed, charging and discharging info and almost anything else of interest and moved the speedo up to the top where it is blocked by the steering wheel and put the car crap in prime time!!! As you can see, I am and have been pissed for the 5 years this crap has been going on. I have tried to convince them for years to at least, put the speedo and Auto Pilot circles at the bottom where everybody could see them regardless of wheel position. They can then stick their useless pictograms towards the top where my wheel will cut them off.

While I am whining, Tesla should get their heads out of the hole where the sun never shines and give us 360 degree camera views like most of their competition does. The Auto Park doesn't work about half of the time and has a tendency to hit things. The 360 view is invaluable in parking lots for seeing carts, peds, curbs and a whole lot of things. My last 4 non-tesla cars had this feature dating back to around 2006. Get with it TESLA!

jimglas | 25. Juli 2019

its a feature not a bug | 26. Juli 2019


1) Dancing icons are annoying, but really only happen when stopped. When driving, the display is very stable. This is likely due to a combination of the low resolution used and lack of any movement. Vehicle movement can dramatically help the neural net processing. I suspect HW3.0 may be needed to clean this up. That said, I've notice it is not quite as bad in the 24.4 release.

2) Something seems amiss - you have the AP2 360 display view, yet have had the car for 5 years? AP2 wasn't available 5 years ago. Haven't seen a complaint about the spedo in years now. You may be alone on that one.

3) 360 downward camera view are impossible with the current camera setup. They are optimized for AP, not providing a few of the road directly on the sides and front of the car. Of course those other cars can't do AP. Perhaps someone will do both, but not today. It will take 11 cameras to do it.

Vawlkus | 30. Juli 2019

Besides, the 360 awareness is handled by the ultrasonic sensors. | 30. Juli 2019

@Vawlkus - As far as I can tell now 360 view is all cameras and may use some ultrasonic input. The ultrasonics stop working at some speeds due to airflow (don't know what speed that is though). One clue that it's using the cameras is the identification of object type - car, SUV, van, truck, motorcycle, bike, or pedestrian that shows up. Ultrasonics have no ability to discern the type of object.

I think Elon said ultrasonics were used in the past and they switched to camera a while back. I can't remember where/when I heard this though - perhaps 9 months ago or so on an earnings call.

Vawlkus | 31. Juli 2019

I don’t think the ultrasonics do stop working TBH. I still get their ranting input when I get near median dividers at highway speeds, or near other cars. They may not be as accurate at high speed, but I’m fairly certain they still function.

Vawlkus | 31. Juli 2019

“Warning input”.

FFS autoincorrect -.- | 31. Juli 2019

@Vawlkus - Excellent point. I also see them appear at least to 30 mph or so. Not sure I've seen them appear on the freeway when close to side dividers. Someday, I'll have to run some tests to see at what speed they stop working and/or they are ignored.