Had my first scary moment with Autopilot today!

Had my first scary moment with Autopilot today!

Driving down a road I frequent with autopilot. I've driven this road countless times with autopilot as it's on the way to my business from my house. I made the mistake that many Tesla owners likely make daily without giving it a second thought. I started to respond to a message on my phone with a lot more confidence in a tech that I shouldn't have come to rely on so much. When I last looked up, the vehicle was driving along the semi-curvy road, following behind another vehicle. It was a single lane highway, traveling around 45mph. Suddenly the car starts to decelerate, and I look up to find it is no longer following the road, autopilot has completely disengaged, and it was vearing road, almost out of the shoulder and heading straight towards a cliff wall. I immediately took action and corrected it, thankfully without any incident, other than looking stupid to other drivers around me. There were no warnings, no chiming alarms like would usually happen if there was any reason it was going to disengage self drive mode. It just stopped following the path and stopped controlling acceleration.

Has anyone else had their Tesla just pull out of self drive mode without warning, no audible warning or anything? I will say, I do have the parent mode or whatever they call it enabled where the basic warnings are muted, but I wouldn't expect it to mute an emergency warning like "Disengaging autopilot mode".

derotam | 12. Februar 2020

I know you are going to deny the two following possibilities but here they are anyway...

First, you didn't engage auto steer, only TACC. This would be why there would be no chime. We can go down rabbit holes on technicalities on this but it would just be a waste of time.

Second, alternately, there was a chime, and you just "didn't hear" it, or don't remember hearing it because of the shock of the event. Humans are horrible witnesses of stressful situations and will not remember things or will remember things that didn't actually happen.

Sorry it happened to you, but good thing you and everyone else is ok...please stop looking at your phone. You can voice dictate texts in the car...

WW_spb | 12. Februar 2020

Use of phone without handsfree is illegal in many states.

vmulla | 12. Februar 2020

Is it possible you touched the brake when shuffling around?

vmulla | 12. Februar 2020

Oh do you have the video?

Magic 8 Ball | 12. Februar 2020

"When I last looked up,,,"

Dumbass ready to give TESLA a bad name for not paying attention.

WW_spb | 12. Februar 2020

Next time why don't you take a nap while driving lol

M3phan | 12. Februar 2020

Glad you’re OK, really am, but goes without saying no cell phone usage when driving. My guess is with @derotam, The disengage chime did occur but you didn’t hear it because of preoccupation with the phone and/or emergency reactions.

M3phan | 12. Februar 2020

Actually occurs to me that maybe the title of your posting should be worded “autopilot had its first scary moment with me today!”
Sorry, couldn’t resist… But seriously, a good cautionary tale and I am glad you didn’t wreck.

WW_spb | 12. Februar 2020

Bc of people like you kids, Bikers and others are in constant danger on the roads. Please stop using your phone! And I don't feel sorry for you bc it is 100% on you!

andy.connor.e | 12. Februar 2020

Still amazes me how people prioritize their phones over their lives.

Magic 8 Ball | 12. Februar 2020

Middle name is probably "Mayhem".

It is a bummer there are thousands of stories on the internet concerning distracted drivers and fatal accidents and some people feel their "cautionary" tales are meaningful.

Read and learn for crying out loud. Distracted driving has been around forever. DON"T DO IT!

WW_spb | 12. Februar 2020

I use to be bad too but I changed my behavior before it was too late. What helped me is driving motorcycle and realizing how many people don't pay attention while they use cellphones. It is insane.

WW_spb | 12. Februar 2020


mrburke | 12. Februar 2020

@bsolley - It is safe to say "This is a tough room."

bsolley | 12. Februar 2020

Texting and driving has never been an issue for me in the past. Having over a million miles of driving under my belt, working for companies where my average commute was 200+ miles per day, and having to respond to texts and so on for business while on the road, I got used to it and never had an issue multitasking. I'm also a pilot and have to multitask a lot doing that. The difference in this instance; I wasn't driving. The car was. And that's where I let my guard down. Instead of paying attention to the road and only being halfway focused on the message, I allowed myself to be more relaxed because I had built a confidence that the vehicle could do it's task properly as it had done it 100+ times previously on the same road.

Part of the point of this message was to point out that just because the vehicle is driving itself, doesn't mean you should allow yourself to be less in control and start looking at your phone/doing makeup, or anything else people do while their Tesla is driving them to work. I am also a motorcycle rider, and I know what distracted driving can cause. My failure in this was to trust the car to do my job. It was my job to drive.

As for the question about whether it was or was not in autosteer, it was in fact in autosteer. It had been driving itself for 3-4 miles before I looked down at the phone. In addition, the warning chimes it makes when it's going to disengage autopilot (heard them plenty of times when it steers off a freeway and is disengaging) are quite distinct and stand out quite a bit. I had just adjusted the speed on the steering wheel to let the vehicle know I was still "paying attention" immediately before I looked at my phone, and I had typed maybe 8-10 words before the sudden disengage. I didn't tap the brakes by accident or anything else of the sort. It disengaged without warning.

Joshan | 12. Februar 2020

open a chat with them and ask them to pull the logs and tell you what happened.

Magic 8 Ball | 12. Februar 2020

So the argument is: Texting while driving is not a problem as long a you do it right.

I wonder why 48 states have made texting while driving illegal?

bradbomb | 12. Februar 2020

@bsolley I really feel for you that Autopilot failed and glad you weren't hurt. I would have to stand with the other commenters though. You freely admit you took your hands off the wheel and were not paying attention while on autopilot. Your statement:

"Part of the point of this message was to point out that just because the vehicle is driving itself, doesn't mean you should allow yourself to be less in control and start looking at your phone/doing makeup, or anything else people do while their Tesla is driving them to work."

Is exactly what your Tesla warns you about every time you activate Autopilot:

"Please keep your hands on the wheel. Be prepared to take over at any time."

mrburke | 12. Februar 2020

Texting & driving produces similar results as to driving drunk. You may think you can do it safely, but guess what, you can't.

-TheJohn- | 12. Februar 2020

You're not going to get any sympathy here by admitting you were texting during said incident. In fact you'll get the opposite. Stop endangering the rest of us you buffoon.

andy.connor.e | 12. Februar 2020

Yep you're not going to get any sympathy. Pay attention you dimwit.

andy.connor.e | 12. Februar 2020

And if you hit my car because you were looking at your phone, be prepared to get sued for the amount that my rental costs when my car is being repaired, and my deductible. Your phone is not more important than my well-being and future, and you will probably only learn when the consequences are appropriate as such.

WW_spb | 12. Februar 2020

L O L He is a Pilot too. God save us all. Face palm

82bert | 12. Februar 2020

I highly doubt the voracity of this post. I use NoA everyday and the only time it’s been out of AP is when I took it out or didn’t do the full double dip. I’m not sure what the motives are for the OP, but I don’t buy the central argument or even the idea they’re simply trying to give us all a PSA to stay attentive. Flagged.

AWDTesla | 12. Februar 2020

" The difference in this instance; I wasn't driving. The car was."

See, this is where Tesla fucked up calling it auto pilot. People like you assume the car is driving. I guess you ignored every warning in the owners manual about you needing to pay attention 100% of the time.

Thank god YOU didnt kill anyone. Maybe get a bus pass if you're going to have this non chlant attitude about putting other peoples loves at risk.

andy.connor.e | 12. Februar 2020

Its like someone who's been smoking for 10 years saying "i havent gotten cancer yet", thinking they are immune to the possibility.

82bert | 12. Februar 2020

Veracity, not voracity. Autocorrect, not to be confused with autopilot.

kevin_rf | 12. Februar 2020

This is why I never look at my phone while driving. Autosteer can drop out at any point for a variety of reasons. Unless you are on the ball, you can start drifting in your lane before you realize what has happened.

I've had it drop out often enough with my hands on the wheel watching traffic that I keep my phone on the charger with the lid closed.

Passion2Fly | 12. Februar 2020

So far, autopilot should be used on highways only... city streets are coming soon with FSD... I would never rely on autopilot on city streets just yet...

2015P90DI | 12. Februar 2020

First mistake, you didn't follow instructions. Do a google search for others that did the same thing as you. Many of them are no longer here to talk about it. I pray, for your sake, you don't make such a stupid mistake again and put your own life at risk because you're too impatient to wait to use your phone when it's legal to do so. Not to mention, but the lives of innocent bystanders at risk.

Thanks for posting your message. Hopefully others can learn from it. Not sure it was a great idea to admit your fault in a public forum, but that's your call.

Per the instructions, DRIVER MUST ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION AND BE READY TO TAKE OVER IN A FRACTION OF A SECOND. LITERALLY, A HALF SECOND CAN BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH. Don't be stupid. Second, it's illegal to text and drive. Again, don't be stupid. Two hugely stupid actions voluntarily done by this driver. Thank god nobody was injured or killed


THIS IS A DRIVER "ASSIST" FEATURE. IT IS NOT AN AUTONOMOUS DRIVING FEATURE. IF USED WITH EVEN THE SLIGHTEST BIT OF INTELLIGENCE AND COMMON SENSE, IT'S A WONDERFUL FEATURE. HOWEVER, TESLA IS IN THE NEWS CONSTANTLY BECAUSE TOO MANY PEOPLE DO AS YOU DID AND END UP DEAD! It's your call, but in my opinion, the potential consequences simply aren't worth it. Messages can wait, they'll still be there when you stop your car. If they can't wait, then take an Uber or hire someone to drive you around so you can spend your time answer messages on your phone.

Sorry, just get annoyed seeing the same mistakes made over and over and over again. You'd think, people would have learned by now. Same actions eventually lead to the same result. Think of it this way, if I ask you "Is an unclouded the Sky Blue?". And then ask you again for the next 30 days, will the answer change?

ReD eXiLe ms us | 12. Februar 2020

So, drinking and driving, shooting up heroine, doing lines of coke on the dashboard, arguing with your spouse, and texting while driving are all expected behavior for someone with the OP's driving skillset, or so we are to believe? I suppose driving while fatigued or during inclement weather are not problems for him either. Oh, but he is 'really scared' by autopilot when it 'fails and tries to kill him' when he is too busy to pay attention while behind the wheel. Ah, such an amazingly informative post this has been. Really. Honest. [FARGIN' BASTIDGE ICEHOLE].

ReD eXiLe ms us | 12. Februar 2020

AWDT: General Motors did it first. In 1956, they called their hands free driving system of the future, due to arrive only 44 years ago 'AUTO PILOT' during their promotional technological fictional showcase called Motorama that showed what would be available in the then far flung future of 1976.

GM Motorama Exhibit 1956 (8:45)

AWDTesla | 13. Februar 2020

Bo ome gives a shit what GM called it in 1956.

derotam | 13. Februar 2020

No sympathy here, you, you nincompoop!

Time to break out the thesaurus to continue this name calling.

andy.connor.e | 13. Februar 2020

Bone head!

HighlandPony | 13. Februar 2020

This one time I was flying from SF to NYC and I got up to use the lavatory. When I did I noticed that the entire flight deck crew was in the galley doing tequila shots with the service staff. I was a little surprised by this, but I still felt safe because I knew the plane was flying on “Autopilot.”

teslamazing | 13. Februar 2020

Rmr pilots have to do their job 100% of the time.

teslamazing | 13. Februar 2020

+Correctly * ^

Alan_F | 13. Februar 2020

90% of drivers think they have above average driving skills.* Since the OP has above average driving/texting skills it's ok for him to do it. Everyone else is the problem.

*60% of statistics you read on the internet were pulled out of thin air.

Magic 8 Ball | 13. Februar 2020

@Alon_F You ignorant slut, the number is 98%.

WW_spb | 13. Februar 2020


WW_spb | 13. Februar 2020

Magic you killed me haha ignorant slut bahaha

Magic 8 Ball | 13. Februar 2020

You know where that comes from, right?

ReD eXiLe ms us | 13. Februar 2020

AWDT: And, who gives a [$#!+] what Elon Musk said in 2006...? Oh, wait... I do.

Who gives a [$#!+] about your feeble attempts to discredit Tesla...? Pretty much no one that truly understands the true nature of the term 'Autopilot' as it refers to aviation. Without fail, EVERY pilot that has frequented these forums since 2014 has verified that Tesla's use of the term is fully appropriate. So, no. Tesla will NOT give up their trademark on 'Autopilot' just do some other as utomotive company can adopt the nomenclature for their inferior 'Eyesight', 'ProPilot', or 'Super Cruise' system.

Alan_F: When it comes to substance abusers, anyone that never follows directions, and all critics of Tesla... 'everyone else' is always the problem.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 13. Februar 2020

Magic 8 Ball: Oh, that's an easy one...

"Jane, you ignorant slut..." -- Dan Akroyd to Jane Curtin, 'Weekend Update -- Saturday Night Live'

Of course, she answered, "Dan, you pompous ass..."

AWDTesla | 13. Februar 2020

ReD eXiLe ms us, calm down clown.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 13. Februar 2020

AWDT: No, you calm down. I read your prior post more closely and realized your intent was to speak in the 'voice' of a Troll, not to actually be one. I apologize. Forgive me.

AWDTesla | 13. Februar 2020

Theres no trolling here. Or pretending too.

No one gives a shit what any manufacturer called their feature back in 1956. Really.

But we can see from the OPs post, calling something Auto pilot has some serious implications. You dont know how many people who still ask me how many KMs I get with the diesel engine they though a tesla comes with. They think the car drives itself. They really do.

Magic 8 Ball | 13. Februar 2020

News Flash: Some people cannot comprehend or take personal responsibility no matter what something is called.

I propose all knives be called: Sharpcancutyou

kevin_rf | 13. Februar 2020

I think the weatherman covered this....