HW1 Speed Assist and school zones

HW1 Speed Assist and school zones

I live near Byrnes High School in Duncan, SC. Main Street runs past the front of the school, and the speed limit drops from 35 mph to 25 mph at the school. When traveling southbound on Main Street Mo Model S detects the speed limit change, and drops the speed assist icon on the IC from 35 to 25 for maybe 100 feet, and then goes back to 35 while still in front of the school. This behavior happens consistently.

I thought this was an isolated local anomaly and I didn't report it; however, yesterday I was traveling north of Burlington, North Carolina, on a 55 mph rural highway and AutoSteer. When I approached a school the car dropped its speed due to the Autosteer limitation as soon as it passed the 35 mph school zone limit, but then a few seconds later it accelerated back to 55 before it had passed the school. This happened three times at three separate schools on my trip. It also failed to recognize another school speed limit entirely.

Later on the trip the car slowed for a change in speed limit on a rural highway and almost immediately resumed normal speed, but this was not a school zone. The instrument cluster speed assist icon showed false 55 mph speed limit signs as well.

I have refresh Model S, HW1 and firmware 17.18.50. The car was in for its 12,000 maintenance less than a week ago.

Anthony J. Parisio | June 5, 2017

From what you described I gather the video camera is setting the car in to the lower speed limit. However when the car passes the sign the GPS's higher speed limit kicks it back up. So another words the two systems are arguing with each other. At least this is my guess.

High Plains Drifter | June 5, 2017

Most people should have the common sense not to employ AP near school zone, work/construction areas, hospitals, accident scene, rail road crossings, etc...

If you don't want to drive then you should call a cab.

JayInJapan | June 5, 2017

OP is describing conditions AP1 is not designed for. I would never use it in such a manner.

croman | June 5, 2017

Wow tough crowd as usual. I agree with @Anthony. I think the ME sign recognition is overriding GPS but only temporarily until GPS reasserts itself after car doesn't see another sign.

UnshodBob | June 5, 2017

Where I live the lower speed limits are conditioned on "when children are present" but, like @JayInJapan, I would not use TACC in those areas, either.

DTsea | June 5, 2017

School zone is a place to pay close attention. I use TACC but set speed to 20 manually (thats our school zone speed). The radar sometimes sees pedestrians quicker than i do.

Where i live 21 mph in 20 mph school zone is a ticket so i dont depend on auto speed set in school zones.

kevin | June 5, 2017

I was not using TACC in the school zone near where I live--read what I wrote,

The other situation was a a 55 mph highway where I had never been before where as school zone popped up out of nowhere. I do hot think that this situation was inappropriate for AutoSteer.

ckcland2 | June 5, 2017

I respectfully disagree. Maybe it's because I have kids in school, or perhaps it's because I own a Tesla and know that AP is not perfect. But I agree with above comments that Autopilot is not appropriate for school zones.

kevin | June 5, 2017

@ ckcland2
Are you saying that one should not ever drive with Autopilot on any uncontrolled highway, just in case there could possibly be a school zone on it?

kevin | June 5, 2017

BTW, school is out for the Summer around here.

ckcland2 | June 5, 2017

I guess that is what I am saying. Let's forget the school zone for a minute. Like JayInJapan wrote earlier, it is designed for divided highways. Perhaps some of the "OG's" around here can correct me, but I believe Tesla has been pretty clear about this.

Like I said before, no disrespect. And I am not 100% certain I am correct. But I am pretty sure I am correct on this one.

PhillyGal | June 5, 2017

Divided highways is still the standard, last time I checked.

There is a school on a street I use nearly every time I leave my house and my car always flashes me for reading the 15 mph sign. I'm driving manually but that feature is always on (or maybe I have it set to on) to warn me I'm speeding. Of course, it doesn't know the school zone sign means when school is actually in session and not summers, weekends, etc.

JayInJapan | June 5, 2017

I don't use AP on undivided highways or roads with cross streets or traffic lights. RTFM--it says limited access roads. If you're using it where cars can enter/exit (I interpret that perpendicular to your car) the road, you're not using it correctly. YMMV.

kevin | June 6, 2017

Jay's point is well taken as to what the manual says. My personal view is that is that it is really a question of attentiveness. I don't see any difference in reacting to a car from the side or a pedestrian whether AutoSteer is on or not. I hit the brake or turn the wheel the same way.

The thread, however, was intended to be about what the car does, not what the driver does. The car is consistently failing to accurately recognize speed limit variations.

kevin | June 6, 2017

Or I could pose the problem in another way. The fault is in the Speed Assist feature. Speed Assist has no limitations in the Owner's manual about where it can be used.

Anthony J. Parisio | June 6, 2017

I agree with JayInJapan. I don't use Autosteer on anything but high way. But I will use TACC in most places.

JayInJapan | June 7, 2017

@kevin, I appreciate your efforts in pushing the envelope on the technology. I just know that AP1 is quite limited in many ways; I can assure you people on the forums are going to speak up when they see it's not being used as intended.

As to your specific example, my experience with school zones in California and Hawaii is that I see "School Zone Abead" signs well before the actual zones. Is that not the case in North Carolina? After seeing School Zone signs, I would have turned off all auto-systems in my car and driven the car myself. I wonder if I'm alone in that thinking.

kevin | June 7, 2017

I don't recall seeing "school zone ahead" signs on my trip. I don't live in North Carolina so I don't know what the standard is. Usually when I see a school zone sign, it is well in advance of the school. It's Summer vacation right now, so the "school zone" signs are not in effect. I thought that the anomaly I saw might be related to the time of day, but near my house I see the Speed Assist speed icon change incorrectly turing active school loading and unloading hours.

Obviously if there are children or school busses around, I'll turn off auto-everything.

kevin | June 7, 2017

My contention is that driving on two-lane rural highways is safer with AutoPilot than without. The reason is that relieving the necessity of staying within the lane allows more concentration on the periphery. Rather than having to focus on one spot on the road, one can put more attention to the side, vehicles approaching an intersection from a distance, an animal approaching or something else.

I first noticed this with conventional cruise control. I felt my awareness widening when I engaged cruise and had one less task to manage.

I drive with two hands on the wheel, so if the car were to decide to lurch into oncoming traffic, it would never get there. Any jerk of the wheel is an immediate alert.

I might add that on some of these rural highways, you can drive 5-10 minutes and never see another car. If there were real traffic, I would probably turn off AutoSteer.

akikiki | September 16, 2019


tolab | October 16, 2019

It seems to me that people have to have a minimum of common sense so as not to do this near the school zone. It is after such stories that there is a desire to use and not let your child out of the house. It is already better to use an essay checker than to suffer in a seemingly safe area.