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Spotting curbs

Spotting curbs

I have had my MX (100D with FSD) for six weeks now. Love the vehicle. However, I have one complaint about my MX—maneuvering near curbs. In my previous Audi A6 and my wife’s BMW 428 the camera systems create an accurate image of where curbs (and other obstructions) are located 360 degrees around the cars. Both of these cars are so easy to fit into very tight spaces or maneuver out of crowded parking lots. However, the MX only provides good views in the rear camera. Has MX drivers developed any techniques to allow them to estimate accurately where curbs are? With all the sensors that are already available on the current Teslas, why hasn’t the automaker provided some of the visual aids that are available on many other premium vehicles?

Another issue: is there a search function on this forum to determine whether other have asked a similar question?

ScooterJim | May 8, 2019

I have scraped the curb several times because I unable accurately judge because the hood slopes so much, it is out of my eye sight. I have created an assistance device. After parking perfectly, I taped a front sight on the dash (similar to a rifle front sight). It has worked well so far. If the windshield wiper arms were visible, I would use them like most of the cars I have owned,

Vawlkus | May 9, 2019

I use the ultrasonic sensors, and set my suspension to low so they can detect curbs.

Efleck | May 9, 2019

I put wheel rim protectors on the wheels to help me avoid curb rash. But ScooterJim's suggestion sounds interesting. However, I am not sure how this sight works. I use a similar arrangement in my garage with a hanging ball about where the front windshield will stop aligned with a strip of colored paper on the back garage wall. Think of the range markers you would find in a river navigation system. It works well. However, I do not understand where you would put the marker on the dash and what it will align with.

I will today try Vawlkus' suggestion to put suspension on low and see if the ultrasonic sensors pick up the curbs. That would be an easy fix.

Thanks for these two suggestions.

jjgunn | May 9, 2019

The MX is a Yacht. Thing is a beast. It's a Sherman tank on the roads.

Try the Auto Park feature when you have an opportunity. It works really well & will give you some pointers when parking on your own.

Agree with Vawlkus. Low but mine is set to low 99.9% of the time.

ScooterJim | May 10, 2019

@Efleck, after I park the beast perfectly, I used heavy duty doubleside tape and install something vertical (could be a wood dowel) that is tall enough and line it up with the top of the curb. Use the same eye to line up the vertical item with the top of the curb. I used a wooden bead from a broken seat cushion and one of my star bit adapter that I would never use and inserted inside the wooden bead so it would stand up higher. Fantastic jury rig by a mechanical engineer. Everything is black so it is not that noticeable, but the Tesla service center technician and everyone else ask "what is that?", and I have to explain and then they understands. Total height is about 1"

Efleck | May 11, 2019

ScotterJIm, your solution sounds interesting. However, a picture would help a lot. Could you send me one at efleck@hsc.edu?

timmacksey | May 12, 2019

Scooter Jim - could you send me a picture of your “McGiver” solution please- timmacksey@gmail.com

TeslaTap.com | May 13, 2019

For sides, at least when backing up, I set the mirrors to see the side of the car/curb. Makes it easier to see where the curbs are. Remember that it remembers the side mirror's backup position in your profile separately from the going forward position.

Backup lines on the review also help. Of course none of this helps when moving forwards.

Efleck | May 14, 2019

TeslaTap: I agree with you that back-up visualization is excellent. I find backing my MX into tight spaces VERY easy. However, pulling into parking spaces with a low curb barrier and pulling alongside a low curb present a challenge. I am so chary about damaging the undercarriage or causing wheel rash that I tend to stand off far too much from these low curbs. I have my mirrors adjusted when in reverse and that is great. I have also tried lowering the MX suspension to extra low hoping that the sensors will pick up the low curbs--no such luck. Lowering the MX when pulling into a parking space with low front curb then presents a possible problem of the lower front of the MX scrapping the top of the low curb. As I wrote in my original post why can't Tesla have included the types of visual presentations that my former Audi A6 had. I could "see" these low curbs easily. and could park adjacent to them without worry. After six weeks of ownership this is the only issue that concerns me.

TeslaTap.com | May 14, 2019

@Efleck - I expect the reason 360 curb cameras are not include is likely cost. Of course I could ask why didn't your Audi A6 include 8 cameras for a AP future upgrade :) Lots of choices each automaker makes as to what options/features to include at the desired price. I agree curb view would be useful, but Tesla may have felt auto-park reduced the need. If it was a $1000 option, I wonder how many would have bought it. I'd likely have skipped it at that price. For $200 I would go for it. For fun, I checked the latest Audi A6, and it costs $3800 to get the 360 view in a package with other stuff. It's not included in the base A6.

Vawlkus | May 15, 2019

The 360 view is rumored to be in development for a future software release, it’s just not a priority right now.

TeslaTap.com | May 15, 2019

@Vawlkus - NO. The cameras are not pointed at the curbs, so no amount of software can create a image where there is no camera coverage for the sides and front. Cars with 360 degree parking views have cameras installed in different locations than Tesla uses, pointing downward to see the sides and very front of the car.

Now it is possible Tesla will add new cameras and/or change the location of existing cameras in a future car, but I've not heard anything like this being done.

Vawlkus | May 15, 2019

*shrug* I said it was a rumor, make of it what you will.

mbp11 | May 15, 2019

What are these rim protectors that were mentioned? I am always interested in protecting my investment.

I am kinda cautious about my wheels and tires and curbs. There have been reports of tires being damaged easily and rims and even steering arms being broken.

TeslaTap.com | May 15, 2019

Here's one rim protector for the Model S to understand what they look like: https://evannex.com/products/wheel-bands

Many sellers, but I didn't see one for the X in a quick look around.

If you're hitting a curb hard enough to break the steering arms, no protector will help. Never heard of that happening, but I sure someone has run into a curb at 30 mph causing damage. Not healthy.

It's not that easy to damage the tires either, but 30 mph into a curb may do it. The protectors are really for very low speed, when you misjudge the curb and it scrapes the rim. Sadly, many of us have done that when we first get the car and don't have a good feeling for the width of the vehicle :(

TeslaTap.com | May 15, 2019

@Vawlkus - I didn't mean to come down hard on you. I understand you're relaying what you've heard. The software 360 down view comes up every month or so for years now. I can't see it happening strictly from technical reason. It's one of those features that seems like a simple software would do it, when it's really not possible with the current cameras.

Luisito | May 15, 2019

The top down camera view was discussed in a recent tweet that Elon Musk responded to. See this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/UI4FjYOJ2SA - Fast forward to 1:45... He responded “How about being able to look through any of the cameras?”, but agree the cameras don’t point down. Maybe a work around...

TeslaTap.com | May 16, 2019

Being able to view the cameras on-screen would be cool. At a minimum, you could easily tell if one is dirty. Just not too useful for curbs.