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Hydroplanning while on autopilot (video no longer linked)

Hydroplanning while on autopilot (video no longer linked)

I took down the video because I was receiving threats.

Was going maybe 70 mph on autopilot. Car started fishtailing and then hydro planning. Normally if my car hydroplanes I don't tap the breaks or the gas...i let it slow down by itself and steer to avoid the fish tail.

In this case, my car just started fish tailing worse and worse and worse and then started doing 360's. My theory is even though auto steer was disabled...TACC was not disabled and the car kept on trying to speed up when it lost traction and kept on trying to speed up more and more. Anyone know if this is TACC would work. Will it only get turned off if I tap the breaks or use the gear shifter?

Getting my tires checked tomorrow (will get new ones if tread is too low). Sent a bug report to Tesla. Trying to learn more why this happened.

jjgunn | July 20, 2019

That's a new one ...

Why were you going so fast on wet roads? Driving like a Californian.

Glad nothing major happened. Glad you're ok.

Did you try to take control or just let the car do its thing??

thomas.hitchcock | July 20, 2019

Driving like a Texan...speed limit was 70. I was roughly going the same speed everyone else was going. The road was completely dry literally 20 seconds earlier in the video.

I grabbed the wheel firm when the car first started fish tailing...but didn't make any drastic movements...was just trying to let the car ease out of the fishtailing itself. I really think the car kept on trying to speed up once it lost traction and had slowed down below my set speed...thus losing more and more traction until it finally spun out of control

jim | July 20, 2019

Thanks for sharing. It will be interesting to see if anyone else reports similar experiences. I would also suggest submitting a bug report to Tesla letting them know what happened. They could pull the logs from your car and should be able to tell you if the car attempted to take over and recover from the situation. Glad you didn't crash!

sixstring09 | July 20, 2019

That's pretty scary. I don't think the vehicle should allow that behavior.

Magic 8 Ball | July 20, 2019

Wild, I don't think the car has a way to know if you are going too fast for road conditions. I would never use AP or EAP under those conditions. Seems like you made it through okay?

Magic 8 Ball | July 20, 2019

From the owners manual:

Limitations
Many factors can impact the performance of
Autopilot components, causing them to be
unable to function as intended. These include
(but are not limited to):
• Poor visibility (due to heavy rain, snow,
fog, etc.).
• Bright light (due to oncoming headlights
.
.
.
.

lbowroom | July 20, 2019

Push up on the stalk to disengage AP

thomas.hitchcock | July 20, 2019

From time to time I get the “poor visibility” warning...that did not happen in this case

thomas.hitchcock | July 20, 2019

@lobowroom yes, wish I would have done that

sky-pilot | July 20, 2019

I agree with Magic 8 Ball, too many variables exist in rain, amount coming down, amount already on the road, wind, etc. I can't believe that Tesla engineers could possibly take all variables into consideration when writing the programming for the TACC. I personally don't use it in rain for that very reason. I can feel when my car moves and starts to hydroplane, I don't think at this point that the computer can. At that point, I immediately let off the "gas" (STS).

@jjgunn, not all Californians drive like idiots, most do, but not all :-)

Magic 8 Ball | July 20, 2019

@thomas Sometimes you just got to override the car and use your judgement. I don't drive like an old man yet but at most I would have been doing maybe 50-55 under those conditions. A little oil slick or road contamination at even at my slow speeds same thing could happen.

Lesson learned, in a very scary way, let us know if TESLA gets back to you.

vmulla | July 20, 2019

Glad you're safe.
I thought any sign of hydroplaning should mean Autopilot or TACC being disabled. It's a lot that happened in those few seconds, can you confirm if TACC was on in those circumstances?

RNB | July 20, 2019

It looks to me like driver error. Went from dry to wet real quick, new rain, the worst time to be out on the roads.

For TSLA AP team, some built in slow down function at such times could be a nice solution. If it is dry and rain suddenly comes, gotta slow down. Same for snow.

vmulla | July 20, 2019

I was sharing about AP performance in adverse weather only yesterday. I remarked that I'd fully support disengaging AP in increment conditions.

I have pushed my luck before with AP in rain/snow, NO MORE after seeing this video. Thank you!

apodbdrs | July 20, 2019

@ thomas.hitchcock, Good to hear you and your car came out safe. I looked at the video a couple of times, it appears you hit a wet area on the road! Maybe there was also some oil on the road that you caught. AP seems to be able to handle fish tailing.

Bighorn | July 20, 2019

CC always goes off in the rain. We get big statewide warning signs on WY highways.
https://lifehacker.com/why-you-shouldn-t-use-cruise-control-in-the-rain-...

Joshan | July 20, 2019

M3 doesnt have Adaptive Cruise

vmulla | July 20, 2019

@Bighorn,
Did you mean that CC *should* go off in the rain?

Also, I would think it shouldn't matter whether CC is on or not. The stability control system should kick in equally quickly no matter how the power was controlled, no?
----

Discussions aside, today's lesson for me is simple. Rain with hydroplaning conditions means Autopilot/TACC should be disabled

howard | July 20, 2019

Bighorn +1

Always turn cruise off rain or snow.

Does AP not have stability control?

Really sounds like AP disengaged leaving only TACC engaged which like all other cruise controls is disastrous when traction is lost.

Amazed and glad you came out unscathed. Wow!

howard | July 20, 2019

Bighorn +1

Always turn cruise off rain or snow.

Does AP not have stability control?

Really sounds like AP disengaged leaving only TACC engaged which like all other cruise controls is disastrous when traction is lost.

Amazed and glad you came out unscathed. Wow!

howard | July 20, 2019

Bighorn +1

Always turn cruise off rain or snow.

Does AP not have stability control?

Really sounds like AP disengaged leaving only TACC engaged which like all other cruise controls is disastrous when traction is lost.

Amazed and glad you came out unscathed. Wow!

Joshan | July 20, 2019

he said that he took hold of the wheel, but does not hit brakes in that situation. I think he kinda said himself it was stuck in TACC.

Hopefully you sent in a bug report after that happened also so Tesla can analyze it! Doesn;t sound quite right.

Bighorn | July 20, 2019

@vmulla
I meant that you are supposed to turn off cruise control in rain or snow. Can't remember if it was my S or 3, but I've felt the CC get squirrelly on highway puddles.

CST | July 20, 2019

@M8B - you are out of line using that language, remember, you've already been contacted by Tesla for similar behavior.

I don't think @FishEV is wrong. Stability control could assist here, just like for many other cars.

kaffine | July 20, 2019

On most cars speed reading is from the drive wheels so if you loose traction your car thinks you are going faster than you actually are and reduces power. If you are driving down a road and you drive wheels loose traction their speed goes up since they don't have traction with the road which is what would slow them down. Most of my cars will turn cruise control off at that point as well.

Now with Tesla and regen braking if it turns cruise control off regen braking will turn on.

@Joshan Adaptive cruise control is an option on Tesla M3. I have it on mine. Tesla refers to it as TACC but the generic name is Adaptive Cruise Control.

Bill Korea | July 20, 2019

As automation makes us into worse drivers, the cases it can't handle are the more difficult ones - the ones that a poor driver hardly ever practices, and probably can't deal with. It doesn't sound like a ideal safety recipe. Instead, maybe automation could be used to make us into better drivers? Not likely.

RoadDevil | July 20, 2019

@M8M,

You often act as if you are the judge of someone's intelligence, yet you seem to have a very limit of vocabulary to express yourself. Even if you cannot help yourself insulting others, can you at least be creative in selecting words to make others think you are using your intelligence? I noticedthat in this forum your most frequently used words are "stupid", "FUD", "troll", etc.., I do not see any intelligence in most of your posts. In other days, you asked what forum rules should be, the one I thought immediately is that I wish the Tesla forum programmer adds a filter so that I can filter you or someone alike not showing up on my browser.

Magic 8 Ball | July 20, 2019

@roaddevil I speak plainly. Words with more that two syllables do not impress me.

An intelligent person would be able to do a simple google search and come up with this:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tesla-forum-enhancement-s/hkbi...

Magic 8 Ball | July 20, 2019

@roaddevil I worked on many patents in my career and I can wordsmith (part of the patent writing process was to use language that was too difficult for most to decipher). These cars are to be sold to the masses if to be successful. I come from a street background, public schools, and state college.

People should not feel like they need to use ten dollar words to be part of TESLA. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy looking up words I am unfamiliar with but when I communicate I am talking to people that can relate to my language. I am sorry you disapprove but that's my story.

The human brain is capable of many things including filtering. There is one person who regularly blames everything but themselves for not being able to filter me and it has provided endless amusement each time.

RoadDevil | July 20, 2019

@m8b,

Thanks but no thanks. I got "this item is incomparable with your device", I guess I need to buy a new device to filter you out. I need to think about it. Maybe it is worth it.

Tronguy | July 20, 2019

Hmm. So, my understanding with anti-lock brakes and stability control was there was one sensor per wheel pointing down at the pavement while another sensor kept track of the turning of the wheel. When a wheel locked up but the car was still moving, random computers would kick in, modulate the heck out of the brakes and/or gas, and keep the car from flipping ends. As it happens my other car is a Prius; in the presence of skids and such it would very abruptly switch from regen braking, say, to regular brakes on all four wheels and dive into its anti-lock thing. Further, in significant snow, attempts to get that car to swap ends were useless, at least by my driving skills; the car would hike to a 30 degree angle and stay there, modulating gas and brakes as it did so. Besides, there's all those great videos of Priuses climbing steep icy driveways by madly modulating the driving wheels: I'm sure the Model 3 can do that, too.
So, while I agree that the OP should probably not have been in any variant of cruise control, the technology exists, I think, in the car to detect when things are going south and to Do Stuff to at least keep the car in lane. I mean.. think of black ice, of which many have reported the sudden, surprise onslaught of. Heck, I've been nailed twice by the stuff, once on an offramp in Indiana (I managed to stop short of the Tee intersection at the bottom of the hill, after seeing some poor shmoe go straight through ahead of me. And it didn't stop grandpa, who must have seen my brakes flashing madly for a hundred yards, from obliviously discovering that turning the steering wheel on black ice doesn't do much.), and a second time on ye good old Garden State Parkway (I fishtailed, recovered, and then the idiot to my right also lost control and punted me into snowy weeds.)
So, my opinion is that the OP's car should have disengaged everything on its own and gone into keep-itstraight mode. I sincerely hope that the video and a bug report are on their way to Tesla right this very minute. This is where an OTA update can do some good.

DAlexModel3 | July 21, 2019

I get a "page does not exist" on twitter clicking your link at top.

thomas.hitchcock | July 21, 2019

@dalexmodel3 yeah I deleted the video from twitter...I started getting threats and got tired of it. I did send a report to Tesla, getting my tires checked today, and will from now on use my gear stalk to disengage from autopilot when things get dicey.

In this case, I am still not 100% sure if TACC was disengaged or not, but the only explanation of why things got so bad out of control I can think of is either (1) the wheels kept on automatically putting down more and more power or (2) the car’s over ride safety procedures reacted super weird to the car on the shoulder.

n7vdr1 | July 21, 2019

if you turned off ap by taking control of the steering wheel then tacc was still on.

calvin940 | July 21, 2019

@n7vdr1 | July 21, 2019

"if you turned off ap by taking control of the steering wheel then tacc was still on."

That is the behaviour under normal driving parameters but this situation is different so we can't assume this especially if OP cannot state what was going on with any certainty.

Bighorn | July 21, 2019

Once the tires lose contact with the tarmac, not unlike going off a cliff, nannies are moot. Physics.

Magic 8 Ball | July 21, 2019

When a car loses contact there is nothing that can be done until the car regains contact. What "safeties" are there for a car doing 70 mph on top of water or flying in the air. How many days will it take to get you to get this one fish?

Magic 8 Ball | July 21, 2019

Do other cars have flaps?

jjgunn | July 21, 2019

@jjgunn, not all Californians drive like idiots, most do, but not all :-)
--------
I hear ya...I live in the Bay Area so I see it daily. ;-)

When the first rain hits, I usually stay off the road because there will be 100+ incidents with a fatality or 2. Friggin war zone out there when first rain hits.

Can't stop watching @thomas.hitchcock video. That's a huge heads up during bad weather. Thanks again for sharing

Magic 8 Ball | July 21, 2019

It ENDS when people learn to drive.

howard | July 21, 2019

Tronguy +1

When a wheel locked up but the car was still moving, random computers would kick in, modulate the heck out of the brakes and/or gas, and keep the car from flipping ends.

Bighorn | July 21, 2019

I see there are a range of IQs present here.

Magic 8 Ball | July 21, 2019

FFS braking and accelerating will do nothing when you have almost zero friction between tires and road. The car broke contact with the road, nothing can be done after. At first sign of fishtail even letting off go pedal with no regen would not have helped. Newton first law covers this.

Magic 8 Ball | July 21, 2019

No car is self driving at this stage of the game.

Tronguy | July 21, 2019

@M8B: Once a car has well and truly lost friction with the ground, I agree: It's a hocky puck skizzing all over the place. As we all know, the ways to prevent hydroplaning are (a) not driving when it's wet out, (b) using tires that have significant tread left, and (c) slowing down when the water gets thick. Beyond that, we've got black ice issues, where the friction goes from significant to near-zero very, very quickly.
Thing is, in the transition from traction to no traction, there are things that can be done. Driver's ed back in the 60's said, "Off the gas, no sudden movements, pray, and wait for the car to slow down." Cars with more weight in the front tend to stabilize with the weighty end towards the front; I believe that original VW's tended to swap ends for that reason. (May have that backwards.)
Still, the OP's case definitely sounds like one of those corner cases; even with little traction, traction doesn't precisely go to zero in these cases, so spinning up a wheel/slowing down a wheel/steering funny might at least aim the car straight. So, I don't think anybody is expecting miracles from Tesla, but they _might_ be able to do something.
They do have that snowy test track up in Alaska. Wonder if they've tried black ice on it?

jjgunn | July 21, 2019

Bighorn | July 21, 2019
I see there are a range of IQs present here.
-------
Hope I'm in the upper portion.

Magic 8 Ball | July 21, 2019

@Tronguy Yes, no sudden movements (reminds me of a cheers skit). In this case the car was going way too fast to begin with. It was a step function and it would have taken a considerable amount of slowing down first to regain contact.

No one has a control algorithm for a mass production car that turns the wheels into rudders or flight surfaces.

walnotr | July 21, 2019

There is no substitute for the coefficient of friction.

kaffine | July 21, 2019

@Tronguy There is no sensor looking at the road. Newer systems have 1 sensor per wheel to determine the speed of the wheel. It compares it to what the other wheels are doing and tables that show how fast it can realistically change speed and maintain traction. They can also tie in the engine/motor controller so it knows the power going to the wheels. If the drive wheels go from 30mph to 50mph quickly without more power be sent to the wheels it means they have lost traction.

vmulla | July 21, 2019

Hydroplaning happens. Just tell me if TACC got disabled in that situation - I would expect it to, just had to ask because of OPs description.

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