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Autopilot no response before fender bender

Autopilot no response before fender bender

Driving in my HW2 Model S recently after update to 20.4.3. Stop and go traffic on a 2-lane road, autopilot active and moving me along with 3-5 Mph slow traffic flow. I am attentive, but change focus inside the cockpit for a minute to type in an address into the Nav. Car on my right had begun to merge into my lane due to traffic stopped in front of him. My car's systems never reacted to the encroaching vehicle on my right front corner. Noticed it just in time to slam on the brakes but bumped/hit him anyway in his drivers door with my front right corner. There were no alerts, alarms, evasive action, or other indication from the car that we were about to collide.

For some minutes before, I had sent in 3 'bug reports' through the voice control regarding the car performing severe braking a couple times when it saw some power lines (similar to what we've all experienced with an overpass), and once where there was no apparent obstacle that might confuse it.

I wrote Tesla service about it all, and they called back and said they'll review logs to see if any errors with the software or sensors, but it'll take a few weeks since the incursion resulted in an accident.

Ironically, after the braking incidents a bit before the accidents, I had thought to pull over and to a hard boot on the car to try and clear up any glitch that may have occurred after the update...

I've been so enthusiastic on Autopilot and its capabilities, and the various videos online of avoided accidents are exciting. I'm just so disappointed in this experience, that the car's systems failed me, and that now I'm relegated to the hassle of getting quotes from shops, waiting for parts, being without my car for however long, etc etc. My trust and reliance on the autopilot system has waned significantly, and now I can't help but wonder if all those videos of successful autopilot intervention were just the exceptions...

acerfacer | July 13, 2019

"I am attentive, but change focus ..."

Oxymoron?

AmpedRealtor | July 13, 2019

"I am attentive, but change focus inside the cockpit for a minute to type in an address into the Nav."

I stopped reading after that. The car didn't fail you, you failed you.

bernhard | July 13, 2019

I had a similar experience, just with AP1, and it seems the front right corner is a blind spot. No warnings before impact, even though it was low speed (like 15 km/h). You cannot rely on the ultrasound sensors at any speed above approx half the walkingspeed.

EVRider | July 13, 2019

It's hard to say what would have happened if you hadn't braked -- once you braked, you disabled AP and emergency braking.

By the way, voice control works very nicely to enter navigation destinations, and doesn't require you to take your eyes off the road. Entering destinations on the touchscreen is no better than texting, and you shouldn't be doing either while driving, even with AP. If you had been paying attention, you would have avoided the accident, so don't blame Tesla.

RedJ | July 14, 2019

We all know that we’re supposed to remain in control of our cars while on autopilot. That being said this is something that the software should be able take care of these days (early on in AP2 merging traffic was a significant issue). It will be interesting to hear what Tesla engineers determine. In the mean time it’s a good reminder to us that we don’t have DSD yet.

lilbean | July 14, 2019

Give me a brake.