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Holding steering wheel while in autopilot

Holding steering wheel while in autopilot

I often get the warning message "apply light pressure to steering wheel" after several minutes of driving with AP engaged even though my hands are already on the wheel. I typically re-position my hands or apply more pressure and sometimes the message goes away, but frequently I get scolded for not having my hands on the wheel and AP gets disengaged for the remainder of the drive. Very annoying. Is there an optimal way to place your hands on the steering wheel to avoid this? Or maybe I have a steering wheel sensor problem?

ajdelange | January 2, 2019

Does it really say "light pressure" or does it say "light force"? I think it's the latter. The system will not respond to just your hands being on the wheel. You must provide a small control input too (i.e. fight the system just a wee bit). Of course if your input is too large the system will think you are trying to take over and shut down (as it should). It should only take you a couple of tries to figure out how much is too little and how much is too much.

Redmiata98 | January 2, 2019

You need to adjust to the Nanny Nag that was instituted about 2 years ago or so. Tesla claims that they are “refining” and “fine tuning” the required steering wheel torque “sensed” to keep your AP functional. It is an overreaction to preclude drivers who lack common sense from crashing their vehicles. The draconian institution of the Nanny Nag by Tesla provides an unrequired challenge to balance the minimum level of torque that is enough to keep AP active with too much which throws you out of AP. This WAS a great system before the Nanny Nag which was layered because folks were doing irrational distracting things instead of focusing on safe driving.

mrevman | January 2, 2019

Operator error on my part. Didn’t realize it was sensing torque on the wheel. Worked fine after I got the hang of it. Thanks.

wluk | January 3, 2019

I thought it said "light pressure" as well. no wonder it didn't work :)

jimglas | January 3, 2019

I find rolling left scroll wheel works fine and doesn't change the volume noticeably

jjgunn | January 3, 2019

@jimglas with the Pro-Tip.

Nice job.

kbanners | January 9, 2019

I am not sure if this has changed in the last update but it feels like we need a white knuckle grip at exactly 10 and 2 on the wheel. It almost becomes uncomfortable to drive and we have just started using cruise control and steer ourselves that is way easier on the hands.

patswin | January 9, 2019

“it feels like we need a white knuckle grip at exactly 10 and 2 on the wheel”

If you have your hands at the 10 and 2 position, it seems your hands would be canceling each other out. This would result in very little to no torque and getting the nag correct?

jjgunn | January 9, 2019

Clockwise or counter-clockwise torque on the wheel -- NOT in & out toward windshield and drivers chest

mbp11 | January 9, 2019

I have been wrestling about how to deal with this and used to flip one of the scroll wheels now and then, but what works for me now is to old the steering wheel below the cross support with my left hand and just exert about 1/2 pound of pressure to the left or right, so I can feel the car steering movement. I just relax, leave my hand slightly dragging on the steering wheel one way or another and go with the flow. This works very well for long distances.

At a Supercharger recently I was talking with a Model S owner who told me about his experiences driving back from a family vacation in San Diego with the old software. He was tired and told his family not to let him fall asleep. Well, when he woke up, he was in LA traffic, and the whole family was asleep! He had no idea how long he had been asleep. The Tesla took him through!

Redmiata98 | January 9, 2019

...one can always hope that they COMPLETELY ELIMINATE THE NANNY NAG, but then again my winning the Powerball is more likely ;-(

Tâm | January 10, 2019

I use the weight of my arm to create a constant counter torque. My fingers hold the steering wheel at all time so I can feel the automation torque at all times and correct it easily and instantly.

ajdelange | January 10, 2019

Should be easy enough to defeat it if you want to but I certainly would not want to. I have fallen asleep at the wheel (happens to us old guys) in other vehicles and presumably if I did that with the Tesla the beeping would wake me up. Seems it's just what I need as is.

kenj | January 11, 2019

When Elon was on 60 Minutes showing AP he had his hands on the bottom of the steering wheel. I did more like 7 / 4 or a 10 / 4 on an NoP drive from NY to Fl.

mbp11 | January 17, 2019

Another comment about the wisdom of holding on to the steering wheel even while on autopilot. I was driving home eastbound on 580 in the San Francisco Bay Area during our heavy torrential rains yesterday on auto drive (not auto navigate). Needless to say, visibility of the road was poor in the dark because of the water, reflections from the water on the road and not being able to see the fading lane marks in our Bay Area roads. I now monitor auto drive with my left hand firmly on the steering wheel, exerting a little down or up pressure based on where the road is turning, to keep the nagging from the car away.

Just after the 580/238 merge, the road lane markings moved away from the original "poured" concrete edges of the lane, there was slight lane shift, and what do you know, the car started to follow the concrete edges and not the lane markings. Off the car went into another lane! Fortunately there were no cars next to me, just in front and behind, and when my hand detected the sudden movement of the wheel, I twisted the wheel to stay in the correct lane and that turned auto drive off.

Once I caught my breath and my heart stopped beating so rapidly, I made sure that the lanes were clear ahead and resumed the drive home with auto drive cautiously reapplied. I am certain that the cars behind me thought I was either a drunk driver or falling asleep. Message here is that although it is a cool tool, you really need to monitor what the car is doing and be able to take over quickly.

Mike P

jjgunn | January 17, 2019

EAP / NoAP is limited in poor weather. You should receive a pop-up telling you this when on NoAP. I did yesterday & I drive on the exact same road. Weather was terrible yesterday

mbp11 | January 17, 2019

So you know what I am talking about. Were you following behind me? ;-/

I have never gotten the warning on auto drive about limited functionality because of poor weather, but I have received the warning with Navigate on Autopilot.

You are right, auto drive is a tool that if you use, you have to carefully understand its limitations and be ready to take over. That was my message!

Blueskies | January 17, 2019

There's no way to appease the nags without AP shutting off eventually. If you're not willing to accept that it's basically a toy at this stage of development, don't buy it, but I'm sure Elon's team will work it out eventually. I don't regret paying for EAP and FSD to support the mission. My 2018 model X is still an amazing car!

Redmiata98 | January 22, 2019

When I got my 2016, I did not notice the Nanny Nag but I certainly notice it today. It is especially noticeable when it cancels while you are on the interstate when putting it into park for resetting is literally a nonstarter!