One pedal driving and unintended acceleration

One pedal driving and unintended acceleration

I've been driving ICE cars and trucks for 30 years and have muscle memory for the accelerator and brake pedals. But since the 'hold' stopping mode became available last November, I mostly leave my foot in a fixed position over the accelerator and move up and down only. I seldomly move my foot side to side because I rarely need to press the brake. While I vastly prefer this, I wonder if I'm training myself to eventually forget the side to side movement, and then in an emergency to stomp on the accelerator rather than the brake. One pedal driving has not been around long enough to contribute to the supposed unintended acceleration reported against Tesla, but I have to wonder if it will become a factor later on.

ken.lunde | January 17, 2020

I have been using one-pedal driving ever since the hold feature was added. I have been in a few situations in which I needed to push the actual brake pedal, and my many years of driving instincts kicked in to depress the brake pedal by shifting my foot. In other words, I am not experiencing the potential problem that you described.

gmr6415 | January 17, 2020

@albert123, Not quite the same, but my riding mowers both have one pedal driving as well as two tractors that don't need actual braking very often. I've been using them for decades. I haven't lost the feel for where the brake pedal is on any of our vehicles.

I also switch between the M3, a 2010 Prius and a 1997 Dodge Dakota. The biggest problem I have is getting out with the Prius and the Dakota still running and walking away.

kjmori | January 18, 2020

Funny you should post this -- I, too, have used Hold mode, and can get through 99% of my commute that way.

Just this week, I was going downhill, foot off the accelerator, in full regen mode, and pushed my right stalk up to disengage AutoPilot. I must've pushed it just a bit too long, and the car slipped into Neutral, and with the combination of losing regen and going downhill, I started accelerating like mad (at least compared to full regen).

I spent an entire second completely perplexed and dumbfounded as to what was going on; why I wasn't decelerating, etc, before I remembered I had brakes. I had an open road in front of me, so I went ahead and calmly shifted into Drive, regen kicked in, and all was well.

If I was coming up on backed up traffic....? I'd like to think that decades of driving instinct would've kicked in and I would've slammed on the brakes, plus not to mention collision warning would've gone off, and I'm sure that alert would've moved my foot over to the brakes. If not... well, hopefully it would've stopped my car.

All that being said, once I accidentally kicked it into Neutral, I certainly would've appreciated an audible tone + gigantic screen display flashing alert telling me I'm suddenly in Neutral + regen OFF at freeway speeds.

noleaf4me | January 18, 2020

The biggest problem I have is getting out with the Prius and the Dakota still running and walking away.

@gmr6415 - do we fix that problem? IMHO - get rid of the Prius and Dakota and go 100% Tesla ;-)

kevin_rf | January 18, 2020

I'm confused, I have the setting for one pedal driving (hold mode, strong regen) and my foot still goes to the brake when needed. How is this really going to be an issue?

Now forgetting to turn the car off, forgetting to turn the lights off, or forgetting the keys in the ICE I can see. I did that to many ICE's even when I was still driving the Prius.

Patrick | January 18, 2020

Exiting an ICE and walking away with the engine still running has already tripped me up about three times - the worst was the time a neighbor stopped by asking why the truck was running outside with no one in it...

My wife still laughs when I hop into her SUV and start pushing and pulling on the wiper stalk to get going...

RichardKJ | January 18, 2020

I walked away from our Camry Hybrid a couple times without turning it off. Since the engine wasn't running after parking there was no audible clue that the car was still on. As suggested above the solution was to go to 100% Tesla.

HighlandPony | January 18, 2020

Other EVs have had one pedal driving for years. Why don’t we see flashy headlines about Leafs launching themselves through storefronts?

To disengage autopilot you push the stalk up. To set neutral you push the stalk down and hold for 2 seconds. Exactly how do you accidentally put the car into neutral when disengaging AP? Sounds a bit fishy.

rfpmoxie | January 18, 2020

Well, finally being old is helpful! Although severely criticized over the years, ever since my last standard shift (1990's Jetta) I've been using my left foot for the brake. As with others I'm thrilled with 1 pedal driving and on those occasions when the brake is necessary I'm all over it!

Twochewy | January 18, 2020

So far, my brain just changes the "profile" when I drive different cars. Shifting my foot from accelerator to brake in an emergency is the same, but hover over brake is totally different. My wife doesn't drive the Tesla much, so her profile is set to creep. Drives more like an ICE that way, but not quite as energy efficient. Our Audi has the wiper fluid button on the end of the wiper stalk. Wasn't thinking and did that driving the Tesla -- it emergency braked (accidentally pushed the "park" button). Never did that again!

BuffaloBillsFan | January 18, 2020

There is one stretch of road between my house and work where the speed limit drops from 70 to 55. On cruise control, I usually just press the speed limit sign to slow down. However, on this stretch, the cruise ramps up from 64 (9 miles over speed limit where I set it) to 79 (24 miles over speed limit). This lasts for maybe 500 feet before the cruise resets to 60 (????) for about 100 feet before resetting to 65 (????). This is reliable and reproduceable. Not sure why this happens. Also I don’t know how to make Tesla aware of this.

There is another stretch of rural road on my way home from work where the car will suddenly decelerate to 40 MPH (55 MPH zone) and then re-accelerate to 64 MHP (my setting). I assume this has to do with a tree that partially hangs over the road, though I am not sure of that. Again, it happens every time.

Not that I really care, but I guess that Tesla could use that information. How do you report it? I know, RTFM, but I’m too lazy to do so. . .

BuffaloBillsFan | January 18, 2020

That should read “How do I report it?”

Harriscott | January 18, 2020

When it happens, press the mic and say without pausing "bug report phantom breaking happens here every time".

(Something like that. I've no idea if it makes a dent, but at least you tried.)

BumblebeEV | January 18, 2020

It happened to me when I first installed the winter tires and was using regen from releasing the accelerator pedal. The regen sensors do not work with the softer winter tires when it’s 20 degrees outside and the car suddenly stopped regen and it felt like a relative acceleration and almost read ended another car.

Now I always have my foot near my brake pedal at all time.
There is no such thing as one pedal driving.

PECo CT | January 18, 2020


“ I must've pushed it just a bit too long, and the car slipped into Neutral, and with the combination of losing regen and going downhill, I started accelerating like mad (at least compared to full regen).”

NEUTRAL! The same thing happened to me, but I never figured it out. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

BuffaloBillsFan | January 18, 2020

“Bug report.” Thanks I will remember that and bug report on Tuesday when I drive home.

billtphotoman | January 19, 2020

I actually think one-pedal driving makes it less likely I will press the accelerator pedal when I meant to press the brake pedal because my right foot isn't constantly moving between pedals. I have also adopted the left foot is for friction braking approach mentioned by @rfpmoxie.

apodbdrs | January 19, 2020

A short seller that doesn't even own a Tesla started the whole thing.

"That NHTSA Tesla “Sudden Unintended Acceleration” Petition? Created By A TSLA Short Seller Who Doesn’t Own A Tesla
Submitted by leo33 on January 19, 2020

Tesla Short Seller Files Negative Petition On Tesla & Promotes It To The Media. And Water Is Wet."

Tesla2018 | January 19, 2020

Every car I've ever owned before the Tesla for the last 45 years was a stick shift. The first couple days after I had the car, I automatically used my left foot to step on the non-existent clutch pad while reaching for a non-existent shifter when coming to a stop!

Sarah R | January 20, 2020

@Tesla2018 I heard that some people buy cars with a stick because it works as an anti-theft device.