What type of sensor is used to detect if your hand(s) is/are on the steering wheel?

What type of sensor is used to detect if your hand(s) is/are on the steering wheel?

I often get the warning about putting the hands on the steering wheel or the autopilot will be disabled, even when my hands are on the steering wheel! And when they are not and I then proceed to put one or both on the steering wheel, the warning sometimes doesn't go away. I find that a slight wiggle works, but I was wondering what type of sensor is used. Does anyone know for sure (no guesses please)? BTW, I've never used gloves when driving my Tesla in case that's an issue.


djharrington | 21 février 2018

It senses torque applied to the wheel. I simply place a hand hanging off the lower left side when cruising the highway and never get the message due to the small torque applied. If I have both hands on, sometimes they balance out, zeroing the torque and giving me the message.

rxlawdude | 21 février 2018

I see @PD hasn't been here with his solution for overriding this safety feature.

Goose | 21 février 2018

@dude ... that’s because the duct tape failed and the weights dropped on his foot. He ought to recover in time to cook up another scheme.

alfred | 21 février 2018

Ah, so it's a mechanical sensor, or at least not a capacitive touch sensor. I'll give it a try on my way home today.

rxlawdude | 21 février 2018

@Goose, perhaps using Pb he was lead away?

EVRider | 21 février 2018

Here's what it says in the Model S manual: "Autosteer detects your hands by recognizing light resistance as the steering wheel turns, or from you manually turning the steering wheel very lightly (i.e., without enough force to retake control)."

I find that I rarely get the "Hold Wheel" nag because I keep (at least) one hand on the wheel and sometimes make minor course corrections, which meets the "light resistance" requirement without taking over control. One of the more common course corrections I have to make is when using Auto Lane Change to enter or leave an HOV lane with double dashed lane markers; if the double lane markers are too far apart, I sometimes have to nudge the car to complete the lane change.

Goose | 22 février 2018

@dude ... or the Cu arrested him for erratic driving

rxlawdude | 22 février 2018

@Goose, elemental.

TabascoGuy | 22 février 2018

You guys are solid Au.

I have to go now but I'll check back periodically.

Goose | 22 février 2018

Ok ... we can table it for now.