Simple but effective idea for all tesla models.

Simple but effective idea for all tesla models.

I was watching the dreaded top gear when i noticed that they and many other people often get car stuck in mud, and one of the solutions to unstick the car is to rock it untill it get out of the holes it sank or dug into

Although the premise and idea is very good and sound, the problem is combustion cars can only drive "forwards or backwards" in a gear, there is no split second switching which means the rock motion relies on gravity.

If Tesla were to make a simple algorithm that uses the ready built sensors in their cars to create a rocking motion, they could effectively make a software feature called "unstick" or "mud" etc that would automatically rock the car out of the mud, it could be adaptive for mud that gives way and sand or stone that simply loose grip to the tyres etc.

Feel free to take my idea! although i would appreciate acknowledgement.

Regards Jared

Noah.S | 5 mars 2013

That's a great idea! Not only mud or sand, but snow too! I've done enough pushing in Canada during the winter.

So long as the transmission can take the stress of switching the wheel rotation direction, and wouldn't run over the people trying to push it out.

danielccc | 5 mars 2013

I think this is the most interesting idea I have seen posted on these forums yet. I don't know if the drive train allows rapid and precise enough control, but that's some very clever thinking right there.

Noah, I think the concept is that nobody would need to do any pushing. For safety, the rocking algorithm should stop the car if it unsticks backwards. It might even be possible to maximize the chance of the unstick happenning on the forward swing.

TeslaRocks | 5 mars 2013

Snow for sure. The ideal is to make a car that never gets stuck, but since that will never happen, Jared's idea is worth exploring further. Perhaps it could be introduced with the pick-up or an eventual jeep, models their owners are more likely to drive in challenging conditions (or at least goes the dream). If proven successful, all models could benefit, especially if free to replicate because it is software.

TeslaRocks | 5 mars 2013

But of course it will need safeguards to make sure it is not mistakenly activated while cruising down the highway.

Brian H | 5 mars 2013

Are you jealous that, despite your "name", you didn't come up with this? ;) LOL

TeslaRocks | 5 mars 2013

Haha, great one Brian!

olanmills | 5 mars 2013

Expected a wind turbine/haul a generator/solar panels thread.

Entered thread.

Better than expected.

Seriously though, good idea. I wonder if the computer can be made to understand when the car has been freed of the mud/snow/whatever and gained traction, or I suppose, it could be as simple as cutting of the "mud mode" as soon as the driver presses either pedal.

TeslaRocks | 5 mars 2013

I think it should be a "Get unstuck" feature accessible on the screen with a PIN (like the Roadster has to start it), and of course only when the car is parked or has very low speed. The way it could work is that the go pedal would then work a little differently: instead of forward and regen it would be forward and backward when foot is lifted from pedal. Also, the speed responsiveness should be greatly reduced compared to normal mode, providing only torque and acting like a lower gear. We all know that flooring it and spinning the wheels is not helpful in getting unstuck, and only beginners do that... at least on ice that's true. The "Get unstuck" feature will immediately and automatically be replaced by normal driving once the break pedal is pressed. Only problem is the great danger if someone forgets to press the break pedal and the car backs up uncontrolled, possibly getting stuck again (the funny scenario) or crushing someone who was pushing (the tragic scenario). I think the solution is that the Get Unstuck feature should disengage not with the break pedal but simply when foot is taken off the go pedal. So there would be the ability to slowly rock forward by pressing, then rock backward by releasing somewhat, and eventually get out of the Get Unstuck mode when foot comes off the go pedal. Whatever might come out of this, the engineers must make sure that the feature is 100% safe and foolproof before it can be added to any vehicle.

danielccc | 6 mars 2013

I don't think a human can reliably time this. We seem to be clocked around 12 Hz or so, and there are some additional sensory delays caused by the suspension response and the lack of visual feedback for the driver, who would not be watching either wheel, let alone both.

So the feature should be fully automatic. I agree it should cut off when either pedal is pressed. I also think it should cut off if the unstick happens on the backwards swing.

dstiavnicky | 6 mars 2013

Although technically possible, the immediate complexities bestowed on the driver with steering direction and wanting to get out going forward or backwards does not make it anything but an accident waiting to happen.
Parking in snow between cars would require distance (parking) sensors to get involved too. Which we don't have yet... mind you they would see the snow pile and stop anyway.

TeslaRocks | 6 mars 2013

Yeah too dangerous and complicated. Besides, the air suspension with the lift feature is much more promising, since the problem anyway is when a car gets wedged up and there is not enough weight on the wheels.

TeslaRocks | 6 mars 2013

On ice the problem with 4 wheel drive might have been that the wheel with the least resistance (because it is on ice) will turn the most while the wheels that have more grip get no power... but Tesla software for AWD models and 4x4s will solve that, I am sure. Proof will come along when some off-road vehicle, maybe the pick-up, comes along and shows people what a 4x4 should be like... and make everyone drool. Tesla napkins is another promising segment.

Timo | 6 mars 2013

"not enough weight" is not always the reason to get stuck. I have seen a truck getting stuck in less than foot high snow wheels spinning but nothing touching the underneath of the car. Problem is that at that first spin tire digs a hole that fits just the tire and tire can't get grip to raise out of the hole. There's no room for tire to get momentum, more weight would just dig you deeper.

What you need then is to adjust power just enough that car "pushes" toward that front snow pile but doesn't spin, then release so that it goes backward and pushes that back pile, repeat until you raise out of the hole. What that takes is just right timing and right application of power, nothing more.

Tesla TC is very close to be enough for that, I'm not sure car could get intelligent enough to do it by itself without risking hitting something even that it could do the unstuck -part of the problem.

Brian H | 7 mars 2013

It would need to anticipate the contact with the "other" side of the valley, and pre-time its return push. 3D modeling, dynamic style!

TeslaRocks | 8 mars 2013

And that is why flooring it when you're stuck is the wrong thing to do, Timo. The solution is as you said. For snow, winter tires help a lot, too, otherwise you're just asking to get stuck.

Brian H | 8 mars 2013

There's one circumstance the BFI "goose it" strategy when stuck in snow can work, and probably conditioned the drivers to try it every time: shallow snow, so you cut down to the underlying pavement, and suddenly gain traction, and launch forward. Otherwise, you're making a smooth ice trap for the tires.

prytog | 8 mars 2013

Let air out to 15 Psi, gentle, no slip torque, if tires sink quit. Otherwise continue
Refill tires when you get back to pavement

Tesluthian | 9 mars 2013


I like your auto-rocker button to rock the Tesla out of snow , mud, etc.

Two other points:

1) Also like to have anti-spin button for all speeds and all 4WD tires. This would help with acceleration spinouts and fishtailing. However, I would like the option to turn off anti-spin, sometimes I like to floor it, which I do sometimes to rock out of a hole.

2). There 's also front wheel turning skids. This is where you hit an ice patch at a bend, and the front wheels are turned to go around the bend, but have no traction and keep going straight right into the ditch.

Seems like the only hope here is for software to sense the wheels turning, but not the car. Then the Tesla's software applies ABS braking & slowing down all 4 4WD tires until the system detects traction and turning is re-established. The idea is to slow down & get turning traction, not stop where it might be hard to get started again.
Won't work all the time, but maybe some of the time.

All in all you have a very good idea, I hope you all present it to Tesla.

Tesluthian | 9 mars 2013

For the manual rocking system, a stick on the steering column would work and have 3 positions. For exa, push away to go forward, pull back for reverse. For safety, springs push the stick back to the middle resting place, which is neutral.

Buttons on the stick include, on, off and auto-rock.

RockOn &RockOut.

Solarwind | 11 mars 2013

The auto rock is already on the Volt. Found this by accident, got stuck, turned off the traction control with the car in L regenerative braking, spin the wheels in forward, let up on gas, the computer thinks the car is moving forward fast and switches on regenerative braking spinning the wheels backwards. The car moves back about 2-3 feet before it realize it is not moving, then step on gas again and repeat , car rocked out no problem. This might be the same on Tesla