Dear tesla developers: these AP nag changes are a breaking our trust us accepting your updates and now totally over the line

Dear tesla developers: these AP nag changes are a breaking our trust us accepting your updates and now totally over the line

TL;DR: you further worsened AP to keep telling me to move the wheel when AP is driving straight and I'm already holding the wheel. It now triggers maybe every minute, and it is most annoying. I feel cheated as a customer that those usability downgrades are silently being pushed to unwary customers who are now going to more seriously consider rejecting all further software upgrades since they can't be trusted to actually be upgrades across the board. I don't have a dog and I don't care about dog mode, but I very much care that my AP has been rendered even more annoying to use than it already was made last year.

So, some time mid 2018 (from memory), you changed the AP to nag much more often depending on car speed.
While nagging a driver who doesn't have their hands on the wheel for more than a few seconds when driving at freeway speeds, is understandable, the way it is done is terrible.
It keeps asking you to nudge the wheel because it can't actually detect your hands on said wheel, to the point that if you do it wrong, you'll even disengage AP in the process. Sure, apparently you can change the volume to do the same, but come on...

From what I've read, it only uses resistance to the wheel turning, of which it gets none if the car is driving on a straight freeway, which it does most of the time, so it just keeps nagging you.
This was never fixed, I've been mad at Tesla for pushing this, and at myself for trusting Tesla to push silent downgrades to the car's usability.

Now worse, in the last month or so, my guess is that it was in an effort to combat devices people are using to get rid of that annoying nag that is so often asking you to prove that your hands already on the wheel, are indeed on the wheel, instead of improving the system and being fair to the vast majority of users doing the right thing, the nag was worsened a lot more.
I didn't time it, but in the last days, it's been sometimes asking me to move the wheel pointlessly maybe once a minute or so on the freeway (again when driving straight where it's hard for it to feel resistance from or weight of my hands, especially if I use both hands and their weight kind of cancel one another).

I called tesla support and the person I talked to said he got many phone calls in the last days of people complaining about the exact same thing than me, but that I should post here to complain where someone may see it (kind of sad that Tesla is asking their customers to complain on a public board to have a chance to be heard).

So, tesla, please
1) fix/revert this change
2) seriously reconsider pushing usability downgrade changes. You are only encouraging engineers like me to hack their car, get the software out and start a public market of software versions so that people can downgrade themselves to a better version.
3) if it is what happened (I don't know), seriously reconsider "oh we'll just increase this nag parameter and see how much people complain, or not"

Thank you

CharleyBC | 19 febbraio 2019

You described behavior changing over time. Version numbers would be most helpful in such a discussion.

Lorenzryanc | 19 febbraio 2019

I rest my hand at the 7-oclock position to put a little weight on the wheel. I agree it's annoying when you're on a straight road. The faster you are, the more frequent the prompts, but consider the alternative. People cheating the system with "AP Buddies" or falling asleep at the wheel. As an owner and investor, I'm onboard with Tesla CYA so the next dolt who does get into an AP accident, Tesla can (as always) blame it on the driver instead of the software.

Soon we'll be level 4 and we'll all be happy. But it's a long road there.

RedPillSucks | 19 febbraio 2019

You can also use the scroll wheels instead of turning the steering wheel. Thats much easier.
I typically toggle the volume up 1 and down 1. It's not that hard. No need to hack the car.

spuzzz123 | 19 febbraio 2019

“move the wheel pointlessly maybe once a minute or so on the freeway...”

Believe it is every half mile so if you’re on the freeway it can be less than 30 seconds between nags. It has been this way for quite some time. I’d say 6 months or more. I too find it annoying but it isn’t a recent change. Unfortunately we live in a litigious society and Tesla is not fully protected by claiming driver misuse. On top of that, the click bait media takes advantage by sensationalizing Tesla autopilot accidents without calling attention to driver negligence, during events that occur while autopilot is engaged. This will be a serious hindrance to fsd as well. Sad because the tech is awesome and we are not able to take full advantage.

lbowroom | 19 febbraio 2019

You can hang your hands on the wheel even when driving in a straight line. I'm guessing that you are levitating your arms in place. (if the wheel wasn't there, your arms would still be in the air.) Relax and let gravity do the work.

Sunergy-NJ | 19 febbraio 2019

I'm with lbowroom. I just put my hands on the steering wheel and let gravity do what it does. It works fine. No nag for me. And since it's nagging for my own safety, great. It's not a nag if it's keeping me alive. And every now and then - rarely - the screen glows blue to remind me, and I swing the wheel an inch or two - if that much - and it goes away.

lbowroom | 19 febbraio 2019

People seem to be stuck on the idea that they have to wait until they get a nag and then yank on the wheel. If you simply relax your arms and hang your hands on the wheel you will provide the feedback the car needs to avoid the nags altogether.

marc | 19 febbraio 2019

@charleyBC: I foolishly trusted that Tesla would not push usability downgrades. I did not keep a record of which version numbers broke what, and Tesla purposefully does not give you any release notes until after you've applied the updates.
That being said, the two updates that made things worse were silent, even after the fact, about changing the timeout and then sensitivity of steering wheel detection. It's only after they first made it worse last year that a future upgrade gave a better clue on how to keep resetting the watchdog. This year, it got worse, I know it did for sure, but I don't know when or which upgrade exactly.

redpillsucks: if you read my message, I already mentioned the volume button. It's annoying to say the least and a bad workaround for software breakage.

lbowroom: my arms don't levitate, neither do my wife's. Driving the same same freeway the car now keeps telling us to nudge the wheel because of whatever sensitivity they further modified. If you have both hands on the wheel in a straight line, the wheel does not turn and it does not measure any resistance
More generally this is a case of tesla effectively telling us "you're holding it wrong" when in fact it was designed wrong, and a recent software tweak making it even worse.

In case you think that it's all in my head, the tesla support rep I called said he got 20 calls about the same complaint in the last days...

dmastro | 19 febbraio 2019

Agree with lbowroom and Sunergy-NJ. If I place my hands on the steering wheel I don't get nagged, whether driving in straight line or on twisties.

EAP is not FSD. Further, it is officially in beta, and per the manual it is a hands-on feature. You must keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times.

I don't know if nagging frequency has increased, or if the algorithm has changed. However, as spuzzz123 alludes to, there have been many instances of accidents caused by driver negligence while using EAP. So perhaps it's a case of the many suffering for the actions of those few who are identifying the limitations of EAP.

I've seen too many drivers abusing EAP/FSD... turned around, seat reclined all the way back so the driver is laying down and unable to look out of the car... so evidently reminders are necessary.

noleaf4me | 19 febbraio 2019

Agree it is too often - how about once every 5 minutes?

spockagain34 | 19 febbraio 2019

lbowroom is 100% correct. If you are just resting your hand on the wheel and letting gravity do the work, and you're still getting the nag all the time then take your car to a service center and have them check the sensors. I drive on a highway ~70 miles a day on autopilot and almost never get a nag.

njelectric | 19 febbraio 2019

A lot can happen in five minutes. I am also not seeing an issue with nagging. Rare reminders twitch.

marc | 19 febbraio 2019

I'm glad that it's not as annoying to some, and that you're telling me and the other people affected that we're holding it wrong.
That strategy also worked for apple,-your...

More seriously, the way it tests that you're holding the wheel, or not, is totally inadequate, and if it pisses off enough users who are driving with both hands on the wheel, and still told repeatedly that the car can't tell that you are, admitting fault and fixing it is the right approach.

Ultimately, it's a diversity problem and improper/incomplete testing like in except that it's not because the clear percentage of affected users are affected due to their skin color.

marc | 19 febbraio 2019

and to be clear, I do not agree that the timeout be put back to 5mn. The problem is not the timeout, it's the detection of whether hands are there, or not, how terrible the hardware that does it, seems to be, how it was not even addressed in model3 when the issue was fully known on model S already, and how a recent update that pushed this year, made things noticeably worse (and therefore could be reverted if Tesla chooses to do so).

That said, without a revert/fix, Tesla will indeed teach me (and others) not to trust or install any further updates, which would be kind of sad...

jdcollins5 | 19 febbraio 2019

It must be the way you are driving. I very seldom get any nags.

EM34ME | 19 febbraio 2019

Just "holding" the wheel is not sufficient to prevent a nag. You must put some slight amount of torque on the wheel. I rest two fingers on my right hand at the 6 o'clock position in the crotch of the wheel and the bottom spoke and provide a slight resistance to the wheel as the car drives itself. On one recent long range trip, I was able to drive on EAP for an hour or more with no nags.

What do you want Tesla to do? They got a lot of bad publicity when a driver was killed last year in the San Jose area while on EAP. The nags were less frequent then. He evidently had his hands off the wheel and was fiddling with his phone or something. Tesla decided to make the nag more aggressive and more frequent as a result.

I fully support Tesla's efforts to make drivers more engaged with EAP. I have no problem with the nag in the most recent update

decoss | 19 febbraio 2019

What part of 'beta' don't you understand?

acasano | 19 febbraio 2019

M3D with firmware 2018.50.6. I rest my hands on the steering wheel when Auto Steering is active and rarely ever get a warning. Why do you call it a "nag", it is not. It is a safety feature, respect it. It works responsively and reliably. If I take my hands off, when I have reason to do so, If I do, I expect a reminder to demonstrate that I, the driver/rider, is alert.

adamwilt | 19 febbraio 2019

The way it tests that you're holding the wheel is that it looks for a torque (a twisting force rotating the wheel), not the pressure of your grip or some such. If you hang your hands equally on either side of the wheel, the torques they provide cancel out, just as if you're hands-off. So hang ONE hand on the wheel, "fighting" Autosteer ever so slightly in one direction or the other, and the nags go away. You may find this easier if steering is set to Sport (whether because your one-handed drag is closer to normal operating torque or because the car senses your hand more easily in this mode is unknown, but it does seem to work for many people).

Yes, it did seem to get more insistent and require a bit more torque in an update late last year. It took me maybe fifteen minutes to get used to it and adjust for it. Once I stopped "holding it wrong" (grin) it's been working fine ever since.

(Given the life-safety criticality of Autosteer, I'm guessing it was a change made for a very good reason, even if we haven't been told what that reason was. That it was due to "improper/incomplete testing" is highly unlikely given the life-safety criticality of Autosteer, and I would not expect a "reversion" or "fix" unless/until the interior camera is enabled as an additional deadman switch, a la Cadillac SuperCruise. Of course, if/when this happens, the only way you'll ever get ahold of it.... is to install a further update!)

rdavis | 19 febbraio 2019

I don't find it to be rocket science on how to use AP without it nagging you. I have routinely used it on Multiple hour drives with little or no nags. Maybe you need to spend a bit more time figuring out how to use it properly so it doesn't "nag" you?

Rt002k | 19 febbraio 2019

Isn't your warranty void if you don't accept software updates?

Instead of getting all worked up, why don't you take the 15 minutes it takes to find a comfortable position that satisfies the car? It's certainly more comfortable than having your hands at 10 & 2 / 9 & 3. The car will not change to meet your specific use-case. If they were to start using the interior camera to watch your eyes, then you (or a different population of people) will be in here complaining about in-cabin privacy, or how it doesn't work with their specific sunglasses and why should THEY be the ones to get new sunglasses, it's Tesla that sucks.

See where this goes? Can't satisfy everyone, but people can learn to be satisfied with the way things are. Or need blood pressure medication. The choice is yours.

Matt S | 19 febbraio 2019

Personally I'm really surprised to hear of people who don't get nagged! I'd just assumed everyone had got used to twisting the wheel every few minutes (I've got very good at noticing the flashing blue screen in my peripheral vision). I do find it quite annoying, but had just learned to live with it. My hands are on the wheel holding it lightly at 3 and 9 just like I was taught to do :)

lph | 19 febbraio 2019

You are probably doing it wrong. I have never had a nag in 3000 miles. However, I like some of the others here just put ONE hand on the wheel with my finger hooked over a spoke with the opposing thumb ready. I also rest my elbow on the arm rest at the same time. This enables me to be lightning quick if anything strange happens. Works a charm. I do change sides occasionally.

marc | 19 febbraio 2019

I'm glad everyone is ignoring how other manufacturers are getting this working without the same problems, or how there are multiple sensors you can put in asteering wheel that can detect hands outside of a primitive torque sensor (too late for Model S, but could have been added in Model 3, although it's too late for that too now). I agree that using the inside pointing camera is full of privacy problems.

I'm already driving at 9/3 because it's saver than 10/2, and so is my wife, but I understand that you all assume I'm holding it wrong anyway. I'm a bit saddened you also think tesla doesn't need to fix anything, or didn't change anything recently to make it worse, and that all the people who are apparently calling tesla support reps are also somehow holding it wrong too. As I said, go read up that link on apple's you're holding it wrong. It's the same exact story of blaming the user instead of a bad hardware interface.

rdavis: I was using it in a way it didn't nag me, and now it started nagging me again. I didn't change that I can tell, but the car's software sure did. Coincidence?

adamwilt: you are absolutely correct that if you hold the wheel with just one hand, it apparently works better due to the added torque not being balanced by the other hand, but I indeed refuse to do this as it is less safe to drive that way. The irony indeed...

jfaubl | 19 febbraio 2019

I get the nag all the time and it drives me crazy. I usually hold both hand on either side of the six o'clock spoke. So to stop getting the nag I will reduce my safe driving by taking two hand off the wheel and apply light torque with two fingers of one hand.

xfyrdudex | 19 febbraio 2019

I agree with most of what the OP says. AP used to be great. Now it's almost useless. More stressful driving with it engaged and being nagged every few seconds than just driving the car yourself with no nags.

If I had it to do over again, I would have saved the $5,000. Will be different for everyone, but like the OP, mine doesn't detect my hands on the wheel and constantly nags, despite having both hands on the wheel.

Don't feel it's safe to have to unnecessarily move the wheel from side to side when travelling straight. Tesla needs to find a better way.

Have been hoping the camera inside the Model 3 would act in a way that Cadillac senses driver attention and get rid of this "apply force to wheel" nag.

CST | 19 febbraio 2019

Have you tried checking the steering mode you're in? There's been a number of people that have reported that when using sport mode, they get more nags than when they use comfort.

Joho.keith | 19 febbraio 2019

I also don’t get nagged. Maybe I’m being lazy and not supporting the weight of my arms so the car feels resistance.

lilbean | 19 febbraio 2019

So I guess the car identifies as female.

JAD | 19 febbraio 2019

Don't blame Tesla, blame the people misusing the system and crashing. Used properly, you don't get nags, used your special way, it nags as it always has. It will improve as the system becomes better than people, but for now they need to check you are following the directions for using the system. Use it differently and there will be issues.

apodbdrs | 19 febbraio 2019

Not a problem, I am good! love the AP, correct placement of hands and a little squeeze every so often, no nags. Not TESLA's fault, but all the outside limits being imposed and the many people wanting TESLA to fail.

calvin940 | 19 febbraio 2019

I think the rep was playing you because I can't imagine anyone of consequence at Tesla is really looking at these forums. There are appropriate feedback mechanisms for your thoughts.

But really, Please don't speak for others in your "Dear Tesla".

Perhaps you feel "your" trust is broken or the updates are broken. I and most others do not.

casun | 20 febbraio 2019

i rest a hand at 7:00 or 5:00 and let gravity do the work. i’ve only been nagged twice in ~2,000 miles on ap. however, i would like to see the sensors improved so hands at 10:00 and 2:00 would satisfy ap. i think the light torque method that i use can be dangerous around curves.

spuzzz123 | 20 febbraio 2019

@xfyrdudex did it work better with your previous 9 Teslas? Why did you buy the 10th instead of that Cadillac?

rdavis | 20 febbraio 2019

@marc, other manufacturers don’t need nag because their autopilot system is really closer to dynamic cruise than any self drive feature. One use and you’ll be gripping that wheel and be forced to help it stay in the lane. Tesla’s system is so much closer to auto drive that it causes the user to forget that he/she need to be able to take control and so the “nag” is required.

I’ve driven over 20,000 miles and most of that is on EAP on long interstate drives with very few nags. Like I said before, maybe you just need more practice to learn how to properly use it. I’m not saying that to be an ass, but rather to indicate that it is not difficult to use the EAP as intended with little to no nag.

jdcollins5 | 20 febbraio 2019

My wife’s 2017 Honda Pilot and daughter’s Toyota Sienna both have nags if they do not sense resistance. Which manufacturers are you suggesting do not have nags?

weluvm3 | 20 febbraio 2019

I have developed the habit of constantly gently rocking the steering back and forth just below the threshold that it will cancel autopilot. Stops the nag and provides a bit of exercise. I guess at least one hand is on the wheel and I’m awake, so I guess it serves a purpose...

dsvick | 20 febbraio 2019

I wish I got nagged less frequently as well. However, if you're already driving with both of your hands on wheel, I'm not sure what the issue is. When I get a nag I can clear it by moving the wheel less than a quarter of an inch in any direction. I'm not sure how much easier you want this to be. Sure, no nags would be more convenient and yes, they could have put sensors in the wheel to detect your hands but they'd had to have put them around the whole wheel, and they'd need to be pretty sensitive as well, all of that would have increased the cost of the car.

Also, I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say "silent updates" are you implying that Tesla is pushing software updates to your car and not letting you know? I'm pretty sure they don't do that ...

AZTesla | 20 febbraio 2019

I rest both hands on the wheel, and get nags all of the time. I suppose I don’t trust the AP enough to just have one hand resting there.

syclone | 20 febbraio 2019

I just let 2 or 3 fingers of either hand hang, palm downward, at ~3 or 9 o'clock (not both) and the weight of my arm supplies enough counterforce to satisfy the system. I can drive for hours like that with no warnings at all. I can also take both hands off the wheel, to stretch or scare the hell out of my wife without any problem either.

Bighorn | 20 febbraio 2019

Survival of the fittest

aperfectecho | 20 febbraio 2019

I use AP all the time, and the nags are rarely bothersome. I rest my L hand (recently had R hand surgery) at about the 8 o'clock position, resting my elbow on the door rest. I would say most trips (about 40mile one way commute) I get no nags, and when I do, it's maybe 1-2 for the trip. No big deal, and I do not agree with the "defeater" devices, as AP (in my opinion) nags only got worse with negative press, YouTube vids showing people asleep at the wheel, sitting in the backseat while driving, etc.
We are our own worst enemies. AP as it is is far from perfect, but WOW! What an amazing option, and totally changes my driving experience. I love it, and am happy to use it as intended, and happily await the improvements that are coming.

syclone | 20 febbraio 2019

Darwin will prevail!

BostonPilot | 20 febbraio 2019

> decoss | February 19, 2019 What part of 'beta' don't you understand?

Well, for one, when will beta be over so we have "real" EAP software? Or is it going to be permanently in beta? It wouldn't be so bad if they would take "beta dollars" until the "real" release was ready...

I'm one of those in the minority here... I don't like the torque sensing for a couple reasons. I wish it had a more advanced sensor in the steering wheel to detect hands-on-wheel.

1) I've ended up doing the "1 hand on the wheel and let gravity do it's thing" because I find it distracting having to respond to the nag and shake the wheel when I have 2 hands on the the wheel, but I don't think driving with 1 hand, especially with auto-pilot engaged, is a very good idea. I'd much prefer to have my hands in the normal position for driving which gives me a lot more ability to turn the wheel if EAP does something silly. But like others have said, when I hold the wheel normally, I get the nags.

2) I think the algorithm should interpret torque as a hint from the driver, i.e. when I don't think autopilot is holding the lane properly to be able to put a little pressure on the wheel as a hint to autopilot that maybe it's choice of position isn't the best in the current situation. Presumably Tesla could use that information to improve the EAP algorithms...

For instance I was recently driving with EAP on and a vehicle came along uncomfortably close to my vehicle. I would have liked to to give it a little pressure to hint that maybe we should hug the right side of the lane for a little while to give the other guy more room. Instead, it just fights you so you actually have to switch the system off. (or you can apply enough torque to defeat the system, but this almost always results in a lurch/small swerve when it finally disconnects, which is precisely what you don't want in a lot of these cases). This results in enough off/on transitions of the system which then makes you start asking yourself why you have the system turned on in the first place.

I've said before, I think they should have one price for <= 45 MPH so that you could use it in stop-and-go traffic (where it's mostly just following the car ahead of it) vs the "full EAP" which frankly drives like a student driver. My wife was a passenger recently when I had it on and she ended up asking me to turn it off because it kept jerking the wheel as the road markings changed, making it uncomfortable for her as a passenger.

aptwo | 20 febbraio 2019

Blame this on the people that abuse AP and causing accidents. Hope there is an option to turn this AP check on or off. If it's off then it's the user's liability.

foodking | 20 febbraio 2019

i personally don't like the nagging but it's part of the system. I don't like resting my hand on the wheel because that slows my reaction time if anything happens. I prefer to hold the steering wheel ready to take over which also means i get reminders. The reminders are 1/2 mile of travel after your last steering wheel input. I was testing out which inputs are considered input for EAP. I also tested out only squeezing the wheel, which works, except after a consecutive number of squeezing the same spot and you have to squeeze a different spot. I'm assuming that's to counter the "orange" method.

Rt002k | 20 febbraio 2019

@foodking - squeezing doesn't work, my guess is you were unintentionally providing a little rotational torque with your squeezing.

One hand resting on the wheel works. It is easy to learn what situations EAP needs more oversight than others. Going straight on the highway? Little oversight needed, meaning you can relax, rest your hand, and keep an eye out for the out of the ordinary. You would be surprised how much earlier you actually see those things when the bulk of your attention isn't on what's directly in front of you but rather what's around you.

I still use two hands in some situations: curvy roads, in which case I fight it a little bit and bias to the inside of the curve; highway interchanges/exits; when changing lanes; in fast moving heavy traffic. You can still monitor EAP without being at high alert all the time.

marc | 20 febbraio 2019

aptwo: tesla is not going to allow turning the check off altogether, and I don't blame them for that.
They however have control over how picky the current check is, afterall it does check resistance to wheel movement and how random and frequent it is. They have full control over the algorithms that take that input, even if it's a poor way to reliably sense hands as we already know, but even without better sensors, they can tweak the settings so that it's not having so many false positives.
That's completely in their power, they have already tuned it, and I'm complaining that they tuned it too far right now.

ODWms | 20 febbraio 2019

I’d like it better if and when they’d get the system progressed to the point the interior camera(s) can be used to satisfy the requirements for driver attentiveness.

glen_cook | 20 febbraio 2019

It obviously got worse. I noticed recently as mine was faulting more frequently. It’s so aggressive it’s almost a pain to use. What a waste to succumb to some bad press. Have a backbone. Otherwise admit all these accidents were related to lack of hands on the wheel. Oh wait let’s just make the system so ridiculously doificult to use it will fault even when you have your hands on the wheel. Such BS!! I don’t like the bib brother-esque control of my safety and the lack of transparency. All users know when the algorithm changes because it’s that obvious. But it’s never reported or made visible to customers. I like the car but I don’t like Tesla politics. Have a backbone. Stand up to media pressure. Do t just cane on your customers. We’ll see. Once there are options, Tesla will understand how to maintain customer relationships.