Autopark Collision

Autopark Collision

I had an auto park collision with my vehicle today (11/29/2018)

I was in the underground garage. It was a space between a car on the left side and a concrete pillar on the right. I clicked the auto park sign ('P') and let the car take control like many times before. It was all going smoothly, the car suddenly jerked, hit the pillar damaging the bumper and scratching the body before coming to a stop. It was practically not possible to take over because you don't know it would fail until it does. There's an ultrasonic sensor right by the scratched area which clearly failed in noticing the pillar.


Did anyone have luck with Tesla diagnosing it as vehicle's fault?

gmr6415 | 30 november 2018

How is this the vehicle's fault? The driver is always supposed to be in control of the vehicle. You have mirrors to monitor the situation and a brake pedal to stop it at any time.

SalisburySam | 30 november 2018

@vendetta33, “...and let the car take control like many times before.” Hats off to you as I’ve not seen this said before in the several Tesla forums I watch. More commonly, AutoPark has issues that cause owners to not use it. In my case, I’ve not been able to get it to AutoPark for any perpendicular parking, and only got it to parallel park twice (it worked well but verrrry sloooowly). I’m on 44.2.

I do regret the damage done to your 3 by the system after apparently a lot of success previously.

EVRider | 30 november 2018

Given that issues like this have been reported by owners of all Tesla vehicles (not just Model 3), I’ve avoided using Autopark in my Model S.

Passion2Fly | 30 november 2018

The car is supposed to be parked between two other cars. Large objects... the pillar might have been to narrow for proper identification and maneuvering...

CorkChop | 30 november 2018

Sorry vendetta33 but this is totally your fault. When autoparking, you should be ready to take control. The car moves so slowly, I’m surprised you didn’t see it coming and tap the brake.

Pepperidge | 30 november 2018

Auto park works between cars and ultrasonic sensors do not work well for narrow object like pillars. This is why Tesla is considering (or always working) to use cameras for auto park.

andre | 30 november 2018

The manual does specifically call out that parking next to a wall or pillar is “particularly unlikely to operate as intended”. My parking at home is pretty much the same situation. In my experience the car has never “jerked” into any manouver. Watching the screen, I watch how wide the car thinks the parking spot is. If the car suddenly decides that the spot is now magically wider, I know the car is confused and it’s time to take over. Or, when the car then spins the wheel (usually trying to center the car in the now-wider spot), it’s time to take over.

LostInTx | 30 november 2018

Just yesterday, I parked my 3 on the last parking spot on a row, so I had a curb on the passenger side and an open space on the driver's side.

Sure enough, when I walked out, the world's largest truck, with oversize wheels, massively and utterly unnecessary struts and doors high enough that you need to repel to get in and out, was parked within 8 inches of the driver side door.

So with a smile, I knew this would be a fantastic time to use summon, moving the car forward and out of harm's way.

The car flashed, started moving forward,then the wheels turned to the right, while moving, and mashed into the curb. I stopped the summon just as the aero cover made contact with the curb. I now have a nice little scrape on the aero cover.

And the noise that "well it's totally your fault for not taking over" is pretentious as hell, to be generous. I had about 1 second between the wheels turning and contact with the curb (was about 6 inches from curb to begin with). Even during that one second, I was thinking maybe the car was making a micro adjustment based on the position of the truck.

In any event, summoning, like auto parking, is limited in what it can accomplish, obviously. I suspect future updates will improve the process but yea, the dice, they be tossed.

COrich | 30 november 2018

I have never used the auto-parking feature or the summon feature on either of our Teslas. The thing is that I can park the car faster than the computer can. And, there is hardly ever a parking space I want that will work with auto-park.

I am sure that there are still several cases where it shouldn't be used, and it isn't always the drivers fault that things went south rapidly.

The most significant problem with parking at this time is that it relies almost exclusively on the ultrasonic sensors with cannot see narrow objects or low curbs reliably. Once cameras are used more extensively, I would expect a much better experience.

COrich | 30 november 2018

Sorry, "driver's" not "drivers" I mistyped.

alisse | 30 november 2018

I've used auto-park successfully several time, but mostly as a show-off moment. As others have noted, I can park way faster that it can. But it's a cool, practical feature (if a little gimmicky) that gets people excited. I never use it on any regular basis.

maintreqd | 30 november 2018

Tesla service will likely cover this if you can pinpoint date and time of the incident. It sounds likely that you can. I had them tell me they'd replace a damaged wheel when autopark misjudged a curb, but since I parallel park at home daily I was unable to narrow down the actual date it occurred and they refused based on that.

NM3 | 30 november 2018

I found when I parked 'manually' in front of a wire fence - my M3 did not notice the block. It was alright with only yellow lines due to the shrubbery far beyond.

vendetta33 | 30 november 2018

Wow! Blind rampant fanboyism is very dangerous for anything to improve. I love my Tesla but don't wanna accept everything blindly and would question if anything is not right.

Firstly, 'Autopark' feature is not in beta, unlike autopilot. It's a failure even if it fails once in a hundred times. Would you approve air travel if one in a hundred or even a thousand flights crash? Besides, the auto park feature has been around since the mid-1990s and almost all the car manufacturers have it perfected.

It is ok if the system is not able to complete the parking task and to give up in the middle than hitting objects. Logically speaking, shouldn't that be the first rule?

Thank you guys for the responses.

rdavis | 30 november 2018

It really sucks.... sorry that it happened.

I'm not fully understanding how it happened as when I use auto park it moves very slowly and it's VERY obvious when it is going to fail or hit something. I've always had plenty of time to stop the auto park and manually take over.

Are you saying it "lunged" quickly not allowing you to respond?

lilbean | 30 november 2018


TheSGC | 30 november 2018

I feel you but your point is a little off OP. Air/space travel has a 1 in 9,821 chance of killing you according to the NSC, so what's the cutoff for 'acceptable risk'? What's the actual rate of accidents due to autopark?

jcross.moto79 | 30 november 2018

Not Op's fault. They system failed, plain and simple. You telling me my car can't see a giant concrete poll? BS

bradbomb | 30 november 2018

@jcross.moto79 Yes, it is the OP's fault. The manual clearly says that on pg 80. under Limitations:

Autopark is particularly unlikely to operate as intended in these situations:
-The target parking space is directly adjacent to a wall or pillar (for example, the last parking space of a row in an underground parking structure).

It also says "Warning: During the parking sequence, continually check your surroundings. Be prepared to apply the brakes to avoid vehicles, pedestrians, or objects."

rdavis | 30 november 2018

@Bradbomb... damn, bring the rain ;)

lilbean | 30 november 2018

What? We have to check our surroundings? What!!?

bradbomb | 30 november 2018

@lilbean I know! Crazy right. I have to stop using Autopark and Autosteer with a blindfold on.

vendetta33 | 30 november 2018

@bradbomb @lilbean: Thanks for referring the page number from the 182-page manual.

It was mentioned in the manual as "Autopark is particularly unlikely to operate as
intended in these situations:" The point I am making is that it is absolutely OK if it cannot operate and quit in the mentioned situations but it cannot hit an object.

bradbomb | 30 november 2018

The software cannot detect the pillar so how is it going to know to quit in that circumstance?????

vendetta33 | 30 november 2018

Like @jcross.moto79 said "You telling me my car can't see a giant concrete pillar? BS". Please see the images. It's a huge pillar as it's an underground garage of a multi-storied building.

hello | 30 november 2018

@vendetta33 The manual is clear, perhaps you should step up and write the software code as it is so trivial in your opinion.

Where do these people come from? Wow

lbowroom | 30 november 2018

I believe that's exactly what the manual and people here are telling you. Machine recognition works quite differently that the human brain. The question still lingers, "Why didn't you see it coming?" What made it practically impossible to recognize and "take over" and push the brake? Were you just so confident in how well it was working previously that you didn't think you needed to monitor what was going on? That's understandable, but your approach to it is that you had no part it what happened, that the feature is infallible, and that it is presented that way.

TranzNDance | 30 november 2018

"Autopark is particularly unlikely to operate as intended in these situations:"
OP intended the car not to crash, and it did.

jdcollins5 | 30 november 2018

When you make the decision to operate the vehicle outside of parameters specifically listed in the Owner’s Manual, you do so at your own risk.

thedrisin | 30 november 2018

Just demonstrates we may be decades from high level autonomous driving. The current technology and hardware cannot detect concrete pillars. Auto park and summon are use at your often risk. I opt not to use for now. I may not have the quick reflexes needed to stop a possible accident.

vendetta33 | 30 november 2018

"Why didn't you see it coming?"

Like I mentioned in the OP, It is practically impossible to take over because you don't know it would fail until it does.

Anyone who used the auto park feature would know that the car goes very close to the neighboring object and then corrects the course by itself. It moves forward, steers the wheel and parks again as a human would do. At that point when it is close to the object, you would expect it to move against the object but not towards it. It's just that one move towards the object and it's done. How would anyone think that it would go and slam an object?

All the parking slots are between two narrow lines and between the objects. If that's the case, then you have to take over the control everytime which makes the feature completely useless. Hope that clears the question of "Why didn't you see it coming?".

lbowroom | 30 november 2018

Oh, I understood your assertion that it was impossible to prevent. I just didn't read any credible evidence to back up the claim.

jdcollins5 | 30 november 2018

I have used AutoPark 5 or 6 times with perpendicular parking between two cars. It has worked perfectly every time. Actually better than I could do.

The one time it did not work correctly was between a car and a grass divider with concrete curbing. I knew that this was not recommended but wanted to see what it would do. It made the hard turn and started backing in, pulled forward to straighten and started backing in. About halfway in it stopped and started turning the wheel hard toward the curb.

I immediately hit the brakes, took control of the car and completed the parking.

I fault only myself for attempting a move not recommended by Tesla.

gcklo | 30 november 2018

Autopark P never shows up for me no matter what so I won't have this issue.

kevin_rf | 1 december 2018

@gcklo Same here.

I think a big part of the problem is the OP is at a charging station and Tesla put the charging port on the back of the car. It forces you to back in every time. When I super charged on Thursday, I completely missed the last stall and parked in the adjacent parking spot. So annoyed, had to pull out, then back in the next spot over. Glad no Model S and X owners where there to roast me about it.

bojackson63044 | 5 december 2018

Interesting, I had the same thing happen to my 1 week old Model 3 last night so I started searching the internet. I'm glad I found this thread because the damage on my rear passenger bumper is almost exactly the same as yours vendetta33. Imagine my heart shattering when I heard the crunch and knew it was too late. I sympathize with you because I know how you must have felt. I also reported to Tesla and waiting to hear back about what they found. But given nearly the exact same location of the damage, it seems to be a blind spot in the car's sensors/software. Definitely a design flaw that needs to be addressed.

Here's my damage -

jjt2122 | 5 december 2018

Drivers fault, you need to watch all sides and keep your foot at the brake in case you need to cancel auto park.

ST70 | 5 december 2018

Bo knows how to post on multiple threads......but Bo doesn't know to how to use Autopark.....

kevin_rf | 6 december 2018

Just as a test the other night, I deliberately backed over one of my driveway stakes. Centered it in the backup camera and backed right into it. Not one beep.

The front bumper did beep for the candy canes lining the driveway.

bojackson63044 | 6 december 2018

For those of you who are accusing the OP and me of driver negligence, I can assure you I was watching the whole time and had my foot on the brake pedal. Honestly I did recognize that the car was getting too close to the pillar and pressed on the brakes but it was just a hair too late.

I posted on multiple threads because this doesn’t seem to be an unique issue to one car or one driver. It would be good to provide feedback so Tesla can improve their safety and convenient features no?

I think for those of you with the attitude that “Tesla can do no wrong” may not be helping the cause for future developments in self driving technology. I’m just as excited about the technology as everyone here which is why I enabled the autopark feature for a parking spot I should have just backed into myself like I normally do.

I’m comfortable accepting liability and paying for the repair myself. But I believe Tesla should know that there is a defect in their software as at least 2 of us had the exact same damage to the same area of the car under similar situations.

I’m a physician so I’ll use this analogy. If you had a bad outcome during a medical procedure because the surgeon was negligent, sure you should blame the surgeon. But if the bad outcome occurred because you started thrashing around on the operating table, aren’t you at least partially to blame?

thedrisin | 6 december 2018

@bo. In the scenario you present, no way the sedated patient would be accused of contributory negligence. This would be seen as the patient was not properly sedated.

lilbean | 6 december 2018

So as a physician, did you bother to read the textbooks?

andre | 6 december 2018

Counter-analogy: doing coronary angioplasty starting from the groin is the approved procedure. Doing a coronary angioplasty starting from the little toe is not. If the surgeon tried to start from the toe, who's at fault? Certainly not the patient, nor the equipment.

jerrykham | 6 december 2018

OK, so sure the OP didn't use autopark as the manual says. It is only supposed to be used between two cars. True enough. But damn, the car should be able to FIGURE OUT that the spot isn't between two cars and NOT SHOW the "P" symbol in this situation. The pillar never would look like a full car. So two things need fixing here: people need to be aware of the documented limitations and ALSO Tesla needs to improve the software so that it doesn't offer to auto park in situations like this. Use the cameras and figure out that the pillar isn't a car.

bojackson63044 | 6 december 2018

@thedrisin - I was describing an uncooperative patient who refuses to follow instructions, rather than someone who was not sedated properly. Again the point is that there may be a problem with the Auto Park feature having blind spots and that would be something good to know about.

@Lilbean - most of the medical training occurs via alternative media other than textbooks these days. And yes I did watch videos of the Auto Park before. Regardless, I doubt many people read every single word in a text book anyways or other fine print of any type for that matter. Perhaps you do. In that case, I applaud you for that.

@andre - If you think sitting behind the wheel intently watching with the foot on the brake pedal is analogous to doing a percutaneous angioplasty from a digital artery, then I don't know what to tell you. I guess agree to disagree?

Bottom line is even one Auto Park accident is one too many. You can blame the vehicle operator, and yes we are all to blame in some part since we should have known better than trusting an unproven technology. But the fact is these technological features are what makes Tesla such an exciting company so of course I'm going to want to use them. Auto Park moves at slow speeds, gets close to another object and then corrects. I agree with OP that at least in my situation, by the time I realized it's not going to stop, it was too late to apply the brakes. The experience was different than using Auto Pilot at highway speeds. To me, it's an imperfect technology that needs to be tested more before being made available to the masses. If it doesn't work well with pillars, then why make it available when there are pillars? Again, I'm not saying I didn't have any part of the blame. But Auto Park had some role to play in the accident. You are crazy if you think I purposefully backed my 1 week old car into a pillar...

peldor427 | 6 december 2018

I've tried Autopark probably 6-8 times so far. I'm overly cautious, so in all those times except 2 I hit the brake and finished parking myself. Even the time that I didn't take over, I hit the brake, assessed the situation, and then selected Resume. Most of those times the car would probably have parked fine but I didn't want to take any chances with a new, beautiful Model 3. I am still learning how accurate the backup camera (or rather the lines drawn on the screen when in R) and other sensors are. I also want to test how quickly I can respond to a situation that seems to be questionable. The two times that I let it park it performed well - once parallel and once backing into a 'normal' parking lot space.

I have been testing the automated features (Autopark, Summon, AP, Lane Change, NavOn) slowly and gradually as I increase my comfort level with the car. I waited at least a month before I tried the AutoPark and then only in daytime and good weather. Most of the time these features have worked well but there are definitely times when we need to intervene. Help the technology, Tesla, and yourself by being overly cautious, gradually testing these features, and being fully ready to intervene if there is even a hint of a problem.

Sorry to hear about people's losses and, yes, the automation will improve, but it will take time. It is pretty amazing to me what it can already do!

Brian B | 6 december 2018

@bojackson63044 I think an uncooperative patient who refuses to follow instructions is exactly what people are saying you and the OP are. In your scenario, Tesla is the doctor, you and the OP are the uncooperative patient, who can sue the doctor for the patient not following the instructions.

CorkChop | 6 december 2018

@bojackson63044 "I’m comfortable accepting liability and paying for the repair myself." You accepted liability when you pressed the blue start button.

I cannot stress this enough; read the freaking manual.

thedrisin | 6 december 2018

If you want to test out these AP features, there can obviously be consequences. I just park as far as I can from other vehicles or obstructions.

lilbean | 6 december 2018

@bo I agree and I apologize for the snark. It was way too early for me to be posting. There is just way to much information in textbooks in school. It is difficult to get through every word of the material.
Sorry that happened to your car. It is a total bummer.