Impact of heavy rain on cameras and sensors

Impact of heavy rain on cameras and sensors

I was driving my 2018 Model S (2019.28.2) with EAP/FSD in a torrential downpour here in south FL earlier today. This wasn't the first time, but today I noticed something I hadn't seen before:

As soon as I got on the highway, the dash display stopped showing cars in front of and around me, even though the traffic was heavy and there plenty of cars on the road. The lane markers were showing up, but neither the TACC nor Autosteer icons were displayed. Then, I went under a short overpass so there was a momentary break in the rain, and when I came out the other side, the dash started showing all the other cars and both the TACC and Autosteer icons appeared.

I've been able to use Autosteer in heavy rain before, and I don't remember my car ever failing to show cars around me even in very heavy rain. Have others seen this?

Anthony J. Parisio | 13. august 2019

Strange, I wonder if anyone else has see this?

murphyS90D | 13. august 2019

Water absorbs radar signals. That is why a microwave oven works. It gets hit twice. On the trip out and on the returned reflection. If the returned signal level is too low it has to abort the operation.

Dramsey | 13. august 2019

I've seen a specific notification on the dash that autosteer was unavailable due to weather. I forget the exact wording, but I was on Navigate on Autopilot and ran into heavy rain. The car binged and displayed a message that autosteer was disabled and I should take over immediately.

barrykmd | 13. august 2019

Same here.

So how's FSD going to work? In sunshine only?

bhanuk99 | 13. august 2019

Same. Car disabled the AS, with an alarm informed AS (or NOA can't remember) not available due to poor weather or something like that. I was asked to take control immediately. This was in heavy downpour and no visibility. This has occurred more than once during our mid-Atlantic storms.

EVRider | 14. august 2019

I’ve seen the Navigate on Autopilot warning about bad weather, but the dash display continued to show cars around me. Even my old AP1 Model S always showed cars in front of me regardless of the weather conditions. What I experienced yesterday was something new, at least for me. Hopefully it turns out to be a bug rather than a limitation of the system, because like @barrykmd said, it needs to work 100% of the time for FSD.

kerryglittle | 14. august 2019

Happened to me with a loaner. Caught in heavy rain and nothing would work as it should. So yeah FSD? I can just imagine and Armageddon of EV's with FSD scattered parked all over the roads when heavy rains start or the road lines get covered in snow. Then you are SOL.