How does Tesla autopilot react to water?

Is it confused? Dangerous? Or just fine?

1y ago

Ever since Tesla launched auto pilot, I have been interested in seeing how it copes in different weather conditions. Whether it is snow, ice, sand storms or rain, I think it is interesting to see how Elon's boffins have engineered and programmed it to cope in these situations.

This YouTube video shows just how a Model 3 copes in heavy rain and big puddles on British roads. For you foreigners, rain is pretty much all we get on this side of the pond so it is vital that a Tesla can handle it with ease and not cause any dangers.

As you can see from the video, the Tesla seems to do very well when dealing with puddles and sprays of water from oncoming traffic. A slight issue however, is that the sprays of water occasionally confuse the car's autopilot sensors which throws it a bit off course, but not enough to cause an accident.

You will also notice that it doesn't try to dodge any of the puddles which would normally result in the car being pulled to one side, but thankfully this doesn't affect the car's autopilot and the wheels stay on course. Saying that, the car does get a little confused by the lack of white lines on some British B roads.

What could Tesla do to make Autopilot better?

Tell me in the comments!

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Comments (43)

  • Every time I read about how challenging it is to code and get AI systems to do what we do, it makes me appreciate how much our mind processes without much direct thought. Think about it, our experience with rain starts from childhood. We know how rain changes the physical properties of our surroundings. Layer that on our learned driving ability and experiences driving in fair and bad weather conditions and we are easily able to adapt the task to the specific conditions at hand.

      1 year ago
    • True , for example we tolerate not seeing for a short time when getting blinded by a neighboring semi/truck knowing we’re on a steady course to pass and see again. Having AI make that call is tricky - I mean it has trouble with wiper speed so you...

      Read more
        1 year ago
    • Humans use a schema that models the world around them.

      At first, when we are crawling, this schema is very empty. This is why small kids fall out of bed. When we become toddlers, we have already worked out a sense of distance and what is up and...

      Read more
        1 year ago
  • Teslas autopilot is dangerous no matter the weather. Fact.

      1 year ago
    • I wouldn’t go that far. Numbers actually prove otherwise but it does have a ways to go before L4 or L5 so best to treat it like we do cruise control and ABS for now.

        1 year ago
    • You seem to confuse opinion with fact.

        1 year ago
  • For me personally I don’t see the point of autopilot. Everyone even Tesla say when using it keep your attention on the road so why bother having it at all. I’m happy to do the driving myself. If you have a crash because you’re car was on auto pilot and you say check the dog in the back seat and then plow into a police car then into a broken down car who do you think is going to get prosecuted the driver or Tesla. The driver will always get prosecuted so why rely on a machine. Just stop being lazy and drive yourself if you don’t want to work really hard or win the lottery and buy a chauffeur

      1 year ago
  • Having driven a Model 3 recently in rain and sleet, the auto-steer function is a bit more temperamental but the adaptive cruise control wasn’t really much different from normal.

    Though on icy roads, it’s probably worth reducing regen braking to mild to avoid sudden breaking when you lift the accelerator.

      1 year ago
  • I have just done a 300 mile journey. Saw two Model X on the M5 and M4. Both driven by women, and both tailgating.

    One of them also hogged the middle lane unnecessarily for a few minutes.

    Should I assume autopilot was not engaged?

      1 year ago