I contacted Bryan and asked to use the video, which he gladly shared on Youtube (originally it was only shared on Facebook). Bryan's video once again shows that Tesla's Autopilot is not a hands-free driving. Like Torque News showed in its previous story, the way the Autopilot works you are still in command and responsible for the vehicle's safety. Navigate local streets by hand, when you get to a safe and suitable road or highway engage autopilot to decrease your workload, but monitor traffic and conditions at all times. Disengage when needed.
Brian sent this video to to a Tesla employee named Zach with the following letter.
Hi, Zach. As per my prior conversation with Robert and my most recent one with you, the issue is as follows.
When I am driving in the city or local town (road driving, rather than highway driving) if I engage autopilot without any vehicles in front of my vehicle (so that the AP doesn't provide the image of a vehicle in front of my vehicle), AP does not stop the vehicle when it approaches another vehicle that is stopped at an intersection or in the road. This happens with regular occurrence, and I have had to slam on my brakes to bring my vehicle to a sudden and screeching halt to avoid colliding with the vehicle in front. See the attached video. This video was recorded at 2:06 this afternoon (eastern time zone). I was headed north on East Lake Road South and the vehicle in front was stopped at the intersection of East Lake Road South and Woodlands Blvd. The vehicle momentarily pickups the vehicle in front and momentarily slows, but suddenly speeds up again and I have to slam on the brakes.
The video I sent may not have a high resolution through e-mail, so let me know if you wish for me to text the high-resolution version to you. You will notice that a message pops up in the display that states "Autosteer Speed Restricted to 40 mph" which does not typically reflect when I have experienced or duplicated this issue previously. I believe it came up because the vehicle was initially navigating a curve in the road, but this was well before the straight-away and the vehicle speed did pick up to 48 mph before the close call.
I wish to point out that I have reported this and other issues to Tesla previously without any results or follow up communication.
Two other issues that I have reported, in addition to this one, are as follows:
1. Highway driving with AP engaged, on "hilly" roads the vehicle will read the dip in the road (after the peak of the hill) as an object and suddenly and forcefully brake.
2. When driving on the highway with AP engaged, upon using the turn signal feature the vehicle will change lanes even if a vehicle is in its blind spot.
Some people may say that this is the driver error and that you have to drive the car and keep your hands on the steering wheel. I am completely aware of the issue. I was purposely recreating the circumstances so that I could film them and send the videos to Tesla. It helps them, from a programming standpoint, to have this information. I understand your position. I have read the manual. My overriding point is that this issue is tempting fate. Tesla should do a better job to make this issue front and center with owners. Particularly since the issue only occurs under specific circumstances. This particular issue only seems to occur when I engage AP without any vehicles initially in the sensors range. If I engage AP with a vehicle in AP sensor range the Tesla has always come to a proper stop.
What do you think? How do you use the Autopilot in your Tesla? Please, let us know your opinion in the comments section below for discussion. Your tips may help to save lives.