Tesla autopilot in Germany now with “swipe only”>

Two of Tesla’s ideas, which may not be bad in their own right, further limit the usefulness of the autopilot system in Europe: the company’s electric cars lack a rain sensor and instead use artificially intelligently processed camera images. to determine if and when the wipers are activated it should be running. And since the Tesla autopilot needs a clear view for the sensors behind the windshield, the wiper AI activates automatically as soon as you turn it on. Overall it might be an elegant solution, but in practice the consequences are rather annoying.

German nickname for the Tesla system

The problem seems to have only existed since Tesla started in the US last spring to omit the radar sensor that had always been installed in the front. CEO Elon Musk explained that the way forward for autonomous driving in Tesla lies in “vision only”, ie only in the evaluation of optical sensors. It is uncertain whether radar information is no longer taken into account in vehicles that still have this sensor. But recently, Model 3 and Model Y are also delivered to Europe without it.

One consequence of this is that currently autopilot auto steering can only be used up to 140km / h – before it hit 150km / h, but at least the Tesla speed limit for pure vision cars in Europe is was replaced by a in May Software update from the previous maximum of 130 km / h still slightly increased. At the same time, however, clearing the radar forced the automatic wipers to activate when using the autopilot. And because it behaves idiosyncratically at times, the new Tesla system with cameras has only gotten a German nickname: wipe only.

This can be explained by the fact that the automatic system of a new Tesla with some insect residue on the window did not want to stop cleaning, although the road and the car are free of rain, as a video shows. On recordings on a German motorway, disappointed comments from the driver can be heard on the one hand, and the persistent squeak of the windshield wiper on the dry window on the other. Without “vision only” in this situation you could simply turn off the wipers, but in Teslas without radar you can no longer even use automatic steering.

The autopilot radar may come back

The problem with the overzealous windshield wiper also appears to exist in the United States, according to comments on the Twitter video. In the present case, even after cleaning the window, it was not over, wrote the German Tesla driver. Others then suggested trying to restart the vehicle’s computer. All in all, the enthusiasm of the autopilot in Europe is now clearly clouded, as there has been no progress for a long time and the start of beta testing with the completely new FSD version is upon us.

To fix the additional wiper problem, Tesla could make rain detection more accurate or not activate it automatically and instead stop steering the autopilot if visibility becomes too poor. But radar could also make a comeback: in early June it was announced that Tesla had applied for approval for a new high-resolution sensor in the United States in January.

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