V9 Feature: Lane Departure Avoidance (and Emergency LDA)

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JWardell

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#1
Tesla just announced Lane Departure Avoidance and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance coming to everyone in a software update, as an enhancement to existing Lane Departure Warning:

https://www.tesla.com/blog/more-advanced-safety-tesla-owners


More Advanced Safety for Tesla Owners
The Tesla Team May 2, 2019​
While no car can prevent all accidents, we work every day to make them less likely to occur. The massive amount of real-world data gathered from our cars’ eight cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and forward-facing radar, coupled with billions of miles of inputs from real drivers, helps us better understand the patterns to watch out for in the moments before a crash.​
As our quarterly safety reports have shown, drivers using Autopilot register fewer accidents per mile than those driving without it. That’s because Autopilot is designed to reduce fatigue by helping drivers stay in their lane, while also ensuring that they keep their hands on the wheel. While lane-keeping and hands-on monitoring can be extremely effective at helping to reduce the likelihood of an accident when Autopilot is in use, we believe that these precautions can also be extremely effective for preventing accidents when Autopilot is not in use.​
Today, we’re introducing two new safety features designed to help prevent drivers from inadvertently departing their lane, which our data shows is a common cause of accidents when Autopilot is not in use. These new features – Lane Departure Avoidance and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance – help drivers stay engaged and in their lane in order to avoid collisions.​
Lane Departure Avoidance
Lane Departure Avoidance lets a driver elect to have corrective steering applied in order to keep them in their intended lane. When the feature is in use and a driver is departing a lane without their turn signal on, the car will also check to see whether a driver’s hands are on the wheel. If a driver’s hands are not detected on the wheel, the driver will receive a series of hands-on reminders and alerts, similar to the ones that our cars provide to customers who use Autopilot. If a drivers’ hands are repeatedly not detected on the wheel when Traffic Aware Cruise Control is in use, their car will gradually slow down to 15 miles below the speed limit or below the car’s set speed, and turn its hazard lights on.​
This feature can be turned on or off, and works at speeds between 25 and 90 mph. It is an extension of Lane Departure Warning, which already warns drivers through a steering wheel vibration if they begin to drift out of their lane without their turn signal engaged.​
Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance
Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance is designed to steer a Tesla vehicle back into the driving lane if our system detects that it is departing its lane and there could be a collision, or if the car is close to the edge of the road. This feature will automatically be enabled at the beginning of every drive, but can be turned off for a single drive by going to the Autopilot Controls menu.​
At Tesla, improving safety is our primary goal, even after a customer purchases their car. That’s why we’re introducing these features beginning today via a free over-the-air software update, starting with Model 3 owners and gradually expanding to all cars that were built after October 2016. This is just another way that we are helping to protect Tesla drivers and passengers, and others on the road, every day.​
 

Feathermerchant

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#2
It reminds you if you don't have your turn signal on and are trying to change lanes?
That will be unpopular. Seems no one uses their turn signal around here.
 

JWardell

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#3
It reminds you if you don't have your turn signal on and are trying to change lanes?
That will be unpopular. Seems no one uses their turn signal around here.
No. Lane departure warning has already been doing that.
Lane Departure Avoidance will only kick in if you hands are not on the wheel and you drift from your lane, centering you back in your lane. I believe this is similar to lane departure assist commonly found on Ford and others. I believe this has to be optionally enabled as well.
And Emergency Lane Departure avoidance is on by default and only takes action if it detects a collision with car or wall/curb. Which is already similar to existing collision avoidance.
 

GDN

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#4
While this says being released today it does not appear to be part of 12.1.2. 12.1.2 seems to strictly be a replacement to 12.1.1 and likely a bug fix. I just got 12.1.2 and find nothing of this new feature in this SW where they say it should be. I don't typically have Lane Departure Warning turned on, but I turned it on and don't have any further options. From the article: "This feature can be turned on or off, and works at speeds between 25 and 90 mph. It is an extension of Lane Departure Warning,"
 
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tesla m3

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#6
Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance

This can be an issue if you're on a road with construction and there are concrete barriers in place with shifted lanes. If the car thinks you're going off the road and tries to correct you into the barrier, it's going to be a real treat. I'd much rather have this addition as optional, rather than something enabled with each drive.
 

GDN

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#8

garsh

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#10
Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance
Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance is designed to steer a Tesla vehicle back into the driving lane if our system detects that it is departing its lane and there could be a collision, or if the car is close to the edge of the road. This feature will automatically be enabled at the beginning of every drive, but can be turned off for a single drive by going to the Autopilot Controls menu.​
I'm only on 2019.8.5, but this sounds like EXACTLY what I've been experiencing.

There's one part of I79 that has a pothole I like to avoid. So I'm driving in the right lane (slow lane) with NoA, and I take over steering to go around the pothole (and leaving TACC engaged). But going around the pothole takes me a little over the right line. This isn't really an issue, because the interstate has a huge shoulder and there's plenty of room.

Half of the time, there's no issue. I go around the pothole, re-engage NoA, and we're done. The other half of the time, the car acts like I'm trying to kill us. It'll produce that awful beeping that you get when it thinks you're approaching a car in front of you too quickly. The screen pops up a red message saying "take over steering immediately", which I find to be funny, since this all started because I HAD JUST TAKEN OVER STEERING. And the car fights me to keep the car in the lane, and I have to fight back to keep steering around the pothole.

I am VERY upset to see that the emergency avoidance is not only on by default, but must be disabled EVERY DRIVE. Not cool.
From my experience, it would appear that the feature already exists and is already active in earlier versions of software. The only thing that the new software is going to add is the ability to disable it. So, if you haven't already had an experience like mine, then you probably don't need to worry about it. :)
 

DocScott

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#11
I'll add to the chorus of concern over the emergency lane departure avoidance feature.

Autosteer is still beta, right? And we're supposed to be ready to override a bad decision by the car. But in this case it sounds like a feature based on the same beta AI is supposed to override a bad decision by the driver. If it's good enough to do that, then it's good enough to actually drive by itself--i.e., it's L3 autonomy. And if so, fine--but then Autosteer should no longer be beta and should be truly hands-free in certain circumstances, and it's clearly not ready for that yet.

Emergency braking is different, because it's rarely super-dangerous. Yes, if someone is following close behind you might get rear-ended, but rear-end collisions tend to be less serious than other varieties because the speed differential is often fairly small. But emergency steering of this kind, particularly because it thinks you're leaving the road, could potentially steer you in to a hazard. For example, what if there's a giant pothole (even a sinkhole) in the road. I'm not sure the car would recognize that yet. The driver tries to drive off the road, figuring being in the grass is better than driving in to a pit. Does the car then not let them, and drive in to the pit? Yikes!

EDIT: Just saw the post by Garsh (above) that describes pretty much exactly that. If it works the way he describes, then at least it sounds like he can "win" the fight with the car over which way to go. But it's still a problem!
 

Needsdecaf

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#12
I'm only on 2019.8.5, but this sounds like EXACTLY what I've been experiencing.

There's one part of I79 that has a pothole I like to avoid. So I'm driving in the right lane (slow lane) with NoA, and I take over steering to go around the pothole (and leaving TACC engaged). But going around the pothole takes me a little over the right line. This isn't really an issue, because the interstate has a huge shoulder and there's plenty of room.

Half of the time, there's no issue. I go around the pothole, re-engage NoA, and we're done. The other half of the time, the car acts like I'm trying to kill us. It'll produce that awful beeping that you get when it thinks you're approaching a car in front of you too quickly. The screen pops up a red message saying "take over steering immediately", which I find to be funny, since this all started because I HAD JUST TAKEN OVER STEERING. And the car fights me to keep the car in the lane, and I have to fight back to keep steering around the pothole.


From my experience, it would appear that the feature already exists and is already active in earlier versions of software. The only thing that the new software is going to add is the ability to disable it. So, if you haven't already had an experience like mine, then you probably don't need to worry about it. :)

Interesting.

Yeah, I've heard the "we're departing the road, take over NOW" emergency chime before. But I've never had the car try to fight me when I've deliberately driven onto the shoulder.
 
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Spiffywerks

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#14
Last week I discovered this feature by accident, I thought I enabled AP, but only enabled TACC and let go of the steering wheel. I started to veer off out of the lane, so the car alerted with audio and visual warnings, then took over and moved me back into the lane when I was about one tire width over. This was version 2019.8.5.
 

garsh

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#15
Yeah, I've heard the "we're departing the road, take over NOW" emergency chime before. But I've never had the car try to fight me when I've deliberately driven onto the shoulder.
And like I said, it only happens about half the time.

My current theory is that if I keep some torque on the steering wheel, it's happy because it senses my hands on the wheel. But if I happen to not be putting torque on the steering wheel as the tire crosses the line, then it freaks out. But it's a little difficult to test out this theory, since I only get one opportunity per weekday to test things out. :)
 

Scubastevo80

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#16
I think we'll all have to test these features (within reason) to see how they truly work, if our youtuber friends don't record it first.

I remember a time back in college when we were coming back from a New Years party the next morning and my buddy who was driving dozed off. His car started drifting from the left lane of a 4 lane highway across the second lane and into the third. As soon as I realized it wasn't a one lane change, I looked over, grabbed the wheel to straighten the car, nudged him and had him pull over so I could drive. This is the intent of the Tesla safety feature in my opinion.

I am hopeful the car won't scream and shout if we make a controlled lane change (hands on the wheel) without a turn signal.
 

DocScott

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#17
I think we'll all have to test these features (within reason) to see how they truly work, if our youtuber friends don't record it first.

I remember a time back in college when we were coming back from a New Years party the next morning and my buddy who was driving dozed off. His car started drifting from the left lane of a 4 lane highway across the second lane and into the third. As soon as I realized it wasn't a one lane change, I looked over, grabbed the wheel to straighten the car, nudged him and had him pull over so I could drive. This is the intent of the Tesla safety feature in my opinion.

I am hopeful the car won't scream and shout if we make a controlled lane change (hands on the wheel) without a turn signal.
Weirdly though, the features as described wouldn't do what you did for your friend.

The "Lane Departure Avoidance" (LDA) feature would complain, but it wouldn't stop the car from drifting from one lane to the other. So it might wake you up if you were dozing, but it wouldn't actually "grab the wheel." And this feature is, according to the announcement, something that can be turned off and left off, so people who don't like lots of alerts might not have it on.

The "Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance" (ELDA) would only kick in if it sensed an imminent collision or the edge of the road. So it would let you drift across lanes. But unless you turn it off for each individual trip, it will be active. And it's the "edge of the road" part I find most potentially problematic. There are lots of good reasons to pull off the side of the road. I don't want the car fighting me the way garsh describes.

I think for now ELDA should be limited to imminent collisions, period. (Which maybe means it's not any different from the existing collision avoidance system?) That could include a collision with a stationary object like a Jersey barrier. But I don't want it to stop me from driving on to a grassy shoulder, much less an asphalt one. If I want LDA on, and I want it to make noises at me in case I dozed off, fine. But being able to drive off of the road when necessary is important.

Once the neural net learns to recognize potholes/ditches/cliffs etc., then maybe it's OK for ELDA to not let me drive in to a ditch or off a cliff either. But again, it should let me drive on to the shoulder even if the shoulder is a little sketchy.

EDIT: For LDA, I skipped over the first sentence of the description; see Unplugged's correction below.
 
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Unplugged

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#18
Weirdly though, the features as described wouldn't do what you did for your friend.

The "Lane Departure Avoidance" (LDA) feature would complain, but it wouldn't stop the car from drifting from one lane to the other.
I disagree, as Tesla states:

"Lane Departure Avoidance
Lane Departure Avoidance lets a driver elect to have corrective steering applied in order to keep them in their intended lane." (Emphasis supplied.)

So yes, LDA does keep you in the desired lane, and it slows down to 15 mph below the set speed.

As to Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance, the way the car takes over if you move to go outside your lane reminds me of the Boeing 737 MAX automatic guidance that forces the plane nose down even when a sensor mismatch is detected. Most times it worked as it was supposed to. But two times it resulted in rather catastrophic crashes.

Hopefully. we will be able to fight the steering to avoid a hazard. For instance, what if you had to make a decision to sideswipe the car next to you, or get hit head-on by a wrong way driver? Would the system allow you to override the steering? Interesting edge cases....
 
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garsh

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#19
Hopefully. we will be able to fight the steering to avoid a hazard. For instance, what if you had to make a decision to sideswipe the car next to you, or get hit head-on by a wrong way driver? Would the system allow you to override the steering? Interesting edge cases....
Yes. The car's ability to control the steering is not particularly strong compared to a human. You will win that fight.
 

TrevP

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#20
I’m told through my service contacts this is likely part of firmware 2019.16 which is going out to the early access program in 2 weeks or so.