Losing Cruise Control in the Tesla

This is part of a series that covers my experience with a Tesla Model Y.

The other day the cruise control in the Tesla stopped. I was moving along a road, heard a beep, and then realized the car was slowing quickly. I have the regenerative braking set to the aggresive mode, and so the car was quickly moving from 40mph towards 0. I pressed the accelerator and didn’t think more of it.

Then it happened again a day or two later. Then again.

The third time, I realized each time it had been at night, on a narrow road that has some quick up and down hills. The car has often slowed a bit coming up over the hill, but these times I had been using cruise control to keep the speed steady as I returned home.

The manual notes that autosteer, which I think includes the cruise capabilities as they act similar, can turn off temporarily. Not what you want in a car trying to get to Level 5 autonomy.

My suspicion is that this is because the rapidly rising road seems like an obstructed view. Careful drivers probably slow slightly coming up over the rise, and I have if there is a biker or car on the side of the road. However, the human thing is to assume the road is clear, which is should be, and then brake hard if it’s not. Telsa seems more conservative and tries not to get into the place where it brakes in an emergency.

That’s not a great view, in my opinion. Most cars with adaptive cruise will hold the speed unless there is an obstruction, which shouldn’t be the case with a rising road. I’ve driven cars that did this well, not braking unless a car was actually in front of me.

I wish there were a “report” button on the display that would let me tag a moment with +/- 2 minutes around it and then later add a note to send to Tesla on how the behavior. I realize this would be a lot of reports, but this is the type of feedback they could use to improve their AI/ML models.

Actually, I can give feedback, so I’ll try that the next time something weird happens.

I don’t find this to be a safety issue, as I should be ready to take over, and if the car isn’t sure what to do, then be conservative. I just wish I could let it know that this isn’t a place it needs to be that careful.

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1 Response to Losing Cruise Control in the Tesla

  1. Brian K says:

    I have a much less computerized car, and I was doing a long road trip last week, and noticed on a few occasions that on a sustained climb up a fairly steep hill, the CC would disengage itself. So it might simply be a standard behaviour for cruise control in general? I need to take a different car up some big hills to test this.


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