Auto wipers at night

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msjulie

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#1
What I mean is that the auto wipers are pretty useless on dark roads .. it's been raining for days here, and this am it was really raining (like you just turn the wipers on). The auto wipers, however, were clueless unless I went under a street light or otherwise wasn't in the dark..

I'm sure the rain sensors would have calibrations that could recognize water with less light.. I wonder if it's just that software isn't considering this or there's an actual issue with my car.

Anyone else have a similar experience?
 

MelindaV

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#2
this am it was really raining (like you just turn the wipers on). The auto wipers, however, were clueless
others have noticed that if you start with rain on the windshield, it does not automatically wipe until it notices a change. So expect that is part of what you were seeing this morning.

not yet having the car... (so take anything I say as total BS) I would suggest to tap the wiper swipe button on the left arm to clear the window when you first start and not expect the auto wipers to register until you get moving. obviously that doesn't help the dark conditions not being recognized though.
 

msjulie

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#3
Could be - but this wasn't mist by any means and I repeatedly went between trying to see if it could auto-wipe with some reasonable effect and just turning them to manual mode. If it's just software, it has a bit of a way to go here...
 
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#5
What I mean is that the auto wipers are pretty useless on dark roads .. it's been raining for days here, and this am it was really raining (like you just turn the wipers on). The auto wipers, however, were clueless unless I went under a street light or otherwise wasn't in the dark..

I'm sure the rain sensors would have calibrations that could recognize water with less light.. I wonder if it's just that software isn't considering this or there's an actual issue with my car.

Anyone else have a similar experience?
I haven't really driven my Model S in the rain in the dark since activation of auto wipers but I don't think it's an issue specific to your car. I've seen other reports of Model Ss and Model Xs that have Tesla Vision hardware not working very well at night unless there are street lights or oncoming traffic headlights. Since Tesla is now using the cameras to auto wipe I can understand how this might be an "issue". Hopefully they will get better with a future software update.

Mike
 
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#8
My 2002 BMW 3-Series has auto-sensing wipers. It uses an infrared light source to bounce off of the windshield from inside the car. If there are rain droplets on the outside of the glass, the light is reflected back to the sensor differently. Apparently, that's not the way the Tesla sensors work. The BMW system works well day or night, but if you leave it on "auto sense" when you turn off the car, the next time you drive the car it doesn't work at all until you turn it off and then on again. Perhaps both systems use a start-up normalization measurement that gets confused if not "booted" properly. Just musing. My 3 order just come up for me to specify options yesterday.

Gary
 

Brokedoc

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#9
I think auto wipers are useless in the day as well, so there is that... :cool:
I think we need to mod the thread title to reference auto wipers.

Clearly the auto wiper function is still buggy. It was only recently activated on AP2 cars. I find that when it stop working, I can trigger a manual wipe but to get the auto wipers to reactivity, I have to turn off the wipers and turn it back on.

See this other post for a clip. https://model3ownersclub.com/threads/autopilot-2-0-2-5-official-thread.1490/page-19#post-84444

My 2002 BMW 3-Series has auto-sensing wipers. It uses an infrared light source to bounce off of the windshield from inside the car. If there are rain droplets on the outside of the glass, the light is reflected back to the sensor differently. Apparently, that's not the way the Tesla sensors work. The BMW system works well day or night, but if you leave it on "auto sense" when you turn off the car, the next time you drive the car it doesn't work at all until you turn it off and then on again. Perhaps both systems use a start-up normalization measurement that gets confused if not "booted" properly. Just musing. My 3 order just come up for me to specify options yesterday.

Gary
I don’t think Tesla has windshield rain sensors. I think they use the AP cams to detect buildup on the windshield.
 

Maevra

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#11
I feel like 4.9 is horrible for auto wipers. It’s rained heavily and frequently in the Bay Area prettt much everyday last week and I was on manual for 90% of the time bcause auto mode didn’t wipe fast/frequently enough. Heavy mist in the windshield from freeway driving is a special issue. However anecdotes from folks with 10.x said it’s much improved. We’ll see. I had no problem with 4.6/8 but 4.9 was a step back for wipers IMO.
 

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#12
My 2002 BMW 3-Series has auto-sensing wipers....
Yep, this is how most rain-sensing wipers work.
Later on BMW changed the system so you only need to push "AUTO enable" after shutdown...
But Nissan, for example, swipes immediately after switching on the ignition and wipers left in AUTO if water detected.
I personally don't like it. I like BMW's method more. It's better in cold scenarios.

I'm sure the rain sensors would have calibrations that could recognize water with less light.. I wonder if it's just that software isn't considering this or there's an actual issue with my car.
Holy cow. I wasn't ever thinking about that, but now... I'll be very surprised if Tesla could fix that without hardware change.
Tesla uses only visual data to detect droplets with camera(s). And in case of low light scenario, clearly, no data.
And likely, they will NEVER be able to detect mist at comparable accuracy with infrared sensor, without... (infrared) light source.
They could add that small LED and code the camera to detect droplets.
But, as far as I can estimate, software fix for pitch black rain sensing will not fix the problem.

I think auto wipers are useless in the day as well, so there is that...
That might be very true. 2001 BMW has wipers that are pretty good (I'd give 7/10), 2010 BMW has superb sensing (I'd give 10/10 as I have never needed any manual wipe nor have noticed excessiveness), but Nissan, well, I'd give Nissan (2014) no more than 5/10. First of all, sensor area is smaller. Sensitivity is bad. Alertness is very slow (takes average too damn long) and can't understand fine dirt well enough (one wipe per 30-60 seconds). Also "more sensitive" setting is always excessive. Both BMW and Nissan offer 4 sensitivity levels. Average levels are most appropriate in usual scenarios.
AFAIK, Tesla doesn't have any adjustability in AUTO mode. True?
 
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KarenRei

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#13
Holy cow. I wasn't ever thinking about that, but now... I'll be very surprised if Tesla could fix that without hardware change.
Tesla's cameras see fine at night. You couldn't use autopilot if they didn't.
But I don't know what "droplets on a windshield" look like to them.
 

arnis

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#14
I'm not sure camera with that small lens diameter can physically see well enough (500€ DSLR vs 1000€ smartphone) in low light.
For lane keeping grainy image might be enough, but not for droplet detection.
And my bet is that AP2.0 camera sensor is much less advanced than 1000€ smartphone camera(s).
 

KarenRei

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#15
A camera for photography is not the same as a camera for a sensor. For one, cameras for photography are RGB, which get 1/3rd to 1/4th the number of pixels as a grayscale camera with the same sensor. For another, they have to filter out all IR.
 

msjulie

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#16
re various comments about camera resolution etc - seems to me there's plenty of refraction going on between outside and inside that some calibration could happen but I'm not a camera lens expert. Depending on the camera alone seems perhaps not the best plan?

If there truly is no software enhancement available, perhaps the documentation/ui/something should point out the obvious - turn your own wipers on folks..
 

arnis

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#18
A camera for photography is not the same as a camera for a sensor. For one, cameras for photography are RGB, which get 1/3rd to 1/4th the number of pixels as a grayscale camera with the same sensor. For another, they have to filter out all IR.
My semi-large bridge camera has lens diameter ~35mm, that's around 1000mm2. And it's still not awesome in the dark.
And it doesn't filter Ir light at all (just tried out with regular remote control).
I estimate AP camera lens to be somewhere around 10-12mm in diameter? So 100mm2. Therefore 10x less photons.
Well, that is actually not bad (better than I imagines before comparing). But still, much less light will hit the sensor.
Not sure about sensor being black white only...

As you can see, the cameras are feeding black and white images. The cameras themselves can record in color and high-definition, but black and white images can be processed quicker.
 

ltphoto

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#19
Well, there is a lot more to it than that. The total light passing through the lens to the sensor is based on the size of the aperture opening as well as the glass diameter. Longer focal lengths need a bigger opening to get the same light through as shorter focal lengths (in simplistic terms). The actual sensitivity (if all else is equal for the lens) is based on the sensor pixel dimensions. It is based on how many photons per pixel. That's why a high pixel count does not always give a high quality image compared to some lower pixel counts. You trade off sensitivity for resolution if the overall sensor size is the same. The cameras on the car may very well be just as able to detect rain droplets as your bridge camera. Most bridge cameras do not have much light gathering ability (shown by the higher minimum f-stop).
 

Phil Kulak

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#20
The auto wipers are pretty bad in general. You have to build up enough rain to seriously hamper your ability to see, then it wipes once, rinse, repeat. I'm assuming it will get better...