Tesla AutoNavigation on I-90 under 2019.12.1.2: Take Over Immediately

While my Model X, Pensive continues to have its share of issues, it has actually stopped regular lock-ups since upgrading past 2019.8.5 and generally been behaving itself during operation. At the same time, it hadn't been on the highway since the trip to New York under 2019.8.5, so with a little trepidation I got onto the Massachusetts Turnpike, also known as Interstate 90.

It's pretty easy to miss the alert tests if you're paying attention to traffic, so while I'm annoyed when it happens, I'm not surprised by it when you're on a fast moving road. Sometimes the car will ask you to take over regardless of your responsiveness to the checks, for instance if there is heavy rain and the camera cannot see out of the front windscreen. In these situations, the alert is fairly similar, directing the driver in the dash screen (driver's HUD) to take over control.

Today, something different happened. The central screen of the Model X showed take over immediately warning. That's when things got interesting.

Center console

Take-over warnings usually show-up in the driver's heads-up, not in the center.

As I continued along the highway the driver's dash would lock-up and resume, screens would go black; the take over immediately message and warning tones would manifest and go away, only to return moments later. Sometimes just one screen was frozen, other times both. At no point though, did the AutoSteer disengage, although this was hard to verify visually since the driver's screen which is the one place this information appears was sometimes blank and other times clearly not updating. After the gremlins failed to leave the system, I tried a soft reboot as it was impractical to do a full power down. For the next few miles I drove without the screen as I tried to prepare to exit. Apparently I hadn't applied enough force to the wheel, as the car began to switch lanes for me at one point, but after forcing it back into lane, I seemed to have successfully disengaged the AutoPilot. I didn't re-enable AutoPilot the rest if the trip, so it's unclear if the soft reboot was sufficient. Following the soft reboot, the car was clearly not back to standard functioning as Bluetooth connectivity appeared to be completing absent (this resolved itself later, following a full power-off).