Object Detection Bugs Falcon Wing Door Design


When Elon Musk debuted the crossover Tesla Model X the most prominent feature was the signature Falcon Wing doors. The doors were designed similarly to gull wing doors with the exception of an added hinge in the middle, making the doors move up more than out. While this looked impressive during the demonstration, owners of the Model X haven't been as thrilled with the feature.

Tesla recently made an update to the software controlling the doors to address a problem of "false positives" in identifying if an object was blocking the door. This "fix" has caused an additional problem, which could lead to serious injury. A YouTube video recently posted by MEtv Product Reviews showed the newly updated doors slicing a cucumber in half. When a larger vegetable was used the door took several attempts until finally chopping it in two. This obviously caused concerns about fingers, hands and arms being injured.

The doors have had problems since the very beginning. When the Model X first rolled off the assembly line, owners complained about "phantom object detections" which led to the doors becoming nonresponsive altogether. Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted that the doors were very difficult to engineer and program. Obviously not all the bugs were worked out prior to launch.

The complex array of sensors are designed to automatically open and close the doors while being aware of objects outside and inside the vehicle. So far no injuries have been reported, however damage has been caused by the system. Recently a door opened while the vehicle was pulling out of a garage which caused major damage and misaligned the door and damaging the SUVs body.

In a public statement about the software issue, Musk said “digging ourselves out of the hole has been quite hard. But I think with the software release that’s going out shortly and another one that’s going out in maybe a month or so, I think finally we’ll be at the point where the doors are better than normal doors.”

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