Tesla Auto Wipers Use Neural Net/Computers To Sense Rain, No Rain Sensors Required

JAN 22 2018 BY MARK KANE 53

The latest over-the-air software update for Tesla cars with second-generation Autopilot (Autopilot 2 or AP2) is finally introducing automatic wipers.

Tesla – auto wiper setting “Auto 2” (source: Arm Suwarnaratana)

The automatic wipers that detect the need to wipe the window while raining aren’t new both for the industry or for Tesla (first generation Autopilot), but so far, cars were required to be equipped with dedicated rain sensors.

Tesla resigned from rain sensors in the AP2 hardware, promising to add the feature later through a different solution, which still needed to be developed.

In the AP2 cars, to detect rain, Tesla uses neural net that processes images from cameras. As you can see in the first videos (one of them was linked by Elon Musk), the feature seems to work just fine.

There are two levels of rain-sensing:

  • detecting rain
  • detecting even just a light mist or drizzle

We are looking forward to hearing from Tesla owners on whether or not this solution works in most situations.

Source: Teslarati

Categories: Tesla

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53 Comments on "Tesla Auto Wipers Use Neural Net/Computers To Sense Rain, No Rain Sensors Required"

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I’ve been using this for a few weeks now and overall it is working really well. It works better in the daytime but nighttime seems to run the wipers just a little less. It worked well in the light mist and fog last night in the dark.

I would think this software solution would also interact/communicate well with AutoPilot software clearing the cameras view with the wipers just enough without running too much.

glad to hear u got a new car after totalling Model X. Which model did U get?

Also a tech question for you:

Tesla says they “use neural net”. Why not just say “using camera’s”. To me neural net implies info from other cars on the network as well….but I don’t know.

Re: My replacement? — I bought a X 100D. It was a service loaner with 4K miles but was in excellent condition.

Re: Neural Networks
These are ‘trained’ systems that learn from data, pictures, videos which could be from many other real-world examples.

Example: if you are google Android user go to photos.google.com and do a search for animal, highway, bridge, boat, etc. Googles NN analyzed your pictures and deteremined what was in them. How from millions of other pictures (network of people) being used as training.

Wiki: “Artificial neural networks (ANNs) or connectionist systems are computing systems inspired by the biological neural networks that constitute animal brains.”

Neural net means they use AI to analyze the images from the camera. Sort of like the AI that had browse thousands of pictures on the internet and it figured out what a cat looks like. Or the AI that can look at pictures of skin lesions and determine if they are skin cancer better than doctors.

Here is the guy heading this NN work up at Tesla. He has *significant* ‘street creds”

Andrej Karpathy — https://cs.stanford.edu/people/karpathy/

These guys have way too much time on their hands. Talk about a solution in search of a problem…

You left out the descriptor unconscionably stupid.

You are missing the point. One of which is the software solution would also interact/communicate well with AutoPilot (etc) software clearing the cameras view with the wipers just enough without running too much. Also what about the software solution understanding the subtle differences with snow and needing some different timings.

“Talk about a solution in search of a problem…”

Sorry, you missed it. A software solution will always be preferable to a hardware solution, so long as results are comparable. After development, cost for implementing software over the fleet is nearly zero per unit, and of course hardware will always have some unit cost.

The article correctly identifies the only important question that needs answering:

“We are looking forward to hearing from Tesla owners on whether or not this solution works in most situations.”

Glad to see Scottf200 reporting that it works just fine for him (first comment, above), altho of course that’s only anecdotal evidence.

It works OK in hard rain. In light rain it’s terrible. I turned it off.

Tesla took 20 years of advancements in rain sensor technology and threw them away for no good reason. Just because AP needs to clear the camera doesn’t mean AP will be the world’s best rain sensor. In fact, quite the opposite. And when AP crashes, you now won’t be able to see until you switch to a manual rate.

What’s next? Removing the ultrasonic sensors? That sounds actively non-redundant.

How do you reconcile this with the contradictory experience from scottf200?

You can also go to TMC. There are quite a few people very very please with the daytime functionality in varying degrees of rain. It worked reasonably for me last night in light misty/fogging weather.

To be fair, it also rains at night and people also drive at night, so automatic wipers that work less well at night are actually quite flawed.

Also, it’s interesting that people seem to cut Tesla so much slack. If any standard manufacturer came out with rain sensors that worked poorly at night, they would be flamed to hell and back.

It really seems like when it comes to Tesla it’s not actually true that their cars do everything better, but rather that their buyers are willing to tolerate significantly more flaws.

3/4/5/6/7 Pretend Electrics said:

“It works OK in hard rain. In light rain it’s terrible. I turned it off.”

I’m sure it worked just as well in your pretend Tesla car before you pretended to turn it off as after you pretended to. 🙄

Let us please restrict discussion to actual cars, and not imaginary ones.

Six you must be off your meds again. You still believe you have a Tesla when we all know you have never even sat in one.

I’ll repeat from the previous thread on this. What the ever living fark? Using cameras instead of existing tried and true sensors? Oh and if they ever get it actually working right there’s still the issue of the ridiculous non-symmetrical big patch of dirty windshield on the passenger side. Insanely stupid. Why would you claim you learned your lesson on ridiculous complexities in the X and you are this time pinky swear going to go with simple. Here’s a hint. Removing the simple wiper thingies to put really complicated non-functional ones that you can’t control does not qualify as simpler.

It is about disruption, man, disruption!
Short sellers and Tesla haters in conspiracy with Big Oil are trying to undermine the Grand Plan by the Great Leader!

True disciples don’t care about these pesky wipers, Tesla car will self-drive from Earth to Mars in no time and will force every legacy industry into bankruptcy!

Exactly. Just use a column stalk. Done.

😆 😆 😆

Poor Tesla Hater cultists!

After seeing their dreams of Model 3 failure go up in smoke, they’re reduced to whining that Tesla is taking an innovative and less expensive approach to automatic rain sensing wipers. Of course, the cultists automatically take the position that “it must be worse because Tesla is doing it”, even before any evidence is in. Haters gotta hate!

Of course, what really has them upset is that Tesla’s stock price is up — WAY up — and they’re losing lots of money on their short investments.

(I think it would be interesting to graph the frequency of Tesla hater posts here on InsideEVs vs. Tesla stock price. I think there would be a pretty clear correlation!)

Go Tesla!

I will do whatever it takes, even if I have to spend my entire fortune for one thing, and that one thing only, and that is to destroy Tesla. I even think, it’s the reason why I exist. That I was conceived from the beginning of time for this purpose.

You too? What a coincidence.

It’s refreshing to see some people have other purpose in life other that the ole boring “to do God’s work”. Evolution happening right here…lol.

Huh? You definitely make a stupid point or score a stupid point or something. Lots of cameras in the car. If they can’t account for dirt they have bigger fish to fry. $0 hardware adder to go this route. What is the retail selling price adder (not cost) for 3rd party sensors? Current tech doesn’t always do well in the light mist, at least not in the S.

Sounds like Musk is just trying to throw around buzzwords to create hype. Unless the car is offloading the processing of the image to the neural net every time its not really using the neural net.(if it was then that is a waste of the cars battery/your wipers wont work when there is no internet connection)

You really have no clue how this works. No internet connection is needed for the NN. They are downloaded like the other OTA software. NNs are dynamic and flexible (do not think about it like normal IF-then-else logic).

It’s nath. I teach it. This is a moronic application


95% of the time talk of neural nets is just a buzz word. It’s really just basic data collection and tweaking the program to work better based off the collected data.

Lol! !!!
Ignorance is really,painfully embarrassing. I’m reading these comments from arm-chair wannabe technicians…sad!
Here are the facts
-Tesla’s solution is better than regular oems. Why u ask?
Because they are saving big NOT BUYING sensors that will be obsolete & add cost to the customers ; thus making the car more reliable.
The neural net will only continue to get better.
The haters are blind to this!

Explain the math mechanism of how neural nets improve accuracy. I will wait.

haha … are you serious … we should take your opinion over Andrej Karpathy


It certainly is confusing to see the term “neural network” applied to development of software running on a single computer, when what they’re really talking about is a using NN as a software development tool.

Kinda like using “A.I.” to mean “expert systems” in software design. Well, maybe not overstating the case that badly.

Neural networks are simply a type of software that has a few modes of operation, one is a “Learning” mode and the other is an operational mode. In the learning mode, you “train” the network by showing it images or data and tune it to respond how you want. This adjusts the weights of the “neurons” in the network.

In operational mode it is fixed and you present it live data and it responds based on how you trained it (it will have some false detects or misses).

My guess is in this case they have trained the network with images of wet windows that need wiping from the camera that can detect it. So in field use when the neural network detects a match of a window that needs wiping it runs the wipers.

I don’t know if the car can ever enter training mode itself, or if that is all done at Tesla and sent to the car with software updates.

Except it is using a camera which is not pointed at the window. Moronic. And it isn’t software but math. Rather straightforward math. And either it is static and the training dataset is all the other model 3 cars or some lab data and there for not dynamic real time or the data is limited to the current vehicle which has no way to determine false positives when training. There is no way to improve the Model if there is no known outcomes to train against

“Sounds like Musk is just trying to throw around buzzwords to create hype.”

Reads like Tesla Hater cultist want to distract from the real question: How does the functionality of Tesla’s rain-sensing wiper sensors compare to those from other auto makers?

We can argue all day about whether the term “neural network” is being used properly here, but the reason there are (at the moment) no less than 18 Tesla Hater cultist comments in a 47-post comment thread is not because somebody misused the term “neural network” (or “NN”). It’s because the Tesla Hater cultist are not merely scared, but absolutely terrified at how well Tesla is succeeding with its Model 3!

Go Tesla!

Yes, lets all be like that Serial Anti-Tesla troll and resident fool cell shill zzzzzz and run around in circles screaming about their BS “concerns”.

Look it either works for the owners or it doesn’t, the market will decide.

If you left it to the Luddites we wouls still be typing on our physical phone keyboards too.

Some people are just afraid of change and others are here to push their agendas.

Wipers are a safety issue. Operating them with a simple column stalk is infinitely safer than relying on complex code and cameras.

How would you define infinitely in this context? Does that mean to you that no car equipped with a manual stalk will ever have an accident? Even if that were so (it isn’t) and if every single Tesla with this feature were involved in an accident then you could accurately say it is 100% safer.

Its at least 109% safer legally. Much of the risk in automation without giving the user an opt out of the automated solution is to expose yourself to class action lawsuits.

Lol. 109% safer. I bet you calculated that yourself ….which is why it is wrong. Thanks for playing.

89% of statistics are made up on the spot. Apparently.

“Wipers are a safety issue. Operating them with a simple column stalk is infinitely safer than relying on complex code and cameras.”

Logically, that’s complete nonsense. There is a legitimate issue with not being able to use the steering column stalk to set intermittent wiper speed in the Model 3, but the automatic rain sensing wiper function is just that — automatic. A driver shouldn’t have to “select” it; and if he does, then by definition it’s not automatic.

There are no concerns from true disciples of the Great Leader like Get Real! They don’t need any wipers for the light of the Leader to show the true path!

Only Big Fuel Cell conspirators and haters like zzzzzzzzz can’t see The Light!

This grasping at ever-thinner straws by you Tesla Hater cultists is getting very, very tiresome.

Just admit you’re upset at all the money you’re losing on shorting Tesla stock, and stop polluting all the Tesla-related discussions with your endless whining about nothing.

TSLA stock has been fairly flat for the last mine months, if you ignore the spike and subsequent crash.

Please recognize that others can hold legitimate opinons that differ from yours. The name calling is now over the top ridiculous. You’ve become your own cliché.

Serial anti-Tesla troll and Spin Meister Sixx Shorts at it again, Tesla shorters like you have already lost another Billion dollars so far this year!


“Please recognize that others can hold legitimate opinons that differ from yours.”

Of course. There are many who hold honest negative opinions about Tesla. But you’re quite obviously not one of them; nor are several others here who have contributed to the no less than 18 Tesla bashing posts in this one comment thread alone.

Those who hold honest opinions also don’t pretend to own multiple imaginary EVs, either… as you do.

Fuel cell doesn’t need a malevolent conspiracy to become Evident that’s an inferior idea from many points of view, let alone the efficiency.

But nonetheless it does have at least one malevolent conspiracy promoting the “hydrogen economy” hoax; a conspiracy named the California Fuel Cell Partnership. That’s the source of a lot of the false claims and the EV bashing parroted by fool cell fanboys and Big Oil shills.

As usual you sound like a dumbass zzzz, you should take your meds.

I love you “Get Real”, you are true disciple of the Great Leader! Not even Pu-pu can match you.

You will get first ticket to Mars! Or to Jonestown, Guyana, your choice! No wipers whatsoever will be needed on this trip.


You are already at the “promised land” of eternal paid FUD trolling you loser.

I rely on a neural network, a manual system and i have rain x to make tbis whole argument moot. 🙂