Federal officials reviewing ‘phantom braking’ complaints from Tesla drivers

Tesla began a new approach to its technology in May 2021, using a new feature called “Tesla Vision,” as opposed to the previously-used technology of radar sensors that used to work together with the vehicle’s surrounding cameras, the Post reports.

Many safety experts, and Tesla owners, believe that the phantom braking problems arose after Tesla made these updates.

“Phantom braking is what happens when the developers do not set the decision threshold properly for deciding when something is there versus a false alarm,” Phil Koopman said to The Washington Post. Koopman is a Carnegie Mellon University professor who focuses on autonomous vehicle safety.

Koopman also said to the Post, “What other companies do is they use multiple different sensors and they cross-check between them — not only multiple cameras, but multiple types of sensors,” such as radar and lidar, a type of sophisticated sensor that uses laser lights to paint a dot matrix mapping the environment.