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Autopilot first impressions...

Autopilot first impressions...

Just made and 800-mile trip from Florida to Kentucky and I thought I’d post some thoughts about Navigate-on-Autopilot.

Overall, I am floored with the technology. I managed to traverse 2h of evening rush-hour traffic in Atlanta in the dark in a misting rain and I didn’t have to make any inputs to the pedals or steering wheel other than the wake-up-jiggles.

That being said, there are some annoyances that pop up in my Model S.

1) The AI seems to wait until the last minute to make lane changes before and upcoming exit. That doesn’t fit my driving style and I would like to be able to customize that the system prepares for an exit one or preferably two miles ahead of time.

2) I drive a lot in the left lane on the highway to avoid semi-trucks and potholes. The incessant requests to change out of the “passing lane” are really distracting and annoying.

3) In the Model S, there should be a way to cancel Autopilot Lane Change requests on the steering wheel without having to reach all the way and touch the center touch screen. It’s not convenient or comfortable.

4) It would be nice to have a selection. in the menu for “optimize range” or “optimize time” and let the AI determine the best speeds to use at any moment of the trip.

Frank99 | 14 december 2019

1. In my experience, Navigate on Autopilot seems to start moving right to prepare for an off-ramp about a mile before the ramp. But, I haven't done much NOAP since updating to 2019.40.1.1, when significant changes were made to NOAP. Perhaps it's changed to assume that it can be more aggressive moving to the exit. It does seem like the kinds of aggression settings used for NOAP (mild to Mad Max) could be applied more broadly, including to preparing for offramps.
2. As someone who has to share the road with you, and who likes to drive about 2 mph faster than traffic (left over from too many miles on motorcycles), I really appreciate NOAP's encouragement of left-lane hogs to move right. I agree that driving in the left lane is the safest (there are fewer lane changes into the left lane than other lanes, you only have to pay attention to traffic on one side of you, the pavement is generally in better shape), but it's reasonably inconsiderate to park yourself in that lane.
3. Even in the Model 3, cancelling a NOAP lane change is annoying at times. We only have to use the stalk, but there are times that the car impolitely insists on changing lanes - like popping up the lane change notification two seconds after I've cancelled the previous lane change notification for the third or fourth time in a row...
4. Interesting idea. The current scheme is pretty rigid. It works well within the assumptions that it makes, but isn't very helpful if you violate one of those assumptions. For example, it assumes that it's OK to show up at your destination with 10% range left - even though turning around and heading for home means that you need 100 miles of range to get to the first supercharger. I'd like to see the current system enhanced to say "I want this to be a round trip; make sure I charge enough at the last supercharger outbound that I can make it to a supercharger on the way back".

I find that working with AP and NOAP is a constant learning process, training myself to understand what AP/NOAP are going to do, and when. And then an update comes out and requires re-training.

TranzNDance | 14 december 2019

Which version is your car on? I've stopped using NoA because it would insist on changing lanes two to three miles before the exit.

Mark K | 15 december 2019

Wait. Stop for a moment, and let this sink in.

What just happened?

People talking here about features they want next, already accepting as normal, that an AI-bot is driving their car.

How cool is that?

Slowly, quietly, the thing that was always far off in the indefinite sci-fi future, is beginning to happen.

In fits and starts to be sure, but it’s unmistakably happening.

Thank god for the few, who ignore the naysayers, and just sprint forward to a better future.

40,000 lives every year in the US are ready for the saving.

Bring it on.

btfarrwm | 15 december 2019

“it's reasonably inconsiderate to park yourself in that lane.”

I try to move out of the left lane whenever there is someone behind me that wants to go faster (assuming nobody is in front of me). But again, Autopilot could use AI to mimic this behavior...(ie only triggering passing lane warnings when there is a car approaching from behind and the car is driving at Max autopilot speed)

Mark K | 15 december 2019

What so great about the fleet learning is how large and diverse the user base already is, and how quickly they can observe, analyze and OTA new knowledge.

The refinement phase cycle time will shock people.

There’s no precedential experience to compare to.

Frank99 | 15 december 2019

"...already accepting as normal, that an AI-bot is driving their car."

That made my day. Thanks.

BadgerErickson | 22 december 2019

interesting vids on YT that seem to be MOSTly positive feedback on the AP, very cool, looking foreword to trying it out...

billtphotoman | 22 december 2019

@Mark K - it isn't just the 40,000 lives that need saving. 3,000,000 people in the US are injured each year in vehicle crashes. Let _that_ number sink in. Nearly 1% of the population. Per year. So, if one drives for a decade a 1 in 10 chance of being hurt in a car crash. Certainly wearing seatbelts, defensive driving and driving a safe car like a Tesla will improve the odds. But, driving with humans at the wheel is really dangerous. Hopefully that sobering statistic will help clear some of the legal and legislative road blocks once the technology is ready. My wife and I are in our late 50s and when we buy our next Tesla are really counting on it offering at least L4.