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Autopilot works brilliantly!

Autopilot works brilliantly!

I tried to post this to the comments section over at the Washington Post but my post was rejected probably because I differ from their opinion on US politics and express my opinion in comments. Anyway here's my take on Autopilot after driving roughly 1,000 miles.

I own a Tesla 90D so my experience is based on just that, first hand experience and not conjecture.

First off Autopilot works amazingly well. Like millions of other people I commute to work every day in stop and go bumper to bumper traffic. In every other car I've owned heavy traffic is met with dread and leaves me feeling spent when I get to my destination. But now with my new Tesla, purchased expressly because of the autopilot feature, bumper to bumper traffic is no longer a cause for concern. My car drives itself with little or no effort on my part. I can literally feel the pressure released once I get settled into my lane and active autopilot. Calm is the best way to describe what once was road rage and frustration.

On open roads with regular fast moving traffic autopilot requires a bit more attention than it does when in bumper to bumper traffic as the car's sensors do not have the constant reference of other cars to help keep its lane but it still works brilliantly with a few caveats.

You need to be aware of your lane and its markings- lanes with faded paint markers or with dissimilar color surfaces like we have in Southern California where concert and black top meet can and do at times confuse autopilot requiring that you take over control. Think of this as standard non adaptive cruise control. When traffic slows you need to manually reset or disengage cruise control or even apply the breaks to keep pace with traffic. Tesla Autopilot is similar in that when lane markers change or when it cannot correctly interpret the lane it warns you to take control, just as you do when the pace of traffic changes with standard cruise control. And just as with standard cruise control, Autopilot alleviate some stress even if you do still have to pay attention.

After driving with Tesla’s autopilot for a few hundred miles most people will begin to understand it’s capabilities and limitations and this leads to successful utilization of its benefits. I think where many people are getting hung up is in the misguided idea that autopilot would allow them to completely check out behind the wheel. In time this will likely be an option but for now, autopilot is a useful tool to reduce stress while commuting, even if you still need to pay attention.

Tom M.us_az | November 6, 2015

I agree 100%

donaldmeacham1 | November 6, 2015

Ted_Denney +++

Son of a Gunn | November 6, 2015

@Ted_Denney ++

PhillyGal | November 6, 2015

What they said

dborn @nsw.au | November 6, 2015

Yep, heavy traffic is when it is most useful. This is a drivers car. In fast moving traffic, drive for the exhilaration!

Ted_Denney | November 6, 2015

@dborn Yes the Tesla's a drivers car, weather your driving or not! God I LOVE Autopilot!

risquared | November 6, 2015

Autopilot was not the most highly ranked feature of the six new v 7.0 features in the survey below. However it was not the lowest either. Go check and don't forget to cast your own vote

http://lilianv.com/wp/tesla-survey/

Bluesday Afternoon | November 6, 2015

@Ted_Denney

I like AP, too. But not comfortable, yet. I find the steering wheel overly stiff while Lane Keeping is engaged. I understand why it's firm but uncomfortable with the continual auto adjustments felt in the steering wheel as it stays centered in the lane. The system seems to be learning faster than me. It's almost like a tug-of-war experience with the wheel as the rope.

Give this a try - While traveling at least 60 MPH on the freeway drive with 'both" hands on the wheel for 5-10 minutes with TACC and Lane Keeping engaged. Then disengage only Lane Keeping (retain TACC) and feel the difference in holding the steering wheel. It's liberating! Actually, it reminds me of driving. Go figure.

Tropopause | November 6, 2015

Simply Red, Duh! Either you or the Autopilot must control the steering. You can't both be in charge at once. Same thing with airplanes. On or Off.

harry pippic | November 6, 2015

@Ted_Denny +++

fltinstr | November 6, 2015

@Ted_Denney. 100% agree. Works flawlessly for my daily commute. Can't believe it's a beta product. As long as I know it's limitations.

Bluesday Afternoon | November 6, 2015

HI Tropopause,

I clearly understand what you said. Apparently, you can't discern what I said. Read it again and perhaps you'll begin to grasp what I'm saying. Or, maybe not.

PTP | November 6, 2015

I have had it for 4 days and it works great. Only problem is that it can occasionally be a little late and therefore hard with breaking in stop and go traffic. I about got rear ended yesterday (car behind skidding to a halt). I let the AP continue and my car did it again and the car behind me actually honked. I think it was helped when I shortened the following distance though I am not sure. It is amazing though

PTP | November 6, 2015

BTW- has anyone noticed the steering wheel vibrating at lower speeds when in AP? Almost like the system is fighting itself. You can even hear it sometimes.

PTP | November 6, 2015

AND... I think the AP should be more pro-active with putting on the brake lights

Grinnin'.VA | November 6, 2015

@
Ted_Denney | November 6, 2015

[[ First off Autopilot works amazingly well. Like millions of other people I commute to work every day in stop and go bumper to bumper traffic. ]]

^^ It's good to hear that AP has worked well for you.

[[ ... in Southern California where concert and black top meet can and do at times confuse autopilot requiring that you take over control. ]]

^^ AP in my 85D has done quite a few dumb things, a few of them dangerous.
I can't recall a single instance in which AP even suggested that I "take over control".
AP has let it to me to figure out when it's doing something stupid that requires my intervention to keep myself safe.

YMMV.

Ted_Denney | November 7, 2015

@Grinnin'.VA "AP in my 85D has done quite a few dumb things, a few of them dangerous.
I can't recall a single instance in which AP even suggested that I "take over control"

My AP always beeps when it gets confused or senses it's going off the rails. But frankly, I can tell where it will have issues; anticipating where it works well and where it may need a little help is never an issue for me. As stated in my OP the area where I feel people have an issue with AP is in thinking they can totally 'check out' when its engaged. This is simply not the case in the Tesla, or any vehicle for that matter. I own a 42 foot sailboat with AP and I've single handed to Hawaii and various islands in the South Pacific and back to California and I always had to pay attention to various factors when Auto Pilot was engaged. The same holds true for aircraft.

Grinnin'.VA | November 7, 2015

@ Ted_Denney | November 7, 2015

[[ As stated in my OP the area where I feel people have an issue with AP is in thinking they can totally 'check out' when its engaged. ]]

^^ I've used AP for many hours, always keeping my hands on the wheel and focusing my attention on the driving situation.

But what the hell, you presume to declare that you "feel people have an issue with AP" are just drivers who use AP inappropriately. I reported what AP did in my 85D. You weren't there. You sure don't know diddly squat about those incidents. In my mind your comment is incredibly arrogant.

Please report your experience and what you think it means.
Speculative comments that gratuitously paint other posters in a bad light are counterproductive. They just tend to piss people off!

Stiction | November 7, 2015

The problem with AP for me is the cases where without warning (or with the warning coming at the same moment), it jerks the wheel towards out of lane (and there is traffic around).

It's not a problem for ME, but for my spouse.
Not expected and scares the heck out of her.

NKYTA | November 7, 2015

Grinnin, he is sharing his experience. We've heard yours, ad nauseum.

Ted_Denney | November 7, 2015

Embarking on a 100 mile AP road trip to the mountains today. Will report my experience and issues if any.

Bluesday Afternoon | November 7, 2015

@NKYTA

Well done!!

Son of a Gunn | November 7, 2015

I'm with Ted here. Grinnin hasn't had breakfast yet.

Bighorn | November 7, 2015

Aricept hasn't kicked in.

EVino | November 7, 2015

Ha ha! Donepezil

EVino | November 7, 2015

I'm sorry..I'm not trivializing that. I'm sincerely apologizing.

Grinnin'.VA | November 7, 2015

@ Stiction | November 7, 2015

I've had the same problem.
My wife has asked me to refrain from using AP when she's in the car.

@ NKYTA | November 7, 2015

[[ Grinnin, he is sharing his experience. We've heard yours, ad nauseum. ]]

^^ Sorry you're not feeling well. Good luck in your recovery.

@ Simply Red | November 7, 2015
@ Son of a Gunn | November 7, 2015

^^ I've noted your hostility. However, I'll just ignore your insults until/unless ...

NKYTA, I include you among those expressing gratuitous hostility toward me.

Bluesday Afternoon | November 7, 2015

@ Son of a Gunn

I now have this image of my made up name recorded in someone's Hostility notebook. At least our names are in alphabetical order on page 38! I just hope the recorder is not pissed since that would really dampen my day. :-(

NKYTA | November 7, 2015

Nothing that a couple Tums didn't clear up. Nice to know I made the list.

Ted, thanks for sharing -your- experience.

prp | November 7, 2015

Maybe if everyone got on the list @grinnin would have to tone things back a bit to communicate with anyone.

Haggy | November 7, 2015

The shorter your following distance, the less time the car has to react when the car in front comes to a stop. If your car can travel three car lengths to come to a stop instead of two, but has the same amount of time either way, it means it will be slowing down more gradually. If it slowed down at the same rate with two car lengths, it would plow right into the car in front.

prp | November 7, 2015

The problem with short distance is you feel like you have gears if the person in front is a slow changer.

VIN786 | November 8, 2015

Should I enable Auto Pilot? What do folks with AP say?
I booked an apt with the service center but am not too sure I will make it.

prp | November 9, 2015

Yes you should. Its already very good. Future updates will make it brilliant.

Grinnin'.VA | November 9, 2015

@ prp | November 7, 2015

[[ Maybe if everyone got on the list @grinnin would have to tone things back a bit to communicate with anyone. ]]

^^ Thanks for acknowledging your real intent: to silence dissent.
IMO, you are doing a disservice to the Tesla community.

@ vqazi | November 8, 2015

[[ Should I enable Auto Pilot? ]]

^^ If you feel adventuresome and you watch it like a hawk, I say go for it.

Roamer@AZ USA | November 9, 2015

Amazing system. So easy to use you don't even need to stay at a Holiday Inn Express to operate it.

mclary | November 9, 2015

IDIOTS! - They are going to take it away from us if everyone keeps complaining and doing stupid stunts like activating AP and not sitting in the drivers seat!

Galve2000 | November 9, 2015

I did a mini road trip this weekend about 85 miles each way.

on the outbound journey I drove roughly 55 of those miles using autopilot. it worked very well. followed cars, changed lanes by simple shift of the turn signal, and it helped keep my watts/mile low.

I had a similar experience on the way home where I used AP for roughly 75 of the 85 mile journey,

again it performed near flawlessly.

I was hyper aware the entire time I was using AP as I do not as yet trust it completely. I also know from this forum and TMC that sometimes when there is a new turning lane it will confuse AP and AP may steer the car into this new lane.

this did happen to me once. The HOV lane entrance on the highway I was driving appeared and the car swerved as tho it was trying to enter this new lane. I was prepared and took over. I should note that there are entrances to this HOV lane every few miles and AP skipped the rest of them without trying to accidentally steer into them, but it did happen once during the 75 mile journey.

all in all I would say i am very impressed by AP and am glad my Model S shipped with this capability.

Tâm | November 9, 2015
Bluesday Afternoon | November 9, 2015

@ Tâm

AP works brilliantly, just not all Model S drivers (aka, IDIOTS).

Grinnin'.VA | November 9, 2015

@ Simply Red | November 9, 2015

[[ AP works brilliantly, just not all Model S drivers (aka, IDIOTS). ]]

^^ In my experience, it works well, not brilliantly, most of the time.

SR, as long as I read posts that claim that AP performance is really much better than the way it has performed for me, I reserve the right to continue posting information about how well it works for me.

BTW, IMO you stand no chance of convincing people who disagree with you by throwing insults at them.

Son of a Gunn | November 9, 2015

I wish there was a way to ignore this guy. He's quite obnoxious.

rxlawdude | November 9, 2015

@son- Amen!

Bluesday Afternoon | November 9, 2015

@ Grinnin'

I shouldn't even try this...and pardon the yelling since I want you to hear the following and in no way consider this rude: MY COMMENT WAS NOT DIRECTED AT YOU!!!!!!!!!

It was in reference to that particular driver in the video. I'm not a fan of your style and I don't try to take jabs at you. If I wanted to insult you I am most capable of doing so in a manner you would not mistake! You are far from an IDIOT. But you do write with a grating, contrarian manner (for the most part).

I'm still struggling with what you are grinnin' at in VA.

Grinnin'.VA | November 9, 2015

@ Simply Red | November 9, 2015

[[ @ Grinnin'

[[ I shouldn't even try this...and pardon the yelling since I want you to hear the following and in no way consider this rude: ]]

^^ Surely you understand that yelling is rude. So, why do that?

[[ I'm not a fan of your style and I don't try to take jabs at you. ]]

^^ I'm not here to curry your favor, but to exchange information with Tesla owners.

[[ But you do write with a grating, contrarian manner (for the most part). ]]

^^ I freely admit to giving voice to "contrarian" and unpopular views.
I try to write in a style to convey what I have to say. If you find my views or my style uncomfortable, you are free to skip my posts. That would not bother me at all.

[[ I'm still struggling with what you are grinnin' at in VA. ]]

^^ I presume that you missed my posts that say I love driving my 85D. It's the dream car that I never expected to live long enough to own and drive. It's a marvelous car.

Bighorn | November 9, 2015

Since I don't have an AP car, I'm glad to hear that it works brilliantly. Very excited for the future.

Roamer@AZ USA | November 10, 2015

@Bighorn, As a first gen beta system it is much better than I expected it to be. Only a couple of standard deviants have problems using it. Oops I meant statistical standard deviations from the mean operator.

prp | November 11, 2015

@grinnin, I have no objection to an alternate view. I have an objection to a view, alternate or pro, that keeps banging on about the same thing in a thread...and then another thread.
I particularly take exception to someone saying I'm doing a disservice to the tesla community

vpoz | November 11, 2015

@Ted_Denney +1

It's a bit of a fight to get AP to disengage by using the steering wheel .. you end up overcorrecting a bit as AP suddenly lets go, would be useful if it took less force to override AP.

Otherwise it's great especially in slow-moving high volume highway traffic which nobody could call a jojyful driving experience that they miss because AP has taken over.

prp | November 11, 2015

Press the button on the end of the stalk for non-emergency disengagement for a smooth transition.

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