Autopilot performance

Autopilot performance

I was really impressed with my M3 autopilot today. They are resurfacing my country road so there are no lines painted on it for about a two mile section. When transitioning to the unpainted section the autopilot continued to track perfectly in its lane thru two curvey sections and one sharp ninety degree turn. This seems to have huge implications in the advancement towards FSD.

Devilstower | 19 juillet 2019

I noticed this even on my older software (I'm -still- on 2019.15.103). There was a road near me that was torn up so that new pipe could be laid. Even though sections 100' long or longer now have no lines, AP moves right on through it without a complaint.

Joshan | 19 juillet 2019

very nice to hear, any cam footage to share?

vmulla | 19 juillet 2019

This is very common on well-traveled roads. The system acts great

This isn't talked about as much as they should be - Tesla relies on Visual Cameras, Radar, GPS and ultrasonic and finally Tesla Sense.
At any given point on the road the car expects a certain radar signature, visual cues, and ultrasonic signature - if all match very well if one of them does not match its Ok, the car can use the rest of the info to compare notes with Tesla Sense and evaluate risk.
There are other smart things that the car does, it tracks cars in front of it. If all else fails the car tracks and follows preceding vehicles.
If the car does not have enough data to proceed confidently, it will beep/alert the driver to take over immediately.

In this case, the road resurfacing only removed one cue that the car uses - the other three + Tesla cloud reference data is still Ok.

In these cases, I know that it's important to watch out for new things on the road, a truck parked on the side of the road can have an outsized impact on the path the car takes - even if the truck is a good bit of distance away.

My opinion, experiment with AP tech when you're fully engaged - the logic behind these cars is fascinating and is a blast if you try to understand and pick it apart.

vmulla | 19 juillet 2019

Oh, this is also common to observe in adverse weather. Your car could be cruising on AP when others are using hazards and pulling to the side.

Kary993 | 19 juillet 2019

It can also just bail out as it has with some heavy rain here in San Diego.

CharleyBC | 19 juillet 2019

Interesting stuff, @vmulla. But AP isn't perfect either. A couple of contrary points (and not meaning to be argumentative!):

A few months ago we were on a stretch of freeway where the lane lines had been worn away (snowplows or old age, I suppose). The car got confused, and started drifting. I took over.

Two different times in different locations we have come across the residue of now-completed road work. By "residue" I mean a lane line that was part of a detour bending traffic to the side. We've all see these in construction zones. Well, it was no longer construction, but a line remained. And even though new correct lane lines had been painted, the car suddenly followed the temporary line, thus veering into an adjacent lane. I would have thought with it considering several things as you mentioned, it would conclude the angled line was the outlier, and follow some combination of the real lines, the radar/camera tracking of the car ahead and GPS info. Again, attentive Autosteer supervision saved the day.

vmulla | 19 juillet 2019

Kary993 | July 19, 2019
It can also just bail out as it has with some heavy rain here in San Diego.


I actually support that behavior of bailing out on you. It's nerve wracking and also exciting to experience EAP in adverse weather.
I love understanding the cars limits. When I'm doing this my senses are super alert, and excitement is way - It's absolutely to satisfying to make a connection with what the car sees, what you see, what you expect the car to do, what you would do, trying to understand the logic underneath it all.

All said, I'd support it if they just disabled Autopilot in incliment weather. There are folks I know who'd probably trust the machine too much.

Understanding and knowing the car's limits is absolutely good to enjoy Autopilot safely.

vmulla | 19 juillet 2019

Yes AP isn't perfect. And my last line in my previous post really shares my point of view - and I think it matches yours.

Mostly Tesla just says cars learn from each other, what does that mean? If the car is driving well on an unmarked road maybe they've learned from cars that traversed that road previously? If your car is struggling maybe yours is the first car on the road? Can't really tell - so just be alert and enjoy the journey.
I certainly do.

But - Bug is a bug. Undesirable behavior is what it is. Danger because of a rough edge in software is still danger. Identifying it out is not FUD, on the contrary I think of it as responsibly sharing what I know are the cars limits.

lbanworth | 19 juillet 2019

I'm a BIG fan of Autopilot!!! I drive over a 100 miles a day to and from work and use it about 90% of the time. It's that good and dependable! And its always getting better! car ever made!!!!

stinnett | 19 juillet 2019

Your comment that AP can still function when other cars are pulled over and flashing emergency lights is spot on. I recently drove north on I-65 to Indianapolis, in daylight, and it started pouring rain. It got so bad I could barely see the road ahead and I did consider pulling over. Others were doing just that. But the M3 handled it like a trooper and kept me steady in the lane and continued doing so until the downpour was reduced to "normal" a while later. The car might not always work so well, and other downpours may break it, but it worked this time and I was impressed.

Life is good, but it's better in a Tesla. (And safer, too.)

syclone | 20 juillet 2019

I recently experienced a problem that I haven't seen described on the forum. My car, ( LR- RWD, EAP) was on a limited access road, Northern State parkway in New York (ca: 1939 - Short exit ramps) I was following a car 2 - 3 car lengths in front. The lead car turned off at an exit. My car tried to follow it as if the road lane was going that way. Lane following was engaged, but not NOA. It wasn't my exit anyway.

FISHEV | 20 juillet 2019

It may be due to AP using map data to help with Autosteer function. Even though AP is not Navigate it is built to switch to it so it uses the map data. We found this out when testing on a main road that did not have Lane Keeping. Tesla tech in the car and on the phone said it was because AP is using map data even for Lane Keepoing. In this case it worked against Lane Keeping as it was shut off for the road but AutoSteer worked.

So in those construction areas the lines went away and the AP dipped into the map data and said “I got this”