Since the original issues with EAP no longer apply I will focus only on the changes noticed on EAP from the previous versions. The observations I make are baselined against past EAP performance along a test route.
Report for version 2018.24.1:
I started on a 300 mile solo road trip immediately after work today. I updated the software while I was at work, so I was totally focussed on recording the observations. I had 5 hours to observe the new build under challenging circumstances that include: crawling traffic, heavy rain, interchanges, exits, ideal conditions with perfectly straight roads, zero shoulder with a concrete barrier alongside, construction zones with multiple overlapping lane markings, lane changes at various speeds and different weather conditions.
And what a fantastic update this is - this is true EAP, it's truly enhanced over AP1
Without further ado here are my observations. They're in no particular order I was noting things down as I observed then - unvarnished first impressions:
- Does not slow for vehicles cutting in front of you at slow/crawl speeds.
- Lots of warning beeps when trucks are in the next lane - very unnerving. But side obstacle detection seems to be improved vastly.
- Seems more in control - quick deliberate corrections, like a well caffeinated human driver. I like it!
- Corrections are slightly jerky, but it gives you a sense that the car is reacting to the surroundings. Much more confidence inspiring than the previous gentler corrections.
- Excellent centering at low speeds, no low speed ping-ponging observed (unfortunately for me I had an opportunity to observe this for 12 miles and 1hr 25mins because of a crash) no ping-ponging observed at all. I suspect the side cameras are already active.
- The vehicle is able to focus on multiple vehicles. Typically I observe the vehicles that Tesla is focusing on as black cars, other vehicles as grey cars. Today I noticed 2 cars represented in black. That's confidence inspiring.
- Excellent lane detection in very poor visibility situations - even at 75mph on curves. It was pouring hard. Oddly the automatic wipers didn't activate much, still the system did fine detecting lanes.
- Lane changes are very good under ideal conditions. However car didn't like lane changes in the rain, it aborted the operation several times.
- The number of vehicles the car detects, and the accuracy has definitely improved. The car even displays vehicles that are slightly behind it. V21.x shows vehicles along side sometimes, but v24.1 shows vehicles alongside much more and vehicles slightly behind sometimes.
Overall experience felt like the car was on rails. I'm convinced that the side cameras are active, or that the car is using some kind of 'validated' routes to guide it better.
Fantastic update for EAP!
Report for version 2018.21.9:
- The vehicles in adjacent lanes are showing on the screen.
- All vehicles are represented as cars. No support for showing Motorcycles/Trucks yet.
- Detection of vehicles in the adjacent lanes is inconsistent. Sometimes vehicles no not appear on the screen until they are almost in our lane, at other times the vehicles are detected when they are directly alongside.
- Car is decelerating to handle curves better. I noticed this on curved roads and exit ramps. However, sometimes the car decelerates too much and is presenting a risky situation from vehicles following the Model 3.
- The 'keep hands on the steering wheel nag' is not noticeably different with proper usage of Autopilot. I tested this extensively because several users complained of shortened nag intervals, test conditions included open freeway with minimal traffic, freeway with rush hour traffic, and stop and go traffic. To be clear on the way I use the system, I lightly grip the steering and let the movement of the steering tug my hold.
- Since the update I have not experience sudden braking on the highway. I strongly believe this update improved the handling of false positives. Unfortunately there is no good way to test this, at least not that I know of.
- Automatic lane changes are Ok - no significant changes since 2018.10.5 (2018.10.5 was a huge improvement for auto-lane change)
- Lane centering is very good - to a fault (More about this in additional comments section below).
- Side obstacle detection arcs have a bigger range of detection than before.
Based on the improved capabilities of the system in 2018.21.9 I would like to see these features. I trust they'll come, but just hoping they're covered sooner than later.
- Car is reaching full speed in its lane when the adjacent lane is moving significantly slower. Since the adjacent lane detection is in place it would be nice for the car to assess the speed of the adjacent lane before zooming ahead. True TACC would be a welcome next step
- Car is centered on its lane, even when adjacent vehicles are dangerously encroaching on it. It would be nice if they utilized the data from the adjacent lane to position the car so that its less risky for everyone on the road
EAP Changes for OTA Update 2018.18.13 (No significant changes since 2018.10.5)
I noted 4 major issues with EAP In my original post several weeks ago, this was also 2 major software updates ago.
I'm happy to report all 4 of those areas have been improved remarkably.
The original issues, and my current observation are
1. Bouncing withing the lane - No longer an issue, centering within the lane is near perfect.
2. Abrupt lane changes - No longer an issue, lane changes are smooth now.
3. Veering away too much from vehicles in the next lane - Vast improvements noticed, still under observation
4. Veering away from the center at intersections - Vast improvements noticed, still under observation
Lane change observations - Very smooth lane changes , system is performing well in sparse to moderate traffic when there is wide spacing between cars in the adjacent lane. Lane change not recommended for heavy traffic conditions. NOTE: Lane change REQUIRES FULL DRIVER ATTENTION. The car cannot detect and account for fast approaching traffic in its surroundings.
Specific cases for observing EAP behavior are provided in a detailed post within the thread.
---Original post below, for historical reference only---
I have several thousands of miles of experience with AP1.0 on MS and MX and have just about 2200 miles with M3 EAP, I can definitely say that EAP features on M3 need improvement.
We know that the software will be adjusted over time, so please add your own experiences and constructive feedback.
Here are my experiences with EAP on Model 3.
Bouncing withing the lane: The car is not staying in the center of the lane, it tends to veer from one side of the lane to another. This is especially prominent when the road curves. The car 'toed' the lane markings a few times, more often than it happens on AP1.0. The car seems to be constantly overcorrecting steering input.
Abrupt lane changes: The car changes lanes much like an aggressive driver, it speeds up to give itself some room from the cars behind it and then inserts itself between the cars abruptly. Majority of the times the lane change is not smooth or confidence inspiring, and at times it is downright scary.
Veering away too much from vehicles in the next lane: The car detects vehicles in the next lane and veers away from them towards the edge of its own lane. This is desired behavior to avoid accidents, but at the moment I'm observing that it is happening too often and going too close to the edge of the lane - even when there is no danger of collision.
Veering away from the center at intersections: The car tries to find the edge of the road at intersections, and since there are no markings at intersections/divided highways etc the car veers towards the edge. This can be quite unnerving. I know this is NOT a scenario that EAP was designed for, but this is a use case where AP1.0 did a much better job.