How does the AI of Autopilot determine what to do when engaged on a Highway or Interstate in a single lane that splits into two lanes in which the added lane is not an exit, but an expansion of the total number of lanes?
For instance, when engaged in the left-most lane on an interstate, and the lane begins to widen turning a 3-lane interstate into a 4-lane interstate, the vehicle centers itself between the two lines that determine the lane. However, upon detection of a new line drawn on the pavement to indicate to a driver that the lane is no longer one lane, but now two, the Autopilot seems to be unsure of which lane to choose and then jerks the car into whichever lane it is closest to. It is very off-putting of the trust in the Autopilot as it is not a smooth transition. I often find myself disengaging auto-pilot to avoid this incident then re-engaging after I have chosen my preferred lane.
However, from a programming standpoint, I would think the best solution to this small, but noticeable problem would be to have the auto-pilot use one of the two lines that draw the lane as a "guiding-line" in the sense that the car stays close to one of the two lines rather than centering itself when the lane-lines begin to widen or split.
A further detail explanation of this suggestion follows:
When in a multi-lane highway with the Autopilot engaged, upon detection of a lane widening where the distance between the two lines drawing said lane exceeds a certain threshold, the Autopilot would stay closer to one of the drawn lines instead of attempting to center itself between the two lines. I would assume it would be wiser to have the Autopilot always choose the line that has another entire lane detected next to it to avoid the Autopilot choosing a line that will possibly, eventually lead to an exit lane.
For clarity purposes, I propose the following hypothetical example:
Given a 3-lane interstate that will soon become a 4-lane interstate by adding a lane to the left-most lane or to the left side of the 3-lane interstate. When Autopilot is engaged with the vehicle in the left-most lane of a 3-lane interstate and upon detection of said lane beginning to widen, the vehicle would sense the two unused lanes to the right of the engaged-lane. The car would then choose to use the right line of the engaged lane to determine it's course or path and stay within a certain distance of the right line as to not begin to center itself between the two lines of the engaged lane that are growing in distance apart (width). This would allow enough time for the vehicle to sense if the widening lane will soon add another line in the center of the two widening lines and determine that in fact a single-lane is now split into two lanes. In this instance, the vehicle would remain closer to the right line or right side of the lane and avoid any sudden jerk to pick a lane. Once the lane is split in two and the new line is detected, there would be a smooth transition to the proper lane with no jerking in which the driver could choose to use the blinker to let the autopilot change over to the new left-most lane from the currently engaged lane.
I can think of plenty of other examples like a single lane on a highway that expands into two lanes, however to keep the post from being any longer of a read than it already is, I'll avoid adding more.
Also included is a link to a very rudimentary drawing to give a visual representation of the hypothetical situation: https://imgur.com/a/JFmeA8G
Thank you for your time and patience,
- Tesla Certified Owner