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1,000 mile trip on Autopilot - WOW!

1,000 mile trip on Autopilot - WOW!

I L-0-V-E my Model 3!! I know there are many reviews about the car, so I want to share here my experience with Autopilot and Autosteer on our 1,000 mile trip. I have v. 2018.26.3

Most of the trip was on I-95, and almost the entirety of the time in the highway I was driving on autopilot +autosteer, and driving on center or left lanes.

Autopilot pros:
• It stays centered in the lane, and I must confess, it does a better job than I do! At least at 70ish mph, and with my first ever RWD, I stay centered but I make small corrections within the lane, especially when I check the mirrors. The autopilot, however, does a very smooth job! Even in Jacksonville, where the highway has very close turns, the car did a perfect job. I only took control when a lane opens into two (I did not want to wait for the car to choose), and when there was a very wide truck by my side (with most trucks I was happy with the side distance the Tesla chose).
• It chooses speed intelligently and smoothly. For instance, if a car pulled in front of me, it did not reduce the speed abruptly to maintain the safety distance (provided the distance was sufficient), but instead smoothly created the space. In general, it chose to accelerate and decelerate how I would have done it, which is great, because I almost forgot the car was driving!
• It hardly bothered me to show I was holding the wheel. And I did not have a tight grip at all! The car does not sense pressure, but resistance to turning. In my case, two things did the trick. First, I hold the wheel, but leave my arms naturally hanging, a bit heavy, not tense, and with that weight, the car was noticing some slight resistance on turning. Second, when there is a curve I do follow the car in turning… Now this is very subtle, because it hardly moves. But since I have my preference for tracing the curve, and the M3 does this slightly different, that slight difference on when I chose to go with the curve was enough to create some resistance. Every now and then, especially on long straight parts, it would ask me to give it a nudge, and I did this very subtly and was enough.
• Autolane change works great. First, I confess I forgot the turn signal on the left lane when there were cement blocks on the side, so the car chose not to move (thankfully). It was reassuring, and also a reminder that turn signals need to be used with precision! Other than that, I only signaled when safe, but once the Tesla didn’t feel it was safe enough and did not do it (also reassuring, since I admit was a bit tight). It changes lanes fast, which is the proper way to do it, without eternally moving from one to the other. I like that. I used this all the time o the trip.
• Overall, this was a very restful trip. Sure, I was vigilant (especially the first miles), and treating the Tesla like you would treat a kid who is still perfecting driving. You need to be aware of who is driving: I mean, I was “driving” all the time, but you need to be aware of who has the controls at that point. Still, way more restful than driving fully, at least for me.

There is room for improvement, of course. My main complaint with the autosteer is how to transition out of it. If you take control of the wheel, it gives you the control, but to me this was awkward. It always ended in me losing control of direction for a second, doing very fast Ss... Not fun at 70 mph. The best way I found to transition: tap the break, regain full control (pedal + wheel), do your thing, then reconnect both systems. I don’t like using the gear stalk, I am afraid to hold it too long and go into neutral. I think Tesla needs to work more on transitioning out of the system.

Pikachu | 2020年2月12日

I'm happy you love your Model 3. I have had mine for 15 months and love it too. I have noticed that when in autopilot and going on the highway on a curve that when it hits the straight away it tends to weave a little left to right or visa versa as it gets back to the middle of the lane. It never goes out of the lane but it does come pretty close to any vehicle in an adjacent lane which can feel a bit unnerving, especially if it is a semi-truck.

Orthopod | 2020年2月12日

I probably would have been able to use it for less than 10% if my trips here in Montreal, Canada.

Glad it works in the South!

vmulla | 2020年2月12日

@Leela,
Nice!!

Few things:
Try tapping the stalk up to disengage Autosteer, don't push up to hold but do a quick flick. That'll solve your problem without risking going to neutral. It's much smoother than any of the other things you tried.

About AP in Jacksonville FL. Yup I observed that AP felt so much better in FL for some reason - I didn't call or Jacksonville specifically but my observations about FL are here: https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/i-made-same-2500mile-trip-3-years-...

billtphotoman | 2020年2月13日

I don't use AP nearly that much because most of my road trips are on 2 lane highways but the main improvements I would like to see are 1) avoid changing lanes into the blind spots of other vehicles when possible 2) avoid pacing other vehicles in their blind spots when possible 3) Automatically move out of the right lane when an emergency vehicle or 18 wheeler is on the shoulder and 4) avoid road debris. I would think 1 and 2 should be pretty easy with the current sensor set. 3 is obviously tricky. 4) is required to allow on to take their eyes of the road on highways.

Frank99 | 2020年2月13日

I took a 700 mile trip last week, mostly on AP on 2020.4.1. I noted that AP was smoother when driving on straight sections (very subtle left-right adjustments to keep centered) than previous versions, but had a more pronounced weave around corners than previous versions. I also noted that, unlike previous versions, it would NOT automatically move out of the leftmost lane after moving there to pass - it used to put up a message "Moving out of passing lane" (IIRC). Not once on this trip did it do so.
The two-lane highway I was on (yeah, yeah, AP isn't approved for undivided highways) had "passing lanes" every couple of miles - a new lane would appear to the right, and slower traffic was supposed to take it. Unfortunately, the Arizona DOT had striped the roads such that the new lane line would appear dead center on the old single lane (after a couple hundred yard separation). My Model 3 would continue straight, suddenly notice the new dotted line, panic, and 90% of the time jerk to the left to enter the passing lane. I'm hoping the next version is aware of such lane splits and transitions smoothly into the RIGHT lane.

vmulla | 2020年2月13日

"but had a more pronounced weave around corners than previous versions. “@Frank99

+1

Haggy | 2020年2月13日

" It hardly bothered me to show I was holding the wheel. And I did not have a tight grip at all! The car does not sense pressure, but resistance to turning. In my case, two things did the trick. First, I hold the wheel, but leave my arms naturally hanging, a bit heavy, not tense, and with that weight, the car was noticing some slight resistance on turning. "

That works for some people. It never worked for me. My solution was to get these: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B005FIS14Y/ You put one on each side of the lower steering wheel. Then you can hold the grip loosely with one hand while keeping your elbow on the arm rest and you don't have to worry about pressure.

Whatever you do, make sure that they are even. If you use only one, you will still be holding the wheel and it will work fine, but it will keep the car from warning you.

The only time I see a warning about holding the wheel is if I unconsciously hold the wheel too tightly and instinctively try to move my hands the way they naturally would if I steer. In that case, letting go for a second will make the warning go away.

Whatever you do, watch the road. You can't rely on Tesla's solution because people can hold the wheel just fine and not pay attention. Not having the distractions of the messages means paying more attention.

Shesmyne2 | 2020年2月13日

Good write up. Thanks for sharing.
I find pushing the stalk up firmly to disconnect quickly works well as does moving the steering wheel.
In all my years of driving it was typically hitting the brakes (bad for guy behind me) or
hitting the accelerator-lots of variables there.

Still Grinning ;-)

Shesmyne2 | 2020年2月13日

From the manual...

Canceling Autosteer
Autosteer cancels when:
• You start steering manually.
• You press the brake pedal.
• The maximum speed that Autosteer
supports–90 mph (150 km/h)–is
exceeded.
• You move the gear lever upwards.
• A door is opened.
• An Automatic Emergency Braking event
occurs (see Collision Avoidance Assist on page 102).
When Autosteer cancels, it sounds chimes and the Autosteer icon either turns gray to indicate that Autosteer is no longer active, or disappears to indicate that it is not currently available.
Note: If Autosteer cancels because you started steering manually, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control remains active. Disengage Traffic- Aware Cruise Control as you normally would, by moving the gear lever upward or pressing the brake pedal.
Note: If you move the gear lever upward and hold it up for more than one second, Model 3 shifts into Neutral after canceling Autosteer.
To disable Autosteer so it is no longer available, touch Controls > Autopilot > Autosteer (Beta).

Still Grinning ;-)

devilphish | 2020年2月13日

I think manually overriding AP by turning the wheel should be reserved only for times when the car really needs correcting. Manual overrides get flagged for human oversight, adding extra load to Tesla engineers trying to make the autonomy better. Quick flick of the stalk is the way to go, so easy and doesn't flash brake lights like when using brake pedal to disengage.

(P.S. why is this almost-2-yr old trip review suddenly generating thread traffic? :)

devilphish | 2020年2月13日

I think manually overriding AP by turning the wheel should be reserved only for times when the car really needs correcting. Manual overrides get flagged for human oversight, adding extra load to Tesla engineers trying to make the autonomy better. Quick flick of the stalk is the way to go, so easy and doesn't flash brake lights like when using brake pedal to disengage.

(P.S. why is this almost-2-yr old trip review suddenly generating thread traffic? :)