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New Autopilot Feature Keeps Cars in Passing Lane

A new update to Tesla’s Autopilot software enables the cars to remain in the passing lane, rather than only using the left lane when there’s a slower vehicle to pass.

Tesla included the “Exit Passing Lane” feature in its 2020.36.10 software update. The feature will be available to cars equipped with Hardware 2.5 or above and the Full Self-Driving package.

Currently, vehicles operating on Autopilot are not always efficient when trying to pass other vehicles. Since the vehicle is programmed to return to the right lane, it will not continue to pass a caravan of slower cars in the right lane as a human driver might do.

Owners using Navigate on Autopilot will now need to choose settings to automatically return to the right-hand lane, otherwise the vehicle will continue traveling in the left-hand lane. 

Image: Wiki

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,572
21,964
Texas
The 2020.32 version kept in the left lane unless there was a car behind, when it moved to the right. Does this mean that Tesla now blocks cars behind unless the driver manually moves over?
 

AZMerf

New Member
Jul 28, 2020
4
0
Phoenix, AZ
Finally! On long trips on highways with two lanes, this is so annoying. I typically have to turn off NAP for long stretches due to a long line of trucks or slower cars. Doesn't sound like it's going to be terrible convenient to switch on and off given sometimes you need it to stay in one lane and sometimes you don't. Stil for long trips like that, it would be a welcome change.
 

Puddles

Member
Jun 2, 2017
728
844
Fresno, CA
I typically have to turn off NAP for long stretches due to a long line of trucks or slower cars....

I know exactly what you're talking about. But I disapprove of the feature, here's why.

I like many of the automated features because they help me and remind me to be a better roadway citizen. TACC keeps me from raging at slower traffic, especially when they are in MY passing lane. "Changing out of passing lane" keeps me from hogging YOUR passing lane. More to the point, it relates to the FSD end of the spectrum, and no autonomous vehicle should loiter in the #1 lane. Being able to let go of the minutia, and focusing on the bigger picture, makes driving much more relaxing. So, I don't like to see the COPL feature being turned off--it seems like it's pandering to the humans, and we should be trying to take them OUT of the equation. What I *would* like, is if it would not insist on changing out of the passing lane when there is obviously slow traffic immediately ahead in the slow lane. And by "obvious," I mean "Showing up on the traffic visualization." A lot of the annoying in-'n-outs could be avoided.

Similarly, I'm appalled at this Green Light Go bell. Is texting at stoplights such an epidemic that we have to have an alarm to tell us when to go? If you can't keep track of the light color, you shouldn't be driving.
 

CyberB

Member
Nov 25, 2019
81
72
Phoenix
THis is great news, I stopped using navigate to destination because of Tesla's insistence on get over in to right lane even though it gets behind slower cars...I drive fairly fast, if there is a faster asshole out there I am more than willing to let them pass.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,572
21,964
Texas
THis is great news, I stopped using navigate to destination because of Tesla's insistence on get over in to right lane even though it gets behind slower cars...I drive fairly fast, if there is a faster asshole out there I am more than willing to let them pass.
My assumption has always been that if someone is behind me it's because they are faster. Because the 2020.32 release kept you in the fast lane unless there was someone behind you, and made sure I wasn't impeding traffic. I liked that it did that automatically. Now I will have to keep checking to see. If it works as described, it's not an improvement.
 
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Hank42

Member
Sep 30, 2012
518
272
United States - NY
How about fixing being in the right lane within a mile of exiting, and encountering slower traffic - causing the car, that knows it should exit soon, to go into the left lane, only to compete with trying to get back in the right lane to make the exit without any anxiety? Or being in the right lane when encountering a cloverleaf and insisting on moving into the left lane (at "slower" speeds") cutting off faster cars in the left lane only to avoid the potential of vehicles entering?
 
Mar 14, 2018
22
3
Camarillo, CA
Staying in the left lane is mostly an American problem. In California it is against the law to stay in the left lane if the right lane is clear, and there is a following vehicle "Notwithstanding the speed limit".... CVC 21654. On the other hand I cannot say I have ever seen this law enforced. In WA state there has been increased enforcement of keeping right in recent years. Drive in Germany and stay in the left lane at your peril!
 

Master Chief

Member
Jan 20, 2020
83
38
Norfolk, VA
Don't get me started about lane changes. Even when the sun is not low in the afternoon sky, I often have trouble changing into the passing lane, even when there is no one behind me in the left lane. When it finally decides to pass, it will jerk to the left and then sometimes violently jerk back into the right lane. VERY disconcerting. Not sure what causes that to happen. It might have been fixed with very recent updates, I don't know. I haven't used NoA much recently just because of the quirkiness of the feature. If this is state of the art for FSD, then I don't expect it to be fully roadworthy for at least five years.
 
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CyberB

Member
Nov 25, 2019
81
72
Phoenix
My assumption has always been that if someone is behind me it's because they are faster. Because the 2020.32 release kept you in the fast lane unless there was someone behind you, and made sure I wasn't impeding traffic. I liked that it did that automatically. Now I will have to keep checking to see. If it works as described, it's not an improvement.
I don't know, when I used navigate on autopilot, no matter how high I set the speed, Tesla always managed to squeeze to the right and find some minivan to get behind.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,572
21,964
Texas
I don't know, when I used navigate on autopilot, no matter how high I set the speed, Tesla always managed to squeeze to the right and find some minivan to get behind.
I don't know when it was changed but in 2020.32, the behaviour was as I stated: Keeps in the left lane unless there is a car behind you. Also, even in MadMax mode, the lane change is slow enough that it's easy to flip the turn signal lever to cancel. (MadMax is really more like Nervous Nelly.)
 

Sid_m3p

Member
Dec 11, 2019
12
2
NJ
This is great. The primary reason I did not use the nav autopilot was because it kept going back to the right lane unnecessarily. I usually drive faster than traffic, so I'm usually found in the passing lane anyway. I'm in NJ, so roads are probably more crowded than most other places so it's not as if the right lane is wide open. In fact, the car would pass on the left and then squeeze into the the right lane behind another car travelling slower, so back into the left to pass again. The zig-zagging was annoying. Obviously if some speed demon is coming up behind me, I can hit the turn signal and move over as to not be an a-hole. Can't wait for my next road trip!
 

Master Chief

Member
Jan 20, 2020
83
38
Norfolk, VA
Staying out of the passing lane is a luxury afforded only to those who have highways with at least three lanes going in the same direction. With heavy traffic, the concept of "passing" in the left of two lanes is laughable. The concept of blocking traffic by not speeding up (also known as maintaining the speed limit) in the left lane is chronic and causes untold issues by frustrating drivers behind them and not allowing traffic to flow at the most efficient speed possible.

Can Tesla help to fix this problem? I doubt it. I was hopeful that my Tesla would learn how I drive vs. how someone in a software lab in California thinks I should drive.

If we get to true Full Self Driving, then pushing the button and then pulling out a good book or going to sleep will be a valid option and we really shouldn't care about the extra 10 minutes it will take us to get to our destination. However, if we are awake and "driving", then we should be able to have our car mimic how we drive (at least up to the point of insanity :)

Until we get actual FSD where we are not required to touch the steering wheel every 30 seconds, I want my car to help me drive and to stay safe with speed maintenance, lane drift avoidance and collision avoidance, etc. Plus, I want it to take the proper exit from the freeway!
 
Last edited:

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,347
1,175
USA
Don't get me started about lane changes. Even when the sun is not low in the afternoon sky, I often have trouble changing into the passing lane, even when there is no one behind me in the left lane. When it finally decides to pass, it will jerk to the left and then sometimes violently jerk back into the right lane. VERY disconcerting. Not sure what causes that to happen. .
had this happen to me multiple times on a trip not long ago. For me I narrowed it down to the following scenario that was impacting me:
- 4 lane highway (I-95 and I-85 in Virginia and NC) where there was large, wide sometimes forested median separating northbound/southbound traffic
- When there were minimal or no trees in the median? Zero issues with lane changing from far right to left lane next to the median
- When trees were present and the sun was shining through the treeline casting random shaped/sized shadows directly into the left lane? The car would violently jerk itself back into the right lane after I signaled NOA to move to the left lane.

Admittedly that road trip was 2-3 months ago and several updates ago. Not sure if recent updates have fixed my issue
 

Puddles

Member
Jun 2, 2017
728
844
Fresno, CA
In my enthusiasm to nit pick and armchair engineer, I clean forgot that version 11 will be out “soon” and will completely reshuffle the deck. It’s not surprising that I would make this mistake, but it is very surprising that Tesla is releasing new, insignificant, features on the eve of releasing a major rewrite.
 
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tonyb99

Member
Mar 22, 2020
161
82
Tucson
This is a retrograde step, allowing people to drive in the passing lane when it is not necessary. Getting those idiots, or simply untrained drivers, out of the passing lane was a reasonable way to ensure people drive properly and legally. (Why driving in Europe is such a pleasure, and it could be here too....)
 
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