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Auto lane change potentially not safe if you don't check for quickly approaching cars

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by SoxFan2004, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

    Sep 16, 2013
    Bay Area, CA
    This had was likely a cost-cutting measure. Most vehicles with advanced blind-spot sensors use rear-3/4 radar to detect fast-moving vehicles in adjacent lanes. The ultrasonics in the current AP hardware aren't quite up to the task, having shorter range and higher latency, and so Tesla leaves it partially up to the driver to manage that risk. A decent interim solution, but it leads to confused drivers who don't fully understand the limitations of the system before using the feature.

    This was discussed a bit previously here: Driving on the highway is annoying due to "Blind Spot Warning Disabled" alert
  2. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    #22 sandpiper, Mar 29, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
    I would argue that the Tesla "autopilot" is named exactly correctly. I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding about what an aircraft "autopilot" does.

    Aircraft "autopilots" range from the very simple (keep the wings level and the aircraft pointed one direction), to more typical (fly under program point to point at a fixed altitude and potentially follow a glideslope down to within a few hundred feet of the ground) to those than can execute all phases of flight, but are still pilot programmed and under pilot supervision. Every pilot is trained to understand how the autopilot works and what it's limitations are. You are trained to never rely on the autopilot, to recognize and respond to a failure, and to be able to take over at any time.

    Aircraft autopilots are definitely not "autonomous". They don't circumvent weather, take direction from ATC, monitor traffic, develop or program the flight plan, or deal with unusual circumstances. They do make your job easier and safer by taking away some of the monotonous and mundane tasks, allowing you to look at the bigger picture.

    The Tesla "autopilot" functions, for a car, in manner very much analogous to the way that some of the simple to typical aircraft autopilots function. It makes your job less monotonous. You need to understand how it works and what it's limitations are. You have to watch what it does, never rely on it, and expect that you might have to take over at any time. If you do this, you will be very happy with it. As I am.
    • Like x 3
  3. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Jun 24, 2012
    Redmond, WA
    Model S (and X) could greatly benefit from rear radar, one at each rear corner. My wife's Volvo has that for blindspot monitoring and it is way better - more accurate, longer range, and significantly less latency. Also allows for "down the aisle" watching and alerting when backing out of parking spaces. Here's hoping Autopilot v2 adds those sensors to the mix.
    • Like x 1
  4. kort677

    kort677 Banned

    Sep 17, 2015
    your description is absolutely correct. however the majority of people do not share your knowledge of aviation terms. they see auto pilot and take it literally. they mistakenly think that it is autonomous driving. you and I are on the same page but many people have a false understanding of this new technology.
    • Like x 1

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