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Auto Pilot - Cruise Control

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by InsaneDriver, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. InsaneDriver

    InsaneDriver Member

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    I finally decided to try out the auto pilot today, less traffic than during the week. Anyhow, here are my observations:

    It's pretty darn cool without a doubt.

    I will admit I was a little nervous as the traffic light ahead turned red and traffic began to slow and stop, but as advertised the car stopped itself the perfect distance behind the car in-front. When the light turned green and traffic began moving the car just went.

    The only complaint I have is the abruptness of the braking when traffic stops at a red light. The car brakes pretty hard, much harder than any of us would typically do as we would ease to a stop using the regenerative braking and minimal to no brake.

    I may need to play with the settings a little, distance control may help, was a short errand so I didn't take the time to play around with it.

    One question I do have since the situation didn't occur on my short trip. Does the car recognize red lights and will it stop at the intersection or does there have to be a car in front of you?

    Looking forward to all the upcoming features in the next "2-3 months"!
     
  2. S85D

    S85D Member

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    The car currently does not recognize red lights so you have to use the brakes / regenerative braking to stop at all stop lights. If there is a car in front of you that stops at a red light it will stop.
     
  3. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    It is also important to know, that if the car in front of you is already completely stop when TACC sees it first time, it doesn't recognise it as a car and won't stop.

    It is good to check cruise-icon in dashboard. If it is blue, TACC is locked to a car in front of you and will stop. If it is grey, it is not locked.
     
  4. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    I drive my car with TACC connected in Miami traffic almost every time. On US1 between I95 end and Bird Road exit, my daily drive, I almost never do it any other way. Dense traffic is no problem. Fooling around with driving style will help avoid the abruptness. So long as you're following a car that is driven conservatively the S will imitate it perfectly. So too it will emulate an aggressive driver. It takes getting used to, no doubt. It's great on those I95 dense traffic situations, as is the HOV sticker too.
     
  5. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I love mine. I find the#4 setting seems to be a good balance between enough distance without too aggressive braking; unless the car in front brakes hard. I find it significantly more aggressive if I set it to 1 or 2 for the distance. I use it every time I am in traffic and it has eased my commute immensely.
     
  6. InsaneDriver

    InsaneDriver Member

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    Thanks everyone for the tips and advice.
     
  7. davidc18

    davidc18 Member

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    I settled on 7 for daily TACC driving. Use it daily and looking forward to the rest of autopilot features rolling out.
     
  8. cryptyk

    cryptyk Member

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    I bought the car for a lot of reasons, but a HUGE one was auto pilot. I use it every day on my commute in San Diego. It's amazing. I use distance 1 because if I leave more room than that, other people fill in the gap continuously. People cutting me off seems more dangerous than following closely.
     
  9. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    One trick I've learned is that if TACC isn't locked on to a car stopped in your lane in front of you, you can trick it into locking on by toggling TACC off and back on again. You need a bit of time to accomplish that, so it won't work in every situation.

    Another nifty trick is that if you are stopped at a signal and TACC goes into Hold mode while locked on to the car in front of you, then when the light changes and the car in front pulls away, you don't need to tap the accelerator to re-engage station-keeping mode (as the instrument cluster tells you to do); all you have to do is blip the CC stalk toward you, and away you'll go. It's magic, I tell you.
     
  10. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    #10 Andyw2100, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
    InsaneDriver--

    It is very important that you understand this, but even more important that you understand the implications of the TACC not recognizing a stopped car if the car in front of you--the one being tracked--changes lanes.

    Remember that TACC is really intended to be used on the highway. If you're using it where there are traffic lights, you really need to be alert. Let's say you are slowly approaching two lanes of stopped traffic at a red light, with TACC set to 45 MPH max. You've already slowed to 10 MPH, because the target car in front of you has, and you are perhaps 100 feet from the stopped traffic. If the target car changes lanes, either into the other stopped lane, or into, say, a turning lane, so that your lane has only the stopped car 100 feet in front of you, are you prepared for what is going to happen? Before reading this post did you know?

    What's going to happen is that your car is going to start accelerating hard, trying to get back up to 45 MPH pretty quickly, because it thinks there is open road in front of it. The collision detection alarm may sound, but it will be up to you to step on the brakes. You better be pretty ready to react! You're not going to have a lot of time.

    And what if instead of 100 feet between your Model S and the car stopped at the light this happens with 25 feet remaining to the stopped car?

    I would strongly suggest not using the TACC in these conditions until you are very familiar with how it is going to behave.
     
  11. steph280

    steph280 Member

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    TACC is only part of the Autopilot feature. TACC has been available in many car over the last decade, even our 2003 Toyota Sienna had it.

    IMO lane holding would be the real auto pilot, if they ever release it.
     
  12. InsaneDriver

    InsaneDriver Member

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    Don't let the screen name fool you.

    Definitely the reason I have been using it in minimal traffic in experimentation mode. I want to know exactly what it is going to do in all situations.

    The mercedes system has similar issues, if the vehicle in front of you goes around a curve the system loses the vehicle and accelerates to the speed you had it set at, potentially over accelerating for the curve. I road raced a 650 rwhp corvette for many years, I am more comfortable at the controls than I am with the car at the controls.
     
  13. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    My post was for others as much as it was for you. Sorry if it somehow gave the impression that I thought your driving skills were in any way lacking.

    I felt the need to really expand on the post that mentioned a stopped vehicle, because the example I provided is not uncommon, and has a very real potential to cause an accident for someone who is not expecting the correct behavior from TACC. There was a whole thread on an accident that was caused by a situation almost exactly like this.
     
  14. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

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    On a recent trip up Interstate 5, I was in the fast lane following another vehicle with TACC on. The vehicle in front was detected and the blue indicator light was displayed. We went around a left hand corner and the TACC indicator turned gray! It couldn't "see" around the barrier wall next to us. Scary moment should that car have slowed down suddenly. I could see it's roof over the wall but TACC lost track.

    Another concern is remembering whether I have TACC on or not. Whether or not, I always have my foot ready to stomp on the brakes. On a recent trip we were cruising around 80 mph and a large buck ran in front of us. I stomped on the brakes and missed him. As I watched all the cars behind me screeching, I punched it so to not get rear ended. Slowing down for a deer, then speeding up quickly to avoid getting rear ended are not things I believe TACC can do.
     
  15. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    No, not TACC.

    But presumably at some point in the not too distant future, some version of Collision Avoidance, or whatever Tesla will be calling it at that time should be able to at least take evasive action to attempt to avoid the buck, be that braking, steering away from it, etc. Whether or not the system will also be sophisticated enough to also speed up again if it has braked, to avoid being rear-ended, is a good question, but I'd certainly hope that at some point the hardware and software get there.

    Unfortunately this functionality won't be in the next version of the firmware.
     
  16. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

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  17. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I think rear facing radar will be needed to accomplish what you describe.
     
  18. InsaneDriver

    InsaneDriver Member

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    I didn't take it that way and certainly appreciate the input. Much easier to learn from someone else rather than my own mistake. I was more joking, I have had other responses due to the name that I was some sort of super crazy aggressive driver, fast but safe!

    I think I remember that thread or one like it, one was a foreign delivery and blamed the system for the accident vs. not understanding how it actually works.
     
  19. pedriscoll

    pedriscoll True Blue Tesla Fan

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    I have been very impressed by the TACC and use it every day on my commute. My biggest problem is trusting the system when the traffic gets heavy. I still have the urge to disengage, but am finding that the system reacts to the traffic ahead faster than I normally would. If I can just let the car drive while being ready to take over when needed I think I will be be happier. It just is taking some time. I have the same problem sitting in the passenger seat when my wife is driving her car. She is an excellent driver, but I get very anxious when she is negotiating heavy traffic. I think it is the lack of control myself that is the problem in both situations and that is my problem not the car's. I am learning to trust the TACC over time.
     
  20. travwill

    travwill Member

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    Enjoy TACC also for the most part, a few other observations typical in high traffic driving (Chicago rush hours):

    1. A setting of 1 or 2 seems optimal but can sometimes be abrupt - 1 helps keep the gap to a level where people shouldn't cut in, but some will still.

    2. It doesn't always recognize a car cutting you off basically until it is well into the lane you are in. Be ready/aware of this as in most cases it would run into the corner/side of that car if it is speeding up for the car in front of that one that it is still set on.

    3. It is conservative, very, with exiting cars in front of you. If a car is exiting that it was following and having to slow some, then it waits for it to get almost 100% out of the lane before locking on to next one in front of it that may have got farther away, and speeds up then. But this also creates a large gap sometimes that others will move into - where as a human would realize that the car is enough out of the lane and could speed up a couple seconds earlier it seems.

    All is good but just get used to it a while, and watch how it reacts around entrance/exit ramps if you are going to use it in heavier traffic. It's a dream for the most part on the highway at faster speeds, set at say 3-4 even.

    It'll be interesting to see self steering. That I won't trust as much at first as get so many false lane departures already from road lines, concrete lines that aren't the actual road lines, construction, etc.

    -T
     

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