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  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #27 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed: Consolidation in LiDAR manufacturers; Volvo EX90 shipping with LiDAR; FSD Beta Full Release in N.A.; FSD detecting autopilot cheats, Gwen Shotwell directly overseeing SpaceX Starship; and more. You can watch it now on YouTube. We should have it published to podcast networks shortly.

Auto Pilot Hands Free

One thing I like about my 2022 LRM3 is the frequent improvements with updates. My car seems to improve with the updates. Notably, the AP. I dont have FSD, btw.

However, I have a brother in law at GM and he is very engaged within the EV future there. He always as the GM self driving. He can drive hands free for hours. I am very jealous. GMs tech uses the camera to watch the driver and ensure they are engages and watching.

I dont really use the AP mode on my car because you have to hold the steering wheel. And even if I hold it, the car will alarm because it thinks I am not holding it. Seems the M3 AP needs you to keep regripping the steering wheel.

I'd love to see Tesla evolve into hands free. Anyone have any insight on the likelihood my M3 will have a hands free mode in the future? Please say yes! Lol.

Regardless, I still love my M3. (Although I am considering selling and buying the Lyriq). I just love EVs.

Thanks!
 
I haven't paid much attention to the GM version, but the last I saw it only worked on specific highways that are mapped?

Either way, the answer to your question is - yes. I'm using FSD beta and the cabin camera is tracking driver attention. I think it is very likely that eventually Tesla will move to using driver attention rather than steering wheel input. Of course, that's just one step on the path, eventually they plan to make it so you don't even have to pay attention and can go to sleep in the back of the car (with FSD). I wouldn't hold you breath on that one though, the current FSD beta is nowhere close to being able to drive competently on its own.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
3,814
4,362
Austin
It doesn't take long to get used to applying the right amount of torque to satisfy the sensor.
Then you can drive for hours without worrying about looking forward all the time.
Its easy to miss the point of these check systems, they are there precisely because none of these systems are "self driving"
They're all driver assistance. You are still responsible for driving the car and stopping it doing stupid things.

As @ATPMSD mentioned, having your hands close to the wheel is much safer.
So far, none of these systems avoids potholes or road debris, that is all on you to dodge ;)

But stick around for a little while - looks like Tesla is heading the driver-cam method as well. The gnashing of teeth and complaining has already started.
 
But stick around for a little while - looks like Tesla is heading the driver-cam method as well. The gnashing of teeth and complaining has already started.

Yeah, to be totally honest I prefer the hand on the wheel vs. the camera. With hand on wheel you can (not that you should) focus on other things, the camera is much less forgiving. I've also found the camera to be overly sensitive. For example if you're looking straight ahead at the road, but both hands are up (like if you're picking at a hangnail) it will think you're on your phone and ding you. It seems to be cumulative as well - the more dings you get in a session, the shorter the time you have to react when it squawks at you to pay attention. I got an FSD beta strike because of this and wasn't even on my phone.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
3,814
4,362
Austin
Yeah, to be totally honest I prefer the hand on the wheel vs. the camera. With hand on wheel you can (not that you should) focus on other things, the camera is much less forgiving. I've also found the camera to be overly sensitive. For example if you're looking straight ahead at the road, but both hands are up (like if you're picking at a hangnail) it will think you're on your phone and ding you. It seems to be cumulative as well - the more dings you get in a session, the shorter the time you have to react when it squawks at you to pay attention. I got an FSD beta strike because of this and wasn't even on my phone.
thats my impression too. I'd rather have the simple apply torque and call it done. The camera will always be much less forgiving and over time will get better and better at making sure you're really paying attention.
Drives me nuts that AP gets rated lower by nanny Consumer Reports just because of the driver monitoring - I'm a grown up, I don't need more nannys. You can imagine that line of thinking in the future - "you are driving erratically, we have disconnected your steering wheel and have taken over driving" :D
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
6,835
8,361
Snohomish, WA
Here is what I've experienced as it relates to the nag.

In my 2015 Model S with AP1 it told me to hold the steering wheel, but it only nagged my about it if it didn't have confidence. Then a year or so later Tesla changed it to start nagging using timer based system that incorporated speed into the decision on when it nagged. It was fairly easy to hold the steering wheel in a way to avoid the nag.

In my 2018 Model 3 with HW2.5 the nag was really annoying, and there wasn't any good/safe way to hold the steering wheel to avoid the nag. I simply got used to putting a bit of torque on it occasionally. I started to see improvements in not being nagged after the upgrade to HW3, and later versions of the firmware. I wasn't holding the steering wheel any differently, and instead it was firmware changes.

In my 2022 Rivian R1T I only get a nag if I really have my hands off the steering wheel. It's supposed to get a hands free update where they use the driver monitoring, but they haven't done that yet.

I've found that each system had its positives, and negatives.

Least Phantom Braking -> AP1
Most comfortable in Stop and Go -> Tie between AP1 and R1T (Tesla ruined this and never fixed it)
Least Nag -> R1T
Ability to operate on the most roads -> FSD/HW3
Handling Merge Points -> Tie between R1T and AP1
Weather Handling (Rain)-> FSD/HW3 was great till pure Vision ruined it. I haven't had the Rivian for long enough to test it in the rain

FSD/HW3 definitely has the most potential, but I felt like it never lived up to it.
The Rivian R1T is mostly for people who want a simple, but effective system. I think it works well for me as I'm pretty happy with Adaptive Cruise only. I do think its going to be a few software upgrades before it gets really good.

I wouldn't get a Super Cruise system due to not having the capability of doing assisted lane changes. You only get that with Enhanced Super Cruise so that would be a fun one to check out.

A good "what is the best" shootout would likely be between MB's system (like what they have in Germany for L3 capability), Enhanced Supercruise, and Tesla's FSD with Pure Vision.
 
Too bad Tesla chose to work on city driving before they had the highway right. Highway, with controlled access could be hands free much more easily than city will be. I feel that city will never be hands free given the almost infinite variables. They can only get speed right part of the time, much less all the other stuff. Why hold highway hands free hostage to that? It would also offer value to the FSD package, which doesn’t seem close to worth it now.
 
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