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Auto pilot on the Merrit Parkway

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by trmmcd, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. trmmcd

    trmmcd Member

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    I was hoping to hear how well Auto pilot works on the Merrit Parkway in Connecticut. For those not familiar with it, it is a well marked challenging road with high speeds, lots of turns, many hills, fast short exit and on ramps. There is a super charger on this road, so I was surprised by the paucity of information about auto pilot effectiveness. It is fun to drive it so perhaps most don't want to cede control to the car.

    Apologies in in advance if this post is in the wrong place, but it think any answers will be of general interest. If auto pilot works well on this road that is truly impressive. I would try it out myself, but I am enduring the long wait for the Model X.
     
  2. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    So are we going to see time trials late at night? All AP from Rt 7 in Norwalk to 684 in Rye? That would be a real challenge.
     
  3. greensprit

    greensprit Member

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    I have used it on the Merrit and it works well, although the turns down by the NY/CT state line made me a little nervous. Once you get used to autopilot you'll quickly learn which types of situations get dicey, like cresting hills. All-in-all, I would say that it handled 95%+ of my driving. The last time I drove it I was running 7.0.
     
  4. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    #4 ArtInCT, Feb 5, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
    The Merrit Parkway, which is known as RT 15 runs from the South-Western CT boarder next to NY, Westchester County and then north easterly up to Hartford.
    The Merrit is that part of 15 from the NY Boarder to the end of Fairfield County in Stratford. From there on I believe that 15 is called the Wilbur-Cross Parkway.
    Overall the Merrit is a divided highway with two lanes in each direction. It was built in the 1930's and each overpass bridge was a design winning work of art.
    The road's elder heritage means that there is very little to no lighting on the toll free parkway.

    The Merrit is very often stop and go during rush hours, especially going South in the AM and North in the PM. Friday traffic is usually very heavy with the
    many colleges and weekend travelers coming into and through Connecticut.

    During the time of Sundown southbound traffic can often slow to a crawl as the setting sun can blind you as it is coming straight into your front window in certain places and at the crest of hills.. I think this would be a BAD TIME to use Autopilot or TACC even.

    The Merrit is a road that I would be using Autopilot in a hands on mode. And as mentioned earlier the closer you get to NY the more bendy the road gets.
    All lanes are marked with paint. Exits are sharp and abrupt, certainly a hands on event.

    A few hills are blind as are a few turns for the speed.

    It is a great road to DRIVE.

    Here is the bridge in my town.
    790 × 425 - lookingforadventure.com
     
  5. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I grew up in back Greenwich and drove it all the time. Round Hill was my exit. One of my favorite roads and I still miss it to this day! Great drive and one of the most beautiful roads around. But those exits are murder. Besides the fantastic road, the fact that no trucks are allowed (is that still true?) makes it an even better road. Haven't driven it in 34 years:crying:.

    Back then, I had sh-t for cars. I would to drive it now.
     
  6. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    Yup no trucks or commercial plates or trailers. In the Summer from June to October the effect of the road is that you are driving through a large long park. In places, the trees were allowed to join over the two lanes.... sadly over the last 3 years or so, an earnest tree trimming program has been taking place. Literally the trees were allowed to grow within 10 feet of the right hand lane and even in the medians. So the state has been trimming down trees and stumps and widening the green areas of the side parkways. We shall see how this looks this year. In the lower Wilbur-Cross in Orange, Ansonia and Milford, the old growth trees were just recently cut down with some trunks being a five foot radius.

    With lower gasoline prices, the amount of traffic has increased, sadly and the Merrit is not too much fun to actually DRIVE on during rush hour (nor is I-95). The posted speed limits are 55 to 60, but folks do 70 if the traffic lets them.

    It is such a small little road actually... Designed for pre WW II large iron autos like Packards, Lincolns and Caddies....There are on ramps in California that are wider than the Merrit. :tongue:
     
  7. trmmcd

    trmmcd Member

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    Thanks for the actual experience. It sounds somewhat promising but not a no-brainier.

    With the all the discussion of traffic which I have experienced, I recently had the good fortune to be driving late at night with close to no traffic which led me to think this would be a real challenge for auto pilot. Possibly a good benchmark to use over time.
     
  8. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    Trucks weren't allowed in the 90s, but back then it was a monthly event for an oblivious 18-wheeler to intrude and end up getting stuck under a bridge. Especially during rush hour.
     
  9. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    Deer are a night time threat especially during the full moon period. Deer seem to move around during the better lit evenings. Right now, it must look wonderful with all the new fresh snow!
     
  10. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    #10 AudubonB, Feb 5, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
    It's Merritt, not Merrit.

    My family helped design/engineer it, which is why I'm breaking the Speling Misteaks rule/convention here.....

    :)

    PS: My mom also worked on the Conn. Turnpike, aka I-95, so you now you know where to place some blame for that ugli-rosity, as well as credit for the Merritt, which I loved and love.
     
  11. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I am ashamed for not noting the misspelling when I read the title! I've been away too long. Yes, My dad worked on the construction crew for the 95 in the Greenwich-New Haven corridor. It was always special to drive, knowing that my dad physically built the thing. Yeah. It's ugly. But at least now the toll booths are gone! I came back years after moving to CA, having no idea they were gone. I was stunned.

    Aside from growing up on Round Hill, I also spent time as a kid not more than 1/2 mi from exit 3. We used to sit on the bluffs above the toll booths, which were in the backyard of my friend, and count the cool cars that we liked and dreamed of. No Teslas back then!

    Thanks for letting me reminisce. Oh, you really didn't! I hogged space. Ooops! But it felt good.

     

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