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Autopilot At NIGHT?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by tanner, Dec 23, 2015.

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  1. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    Does current AP work well (on the highway) at night?
     
  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    On interstates? Yes. Done lots of stretches with AP at night, both in moderate-heavy traffic and where I'm one of the only cars on the road.

    On backroads, with no lights, and sharp turns, where you shouldn't be using it anyways? Not really, I've had the red-hands-of-death appear at the sharpish turns.
     
  3. tezzla

    tezzla Member

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    I think it works better at night, compared to dusk & dawn.
     
  4. Branzo90D

    Branzo90D Salt and Pepper

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    I have also used it at night. It just needs enough light to see the lane markings. In California anyway, lane markings are typically highly reflective so it is not a big problem here.

    I don't think it is ready for back roads, windy turns, etc., even in daylight based upon my experience on nearby roads anyway.
     
  5. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    I find it works better at night.

    In Washington, many highway lane markings are just rows of dots, not stripes of paint. During the day they aren't contrasty enough for autopilot to recognize them as lane markings. But those same roads at night, with the dots reflective in your headlights, are recognized just fine.
     
  6. MikeBur

    MikeBur ManualPilot

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    I also find it works better at night. The reflectivity of the lane markers and lines, appear more distinct. Of course, this assumes ambient light for longer range awareness. Driving on non-lit freeways works well as the curves are usually designed for freeway speeds and give enough lead time. Unlit roads with bends are poorly tracked.
     
  7. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    It's pretty curvy on highway 1/101 and at night, when there are no other cars, light is scarce. Do you think it would work well on stretches from Oxnard, CA to San Luis Obispo? Has anyone driven that stretch with AP at night?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, interesting, so just the illumination from headlights should be enough?
     
  8. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    It works better at night in general due to the higher contrast and lack of sharp shadows--it's easier for the cameras to pick out the lines from the rest of the scene.

    But you have to be careful in certain situations, such as when oncoming headlights are shining brightly at you--particularly if there's moisture in the air and the windshield is fogging up a bit.
     
  9. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Why would it not use infrared flood lamps to be able to see all the time well? most cameras pick up IR light no problem...
     
  10. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    Oh yeah, sometimes oncoming lights can be a real b!&ch
     
  11. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Why not just use the headlights? ;)
     
  12. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    Because other lights would overexpose the image captured by IR. Have you ever tried IR in a bright environment?
     
  13. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    To my knowledge the autopilot camera sensor captures the visible spectrum, not IR...but I could be wrong about that.
     
  14. Jool

    Jool Member

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    Autopilot works fantastically at night! Used it the entire way to Vegas and back this past weekend with no issues. The lane markers are really reflective and get picked up by the system better than during the day in my experience.
     
  15. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    That's good to hear!
     
  16. Usatyke

    Usatyke Member

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    Yep, better at night than in the day.
     
  17. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Unless the camera has a very good built in IR filter, it will capture IR also. The IR spectrum is very close to the visible light spectrum, and blends in at higher wavelengths.

    The AP camera may not be an IR camera, but a side effect would be it capturing/seeing IR. You can try pointing a remote control at your cell phone camera, and take a photo (I don't think cell phone cameras have sophisticated IR filters, though I never checked...) and you should see a beam of light.
     
  18. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    Only if it's an IR remote, most new TV remotes these days are RF.
     
  19. donv

    donv Member

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    I found that it struggles a bit with street lights and wet pavement-- the glare from the street lights seems to confuse it. On dry pavement, it's fine.
     
  20. JenniferQ

    JenniferQ Member

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    +1. I love it at night as that's when I struggle the most with depth perception and changing lanes, but it does an amazing job.
     

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