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Autopilot At NIGHT?

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,670
3,719
NoVa
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.
 

Branzo90D

Salt and Pepper
Oct 13, 2015
154
100
NorCal
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.
 

EarlyAdopter

Active Member
Jun 24, 2012
2,818
2,047
Redmond, WA
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.
 

MikeBur

ManualPilot
Dec 8, 2014
1,371
720
Seattle, WA
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.
 

tanner

Active Member
Nov 17, 2013
1,118
286
SoCal
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 - - -

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.

Oh, interesting, so just the illumination from headlights should be enough?
 

Todd Burch

Voltage makes me tingle.
Nov 3, 2009
7,885
29,225
Smithfield, VA
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.
 

SabrToothSqrl

Active Member
Dec 5, 2014
3,697
2,972
PA
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...
 

tanner

Active Member
Nov 17, 2013
1,118
286
SoCal
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.

Oh yeah, sometimes oncoming lights can be a real b!&ch
 

Jool

Member
Jun 26, 2015
285
6
San Diego, CA
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.
 

tanner

Active Member
Nov 17, 2013
1,118
286
SoCal
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.
That's good to hear!
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,670
3,719
NoVa
To my knowledge the autopilot camera sensor captures the visible spectrum, not IR...but I could be wrong about that.

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.
 

tanner

Active Member
Nov 17, 2013
1,118
286
SoCal
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.

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

JenniferQ

Supporting Member
Sep 13, 2015
1,260
513
San Diego, CA
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.
+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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