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Autopilot - do you use in frequent lane change conditions?

Collecting my Tesla M3 LR on the 11th, which will be my first Tesla. I'm trying to weigh up whether I should pay for Enhanced Autopilot after collection or not. I've watched a bunch of YouTube videos, and read a lot of threads, and it seems that most people in the UK think it isn't worth the money. From what I can see, in the UK the automatic parking is more of a cool party trick the few times it successfully detects a space than something that people can rely on for every day parking. Also looks like in the UK that smart summon is basically useless unless you have a very specific regular driving situation like a tight garage or something.

Therefore, that really just leaves the automatic lane changing. This tempts me because it looks like, otherwise, you would have to manually disengage and reengage autopilot with every lane change you do. This seems like it would be annoying to me.

So I was wondering how owners with Autopilot (but not Enhanced Autopilot) tend to use it on busy motorways/dual carriageways where you're having to change lane to overtake multiple times every minute? Do you disable it (either using the stalk, or by making a deliberate steering wheel input), make the lane change, re-enable it by pressing down on the stalk twice, overtake the car, disable it, make the lane change back into the left lane, re-enable it by pressing down on the stalk twice? Doing this several times a minute sounds like a real faff! Or do you just only use it in very light traffic where you can go a long time between lane changes?

On most British motorways, you're lucky if you can go more than a minute without changing lanes if you're trying to stick to 70mph I find unless it is the middle of the night.
 
Personally, I’ve had an M3 for 18 months and I can’t cope with the feeling of not being in control so I don’t use autopilot. I also think these gadgets encourage lazy driving and we’ll just end up with even more idiots pooling along the M1 in lane 3 at 65 mph - because they don’t have to change lane and their TACC stops them smashing into the person in front - who’s set theirs to 60 mph..... rant over!
I have also suffered from “phantom braking” too much, so that overtaking lorries on the motorway can be a complete guess as to whether the car will put the brakes on. This has got better over the last few software updates though.
Just try things out when you get the car. Parking with all the sensors and rear/left/right cameras couldn’t be much easier so I can’t see the point of paying for that. Let’s face it, it’s not a cheap car and sticking another £6k Elon’s way is only going to fuel this IT philosophy of paying to unlock special features.
 
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GRiLLA

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Jul 5, 2020
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I don't understand how you are driving if you are changing lanes several times a minute.

FWIW I drive M40 J5 to J4 and back typically several times a day, during the busiest times. Once I'm on the motorway I engage AP and then use auto lane change. My speed does vary considerably as I get behind slower moving vehicles, I can't see how it's possibly realistic to swerve around to keep at 70 on any road. If I was going further into London I wouldn't be able to use auto-lane change after J2, there would never be sufficient gap to meet the spacing that UK regulations require so I would driver manually. Frankly the autopilot is a safer and more consistent driver than I am.

On long drives north (family in Kintyre) it's so much easier to let it drive, let the NoA do the thinking and just be in charge of monitoring safety.
 
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I did pay for EAP and I would so again (probably an untypical Tesla driver though as I commute 200 miles to work three times a month down the M1).

The moment I get on the motorway AP is engaged. It will then stay engaged for the next three hours, unless I’m dozy enough to nudge the steering wheel too hard during a lane change and accidentally disconnect it). Navigate on Autopilot works fine on my route provided you follow its suggestions for lane changes - within about two miles of the junction it’ll start trying to move over in busier traffic and you’ll just get a string of lane change proposals on the screen.

If it suggests a lane change you need to approve it, but this can be as little as a half-tap on the indicator stalk. Obviously it won’t pull out into traffic approaching quickly from behind and accelerate as I might do, but the actual times when a lane change is blocked are pretty minimal.

In the past I’ve managed to get from North Yorkshire to Heathrow doing nothing more than supervising it and tapping the indicator stalk. It’ll reduce speed automatically for motorway junctions etc.
 
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I don't understand how you are driving if you are changing lanes several times a minute.

FWIW I drive M40 J5 to J4 and back typically several times a day, during the busiest times. Once I'm on the motorway I engage AP and then use auto lane change. My speed does vary considerably as I get behind slower moving vehicles, I can't see how it's possibly realistic to swerve around to keep at 70 on any road.
Maybe I drive weirdly then? For me, if I have the adaptive cruise control in a car set to 70mph and I approach a car in my lane doing let's say 65mph, I move over to the next lane if there's a gap in order that I can keep to my intended speed. Otherwise, I wouldn't ever drive at 70mph, because as soon as I drive up behind the first person doing 65mph I'd be doing that for the rest of my journey wouldn't I? Maybe I'm just not understanding something...?

I also try if I can to make that lane change before the car's adaptive cruise control starts slowing me down, because it's more efficient to stay at 70mph than slow to 65mph, and accelerate back up to 70mph again. But obviously that's not always possible if I have to wait for a gap in the next lane to move into.
 
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I did pay for EAP and I would so again (probably an untypical Tesla driver though as I commute 200 miles to work three times a month down the M1).

The moment I get on the motorway AP is engaged. It will then stay engaged for the next three hours, unless I’m dozy enough to nudge the steering wheel too hard during a lane change and accidentally disconnect it). Navigate on Autopilot works fine on my route provided you follow its suggestions for lane changes - within about two miles of the junction it’ll start trying to move over in busier traffic and you’ll just get a string of lane change proposals on the screen.

If it suggests a lane change you need to approve it, but this can be as little as a half-tap on the indicator stalk. Obviously it won’t pull out into traffic approaching quickly from behind and accelerate as I might do, but the actual times when a lane change is blocked are pretty minimal.

In the past I’ve managed to get from North Yorkshire to Heathrow doing nothing more than supervising it and tapping the indicator stalk. It’ll reduce speed automatically for motorway junctions etc.
Yeah, this is what tempts me towards EAP... the way you drive sounds like it would work well for me too. But £3.4k is a lot! 😬
 
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GRiLLA

Active Member
Jul 5, 2020
1,946
2,103
UK
Maybe I drive weirdly then? For me, if I have the adaptive cruise control in a car set to 70mph and I approach a car in my lane doing let's say 65mph, I move over to the next lane if there's a gap in order that I can keep to my intended speed. Otherwise, I wouldn't ever drive at 70mph, because as soon as I drive up behind the first person doing 65mph I'd be doing that for the rest of my journey wouldn't I? Maybe I'm just not understanding something...?

I also try if I can to make that lane change before the car's adaptive cruise control starts slowing me down, because it's more efficient to stay at 70mph than slow to 65mph, and accelerate back up to 70mph again. But obviously that's not always possible if I have to wait for a gap in the next lane to move into.
Several times a minute ? Like a slalom?

Your roads must be far quieter than mine, it's very unlikely that I can change lanes as soon as I want, have to wait for a suitable sized gap to be able to move out. Auto-Lane Change does need a large gap, but does result in a pretty smooth feeling drive for you and passengers, but it's far from what you might call assertive. On a quiet motorway NoA generally does a better job than me of anticipating when to change lanes. I guess I keep left more aggressively.
 
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Collecting my Tesla M3 LR on the 11th, which will be my first Tesla. I'm trying to weigh up whether I should pay for Enhanced Autopilot after collection or not. I've watched a bunch of YouTube videos, and read a lot of threads, and it seems that most people in the UK think it isn't worth the money. From what I can see, in the UK the automatic parking is more of a cool party trick the few times it successfully detects a space than something that people can rely on for every day parking. Also looks like in the UK that smart summon is basically useless unless you have a very specific regular driving situation like a tight garage or something.

Therefore, that really just leaves the automatic lane changing. This tempts me because it looks like, otherwise, you would have to manually disengage and reengage autopilot with every lane change you do. This seems like it would be annoying to me.

So I was wondering how owners with Autopilot (but not Enhanced Autopilot) tend to use it on busy motorways/dual carriageways where you're having to change lane to overtake multiple times every minute? Do you disable it (either using the stalk, or by making a deliberate steering wheel input), make the lane change, re-enable it by pressing down on the stalk twice, overtake the car, disable it, make the lane change back into the left lane, re-enable it by pressing down on the stalk twice? Doing this several times a minute sounds like a real faff! Or do you just only use it in very light traffic where you can go a long time between lane changes?

On most British motorways, you're lucky if you can go more than a minute without changing lanes if you're trying to stick to 70mph I find unless it is the middle of the night.
AP in UK is far difficult than using in US where lane changes are very minimal. If you are driving in a typical motorway traffic you will get bit tired of using AP (as you mentioned you have to do the series of procedures as every time you overtake another slow moving vehicle will be just infront of you. The advantage is I didn’t not get any speeding tickets as AP keeps you on 65) So if you want this option go for EAP it may not be of great help in otehr areas but in british motorways it makes driving bearable!
 
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Mrklaw

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Mar 5, 2020
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if its congested then I often turn it off for a while. It can be common if the motorway is ‘just congested enough’ that you’re overtaking those in lane one or two and moving back over and over (and not wanting to lane hog which AP tends to encourage because all the bongs get annoying).

But for less congested areas its a great tool. I don’t find a need for EAP because I prefer to choose when to overtake and the difference isn’t that great.

as I understand it:
1) standard AP: as long as you have ‘weight‘ on the wheel, then you indicate - AP will disconnect, Cruise will stay active - change lanes as desired - reengage AP

2) EAP : you indicate and it changes lanes for you without disengaging AP.

Thats not enough for me, although the bonging of AP off/on is a bit annoying
 
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AP in UK is far difficult than using in US where lane changes are very minimal. If you are driving in a typical motorway traffic you will get bit tired of using AP (as you mentioned you have to do the series of procedures as every time you overtake another slow moving vehicle will be just infront of you. The advantage is I didn’t not get any speeding tickets as AP keeps you on 65) So if you want this option go for EAP it may not be of great help in otehr areas but in british motorways it makes driving bearable!
TACC is less useful in UK than other countries with wider more open road networks / less traffic volume too. There’s also too many pillocks jumping into gaps that are less than the TACC likes which causes the brakes to get put on a lot harsher than I personally like. I’ve always been a read the traffic several cars in front type of driver so rarely brake on motorways, just ease off the throttle or knock dumb cruise off.
I started to wonder why I see more & more cars brake lights coming on before pulling out, I now understand, it’s adaptive cruise kicking in Not the driver being a prat. Makes for a less efficient, more uncomfortable driving experience imo.
 
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Several times a minute ? Like a slalom?

Your roads must be far quieter than mine, it's very unlikely that I can change lanes as soon as I want, have to wait for a suitable sized gap to be able to move out. Auto-Lane Change does need a large gap, but does result in a pretty smooth feeling drive for you and passengers, but it's far from what you might call assertive. On a quiet motorway NoA generally does a better job than me of anticipating when to change lanes. I guess I keep left more aggressively.
Alright, I might have been over-egging it slightly with 'several' 😄 But I do find on a busy motorway I will often do it more than once a minute. Part of that is that I HATE middle lane hogging, so if I have moved over to overtake someone I usually move left again fairly quickly.
 
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Thanks everyone! Sounds to me that in the UK, if I want to use autopilot as much as I can on long journeys, then EAP would be of value to me in order to limit the amount of disengaging of AP that I have to do, and to reduce annoying bonging.

But is it of £3.4k value to me? 🤔 I need to have another look at which of my piggy banks I can raid...😆

Also, I know the obvious answer is to wait until I have the car then decide... and I will do that. But I'm just thinking ahead to what additional money I might want to spend after I have the car.
 
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Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,783
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Berkshire
Thanks everyone! Sounds to me that in the UK, if I want to use autopilot as much as I can on long journeys, then EAP would be of value to me in order to limit the amount of disengaging of AP that I have to do, and to reduce annoying bonging.

But is it of £3.4k value to me? 🤔 I need to have another look at which of my piggy banks I can raid...😆

Also, I know the obvious answer is to wait until I have the car then decide... and I will do that. But I'm just thinking ahead to what additional money I might want to spend after I have the car.

also might be worth holding on as around this time last year they gave people a week or two free trial (can’t remember how long it was for).
 
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Irata

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Oct 16, 2020
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Personally, I was all for Autopilot, EAP and FSD to begin with.

But nowadays, I don't even use Autopilot anymore. It's a very easy car to drive and the current laws mean I have to sit pretending to drive anyway.

I would always recommend waiting to get familiar with the car first, try the included Autopilot, see how you feel. Then later decide.

It is a personal decision really.
 
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Collecting my Tesla M3 LR on the 11th, which will be my first Tesla. I'm trying to weigh up whether I should pay for Enhanced Autopilot after collection or not. I've watched a bunch of YouTube videos, and read a lot of threads, and it seems that most people in the UK think it isn't worth the money. From what I can see, in the UK the automatic parking is more of a cool party trick the few times it successfully detects a space than something that people can rely on for every day parking. Also looks like in the UK that smart summon is basically useless unless you have a very specific regular driving situation like a tight garage or something.

Therefore, that really just leaves the automatic lane changing. This tempts me because it looks like, otherwise, you would have to manually disengage and reengage autopilot with every lane change you do. This seems like it would be annoying to me.

So I was wondering how owners with Autopilot (but not Enhanced Autopilot) tend to use it on busy motorways/dual carriageways where you're having to change lane to overtake multiple times every minute? Do you disable it (either using the stalk, or by making a deliberate steering wheel input), make the lane change, re-enable it by pressing down on the stalk twice, overtake the car, disable it, make the lane change back into the left lane, re-enable it by pressing down on the stalk twice? Doing this several times a minute sounds like a real faff! Or do you just only use it in very light traffic where you can go a long time between lane changes?

On most British motorways, you're lucky if you can go more than a minute without changing lanes if you're trying to stick to 70mph I find unless it is the middle of the night.

Personally I would see how you get on with the standard autopilot - I had a brief free trial of FSD and the navigate on autopilot / auto lane change didn’t sell it for me.

If your driving what I would call fairly normally - set your cruise control to whatever, engage autosteer and leave it to it - to overtake put on the indicator and apply light force to the wheel and the autosteer will disengage - either overtake and move back or if your going to stay in the lane reengage autosteer.

The biggest issue in my opinion is with TACC - once it decides to reduce speed for a car in front it takes ages to decide to accelerate on its own back up to your set speed when you change lane (easily solved by hitting the accelerator yourself though).

If your in traffic where you’re constantly having to change lane then you probably shouldn’t be using autosteer.
 
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Mrklaw

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Mar 5, 2020
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yeah TACC is a bit slow to react - then will go ‘oh bugger’ and slam on a little harsh for traffic its closing in on, and a bit slow on the uptake for speeding up again. But AP is still helpful on long drives when less congested - really helps reduce your brain workload so you can continue to monitor everyone around you with the micro corrections you’re always doing being handled mostly by the car
 
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browellm

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Oct 4, 2019
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There's possibly a case for it *if* you're prepared to retune your driving habits and expectations that might have been ingrained over half a lifetime. I remember during the free trial everyone was given a couple of years ago it felt incredibly uncomfortable to use at the beginning. Retraining my brain toward the end of the trial did yield some positive results for auto lane change, although NoA was utterly batshit mad. Try the 48hr "trial" and see how you get on.

edit: the free trial must have been last spring/summer. It just feels like years have gone by :D
 
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