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Autopilot drive experience - relaxing or scary?

yurmix

Member
Mar 22, 2021
39
37
Los Angeles
I own a Model Y since March and have been trying giving in to AP (both adaptive cruise control and auto steer).

Sadly, instead of easing my drive, I find it more taxing:
1. AEB doesn’t slow ahead of slow traffic and wait for the last minute to break, which is both scary (“speeding” towards traffic) and gets me to pretty harsh breaks. It’s especially strange since it does slow down for traffic light (with FSD).
2. Autosteer give a false feeling of creeping into the left (maybe due to the small front hood). I know it isnt, but it’s too scary for me to ride on HOV with autosteer enabled.

I’m only talking about highway, not city streets (which are still immature).

Anyone also feel that way?
How is AP drive experience for you?
 
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Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
7,147
10,640
San Diego
I own a Model Y since March and have been trying giving in to AP (both adaptive cruise control and auto steer).

Sadly, instead of easing my drive, I find it more taxing:
1. AEB doesn’t slow ahead of slow traffic and wait for the last minute to break, which is both scary (“speeding” towards traffic) and gets me to pretty harsh breaks. It’s especially strange since it does slow down for traffic light (with FSD).
2. Autosteer give a false feeling of creeping into the left (maybe due to the small front hood). I know it isnt, but it’s too scary for me to ride on HOV with autosteer enabled.

I’m only talking about highway, not city streets (which are still immature).

Anyone also feel that way?
How is AP drive experience for you?
I assume you're talking about TACC (traffic aware cruise control) and not AEB (automatic emergency braking). You should not be relying on AEB to stop the car. haha.
Yes, TACC it is very bad at predicting or reacting to slowing traffic ahead. I often end up disabling it when traffic is rubber banding for the reasons you've stated.
Yes, if there is zero shoulder in the HOV lane I will often disable Autosteer on curvy sections of freeway. If there are a few feet of shoulder I feel comfortable. People have hit the K-rail in the HOV lane while using Autosteer.
I find AP is great when you're following someone who knows how to drive smoothly.
 
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RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,129
1,338
Durham, NC
It's the kind of thing that you do get more used to, sort of like driving with your teenager behind the wheel for the first time. Nervous as hell at first, but then you do get used to it (and the system improves as well). I think Tesla is doing a much better job at anticipating slowing traffic up ahead than it used to, but yes, when I see stopped traffic ahead, even though I know it will be able to brake in time, I just feel that giving the driver behind me more than a last minute warning never hurts.

I now have something to compare to, as my wife's ID.4 essentially has the same capability as my Tesla, and like the Tesla, it too will eventually brake for stopped traffic, but much later than the Tesla, so yeah, this is definitely a weak point for TACC-type systems.

As for the feeling of hugging the left of the lane, I've felt this way since day one. Maybe I naturally hug the right and that's why it seems that way to me. I once had my wife confirm that my car was actually perfectly centered, so I don't worry about it too much. The silver lining is that I never had Autopilot nag me because I naturally am putting a small amount of torque to the right on the steering wheel to overcome the feeling that the car is hugging the left side of the lane.
 

ChrisPDX

Member
Mar 19, 2013
249
210
Hillsboro, OR
I first started using autopilot on a AP1 system. With that, you don't want to be approaching stopped traffic at more then 35MPH. If you are going faster, it's best to manually lower the set speed to 35MPH or less so the car starts slowing down before it sees the stopped cars. On radar based AP2/3 systems, it sees the cars further ahead, but I still prefer to limit the speed difference to 45MPH or less. If I do that, the car seems to detect the traffic just fine and come to a pretty smooth stop. I haven't used TeslaVision yet, so I can't personally say how well it does at detected stopped traffic ahead.

Generally, I find using basic AP very relaxing. As long as there are well marked lane lines and I'm not approaching stopped traffic with speed differences as mentioned above, AP seems to do it's job very well. I don't have to think about moving my foot to adjust the speed or turning my arms to control my lane position. I just monitor the surrounding traffic and adjust the set speed as necessary.
 
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S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,879
7,071
Snohomish, WA
Good -
Performs well on freeways.
Incentives reasonable following distances
Seems to always stop when traffic ahead is stopping so its a good backup to the human driver.

Bad
Re-centers any time the lane widens like in a merge point so if you left it re-center everyone will think you're an idiot driver
Ignores turn signals from cars ahead wanting into the lane. So you basically have to de-activate to slow down, and then activate it one they've gotten into the lane
Occasionally a navigation/map bug/issue will cause the car to suddenly think its on an undivided highway so it slows down to be 5 over whatever the speed limit it thinks is for that road.
Should slow down sooner for traffic slowing ahead. It's obvious in the nav that the slow traffic is ahead, and its obvious from the view ahead that things are slowing down.
It's too quick to wanting to center in the lane, and needs to be more dampened.
I find it awfully scary on undivided roads with curves. Aside from experimenting I'd recommend not using it on locations like that.
 

mark95476

Active Member
Jun 21, 2020
2,008
1,532
Bay Area CA
1. The 2021.12.25.6/7 firmware has much smoother braking. Older versions had the hard braking at the end.

Most likely it's not AEB. AEB will beep loudly and the vehicle ahead will be highlighted in red.

2. Your car might edge left when you're passing a truck on the right. Mostly likely it's smack right in the middle of the lane.

I use AP/FSD virtually every time I drive on highways and city streets and it behaves very well. It seems to be getting better.

I own a Model Y since March and have been trying giving in to AP (both adaptive cruise control and auto steer).

Sadly, instead of easing my drive, I find it more taxing:
1. AEB doesn’t slow ahead of slow traffic and wait for the last minute to break, which is both scary (“speeding” towards traffic) and gets me to pretty harsh breaks. It’s especially strange since it does slow down for traffic light (with FSD).
2. Autosteer give a false feeling of creeping into the left (maybe due to the small front hood). I know it isnt, but it’s too scary for me to ride on HOV with autosteer enabled.

I’m only talking about highway, not city streets (which are still immature).

Anyone also feel that way?
How is AP drive experience for you?
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,129
1,338
Durham, NC
Bad
Re-centers any time the lane widens like in a merge point so if you left it re-center everyone will think you're an idiot driver
This...and the tendency to want to get into the passing lane at some off-ramps are the one reason that AP is frustrating on highway trips that otherwise it would handle just fine. I'll point out that we took the ID.4 on our last road trip and it had no trouble whatsoever handling wide merge points properly. I really wish Tesla would address this.
 
You quickly learn to recognize areas where the lane keeping and TACC do well, and where they don't.

Agree with others that for long drives, it's overall more relaxing / I arrive less tired than without. However, if the drive involves anything other than mostly straight & standard highways with passenger vehicle traffic, you will (or should) disengage often to prevent near-misses.

On a recent drive from the bay area to Tahoe on hwy 80, some frequent behaviors where I would override:
* The car would hover (TACC) in the blind-spot of large vehicles. This is a bad place to be, so I'd either speed up or slow down to avoid that spot. Often disengaging was easier than clicky-scrolling up & down.
* The car would stick to the center of lanes in highway turns, even when large semi-trucks were close to my lane or even impinging on it, even when there was a large shoulder I could move closer to (still within lane).
* At highway speed in turns, the lane keeping would often under-correct at the beginning of the turn bringing us well away from center of the lane and towards the median. In the mountains there is often a tiny or no shoulder, so this was unsafe (no margin left for error) and uncomfortable. I just took over and left lane-keeping off for these segments.

Don't take any of the above as complaints - overall on a ~4h+ drive, the car was driving in at-least TACC for 95%+ of the time, and lane-keeping probably 80% of the time.
 

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