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Autopilot Experiences in Australia

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by Astroboy747, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. Astroboy747

    Astroboy747 Member

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    #1 Astroboy747, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
    Hi guys,

    I wanted to start up a thread for owners in Australia to post their experiences with Autopilot. There is a 7.0 in Australia thread but I think there should be something more specific to experiences with AP. Here is my first one.

    Last weekend, I was able to take a P85D for a drive from Brisbane to Burleigh Heads. Was pretty much the M1 all the way down for 70kms and about a 40 minute drive. After getting past the merging highways and was on straight road, I engaged the AP. For the first 5 minutes I was very cautious with it. But upon realising that the Pacific Hwy was clearly marked, it was a beautiful sunny day and the traffic flow was quite nice, everything changed.

    While still never loosing concentration of the car and being ready to take over at any time, I was very relaxed. Here is a car driving me 110kmh down the freeway without me touching the wheel or pedals. And the car was able to drive for 40 minutes straight without me having the interfere once. It sped up and slowed down with the traffic. Handled other cars cutting in front very very well. It was just able to cruise very smoothly. Flicking the indicator and holding the wheel slightly allowed it to change lanes on its own. It was just incredible. Only thing was on the way back home, the car was driving directly into the sun. While it was able to hold and track the lane very well, I couldn't do an automatic lane change.

    I felt so relaxed once arriving at the destination and arriving home than what I ever have before normally driving. AP is designed for the open highways. While it still can kind of do urban to an extent, that's not what it was designed for and most people have had issues with it while driving on those roads. But this just worked perfectly there and back again. For a beta it was really really good. But yeah it does freak a few people out having a car driving on its own down the freeway. I can see how valuable it will be for long distance. Not just for comfort but for safety.

    And I know the system will get better and better. But that was just my first proper experience with it. Feel free to post about yours and also do post about any limitations you have found and improvements if you notice them.

    Thanks guys,
     
  2. raynewman

    raynewman Member

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    I've done BN->GC->BN twice now and have not had any problems except once it had a tantrum and had me take over for no apparent reason (went straight back on AP).
    This morning I was in heavy peak hour traffic (<10 KmH) and turned AP on; worked well and stops one swearing at all the other .....
     
  3. RBR

    RBR Member

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    Location:
    Brisbane, QLD
    Observations to date:

    The steering wheel is in constant motion as it strives to maintain the exact middle of the lane. I would imagine with time Tesla will detune the sensitivity. For my liking, it does sit too far to the left. But what I really like is watching it gently ease away, and back again, from passing traffic as they enter our detection zone.

    The improvements in the TACC are excellent, much more smooth.

    Automatic lane changing with full selection of the indicator is way to aggressive for me. I like to slide into or out of my lane. This exits stage left or right in a real hurry... Again, something that can be detuned. I would imagine they have done this to allow the TACC to accelerate back to your selected speed during the overtake process.

    As I say observations, not gripes.
     
  4. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

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    Interesting! It sounds like typical oscillation in the feedback loop or ‘hunting’ in an aircraft autopilot. Calibrated & operating correctly, the roll oscillation should be almost imperceivable in an airliner…you may be able to spot it when you look out of the cabin at a wingtip moving up & down ever so slowly & slightly. It remains to be seen how imperceivable this can get with both steering wheel & vehicle moving slightly within the lane in a car on terra firma.
     
  5. paulp

    paulp Member

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    We have good line marking in adelaide, and it works really well on the major arterial roads. It doesn't detect parked cars very reliably though, but easiest way to fix that is sit in the right hand lane. It's a very good first release system, and I'm looking forward to future enhancements.
     
  6. danielp

    danielp Member

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    #6 danielp, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
    I've done well over 2000kms of auto steer driving now including a couple of SYD-CBR trips, Wollongong, Gosford, etc. One thing I've noticed on my Canberra run is that I am much less tired when I arrive now, even compared to just TACC driving. In fact, much less tired than flying those legs. It is undersold as a safety feature, but IMHO it complements your driving and makes you much less tired. Driving experience isn't diminished for those that love to drive. It gives you a whole new view.

    There are small issues with auto steer around crests with corners but these are easy to anticipate where it will under and then over steer or vice versa.

    I've also done a lot of inner city driving and I am amazed how on tight roads like King St, Newtown it performs extremely well using both car following and lane following. When there is less room in the lane I feel it holds a better lane position.

    Very happy so far, great for a first release.
     
  7. Astroboy747

    Astroboy747 Member

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    Has anyone had any experience with how the car behaves in full highway stop/start traffic?
     
  8. raynewman

    raynewman Member

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    Have just driven Brisbane to Sydney (arriving early peak hour). Worked brilliantly except for the road works round Coffs.
     
  9. Keiron

    Keiron Member

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    Gudday Astroboy,

    Yep I been using AP in multi lane peak hour crawl and highway bottle necks with great success. I agree that at times the sensitivity of steering control can be a bit abrupt but overall works great. I was surprised at my internal level of stress( or lack there of ) after an hr on Monash Freeway a few days ago which would normally have seen me very annoyed. The cruising trip up to Bendigo (420Km) and across the Sale(390km) was a similar experience. A noticeably more relaxed arrival.
     
  10. jayemcee

    jayemcee Member

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    AP in heavy highway traffic

    My experience is similar to Keiron's. Bendigo to Melbourne on the Calder. Near perfect at any speed, including bumper to bumper.

    Also, Keiron, if you need access to a charge at Bendigo, PM me.

    Lastly, what is your longest drive so far on a single charge? (Addressed to Astrobiy, Keiron, and anyone else - esp in a P85D).
     
  11. Aussie Yank

    Aussie Yank Member

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    365KM, Wodonga/Bright/Hotham/Bairnsdale P85D on range mode .... 20km left!

    1860 meters at the peak
     
  12. Isbrown

    Isbrown Member

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    I've had few problems with autopilot, highway or city street driving, but how does lane change work.? I've never yet had the car change lanes when I've used the indicator, either the initial default level or fully on. Anyone have any clues why it doesn't work for me?
     
  13. WA-T3sla

    WA-T3sla Member

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    I noticed this morning there were no grey speedo or steering wheel logos on the dash. Tried to turn on autopilot anyway and got an 'not available at this time' message. I guessed maybe the windscreen was a bit dirty over the camera. A quick press on the wipers button and all was working again. On arriving at me destination I discovered that all the wonders of modern technology had been disabled by a seagull...
     
  14. Davide

    Davide Member

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    Sometimes the steering needs just a little turn after you have commenced indicating to change lane.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just for the record here is a repost
    "I find an interesting situation for the car is when the road has a curve on a crest. The crest may only be 4 feet high but it can't see the curve beyond the crest, it can see a parked car or even a oncoming car beyond and think that is where the road heads so will direct it self towards this collision. I have a few points on my daily run where this is the case. I keep my hands on the wheel and I look forward to the car learning. Has anyone else had the same experience?"

    Unfortunately the car has not shown any signs of learning. On the calder freeway it is fine, apart from trying to take some exits on its own.
     
  15. TesAus

    TesAus Member

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    With autopilot engaged and it tracking the lane markings (light blue lines showing to either side of the car as opposed to tracking a light blue vehicle in front) - when you turn the indicator on the light blue line on the side you are indicating should change to a broken line. The car then steers across in to the adjacent lane.

    Maybe be it isn't detecting that there is an adjacent lane to steer into (eg due to poor or no markings in the adjacent lane?)
     
  16. Aussie Yank

    Aussie Yank Member

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    There is one more issue: lane change apparently requires contact with the steering wheel. I did a bit of a test, and putting the directional signal one is not sufficient, you need to touch/hold the wheel....rich
     
  17. Astroboy747

    Astroboy747 Member

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    A message actually appears when turning on the indicator. It says "Hold Steering Wheel". I find you just need to hold it and apply a tiny bit of torque so that it senses your hands, then it changes. But you need to have the dark sort of shadow lanes appearing next to the lane your in (the blue one). That tells you that the car can see the next lane over.
     
  18. timpoo

    timpoo Member

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    What kind of sensors are actually in the steering wheel? Any? Or does it rely on movement of the steering wheel? Sometimes I hold it for ages and the message is still there.
     
  19. Keiron

    Keiron Member

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    As far as I can tell the steering column has torque reading on the pressure you apply ROTATIONAL on the steering wheel. Its not actually sensing the conductivity of your skin but the opposing torque applied by minute movements of your hands gripping the wheel upon demand. Ive been testing Autopilot is a huge variety of conditions over the past week and I can confirm that a lane change requires , Indicator on (tells the system your intent), then a demand for hold the wheel (just in case you hit indicator when you meant speed adjust), then once its happy you've 'torqued' the wheel its processes the lane change. Cant say I can fault it yet- works very reliably so far. Interestingly I get a lot of funny looks from other cars when resting back and not steering. When they creep on by at 101kms'hr the 'actively' in passing cars gets a bit animated sometimes- amusing. Even had passengers leaning out of windows taking pictures/video at speed... I dutifully wave..:biggrin:
     
  20. Astroboy747

    Astroboy747 Member

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    Great summary Keiron, once it starts turning, you can let go and it will carry on itself.

    Haha speaking of that, I was looking out the window on an Autopilot trip with my hands crossed on the door trim and a 4WD was going past. The girl in the passenger seat looked at me and saw the car obviously driving itself. After the car went past, she put her middle finger out the window at me for a few seconds. Hmm wonder what that meant? :redface: Should have given her two back.
     

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