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Autopilot In SoCal freeways?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by xav-, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. xav-

    xav- Member

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    I don't own a tesla for now. However I have been reading a lot about tesla and the autopilot in particular.. And now when I drive my non tesla car I started paying a little more attention to the markings on the road ;)

    Then I realized how bad those markings are! Also at first I was under the assumption that sunny days would help the autopilot.. But now it seems more like the opposite, especially near sunset.

    I was driving back from Camp Pendleton at 7 pm last Sunday going north on the 5, visibility really sucked. Then I noticed a tesla model S, and I don't know but it seemed like the guy was driving on the autopilot.

    How does the autopilot work on CA freeways and in particular in SoCal?

    Please share!!
    Thanks
     
  2. eclipxe

    eclipxe Member

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    It works very well in most places
     
  3. Vistan

    Vistan Member

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    My limited experience, mostly driving from San Diego to Palm Desert and back, is that auto pilot works fine, UNTIL, sometimes when you hit the sections on the freeway where, because of construction, they've been 'moving' lanes, you get the short white stripes bounded by black bands, then the autopilot tends to drift.
     
  4. BrokerDon

    BrokerDon Member

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    I use it all the time, especially if in stop 'n go traffic. Works great and relieves most of the stress of traffic.

    Yes you still need to be engaged as the driver for the occasional Autopilot glitch but it has vastly lessened my driving stress on all our trips, both local and long distance.
     
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  5. ShotgunF15E

    ShotgunF15E Member

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    95% of the time it works VERY well. I love it and now hate any time I have to drive a different car that isn't my Tesla.
     
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  6. mshuang

    mshuang Member

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    The Autopilot works very well. Pretty much anytime I need to drive and take any freeways, I take my Tesla. This is because I never know how bad traffic will be, and in stop and go traffic, I can have autopilot do all the work.

    I'm usually driving West across the 91 (into the sun) around sunset, and now I can just switch on autopilot when the glare gets to me.

    It's actually pretty good about reading the line markings. The places I've seen autopilot not be able to handle are sometimes in construction zones (where they've put out cones to force people to merge). Some of the places that I would have a hard time seeing, and would expect autopilot to fail, it actually handles perfectly.

    Once on a road trip going up to the SF Bay Area, I was caught in quite a rainstorm. Visibility was horrible, but autopilot was able to handle it perfectly. (I stayed at ready in case I'd have to take over, but AP was great!)
     
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  7. alexdav

    alexdav Member

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    I work in Santa Monica but live in Orange County, so I commute up the 405 in the HOV lane. Autopilot works great, as others have mentioned, 95% of the time.

    The times that I notice it not working great are when, in the HOV lane, the concrete barrier gets so close to the outer lane line that it stops recognizing the line. It then wants to get uncomfortably close to that concrete barrier because the lane has shrunk in width. That happens a couple of places along the 405.

    Other things I have to watch out for are motorcyclists. If there's enough room for them to pass while I stay centered in the lane on autopilot, I just leave it be. But for those times when the HOV lane shrinks or there's not much room between it and the far left lane, I take over and manually give them room.

    Finally, in Orange County, it seems that the HOV lanes become incredibly wide when they open up and that frequently confuses autopilot. It wants to center, so sometimes it feels like it jerks back and forth as it detects the lane lines. I usually take over when the lane gets wide like that and just re-engage it when the HOV becomes closed off again.
     
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  8. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Unless you saw that he had both hands off the wheel, (or you could see Rainbow Lane Easter Egg on his display :) ) what would have made you think he was driving on autopilot?
     
  9. xav-

    xav- Member

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    Good question. He was not going very fast speed was very constant.. He obviously could have used cruise control or something.. Honestly I don't know that was probably a stupid assumption.
     
  10. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree Member

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    Enthusiastic +1 ... on the 95% figure ... and on the center barrier and wide lane exceptions.

    FWIW, I've found that, if trusted, but monitored, it even handles those exceptions reasonably well.

    A huge boon to SoCal freeway driving. My wife and I drive forty miles for golf every weekend (Sherman Oaks to Moorpark, via I-405 and CA-118), and AP has cut workload, stress, and fatigue by 90%!
     
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  11. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Keep in mind, AP is perfectly happy to follow another car if it can't see lane lines.

    I'm always hearing about how crowded those So Cal roads are...
     
  12. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Since I've been using AP in my X in early January, it has noticeably gotten better. Indeed, I just finished a 1.5 hour drive from San Juan Capistrano to San Diego on the 5 south, from on ramp to off ramp (well, from the time I got to the leftmost lane and back out at the end), without having to disengage AP or take over. It was stop and go punctuated by 80+ MPH stretches.

    AP rocks in stop and go. SO much nicer to drive. And it now handles high speed travel very well too (in the past 4 months, they've added earlier and more precise turn onset, and handling really close barriers and k-rails too). Also, they've tweaked the nag to the point where I do a little steering wheel jiggle every once in a while and it never has to nag me.

    AP has never caused an unsafe situation when I've used it. I really, really like my AP.

    DISCLAIMER: You still have to be looking forward just in case of construction, debris, and general unexpected crap.
     
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  13. OLD BOATER

    OLD BOATER Member

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    Have to agree with everyone who rates is 95% or higher. Won't leave home without it.
     
  14. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    I wish I could say the same. Five times during a 1200 mile trip three weeks ago on I-5 and I-80, AP tried to swerve into the lane to my right just as the front of my S came even with the back of a tractor trailer in the lane to my right; overtaking speed difference was probably 5 to 10 mph, road condition, lane markers and weather all good.

    I called Tesla and gave them the times it happened. They are supposed to be checking logs for instances when I took control away from Autosteer in order to determine what went wrong, but I have not heard back. Maybe it might not have continued to the point of crossing the lane markers, but I wasn't in a mood to test such a hypothesis at 70 mph. The effect was to add stress to using AP even as it relieved muscle strain from having to hold my foot in one position on the accelerator pedal.
     
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  15. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    I have heard of people saying their Model S tried to switch lanes, but I've never experienced that on the freeway (except when going 85 mph and the car can't handle a turn. I'm extra vigilant when I set the speed greater than 80 mph). Then again, I usually drive freeways that have 4+ lanes each way, and I always go in the leftmost lane, so I'm almost never passing a transport truck.

    Btw, "swerve" to me sounds like a rapid violent steer to the right, but it sounds, since you said you had time to correct before the car breached the lane markers, like it was a more gradual lane change/drift.
     
  16. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    I stand by my use of the word "swerve".

    The movement was not a drift, nor the gentle movement I have come to expect from AP's Automatic Lane Change. It was sufficiently rapid so as to startle me and to require immediate reaction. Since I keep my hands in contact with the wheel, I was able in an interstate-highway-standard 12-foot-wide lane to correct before crossing the lane line.
     
  17. xav-

    xav- Member

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    Ok the part where the autopilot can't handle the turn at 85 mph and move on to the next lane sounds scary :)
     
  18. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Umm...there are plenty of human drivers who don't handle that scenario very well. I could be one of them. In any case, 85mph is way over the speed limit on the vast majority of highways in the US. Going that fast greatly reduces the amount of time the driver has to react to unexpected situations. Many times while traveling at +5mph over the speed limit I have been passed on a freeway by someone traveling in the mid-80's and I've watched them change lanes, and noted how they often overcompensate and veer out of their intended lane before re-centering their car.

    There is a reason that speed limits are set at specific numbers. Many human drivers have an exaggerated sense of their own capabilities. And now I fully expect some of those drivers to respond and tell me that they are perfectly safe driving 85 on a highway marked for 65. I would say "you are welcome to your opinion" except that they are endangering the lives of everyone else who shares the roads with them.
     
  19. BizJet

    BizJet Member

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    I've wondered why there isn't a better and more automated way to report anomalies in AutoSteer behavior to Tesla. I'd love to have a button or gesture (other than disengaging AutoSteer) that would mark those occasional moments in which (in the driver's opinion) AutoSteer does something unexpected or borderline unsafe, or even when it seems "uncertain of itself".

    It would seem to me that having drivers identify edge cases that the car is not quite handling well would accelerate the network's learning.
     
  20. DJung

    DJung Member

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    Drove roundtrip to Santa Barbara and Lompoc today from Orange County and I could not have been more pleased with Autopilot. And I just got home, definitely not tired from the 8 hours or so of driving today. I remember driving a regular non-Tesla car to LA last week one-way and I was drained!

    I was very impressed with AP performance on the 101 fwy, especially on the uphill/downhill grades and where the highway gets pretty curvy. AP held its lane impressively well, and the only time I had to take over was at my own discretion on the 405 Southbound after passing the Getty and going towards LAX where the lane narrowed significantly and got very curvy. Also on a few sections where there was road work going on. Car slowed itself when taking sharper turns from 78 to 74 MPH on the curvy uphill section of the 101 going towards the 405. Car also held its lane very well on curvy sections even when going at 78 MPH. Nothing else to report on the other parts of the trip, AP did a fantastic job all the way down the 405, 105, and the 605. There was quite a lot of nagging on the 101, but I'm pretty sure that's because of the very curvy nature of that highway.

    On a side note, I was insanely impressed by the car's performance going up the giant hill on the 101. I don't even have the performance model, I have a base 85 and that car took off uphill like a Falcon 9 rocket. None of the other cars could keep up while I was going uphill. No gear shifts, no hesitation whatsoever. Just uninterrupted power going straight up that giant hill. I love my car.... :)
     

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