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Autopilot into tunnels?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Camera-Cruiser, May 30, 2016.

  1. Camera-Cruiser

    Camera-Cruiser Fully Charged

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    If things go right I will get a loaner MS with autopilot while mine is in to fix brake booster noise for the third time.

    I really want to test autopilot form Orange County, CA to Malibu. I figure it will handle everything up until it gets to the 10FWY westbound to PCH (Pacific Coast HWY) tunnel. You go from a normal freeway to a dark two lane curving tunnel and out into normally bright sunshine two lane HWY, normally at high speed, but sometimes traffic stops in the tunnel.

    Anyone drive this? What happens?

    And what happens in tunnels in general?

    Anyone do the Eisenhower tunnels on i70 in Colorado? Etc.
     
  2. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

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    Lafayette, CA
    Hey Camera-Cruiser,

    I've done the Caldecott Tunnel and the Treasure Island Tunnel in the SF Bay Area (OK, the latter is so wide it doesn't really count). In the beginning (early 7.0 software) I'd seen some odd (and unsettling) behavior such as veering away from the tunnel walls on entry or unexplained slowdowns. These gradually improved, to the point where I'm comfortable using AP in some tunnels (westbound Caldecott, with wider bores, but not the eastbound Caldecott, with the older, narrower bores). It took me awhile to get that comfort level in general, and I would attribute that as much to my own personal limits / personality, as to the AP system.

    I have no experience with the PCH tunnel, with or without autopilot.

    My recommendation is that if this is your first AP experience, and you're still learning the system and how it reacts, to disengage AP (or at least the autosteer part...TACC should be OK) when you get to the tunnels. Better to get used to it on the open road first.

    Just my free advice, worth what you paid for it. :)

    Bruce.

    PS. If you haven't already, you might want to look at the "A Flight Instructor Teaches Autopilot" thread here on TMC.
     
    • Informative x 2
  3. Camera-Cruiser

    Camera-Cruiser Fully Charged

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    #3 Camera-Cruiser, May 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
    Thank you. I was wondering what AP thought of tunnels, and it is logical to avoid the sides. The Santa Monica tunnel is maybe 150 yards long, but it's two lanes and curves, so your eyes never quite adjust before you are in the middle, and then can see the other opening.

    Link to McClure Tunnel:
    McClure Tunnel - Wikimapia

    Thanks, I'll get to try it in about two weeks.
     
  4. jcoverton

    jcoverton Member

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    I have traveled the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel route many times using autopilot. It drives it better than I do. In the tunnel, I tend to hug the center line to avoid the wall. This puts me closer to on coming traffic. Autopilot centers the car in the lane and does not drift when cars approach in the opposite lane. It is able to drive the 17 mile bridge and both of the mile long tunnels without much intervention I like how it paces the cars that slow down when driving up and out of the tunnels. When it is driving, I get less frustrated that they slow to 35 mph up the incline.
     
    • Informative x 2
  5. Camera-Cruiser

    Camera-Cruiser Fully Charged

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    Thanks for your input. So it seems that AP won't kill me straight away!
     
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