TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Autopilot on UK roads

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by rayjay, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. rayjay

    rayjay New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    UK
    I couldn't see another UK post on autopilot since 7.1 came out claiming improvements and "officially" condoning use on single carriageway roads. So here are my experiences with it and I'd appreciate feedback.

    I did experiment with the earlier software on empty Surrey country A roads and found it was very prone to diving towards the bushes if there was anything confusing about the roadside features and no white lines, and it also sometimes just seemed to lose it's way and cross the centre line then swerve back. All of that seems much better but it still does not seem truly usable.

    It is generally scary that it goes so close to the kerb or other threshold, it also seems inconsistent in that sometimes the lane is wide but it chooses to ride the road edge and stay half a metre clear of the centre line, other times the line crossing rumble is triggered and it is half a metre from the verge.

    It handles the road well if there is a white line at the roadside but very poorly for a simple grass verge. It quite often starts running on the dirt at the edge of the road.

    The weird thing is that the car clearly shows a road edge on the display without the blue line (if it can't show that then autopilot won't engage) yet the car is clearly shown riding that edge with a big gap to the right hand white line shown blue. Why does the autopilot not know what the display does?

    It still can't judge tighter curves properly and weaves around them.

    It still gets confused by zigzag lines at crossings

    It kerbs the tyres on clear kerbs even as the collision alarm goes off for the bushes and the display shoes it at the edge of the road.

    In short it isn't good enough to trust.

    Ray
     
  2. Henryv

    Henryv Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Bury, Lancashire, UK
  3. TC56

    TC56 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2015
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Worthing, West Sussex, UK
    The careful ones will slow down. The BMW and Audi drivers will assume that the whole road width is just for them :wink:.
     
  4. cobnut

    cobnut New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    For me that's proof of the whole problem with using white lines as a reference point for lane control. I'm pretty sure that most experienced drivers don't rely upon the white lines to know where they should be on the road and of course we have many roads without lines, and those that should have them but don't for one reason or another (often just wear). Can the software not assess the actual surface of the carriageway? Unless you're off roading, most roads are going to be asphalt of some variant and would surely have some kind of signature return from bounced signals...

    Jon
     
  5. Paul M

    Paul M New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Hi Ray, I think your description of the very early release is good and accurate. I'm not sure I have analysed AP as deeply. Where it really comes into its own is obviously on Motorways and more importantly, on busy roads in town. In traffic it's just great, taking all the stress as you crawl along. I found myself in a very bad jam on the A40 coming out of London. We were stop/starting for nearly 5 miles, but after engaging AP and the steering, I found I was becoming very relaxed. After 30 minutes, AP & AutoSteer had my complete confidence and I simply relaxed and just sat there. I'm sure I would have been much more uptight if I was doing everything myself. With all the new releases, it's just got better.

    I live in Oxfordshire so use the car a lot on A & B roads. I simply don't really have the desire to engage the steering as I enjoy the driving. However AP for keeping to the speed limits is brilliant.

    It will only get better, enjoy!!!

    Best,

    Paul
     
  6. martinwinlow

    martinwinlow Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Herts, UK
    I wonder how much (if at all) AP relies on GPS for lane centring - not much I hope! But it might explain some of the seemingly odd behaviour. Of course, once Galileo is up and running, lane markings will be nigh-on irrelevant if the ~1cm accuracy that Galileo promises is delivered. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_(satellite_navigation)

    I've used AP on the motorway/dual carriageway quite a bit (1000 miles or so) and find it pretty good. Excellent with stop/go traffic on the same sort of road. You really have to watch out for roundabouts when on the latter, tho.

    MW
     
  7. slammer

    slammer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    London
    Hi,

    How does AP handle itself with stop/start morning commute traffic? That is the stuff that makes me tired!
     
  8. martinwinlow

    martinwinlow Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Herts, UK
    It'll work fine generally. it is very good at just following the car in front but if that car disappears suddenly, especially combined with other confusing things like white lines that fade or vanish AP can have... moments. Just watch out for roundabouts, junctions (especially ATS'), pedestrian crossings (and pedestrians crossing), filtering motorcycles and cyclists, stray animals etc and and always, ALWAYS be ready to intervene (never take both hands off the wheel). An ordinary carriageway is, of course, much more complex to deal with well than a jam on a motorway.

    It's a bit like supervising an inexperienced learner driver. MW
     
  9. slammer

    slammer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    London
    Thank you - I think that sums it up very well :)
     
  10. EV Guy

    EV Guy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Leicestershire, United Kingdom
    I'm presuming that UK drivers with AP have no issues on the motorway. I drive each day to work along the M1 and would really consider the option for a Model 3 order in the future.
     
  11. slammer

    slammer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    London
    I did the BIG mistake of going for a MS test drive the weekend on the A2/M2, did a good ~15 miles in AP and it is *fantastic*, as referred to above, it's a bit like a kid learning to drive, if roadmarkings are not as clear it starts being hesitant/unsure of it'self but it warns you clearly. Motorway (for me anyway) was no problem whatsoever, it's cute how it identifies cars vs trucks, etc.

    Whatever you do do not go for a test drive too early as you will simply love it, I'm struggling not to hit a order button right now :)
     
  12. EV Guy

    EV Guy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Leicestershire, United Kingdom
    How come you are holding off ordering?
     
  13. slammer

    slammer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    London
    Current car is on a lease for another 18 months so practically speaking I should wait, will see how that turns out though! :)
     
  14. thegruf

    thegruf Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    942
    Location:
    UK
    I use AP every day and completely love it.
    Yes it does require white lines to operate, with one notable exception - queuing traffic when it will track the car in front of you.

    On single carriageway roads with decent markings and dual carriageways it will track some quite substantial curves quite happily.
    The lane change feature is really cool, but can be a bit too much of a faff sometimes and needs the car to recognise the far edge of the adjacent lane which it is not always great at doing.
    On of its flaws however is that on single carriageway roads I believe it relies on the Navigon database for speed limits and this apparently is full of holes which result in the car slowing to 45mph sometimes, however this can be reasily overidden without taking the car out of AP by a gentle press on the accelerator to keep the speed until the map data corrects.

    One of the absolute best uses though is coming up on the back of a queue, just flip AP on and let the car track the car in front. Brilliant, just brilliant.

    I have been curious how it manages to de-stress driving as you must still pay attention, you are in ultimate control after all and it is not flawless, but somehow it really does enable a much more relaxed driving experience.

    Given this function has only been on public release for a few months I am amazed at how "mature" its behaviour is.
     
  15. martinwinlow

    martinwinlow Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Herts, UK
  16. slammer

    slammer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    London
    Thanks for that -

    Out of interest, how does it deal with motorcycles coming past on either side whilst in queued traffic? Or cars jumping the gap between you and the car in front from the side? Or worse still.. if it 'follows' a motorcycle who decides it had enough and goes between the cars, hopefully some sizing algorithm stops it trying to follow :)
     
  17. munky

    munky New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    I came across something the other day using AP, in the overtaking lane on a motorway everything was going fine until I passed under a bridge, (it was a bridge stanchion where the it meets the road so the barriers come in to one side of the stanchion and resume on the other side of the concrete) just as I got to it the car pulled quickly to the right. I'm not 100% sure it was the cause of it but I haven't got up the courage to try it again in that lane.
     

Share This Page