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Autopilot Success: San Jose to Gilroy. Gilroy to Morgan Hill. Morgan Hill back...

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by WestCoastP85D, Oct 18, 2015.

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  1. WestCoastP85D

    WestCoastP85D Member

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    I was able to test my auto-pilot in a responsible manner. With my family onboard, we waited to engage the system until we were on 101, navigated to the HOV lane, and then engaged the system at a respectable 65 MPH.

    Wow.

    We had not one issue as the car drove 60+ miles. It works wonderfully and (as Elon said) reduced the workload on the driver (me) to a point where the drive was relaxing. I constantly monitored the software, the traffic, and the car's ability to track the lines on the road. I should add that the ride home actually was at 10PM at night -- and it continued to work great. At no point in this journey did it ping me to take control, or place my hands on the wheel (though my hands were right next to it at all times.)

    I am scheduled to drive to Monterey this afternoon, and plan to try it again.

    This is a total game changer. Highway driving in a Tesla is a superior experience vs. other cars. It's a taste of the future and I look forward to the days of full autonomy. Once again, how is it that Tesla seems to get these "impossible things" done and done fast. Where is GM? Chrysler? Ford? Sure, they are forecasting self driving tech (now that Tesla has shown them the way), but "real artists ship". Of course, this is on top of the fact that my car is one of the fastest sedans ever, and runs on ZERO gas...

    This company is amazing.

    As far as the crazy videos of irresponsible usage of autopilot, please STOP IT. I really worry that regulators will restrict such tech with showboating and stunt driving crazyness. Use the tech responsibly. Please. If we all do, we will ensure less headache and government controls over your car. It's about personal responsibility. (of course... I have zero influence here, but that's my 2 cents...)
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Great post, thanks.
    It seems clear to me that on freeways with clear lane markings Autopilot works extremely well. Of course the driver has to remain vigilant and ready to take over. The driver also has to understand the limitations of the system.
     
  3. 7racer

    7racer Member

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    love this post!!! with all the crazy negative posts, this one was super refreshing and mirrors my excitement and experience!
     
  4. larmor

    larmor Member

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    Great example of product use as it is intended.... For those using autopilot in other non highway situations, and then publicizing it, assuredly the next step will be their insurance companies will come calling...

     
  5. FredTMC

    FredTMC Model S VIN #4925

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    Excellent post! Great to hear
     
  6. yo mama

    yo mama Member

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    @WestCoastP85D - I had the same experience going from San Jose to Palo Alto and back on 101 (twice - once with each kid). My only gripe/hesitation is that it didn't like the "bot dot only" lane designations on 280 south at night time. But I had no problem on that same stretch of road during the day. So we really do need to be cognizant of when the white lines start to disappear, especially at night.
     
  7. Noneduck

    Noneduck Member

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    I echo that sentiment! Great review, especially including the salient fact that Autopilot was entrusted to drive the family on a road trip. For me, AP has been fantastic for my 80 mile round trip commute. I agree with JP Straubel that the computer drives better and more safely than us humans. I have never been more aware of how much worse I stay in the middle of my lane, as compared to what AP achieves. After a little experimentation, It is clear that AP works great, but it is best to turn AP off while negotiating freeway exchanges, freeway offramps, and non-divided roads. And it is not so onerous to keep one hand on the wheel, just as Tesla recommends.
     
  8. No Tailpipe

    No Tailpipe Member

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    Reading the multiple posts about autopiolot, yours was the best example of how the feature should be used. Remember, it's in beta release and should be used on Freeways, Highways and major Interstates. Local, City or County streets should be left for a human, for now. The system as it's been shown can operate in any condition, but drivers should be prudent and smart when enabling autopilot.
     
  9. WestCoastP85D

    WestCoastP85D Member

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    Thanks for the remarks! Just to add more data, I let autopilot take me to Monterey from San Jose. As before, I navigated to the HOV lane on 101 and had zero problems. It even rained for 30 minutes during the trip, and the car did not warn me one time during the rain. I also engaged the system on the non-101 portion and it had no issues with the exception of one curve where it asked me to place my hands on the wheel (but did not demand me to take control.)

    What is interesting is how you notice the bad human drivers swerving around you at all times. I wouldn't be surprised to see human-controlled driving outlawed in my lifetime.

    Back to autopilot: It's like seeing the iPhone for the first time. Certainly we are about to embark on an amazing AI journey as automobiles, trucks, etc deliver part-time (and eventually full time) autonomy (assuming we don't blow ourselves up). Thank you Tesla for this amazing invention, and for giving all of us a new North Star to inspire the best from humanity. (Too much? maybe... but I don't think so...)
     
  10. Khatsalano

    Khatsalano Member

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    I've driven probably 600 miles since AP came out in all kinds of conditions. The AP is actually quite good and does reduce driver workload. I think the key is to understand what it's good at and what it's bad at. Anticipation is very necessary and you will have to take over in some conditions.

    Think about aircraft pilots with AP systems ... this relationship between human and machine works fine. The difference is, the average aircraft pilot who knows how to use AP has been trained and knows a lot about how it works. There is no way an aircraft pilot turns on AP while trying to fly in a canyon against the sunlight with oncoming traffic, but yet, our drivers who have been certified (once) by a local DMV at 16 years old, will do so.

    - K
     
  11. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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  12. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Just to be fair WC, this was true even before Auto Pilot was enabled...:wink:

    Good review, and although I have only driven about 20 km on AP over the weekend, I agree with your thoughts!

     
  13. DrumCoder

    DrumCoder Member

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    I've only done roughly 200 miles with Autosteer, and I love it. This is a tool, just like Cruise Control is a tool. Once you get out of the mindset of "ooh, I wonder how little I can touch the steering wheel to get my destination so I can brag on the internet about it" then it works beautifully. Yes, I touched the wheel more times than I can count in those 200 miles, because I treated it as a tool that stays in the lane better than I do, not as my personal chauffeur.

    It only asked me to touch the wheel a small fraction of those times, but it didn't matter. I touched the wheel when I wanted to, not only when the car wanted me to.

    I want to make one of those license plate holders that say "I Am My Car's Co-pilot" now.
     
  14. mobe

    mobe Member

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    I've got around 300 autopilot miles so far and I am very impressed with it. As I stated in another thread, the feeling that I get most as I am using this system is the same feeling that I get flying an aircraft on autopilot. I am aware that in the next few posts someone will tell me, ( yes but you are not flying in formation six feet away from other aircraft when you are in the airplane". I am aware of that. Nevertheless, that's what it reminds me of. It's just like everything else, use it as intended and it will operate as intended. LEARN THE SYSTEM BEFORE YOU USE THE SYSTEM! If you do that it works great.
     
  15. bwa

    bwa Member

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    Ok, and I nominate this post as the post that best describes to me how it is to be used. I think Tesla will get less problems and liability if they speak in plain talk like this, instead of telling everyone to use it on highways (a big mistake that leads to all sorts of problems since in California "highways" are usually the worst places to use AP right now, according to what that word properly means in this state).
     

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