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Autopilot with Navigation needs a bit of work

haroldo

Member
Apr 20, 2021
342
170
NJ
Future owner here, can someone describe actually how good the autopilot is? Or is it more of just a talking point? Need an honest opinion.
I'll give you the newbie's perspective (June 5, Model 3)
It's good, not perfect. You have to remain in control, the car will yell at you if you're not holding the wheel, etc.
There are a few functions. At a minimum, it will keep you in the lane, equidistant between the lines. That is both good and bad, as the car does funky things when there's a lane merge and your lane gets extra wide. Instead of staying to the side and letting the lanes narrow (like a normal driver would), the car juts to the center. That's disquieting the first time it happens, but you get used to it.
The car, for a variety of reasons can, and will, drop out of AutoPilot. If you're not paying attention, you might miss the bings or bongs, and assume you're on lane assist, only to find out that you're not (as the car drifts, etc.). Get used to looking for the blue lines on the screen every few seconds to confirm that the car is being driven for you.
The audible cues are tough, since you're never really sure what it's telling you, there's a lot of beeps and dings. The screen displays a small font message near the bottom that is tough to read, and only for a few seconds... so it's anyone's guess what that message might have been. :)
It's nerve wracking when you go around a bend, as you're never really sure if the car is going to follow the curve...or slam into the side wall. Keep your eyes on the blue lines!
For the most part, it does a good job, but you'll figure out the conditions when it will turn off (rain, poorly painted roads, gaps in lines, etc.
It will relax you...and drive you crazy...at the same time (so it's a push). Over time you'll feel more comfortable.
This is the basic AutoPilot.

If you opt for the full package (I did), you get a bunch of other goodies, but to be honest, the extra bells and whistles might not be worth the extra cost. Navigation, as evidenced by this thread is good, but far from perfect. I'm still getting used to it, so I mainly use it on empty highways (when you really don't need it). Merging and switching lanes is fun to experience. Too often Navigate on AutoPilot will punk out, so, again, be prepared to take control. Again, it can be maddening (when it moves to the left, when on an empty highway you need to exit right), the check and balance is to set all lane changes to confirmation (so you can veto a dumb move)

Bottom line, it's probably better, safer, and provides for a more relaxed experience.
I'm glad I got the car, and enjoy driving (my normal 9 mile commute is now 35 miles, as I go super far out of the way just so I can drive the car)
 
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Kingoglow

Member
Mar 4, 2021
49
63
KC
I know wha tthe OP is going through. NoAP fails at two different clover-leaf exits on my commute every day.
In each case, the road is setup for me to change lanes from out of the right-hand lane of the highway, into an on ramp / off-ramp lane. I am to merge into a lane that is used for some commutes (like me) to exit into a clover-leaf, while other cars are leaving their own section of the cloverleaf to merge onto the highway I am leaving. This is a highway to highway exchange that involves, lane change while merging and using an exit from one highway to another highway. NoAP is supposed to be able to do all of these things.

NoAP fails at this every time.
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,017
1,153
Durham, NC
My usual use case for NoA is for road trips. For local travel and commuting (if I even remember that!) I don't really use NoA. I do use standard Autopilot, however, all the time. It's amazing how tedious steering and maintaining speed are once you experience not having to do that.

For road trips I have found NoA to be worth it, although I didn't pay $10K for it (I paid $5K originally for what was called Enhanced Autopilot at the time, and then upgraded to FSD for $2K during one particular firesale). I've found NoA to be just fine for long trips, but I've gotten to know the places that I have to watch out for. And yes, the lane changes to the left at off-ramps, as well as drifting to the right at on-ramps that have long sections of merge lane at the end without lane divider markings are quite annoying (the latter varies from state to state--Virginia is probably the worst I've experienced). If they could just fix those two items, I would say the $5K I paid for Autopilot was absolutely worth it. But would I pay $10K today? Probably not...the only reason I paid the extra $2K for FSD was because it was too good a deal to pass up at the time. I do hope that FSD becomes a thing, but I'm certainly not holding my breath.
 
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haroldo

Member
Apr 20, 2021
342
170
NJ
Not every exit is eligible for NOA. In the turn directions, exits that are NOA eligible will display a small autopilot icon next to the exit number
I checked, the exit had a microscopic (okay, exaggeration) AutoPilot blue icon on the Navigation Screen, yet the car didn't take the exit.
The exit has a relatively short exit window (considering it is a high speed 1/4-1/2 mile long service road with cloverleaf exits), probably only a few seconds at 65 MPH. Is it possible the car doesn't think it has enough time to exit?? If so, why did it display the AP icon?
From the screenshot, the exit has a clear outside painted line, but from this graphic, it appears that there are not any dotted lines between the highway and the service road. Could it be failing since it doesn't see lines on both sides of the exit lane?
Capture.JPG
 
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haroldo

Member
Apr 20, 2021
342
170
NJ
At this interchange, the car always makes the exit (red arrow), but as soon as it's on the exit lane, AutoPilot quits (blue arrow).
Capture.JPG
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,017
1,153
Durham, NC
Thanks for the screenshots. That helps me see what it is you are talking about (your definition of "service road" seems different than mine--do you mean shoulder perhaps?)

In the first screenshot, my guess is that the lack of a lane marking to separate the off-ramp from the highway is causing the issue (although it's hard to see if there is actually a marking there because of the faint red line in your screenshot). The car has to actually "see" an exit lane to move into. It would see this off-ramp section as one giant right hand lane and not an exit. It's not surprising that it would miss this. This kind of situation also explains why the car sometimes moves to the left (passing) lane at highway off ramps. If its map tells it that there is a an exit lane, and its cameras tells it that it's in the rightmost lane (albeit, very wide in this case!), it assumes that it's in the exit lane and moves left to avoid exiting the highway. Although I take it in this case the car actually WANTS to exit the highway, but again, the extremely wide "lane" may be confusing it. The off-ramp doesn't look all that short to me based on the screenshot, but I do think the car probably wants to see some sort of demarcation between a travel lane and an off-ramp for it to know that it's actually found the exit.

In the second screenshot I can clearly see the lane markings that separate the off-ramp from the travel lanes, so not surprising the car takes the exit, but are you saying that it takes the exit really late, i.e. AT the red arrow?

As for AP cutting out at the blue arrow, are you saying that AP cuts out, or Nav on AP cuts out? Nav on AP cutting out could be normal, depending on what's ahead. If it's not a divided, limited access highway, NoA will cut out, but it will automatically cut back in once you are on a highway again. Sometimes interchanges between highways are still considered highways and it won't cut out, but this varies. Either way, it's not a huge deal.

Now if you are saying that AP completely cuts out at the blue arrow, that is different. AP should continue to be engaged until you get on a surface street where lane markings completely disappear, or something similar.
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,017
1,153
Durham, NC
Okay, I think I found the first screenshot exit on Google Maps. I see what you mean by service road, and yes, I would call it that as well (it looked like an ordinary exit from the screenshot). The satellite imagery definitely lacked lane separator lines, but the Google Street View image shows it to be well marked:
1625167773486.png

I would say the car shouldn't have an issue with this, unless for some reason the lane doesn't get "wide" enough in time, but in the picture above that doesn't look to be the case. So this is a mystery. Are the lane markings in the image above what it actually looks like at this time?
 

EVFamilyGrins

Member
May 4, 2021
11
9
CT
Autopilot (Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control) is standard and pretty good if you use them on divided highways.
FSD is a waste of money. Auto lane change is nice on empty roads but not worth $10k.
Opinions differ.
Note that FSD will be available as a subscription soon and may be a better deal that way.
Autopilot and FSD can be great or horrible, depending on your expectations.
FSD and Autopilot are “Beta” versions and a work in progress. You are not paying for a completed project, but purchasing (at a discount) the chance to be involved in the process and see how the proverbial sausage is made. This is not for everyone, I accept that there are going to be miscues and sometimes the car is just not going to take that exit by itself (but maybe it will after the next update). On the other viewpoint my wife has banned me from using FSD when she is in the car.

FSD is not for everyone at this stage, and only you can decide if it is right for you.

All that being said, I enjoy the limited FSD available and being part of the process, However, I would have to think hard before I paid 10k for it now.
 

haroldo

Member
Apr 20, 2021
342
170
NJ
Are the lane markings in the image above what it actually looks like at this time?
I’ll check again tomorrow morning. One other issue, if you look at the image that you posted, there is a very short window where the exit lane is wide enough for a car. it’s a gradual expansion of the width of the exit lane. when it is finally one full car length wide, there is only about 100 feet?? before the exit line ends. Maybe the car doesn’t think it has enough time to get over,? if that makes any sense
88059E3C-63CD-44B9-B132-9E0F868A5D28.jpeg



The window highlighted might be the only area where the car sees a full car width opportunity to move over, and at 65mph it might not think there’s enough time???
 

haroldo

Member
Apr 20, 2021
342
170
NJ
for AP cutting out at the blue arrow, are you saying that AP cuts out
I just took the exit and I think what might be happening is my fear of the car moving over resulted in my wrestling the wheel to gain control. I believe I’m inadvertently turning it off, which is just as well, because it’s no big deal driving on the exit ramp .
 

haroldo

Member
Apr 20, 2021
342
170
NJ
I would say the car shouldn't have an issue with this, unless for some reason the lane doesn't get "wide" enough in time,
I checked again this morning, at no time did the silhouette appear. What's odd is 1/4 mile down the highway, when the car was near the actual exit cloverleaves, the car slowed up, thinking it was about to exit...even though the car was on the highway, not the service lane (think express/local).
In any event, not a big deal since it's my normal commute, but it's good to see the (severe) limitations in Navigation.
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,017
1,153
Durham, NC
I checked again this morning, at no time did the silhouette appear. What's odd is 1/4 mile down the highway, when the car was near the actual exit cloverleaves, the car slowed up, thinking it was about to exit...even though the car was on the highway, not the service lane (think express/local).
In any event, not a big deal since it's my normal commute, but it's good to see the (severe) limitations in Navigation.
Yeah, that sounds like a map inaccuracy to me. Like the car doesn't see the service road as being separate from the highway, and by the time it figures it needs to get over into that lane, it's too late because now there is a barrier/white line. Which is a bit surprising because I've generally been impressed with the map's accuracy. I don't think the off-ramp length (from your red lines) is too short. I've seen it take much shorter exits than that.
 

haroldo

Member
Apr 20, 2021
342
170
NJ
Well, there's two problems. I guess the first one is more troubling, and might be due to the exit being a gradual widening (as shown in the screenshots). Normal drivers would drift into the widening exit roadway, but the Tesla doesn't see that as a safe lane until it's probably too late (guessing it needs to first recognize it, then plan to move over, but by this time, the exit is gone and the solid line and barrier resumes.
Wish Tesla would have a "report map error" icon...like EVERY other navigation system has, but I guess the engineers are too busy working on new "emissions test" sounds. The inability to easily provide feedback is bizarre (and obviously by design)
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
2,996
2,964
Austin
I've had the same experience with NoA. Its fine for road trips, but I have it set to require confirmation.
For daily driving, its constantly in the wrong lane. Maybe with Elon living in the area now it will improve, but for now it is extremely hit or miss.
Its a much more relaxing drive using autopilot without unneeded lane changes on NoA.
Really my ideal would be enhanced autopilot - AP with lane change basically.
I was looking forward to FSD and do own it, but not really looking forward to only having one route choice all the time.
 

PungoteagDave

Member
Nov 19, 2012
46
72
Pungoteague, VA
I’m referring to nomenclature for clarity’s sake. The general public (understandably) already confuses the very limited release FSD beta with AP, NoAP, etc. NoAP is a component of “FSD Capability” package and I don’t think even Tesla considers it “FSD”. As amazing as it is (I still use it all the time minus lane change without confirmation), it can‘t handle a lot of situations and Tesla knows this I’m sure (hence the NoAP icons for each exit/routing step). The current FSD beta appears to switch to the same NoAP the rest of us ”FSD Capability” package people have, but who knows if it’s “as good as it gets” with only minor iterative improvements forthcoming. I’m guessing/hoping no.


Yes, these bug reports go out into the unknown ether, but Tesla bothered to add the feedback option at some point so it doesn’t hurt to use it until proven otherwise. Perhaps a placebo effect, but I’ve repeatedly reported many exit ramp issues and have seen at least a few “fixed” (or stated above, the example issue was more generally fixed and so my problem ramps were covered.
I don't think this is correct. Tesla's FSD definition includes the limited feature set that is current for all FSD-enabled cars as outlined in their marketing on the website, which states that it will add local point to point driving later this year. It does NOT include the FSD beta that a few thousand of us have, the folks who signed liability waivers and have the pre-release version of FSD. I do think the feedback system has devolved into placebo. I also think the neural network was illusory/ephemeral gobbledegook - an assertion that can be neither proven nor debunked because Tesla/Elon often says things that it/he never backs up with facts/evidence. It is clear, however, that our cars will never be robo-taxis, notwithstanding continued promises to the contrary.
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,017
1,153
Durham, NC
Well, there's two problems. I guess the first one is more troubling, and might be due to the exit being a gradual widening (as shown in the screenshots). Normal drivers would drift into the widening exit roadway, but the Tesla doesn't see that as a safe lane until it's probably too late (guessing it needs to first recognize it, then plan to move over, but by this time, the exit is gone and the solid line and barrier resumes.
I'm almost positive this is not the case. This is not what it looks like today (it's actually well-marked today), but hopefully you can see what is going on here:
1625596520236.png

Here is an overhead shot which hopefully is a bit clearer:
1625596605404.png

As you can see, this exit doesn't get to full lane width until the solid white line. My car has no problem at all drifting into this "off-ramp" at 67mph despite it being even shorter than what your exit appears to be.

Wish Tesla would have a "report map error" icon...like EVERY other navigation system has, but I guess the engineers are too busy working on new "emissions test" sounds. The inability to easily provide feedback is bizarre (and obviously by design)
Tesla doesn't create their own maps--like most companies, they buy them from a third-party. I'm pretty sure I've read in the past that they get them from Tom-Tom, and this seems to agree with what I've seen with respect to newly added roads in my area--when TomTom gets them, that's when they appear in my Tesla nav system (the satellite imagery, on the other hand, appears to come from Google). But other sources say the map data is from Google, or a variety of other sources. Who knows what the truth is these days, but I think the key would be reporting any errors or issues to the original source of the maps.

I also saw a reference to this e-mail address that I suppose you could try: [email protected]
 

_jal_

Member
Dec 6, 2016
488
1,066
Chicago
The map ramp / merge data is definitely flaky and NOA and AP obviously very much rely on this. Around Chicago we have a number of ramps that ... ramp ... down to highway level from a bridge that crosses the highway and they are immediately to the right of the highway. So I think the map actually has these ramps encoded as the rightmost lane as opposed to a lane that is in midair until it joins the road. When I am in the rightmost lane it will brake to allow the cars in the next lane to the left to "merge" because it thinks I'm in the merge lane because it can't see the merge lane. I don't know if that made any sense, but I bet the OP problem is a map error.
 

haroldo

Member
Apr 20, 2021
342
170
NJ
I'm almost positive this is not the case. This is not what it looks like today (it's actually well-marked today), but hopefully you can see what is going on here:
1625596520236.png

Here is an overhead shot which hopefully is a bit clearer:
1625596605404.png

As you can see, this exit doesn't get to full lane width until the solid white line. My car has no problem at all drifting into this "off-ramp" at 67mph despite it being even shorter than what your exit appears to be.
A bit confused. You say it’s not the case, and your car handles a similar exit, but my car fails to exit no matter what the speed
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,017
1,153
Durham, NC
A bit confused. You say it’s not the case, and your car handles a similar exit, but my car fails to exit no matter what the speed
Right...I am saying that it's not the lack of a lengthy off-ramp (to give the car enough time to move into the exit lane), but rather some kind of map data problem at your exit that makes the car think that the off-ramp (that it should be taking) is not actually the one that it should take.
 
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sunfarm

2021M3LR, Blue, 19", FSD
Jun 21, 2021
141
77
Canada
Future owner here, can someone describe actually how good the autopilot is? Or is it more of just a talking point? Need an honest opinion.
I have full FSD and all latest hardware. My Autopilot and FSD do not work at all. Autopilot (Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control, lane change) not working at all. If I am driving on HWY empty very good marked lines 70km/h I CAN'T remove my hands from wheel even on 10-15 sec. Vehicle not hold on the road, vehicle not hold very smooth curves and start swinging. I did big mistake bought FSD and my advise to you don't do my mistake.
 

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