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Close call not using Autopilot. Autopilot question

Skipdd

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
706
752
Silver Spring, MD
Curious to get opinions from those who use Autopilot all the time, and ideally, have had experience similar to what I’m about to describe. Would like to know how Autopilot would have responded.

Yesterday, I was driving on a state highway (Rt 29N in Maryland about 2 miles south of Ellicott City exit). 4 lanes, I was in center left lane, going at about 65mph. Lots of traffic - car to my immediate left, cars on my right. car in front of me moved over. Car behind me approximately 50-75 ft back. Suddenly I see object in road in front of me - about 100-150 yards. As I get closer I see it looks like a large rubbermaid storage container about 2/3rds the width of the car and about 18-24” high.

After a short consideration, I hit accelerator hard and shot in front of car in left lane and slowed down so I wouldn’t rear end car in front. Car behind me (looked like small SUV) swerved into left lane and nearly fish tailed and lost control. We called hazard in to State Police.

How would Autopilot have handled this? I generally only use Autopilot on long trips on Interstate. I will occassionally use it on state roads like this, but worry about how it will react. Would it have handled this better or worse? Asking for future consideration.

I have 2017 MS with EAP. I have MCU 2 and therefore have HW3.

Thanks.
 

TresLA

Member
Jul 15, 2018
80
70
L.A.
A long time ago, but I know that stretch of 29! (Now widened and faster)

I use AP everywhere in most any situation it shows available. I pretty much only don’t use it when it can’t do what I need it to do (e.g. - make surface street turns, when I’m too impatient for AP’s more cautious demeanor, etc.). I’m driving a 2018 Model 3 with FSD capability purchased at delivery (ergo free/included HW3 swapped in by Tesla over a year ago

Of course it’s “what if’s” speculation here, but 1) I’m pretty certain AP would never be that aggressive to attempt accelerating over set speed to swerve in front of/in between two cars in an adjacent lane. And 2) I’m guessing IF it saw the container as an obstructing object to avoid, it would either swerve if adjacent lane is clear or AEB would kick in and slam on the brakes, thereby stopping in the road if you didn’t intervene or slow down to minimize impact.

Maybe not analogous, but I have dashcam (and side repeater camera) footage of a car that tried to squeeze between me and a car it was trying to pass. I didn’t think they’d go for such a tight squeeze and it was close enough I think contact could have been made. My Tesla swerved into adjacent lane to avoid contact/collision. It happened so fast but I’m pretty sure I didn’t do the avoidance maneuver. The adjacent lane was clear so the swerve was “safe”.
 
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Skipdd

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
706
752
Silver Spring, MD
A long time ago, but I know that stretch of 29! (Now widened and faster)

I use AP everywhere in most any situation it shows available. I pretty much only don’t use it when it can’t do what I need it to do (e.g. - make surface street turns, when I’m too impatient for AP’s more cautious demeanor, etc.). I’m driving a 2018 Model 3 with FSD capability purchased at delivery (ergo free/included HW3 swapped in by Tesla over a year ago

Of course it’s “what if’s” speculation here, but 1) I’m pretty certain AP would never be that aggressive to attempt accelerating over set speed to swerve in front of/in between two cars in an adjacent lane. And 2) I’m guessing IF it saw the container as an obstructing object to avoid, it would either swerve if adjacent lane is clear or AEB would kick in and slam on the brakes, thereby stopping in the road if you didn’t intervene or slow down to minimize impact.

Maybe not analogous, but I have dashcam (and side repeater camera) footage of a car that tried to squeeze between me and a car it was trying to pass. I didn’t think they’d go for such a tight squeeze and it was close enough I think contact could have been made. My Tesla swerved into adjacent lane to avoid contact/collision. It happened so fast but I’m pretty sure I didn’t do the avoidance maneuver. The adjacent lane was clear so the swerve was “safe”.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I wasn’t sure I could stop in time or that I woudn‘t get rear-ended. It was an agonizing however many seconds to decide. I would have been scared if Autopilot slammed on the brakes. I may have tried to take over. If I had, that would be a whole new guessing game of what would have happened.
 
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J1mbo

Active Member
Aug 20, 2013
1,607
1,403
UK
I doubt that AP or FSD will ever speed up to get out of trouble, and it has been nerfed by regulation to not be able to change lanes at superhuman speeds. So, it'll just break hard, and hopefully the car behind will also be on AP and able to break at the same rate, or be driven by a human who could floor it / swerve out of danger as you did.
 

Skipdd

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
706
752
Silver Spring, MD
I doubt that AP or FSD will ever speed up to get out of trouble, and it has been nerfed by regulation to not be able to change lanes at superhuman speeds. So, it'll just break hard, and hopefully the car behind will also be on AP and able to break at the same rate, or be driven by a human who could floor it / swerve out of danger as you did.
Thanks. Helpful to understand the limitations.
 

TresLA

Member
Jul 15, 2018
80
70
L.A.
I've been in enough situations where AP's slammed on the brakes (not just phantom braking) and I've had to immediately take over (my reflex now is both stepping on accelerator and tapping up on right stalk to disengage AP) otherwise it feels like AP would have just stopped the car in the middle of the road. I've never tested/allowed AP to go that far (slow down/stop car in the middle of the road) before I took over, but that's what it felt like it would have continued doing if I didn't intervene.
 

Skipdd

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
706
752
Silver Spring, MD
I believe MCU and HW levels are not dependent - even HW1 cars can have MCU2.
Understand. I believe that on cars that could support HW3, when MCU2 was purchased, HW3 was installed - at least that’s what I recall seeing in the forum. My point was just to provide how the car is equipped. From the other comments made, it appears Autopilot will not take the kind of evasive action that I did, and may make a worse decision. That was really what I was after - to better understand what to expect. As a footnote I am on a trip now, and on my way here we were driving very late at night/early am. I was exhausted, and used Autopilot almost the whole way. It was hugely helpful to allow me to manage well.
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,952
2,064
Orange County, CA
Understand. I believe that on cars that could support HW3, when MCU2 was purchased, HW3 was installed - at least that’s what I recall seeing in the forum. My point was just to provide how the car is equipped. From the other comments made, it appears Autopilot will not take the kind of evasive action that I did, and may make a worse decision. That was really what I was after - to better understand what to expect. As a footnote I am on a trip now, and on my way here we were driving very late at night/early am. I was exhausted, and used Autopilot almost the whole way. It was hugely helpful to allow me to manage well.
No, there was one person who reported that Tesla upgraded his FSD computer to HW3, and he didn't pay for FSD.
 

Skipdd

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
706
752
Silver Spring, MD
No, there was one person who reported that Tesla upgraded his FSD computer to HW3, and he didn't pay for FSD.
I believe you are mistaken - or we are talking past each other. I just searched the forum for “MCU2 HW3” and found a bunch of posts from a number of different owners saying they had been upgraded from MCU1 to MCU2 and it included HW3. Like me they had EAP and some (like me) had HW2.5. this thread has some posts about it - Tesla infotainment system upgradeable from MCU1 to MCU2. I paid $2500 for the upgrade.
 
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Skipdd

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
706
752
Silver Spring, MD
I believe you are mistaken - or we are talking past each other. I just searched the forum for “MCU2 HW3” and found a bunch of posts from a number of different owners saying they had been upgraded from MCU1 to MCU2 and it included HW3. Like me they had EAP and some (like me) had HW2.5. this thread has some posts about it - Tesla infotainment system upgradeable from MCU1 to MCU2. I paid $2500 for the upgrade.
One of the posts I found included a screenshot of the vehicle’s included hardware and for Autopilot computer it showed they had, “Full self driving computer.” I just checked my car and it says the same thing, i.e., my car has the Full self-driving computer installed. When they replaced my MCU, they also replaced the IC and put in the Full self-driving computer.

Cheers.
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,952
2,064
Orange County, CA
One of the posts I found included a screenshot of the vehicle’s included hardware and for Autopilot computer it showed they had, “Full self driving computer.” I just checked my car and it says the same thing, i.e., my car has the Full self-driving computer installed. When they replaced my MCU, they also replaced the IC and put in the Full self-driving computer.

Cheers.
Do you have paid FSD?

It seems odd for Tesla to proactively replace the FSD computer in a non-FSD vehicle.
 

Skipdd

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
706
752
Silver Spring, MD
Do you have paid FSD?
I do not - just EAP. Just conjecture on my part, but since FSD was re-defined to include some EAP capabilities, the line is blurry on this. I don’t think that had any bearing on their policy/decision to include it. My recollection is that some posters speculated they included it as part of the package because it was cheaper for them.
 
Last edited:

qdeathstar

Completely Serious
May 17, 2019
3,451
2,461
VB
Curious to get opinions from those who use Autopilot all the time, and ideally, have had experience similar to what I’m about to describe. Would like to know how Autopilot would have responded.

Yesterday, I was driving on a state highway (Rt 29N in Maryland about 2 miles south of Ellicott City exit). 4 lanes, I was in center left lane, going at about 65mph. Lots of traffic - car to my immediate left, cars on my right. car in front of me moved over. Car behind me approximately 50-75 ft back. Suddenly I see object in road in front of me - about 100-150 yards. As I get closer I see it looks like a large rubbermaid storage container about 2/3rds the width of the car and about 18-24” high.

After a short consideration, I hit accelerator hard and shot in front of car in left lane and slowed down so I wouldn’t rear end car in front. Car behind me (looked like small SUV) swerved into left lane and nearly fish tailed and lost control. We called hazard in to State Police.

How would Autopilot have handled this? I generally only use Autopilot on long trips on Interstate. I will occassionally use it on state roads like this, but worry about how it will react. Would it have handled this better or worse? Asking for future consideration.

I have 2017 MS with EAP. I have MCU 2 and therefore have HW3.

Thanks.
Plow right into it most likely.
 
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Skipdd

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
706
752
Silver Spring, MD
Makes zero economic sense for Tesla to upgrade the FSD computer for EAP cars, until owner ponies up for FSD.

That said, who knows why they do that... sometimes.
I’m not going to search the threads for the cites, but I’m pretty sure my conjecture on their cost is right. Thinking about it more - this was covered in the posts. They can modulate the options in the software to allow full support or not. Those with EAP, have part of what is currently only available in FSD. Heck until recently there was no difference in EAP and FSD, and even now, many people don’t consider the delta that worthwhile. I won’t fork out the money for it until people like @wk057 and @verygreen bless it.

Pardon me for saying, but I detected tone in your responses, almost like you are annoyed that some people who didn’t pay for FSD have the HW that is supposed to support it. From what I’ve been reading true FSD, not the watered down “Feature Complete” version is likely to require yet more hardware..
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,952
2,064
Orange County, CA
I’m not going to search the threads for the cites, but I’m pretty sure my conjecture on their cost is right. Thinking about it more - this was covered in the posts. They can modulate the options in the software to allow full support or not. Those with EAP, have part of what is currently only available in FSD. Heck until recently there was no difference in EAP and FSD, and even now, many people don’t consider the delta that worthwhile. I won’t fork out the money for it until people like @wk057 and @verygreen bless it.

Pardon me for saying, but I detected tone in your responses, almost like you are annoyed that some people who didn’t pay for FSD have the HW that is supposed to support it. From what I’ve been reading true FSD, not the watered down “Feature Complete” version is likely to require yet more hardware..
No tone. Why would I care whether they proactively replace what generates zero revenue? I'm a shareholder.
 

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