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Does Autopilot reduce road rage?

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by T3SLA_LIFE, Apr 28, 2016.

?

If you've used Autopilot before and someone has cut you off, has it

Poll closed May 28, 2016.
  1. completely eliminated road rage

    3 vote(s)
    13.6%
  2. Somewhat eliminated road rage

    10 vote(s)
    45.5%
  3. Mostly eliminated it

    4 vote(s)
    18.2%
  4. No change

    5 vote(s)
    22.7%
  1. T3SLA_LIFE

    T3SLA_LIFE Member

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    I've driven performance vehicles all of my life. Before getting the BMW Z4 I drive now, I drove a Mustang GT and before that a Kawasaki ZX-10R. While I've always owned a fast vehicle, I'm smarter than to push the vehicles to its limits on a public roadway. I usually drive 5-10 mph over the limit on the highway (as most of us do) to avoid people's blinds spots and to drive with a focus on the traffic in front of me instead of towards my sides (like most motorcyclists do).

    I provide this perspective because I am someone drives cautiously and not with intention to set a new land speed record or cut and weave in and out of traffic. I'm a driving enthusiast but am not a fan of inattentive drivers.

    Because I know how upset I get when I'm cut off or nearly hit by someone who's more focused on their instagram posts than the road in front of then, my main question is this...

    For those of you that currently have Autopilot in your Model S or have test-driven Autopilot and been cut off or nearly hit by someone, is the anger/road rage that you experience
    gone since the car is in control and deals with it, do you still experience those same emotions just on a lesser scale, or have you experienced no change to your emotional reaction?
     
    • Like x 3
  2. T3SLA_LIFE

    T3SLA_LIFE Member

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    I've driven performance vehicles all of my life. Before getting the BMW Z4 I drive now, I drove a Mustang GT and before that a Kawasaki ZX-10R. While I've always owned a fast vehicle, I'm smarter than to push the vehicles to its limits on a public roadway. I usually drive 5-10 mph over the limit on the highway (as most of us do) to avoid people's blinds spots and to drive with a focus on the traffic in front of me instead of towards my sides (like most motorcyclists do).

    I provide this perspective because I am someone drives cautiously and not with intention to set a new land speed record or cut and weave in and out of traffic. I'm a driving enthusiast but am not a fan of inattentive drivers.

    Because I know how upset I get when I'm cut off or nearly hit by someone who's more focused on their instagram posts than the road in front of then, my main question is this...

    For those of you that currently have Autopilot in your Model S or have test-driven Autopilot and been cut off or nearly hit by someone, is the anger/road rage that you experiencegone since the car is in control and deals with it, do you still experience those same emotions just on a lesser scale, or have you experienced no change to your emotional reaction?
     
  3. Pdub2015

    Pdub2015 Member

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    Wheaton, MD
    I am not an owner and I've only spent maybe 15 minutes behind the wheel at speed in Autopilot, so my experience is extremely limited. Like you, I'm a biker (ZX14), so I do bring a slightly different viewpoint than the average car driver. That said, it seems to me that AP is powerless to mitigate the sources of road rage... jerks are gonna jerk... but AP caused me to focus a little further down the road than normal. I was looking ahead to sections of road or traffic situations that might trip it up. And that meant I might spot the jerk behavior sooner, and have more time to process a reaction.

    But I imagine those near misses and last second lane changes will always cause a reaction, regardless of whether you have to manually intervene or not. The only way to really reduce jerk-induced road rage is by minimizing the amount of time spent on the road with jerks.

    Fully autonomous driving can't get here soon enough for me...
     
    • Like x 1
  4. satoshi

    satoshi Electrical Engineering Student

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    I don't have autopilot, nor do I have a functional Model S at the moment.

    But I'd like to add that because there is no real benefit to getting mad at someone for doing something stupid, that I simply just choose not to be angry and don't get road rage.

    It's a very liberating realization, I encourage non-autopilot drivers of any car to try the same.
     
  5. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    I shouldn't answer this, but since my wife isn't on the forums...

    I've noticed she curses less at other drivers when she uses autopilot, so I guess yes, less road-ragy...

    Me, definitely less.
     
    • Funny x 9
  6. mwulff

    mwulff Member

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    Danmark
    I've driven thousands of km's with the autopilot system by now and my impression is that it really does reduce road-rage. Now granted I was never much of an agressive driver, but I find that with the autopilot system I just generally "don't care".

    Example: Guy in front of me drives with uneven speed (100-120 ish kph). Before I would have overtaken him as fast as possible. Now I just stay behind him and let the computer deal with it. Or I wait until there is room and then overtake.

    Example 2: Trucks on the highway. Before I would be in the left lane waiting to get by. Now I perceive a string of trucks going 90 kph as a free ride to relaxation. Just pull in behind the last truck with the distance set to 7 and relax. This is a great strategy in rush hour friday traffic.
     
    • Like x 3
  7. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    It reduces road rage, but increases forum rage.
     
    • Funny x 9
  8. TrevTremaine

    TrevTremaine Member

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    Moderately - only because we live in the "me" world of driving where self-serving drivers push limits to get ahead at the cost of everyone else. Lots of seriously near misses, cut offs, u-turns in the middle of heavy traffic. Too many people don't think nor consider others and common courtesy has been thrown out the window. There are also too many Mario Andrettis with the skill set of Mr. Bean.

    The more vehicles with some level of autonomous driving the better, especially for commutes.

    That said, the calming effect (while keeping attention on what's going on the road) comes from not having to deal with monotony particularly during stop-and-go traffic around the city. It leaves me with more energy by the end of any trip.
     
    • Like x 2
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  9. rcarpen22

    rcarpen22 Member

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    MD
    My biggest source of road rage is people who fly by me on the highway when I am using cruise control, then 5 minutes later, they are in my lane going slower than I am (at the same speed I was locked on when they flew by me). I truly want to use surface to surface missiles to eliminate these types of people from the road. Why is that still not an option on cars? TACC almost completely alleviates that anger. Yes, they slow me down, but TACC handles it and maintains following distance. It doesn't damage my calm.
     
    • Like x 3
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  10. Craig9080

    Craig9080 Member

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    I am going to love autopilot. It will free up BOTH of my hands (and maybe even my feet) for obscene gestures!
     
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  11. Singularity

    Singularity Member

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    It's definitely less stressful driving in heavy traffic with adaptive cruise control. But the safe following distance often gets exploited by drivers who aggressively cut in and cause the car to brake suddenly. Autopilot isn't good at predicting another driver's intent yet, based on turn signals etc.
     
    • Informative x 1
  12. Ames

    Ames Member

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    I find that even with a following distance of 1 you occasionally get cut off. You can press the accelerator if you want to close the gap to un-invite pushy drivers...
     
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  13. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I keep the distance set to 7. No drama. No road rage. Peaceful. People cut in but I don't care. The car does all the hard work of adjusting speed and avoiding crazies.
     
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  14. Lunarx

    Lunarx Member

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    I doubt I will ever use autopilot, for at least 5+ years.
    However, when driving an EV for efficiency (always in slow lanes), I find it highly annoying when punks cut me off and force me to slow down abruptly to avoid hitting them. I would have otherwise had a safe gap to the car in front.
    I am still pissed off, but because I dont have a fast car, and I'm more concerned with efficient driving, I don't retaliate other than a honk or light flash.

    In my performance ICE car, I would likely cut them off in return.

    I have to imagine getting cut off, to the point of forcing abrupt braking, is annoying with AP also.
    Thing is would you switch back to manual driving to retaliate?
     
  15. Bimbels

    Bimbels GoldMember

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    #15 Bimbels, Apr 29, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
    Driving a Tesla has slowed me down in general by about 5 miles per hour when traveling on the highway (75 vs 80, primarily to save energy since my commute is 180 miles one way) - which keeps me more closely to the same speed as other cars, which means I am making less maneuvers to pass.

    AP has me making even less maneuvers since the car is dealing with accelerating/decelerating. I'll follow someone "slow" for miles before I finally decide to pass them. I have my distance set at 1 in heavier traffic so if someone were to cut in front of me - it would REALLY be cutting me off. (That distance gets greater the faster you are traveling, so it's not literally 1 car length, but it does seem to be enough to not tailgate but also not allow people in without being total jerks.) I've only had someone "cut me off" a couple of times, but being that I drive regularly in the New York area, that isn't anything new. And yes, the car reacted. I just shake my head and continue on.

    Overall, AP has made for a more calm driving experience. Or, as calm as it can be when driving 180 miles thru NY/CT during rush hour. It has literally changed my commute.
     
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  16. Borgholio

    Borgholio Member

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    I am very much looking forward to using AP during my daily commute, especially if there is traffic. I do sometimes suffer from road rage but the main advantage for me will be knowing the computer has a reaction time thousands of times faster than I do.
     
  17. Pantoot

    Pantoot Member

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    When the car is driving I definitely no longer feel the need to be "racing" everyone else on the road. I can see it increasing road rage in others sometimes, as the car does tend to drive like a jerk when there are gaps in traffic. I am having a hard time describing it, but in a case where two lanes are merging in traffic, like 30mph in a 65 zone, the car will see the gap in front of me, and try to get up to 65, even though there is a car next to me trying to zipper in.

    Normal commute though, pass me, cut in front, I don't seem to care as much with the autopilot on.
     
    • Informative x 1
  18. Lem89

    Lem89 Member

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    Conserving battery is something I hadn't considered. I'm glad to hear it has made for a calm drive. I'm looking forward to turn on autopilot and just cruise on highways behind a car instead of the constant need for speed the highway sometimes induces.
     
  19. Bimbels

    Bimbels GoldMember

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    I fully attribute it to AP - on the occasions I must drive our ICE (when husband takes "his" car from me ;) ) on my commute, I tend to revert back to my speed demon/driving like all the other ICEholes habits. haha
     
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  20. Lem89

    Lem89 Member

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    Haha you should coin that one! That's funny. For me I'm passive aggressive and I can totally see myself even turning off AP from time to time just to zoom past some ICEhole that cuts me off lol
     
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