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Don't buy a CPO without Autopilot!

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by carter_seattle, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. carter_seattle

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    So, I've owned my S85D for just over a week and wanted to report my thoughts on Autopilot: it's amazing! For anyone who's thinking of buying a CPO without it, is seriously give it some more thought.

    I had to drive from Seattle down to Tacoma (1 hour) and back this past Friday and I used Autopilot on both legs. Engaging and disengaging it were easy. I was impressed with two aspects of its performance:

    • Lane keeping - it did an excellent job of staying centered in turning and twistings lanes. Much better than myself.
    • Pacing - it kept about a 3 car length buffer between me and the car in front and did a great job of tracking its speed and accelerating and decelerating properly.
    I can easily see how Autopilot will make longer road trips much more pleasant. I'm very glad I prioritized this feature for my CPO purchase.
     
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  2. Chrisizzle

    Chrisizzle Member

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    My sales guy said Tesla would activate Autopilot on all used CPO cars.

    It was a surprise but it actually makes perfect sense. It costs nothing for Tesla to activate but increases the sale price, makes their CPOs more desirable over other used Teslas on the market, and furthers the goal of normalizing (semi) autonomous driving.
     
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  3. carter_seattle

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    Oh yes, but obviously only for cars that have AP hardware. My advice is to think hard before you buy a CPO that doesn't have AP hardware.
     
  4. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I guess it depends on your budget. I would have had to pay ~$15 to $20k more to get an AP car with all the other options I wanted (and currently love). That was too much $$.

    I did test drive AP, but wasn't impressed, as I had to override it several times because it drove more aggressively in slow traffic than I like (accelerating too swiftly to close gaps). I rarely road trip as my family lives across the country (I fly), and I actually haven't taken my car on a road trip yet. So it wasn't worth the high premium for me.

    I figure my next CPO will be an AP 2 car in a few years and I will skip AP 1. In the meantime my classic is still the most amazing car I have owned. I always recommend folks not ignore the classics when buying, especially if they are price sensitive.
     
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  5. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

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    #5 dgpcolorado, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
    I disagree. I think it depends on where one lives: my home turf is primarily roads that wouldn't benefit from autopilot or would be unsafe for using it. The nearest multi-lane highway is 30+ miles from home (I rarely drive it except on road trips). The nearest freeway is 100+ miles from home. I live on a dirt road and my paved neighborhood roads have no painted lines on them. The mountain highway to the south (US 550 over Red Mountain Pass) would be downright scary to drive on autopilot because of steep dropoffs (hundreds of feet) and no guard rails (to allow avalanches to flow over the road and the snow to be plowed into the gorge. What use autopilot here?

    The only advantage of autopilot would be on long road trips and I am uncomfortable with the idea of learning to use it in unfamiliar terrain, especially cities with heavy traffic (I always seem to hit Salt Lake City or Denver at rush hour). No thanks. I'm perfectly content driving my car without autopilot. That said, I do understand that if I buy a newer CPO Model S I will get autopilot whether I like it or not. A reason to keep the car I have (cheaper too).

    Two views of US 550:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ^ This is one of the few spots where the shoulder is wide enough for me to stop and take a picture without blocking traffic. You are welcome to let autopilot guide you on this, the major highway in my county. I'll pass.
     
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  6. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    Autopilot is not beneficial on hilly roads. If you are not paying attention, with hands on the wheel at all times, it will dive into oncoming traffic as it crests a hill and loses the lane lines. That isn't helpful or relaxing, so autopilot is more of a distraction than an aid on hilly roads.
     
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  7. Robwoodruff

    Robwoodruff Member

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    AP1 drives well except at the top of small hills where it swerves dangerously. My new 90D with AP2 doesn't swerve at the top of the same hills, probably because it is only driving 35 mph.
     
  8. Indpowr

    Indpowr Member

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    Agree, we had it on our rental Tesla and its a good feature on long trips. Coming on our P90D
     
  9. carter_seattle

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    I think this is true, but I'd bet the majority of Tesla owners live near a major metropolitan area and spend a non-trivial amount of time commuting or road tripping on major US highways, which tend to be both flat and reasonably marked. For these people, Autopilot literally changes what it means to drive a car.
     
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  10. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Actually, it changes what it means to not drive a car.
     
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  11. carter_seattle

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    I hear you, but I still pay attention and feel like I'm actively driving. Just driving differently.
     
  12. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    this isn't quite true, the qualifier must be added if the car has the hardware in place because the older cars do not have the hardware necessary to allow AP1. those cars cannot be retrofitted.
     
  13. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    just because you are driving with the AP on that doesn't mean that you are not driving the car because if you are driving the car as intended you are monitoring every action at every moment.
     
  14. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    If you guys like it on the highways for long distance trips, you would fall in love on what it can do for you on stressful congested (highway) commutes. Absolute life saver, stress reliever.
     
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  15. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

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    It's all up to the individual... I don't have AP, my friend got a new X with AP1... He says he has no use of it. He wants the thrill of driving. I do long distances and wish I had it.
     
  16. Tummy

    Tummy Member

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    I use it almost everyday in bumper to bumper traffic. Sure it doesn't keep up like a human that rides so close you can't see the person's rear bumper, but it does it well enough. It also does very well for us on highways. I feel it's safer engaged that if I had to react myself.
     
  17. Jaymc5

    Jaymc5 Member

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    Bought a CPO P85+ and felt no need to get AP. I bought the car to drive, not to be driven.
     
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  18. Chrisizzle

    Chrisizzle Member

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    Yes... 100%.

    I just didn't think it needed to be said. However, I have read all manner of posts expecting free, impossible retrofits... so, sadly... you are correct to specify the car must have some manner of Autopilot hardware.
     
  19. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Good post but here's another viewpoint to consider:

    I had an AP loaner for a week while I decided whether to upgrade to get AP because I bought before it was available. I took it to my cabin and back and I did a ton of driving on AP. I couldn't relax at all because of the constant babysitting it requires with the lack of hardware and slow processors of AP1.0 -- my mind couldn't relax even though it did a really good job. It's probably because I'm the type that needs to be in control and I could live with myself killing me (pun intended) but not AP killing me, and it was right after the Joshua Brown fatality when it drove him right under a truck on highway, and the one in China where it drove into a truck killing the driver, so those played on my nerves and distrust of it too. My stress goes up with AP1.0 driving me thinking what one glitch might do. Plus, I really love driving the vehicle.

    So I decided to wait for (rumors at that time) AP2.0's more hardware and significantly faster processing power before upgrading but now watching what's going on with that I'll probably just wait to get it on a Model 3 and I'll keep my classic S and get rid of our Leaf. I still really look forward to driving my 80 amp, large frunk, classic S every day. It's been a real solid vehicle with good build quality that I'm reluctant to part with, especially given the trade-in offer from Tesla. I'm certain that if I lived in California or Seattle and had to commute daily in bumper to bumper traffic I would learn to trust it, since there's not a lot to go wrong in that scenario, but for my commute and drive to my cabin, and other driving, driving is my stress reliever.
     
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  20. carter_seattle

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    I hear you, but a couple things to consider:
    • AP1 is insanely safe. There have been over 222 million miles driven on Autopilot. Sure, stories are scary. I'm sure some people get scared when planes crash, but it's not rational to worry.
    • It's reasonable to have trouble "relaxing" when experiencing radically new things. My first few months driving, I'd have white knuckles driving at 70 MPH on the highway. Same thing if I was rock climbing for the first time and didn't "trust the equipment". But you get over it in time.
     
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