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Enhanced autopilot - worth it?

ponzu

Member
Apr 19, 2018
289
96
Southern California
One can think of the cost as $5000.

Or 10% of the cost of the car.

Or $80/month.

What does it buy you? According to the configuration screen:

* Auto lane changing
* Autosteer
* Automatic parking
* Summon

Is there more? Is there less? What do those mean to current or prospective owners?

Here
the guy demonstrates how Model 3 parallel parks itself. Neat, but will we use it? In a spot that wide, I would probably park faster. In a tighter spot, would the car be willing and able to do it?

Auto lane changing. Here
the guy discusses how it works, but is unable to demo it because of too much traffic. He mentions that he is reluctant to use this feature because it uses radar, not cameras, and Tesla may not be able to react to a car that's quickly coming up from behind. He points out that the auto lane changer is mostly useful as a mechanism to NOT switching off autopilot when changing lane. So, it's not like Tesla can change lanes better than you (unlike, say, keeping safe distance in a stop and go traffic or parallel parking, which I think it can do better than many drivers), but it's more to eliminate the inconvenience of having to reengage autopilot after a manual lane change.

Autosteer -- what is that?

Summon -- sounds neat, but see auto parking: how often will we use it after we have impressed all our friends once?

One other way to look at the $5000 or $80/mo is that it's a prerequisite for future software enhancements, including full self driving. (I am NOT planning on paying $3K for FSD at this point).

And yet another way is to say that it can be purchased later for $6000 if either a)exciting new features are added or b)after driving for a while one realizes that the four features above are what is missing.

Which way did you look at it?
 

Fusion

Member
Apr 13, 2016
682
487
San Francisco
What you see is probably gonna be what you get for a looooooooooooong while. Probably most useful if you have a long commute to work, otherwise it's pretty pointless.
 

Derek Kessler

Active Member
Apr 15, 2016
1,193
1,806
Cincinnati
If you do a lot of highway driving, either long distances or stuck in traffic, Autosteer + Adaptive Cruise Control (the core of "Autopilot") is absolutely worth it.

Autosteer watches the lanes markings on the road and keeps you centered between them. It will follow curves in the road. It's not yet hands-off, but it will competently pilot the car down the road. Combined with AAC you get a car that follows the speed of traffic and follows the curves of the road. It still needs human supervision and interaction (presently in the form of sensing slight resistance to steering), but it makes both long distance driving and traffic jams far less stressful — your job is promoted from actively managing these aspects of driving to making sure the car doesn't screw up.

Auto lane change... yeah, the car doesn't currently use the cameras. But, it still has mirrors and you still have eyes. You're never going into anything blind. It is ONLY an Autosteer function; if you trigger the turn signal while manually driving, nothing happens (excpet for a blinky light). Once the side cameras are involved (whenever that happens), auto lane change will see down adjacent lanes and be capable of executing a lane change entirely on its own. Today it cannot.

Autopark is useful if you park on the street frequently. I don't use it too often, but like Autosteer it makes parallel parking a bit less stressful.

Summon is similar to Autopark: not everybody is going to need it all the time, but it's handy to have when you do. I've used it a few times to move my car into and out of tight parking spots (especially when they weren't tight before but somebody went and parked a giant SUV next to me with no room to open my door).

FSD does nothing right now and there is no indication of when it will do anything worth paying for.

Every car comes with a slew of features you only use on occasion. My Model S has a glovebox that I rarely use, rear USB charging ports that I never use, and airbags that I intend to never use.
 

ponzu

Member
Apr 19, 2018
289
96
Southern California
If you do a lot of highway driving, either long distances or stuck in traffic, Autosteer + Adaptive Cruise Control (the core of "Autopilot") is absolutely worth it.

Autosteer watches the lanes markings on the road and keeps you centered between them. It will follow curves in the road. It's not yet hands-off, but it will competently pilot the car down the road. Combined with AAC you get a car that follows the speed of traffic and follows the curves of the road. It still needs human supervision and interaction (presently in the form of sensing slight resistance to steering), but it makes both long distance driving and traffic jams far less stressful — your job is promoted from actively managing these aspects of driving to making sure the car doesn't screw up.
Thanks. This sounds like a nice feature. Without it, what does Autopilot do? I though that staying in the lane and safe distance from the next car is a core feature.
 

Derek Kessler

Active Member
Apr 15, 2016
1,193
1,806
Cincinnati
Thanks. This sounds like a nice feature. Without it, what does Autopilot do? I though that staying in the lane and safe distance from the next car is a core feature.
Autopilot is just AAC without Autosteer. Both are only available as part of the Autopilot package.
 

Derek Kessler

Active Member
Apr 15, 2016
1,193
1,806
Cincinnati
I repeat: Autopilot without engaging Autosteer is just Adaptive Cruise Control — maintaining speed and distance in traffic. You can't purchase one without the other, but while driving you can trigger just AAC.
 

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,099
722
Torrance, CA 90503
Thanks. This sounds like a nice feature. Without it, what does Autopilot do? I though that staying in the lane and safe distance from the next car is a core feature.
EAP for $5000 gets you Autosteer and TACC which are the most important part. Auto Lane Change is a nice extra. Without EAP I absolutely would not have gotten a Tesla.

EAP = Enhanced Auto Pilot.

AP = Auto Pilot which I believe was sold on the AP1 cars for around $2500. Was replaced with EAP. I believe.
 

Robwoodruff

Member
Nov 21, 2016
159
355
Ohio
Autopilot is definitely worth the money. That is what make a Tesla better than all other cars right now. I use autopilot 99% of the time I drive. It makes the drive more fun, more relaxing, more exciting, more cool and fun. It's not perfect but improves with every update and watching the improvements is half the fun. Try it before you decide you don't want it.
 

garrity

Member
Feb 26, 2016
97
119
CA
What is AAC?

I think he was referring to ACC Adaptive cruise control. Where the car will maintain a distance from a car in front of you and adjust speed and distance according to the parameters you set. A very nice thing to have. The main reason I'm getting a Model 3 is to get EAP
 
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Gwgan

Almost a wagon
Aug 11, 2013
2,918
2,168
Maine
With the return of auto-steer speed limits on non-conforming roadways EAP has lost some value for me but adaptive cruise control is still so much more useful than regular speed control.
 

cella

Member
Aug 17, 2017
115
145
San Jose, CA
Is it worth the price? At the moment, I'd say no. What you get isn't significantly better than the Adaptive Cruise Control/Lane Keep/Traffic Jam Assist systems you can get from other manufacturers (for much less money). BUT: Adaptive Cruise Control is a must for long highway drives IMO and there is no other way to get it in a Tesla. The price is a bit easier to swallow if you believe in the potential for future improvements via firmware updates that Tesla is promising (while in other cars you are usually stuck with what you get when you buy them).
 

barjohn

Member
Sep 23, 2017
547
668
Riverside, CA
I recently sold my S with EAP and today I was driving my wife's Bolt that doesn't have TACC or Autosteer and boy did I miss them on the freeway and in heavy traffic. It is so helpful and takes a lot of the stress out of stop and go driving and on the freeway allows me to momentarily do something like having a quick drink of water or adjusting the radio station without worrying about moving out of my lane. I think it is worth having, especially as it is rapidly improving. While I don't think we will see FSD (Full Self Driving) capability for a while, I do think we will see stop sign and traffic light recognition, better self parking based on markings in addition to having to have reference vehicles, display of vehicles in other lanes with appropriate symbols, ability to get on and exit off freeways and possibly pedestrian recognition by this time next year. It would be nice, even if it required human attention (as it does now) if it could follow a route but that may be asking too much.
 
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Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,644
8,829
Palmdale, CA
* Auto lane changing
* Autosteer
* Automatic parking
* Summon

Is there more?

You are missing one more feature, which has been mentioned on this thread and that is Traffic Aware Cruise Control. That is Tesla's term for it, what others here are calling Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). It is the best feature of the whole bunch in my opinion. That is what allows you to drive with your cruise on in heavy traffic and the car will maintain the proper spacing from the car in front.


If you do not buy EAP, you get all the safety features - so lane departure warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Collision Warning, but you do not get Traffic Aware Cruise control or the other items on your list. You get plain old cruise control instead - the sort that drives at your set speed without changing.


I think EAP is worth it for TACC alone, and I do like Autosteer as well.
 
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ebmcs03

Active Member
Dec 22, 2017
2,186
1,132
So Cal
Autopilot is definitely worth the money. That is what make a Tesla better than all other cars right now. I use autopilot 99% of the time I drive. It makes the drive more fun, more relaxing, more exciting, more cool and fun. It's not perfect but improves with every update and watching the improvements is half the fun. Try it before you decide you don't want it.

Doesn’t every other car manufacture have their own version of EAP now? Don’t they all work as good or dare I say better?
 

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