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How is AP and/or FSD on rural and hilly state hwy?

Discussion in 'Autopilot & Autonomous/FSD' started by Colorfinger, Jul 29, 2020 at 9:57 PM.

  1. Colorfinger

    Colorfinger Member

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    We are shopping for a new car for my wife. She does insurance sales and theoretically will be back in the field someday (as restrictions lift or pressure during open enrollment demands it). While most of her work is within 50 miles of the house, her territory actually stretches 150 miles across and a 75 miles north/south. That creates a different sets of issues but the volume of driving keeps leading me back to EV and hybrid options. Of course, most of that stretch of land is rural. That means the only charging options are on the west, east, and north central portions of the territory. That creates a different potential issue but then isn't range anxiety standard for those of us that have never owned an EV?

    So back to my question, the primary road she travels west to east is hilly and rural. I know deer aren't picked up by the car but what about the rest of the conditions of country roads? They tend to be less lighted, fewer cars, more trucks, have faded center lines, the road splits into large medians (or hills) separating directions, and then merges back to two lanes side by side etc... When we test drove Tesla recently, I was impressed with how well it handled fairly busy highway driving and obviously it was fun to drive when I was the primary one controlling it. My wife is actually a very good driver but I like the idea of the car being able to take some of the details of driving off her hands when she is coming back from a long day at work (still has to watch for those deer) but most of the talk I see about it are in interstate driving. Can it handle country roads at night or are we not there yet?
     
  2. Tdriver

    Tdriver Member

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    The manual states that you should be using auto pilot only on divided highways. That will probably change in the coming months
     
  3. Colorfinger

    Colorfinger Member

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    That's a good point, it probably isn't an option for any roads on her trip that are 2 or 4 lanes and aren't divided. How does it handle the rest of the country highway issues when the road is a divided rural state highway and not a major interstate?
     
  4. Watts_Up

    Watts_Up Active Member

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    #4 Watts_Up, Jul 29, 2020 at 11:04 PM
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020 at 11:42 PM
    I quite often use AutoPilot on curvy roads, however I still prefer to control myself the speed
    using the right button on the steering wheel to make the ride more comfortable,
    and sometime a little bit less scary.

    I would recommend watching Tesla Driver YouTuber Oliver 'Ov' Ryan.
    He is located in England, however the type of roads that he use for driving seems very similar to what who describe.

    Some of the videos were performed at night, which show more precisely how FSD behave without any car around,
    while during the day there is often a car in front which help FSD to stay in the correct lane when the marking is bad.

    Note: I would say that Oliver 'Ov' Ryan is quite adventurous.... and I would never try going at the limit of the FSD as he does.
    But you can have a pretty idea of rural driving using FSD in England country side roads.
    Hope this help. : )

    If you are not familiar with the AutoPilot, the way to see (on those videos)
    if it is engaged is to look at the little blue circle on the left below the speed indicator.
    Also some European regulations limit the maximum steering angle when using FSD compare to the US.
     
  5. Puddles

    Puddles Member

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    TACC is nice, and will slow for (most :p) curves. AP works well but with the speed limit restriction may be too slow, depending on her expectation. As noted, it’s not the intended application, so you would expect less than ideal results.
     
  6. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend getting the most range you could such as 402 mile Model S.

    Not a real frequent problem with Autopilot. But of course, there will be times that you need to take over.

    That can be confusing for Autopilot so you might have to take over in those scenarios until it gets better in future.

    That's the idea. Human does the more complex scenarios but the machine can do the mundane, repetitive easy scenarios which are very helpful.


    I have driven lots of nights in the dark with Autopilot so it's not a problem at all.

    But the problems like you pointed out in sunlight or dark night:

    1) Deers
    2) Sharp curves: It can take many sharp curves very well but it would automatically reduce its speed which can be annoying to a human who can drive with higher speed. There are still some curves that it cannot handle no matter at what speed.
    3) Lane splitting, merging...

    Overall, Autopilot/FSD has been very relaxing, safe, and useful for me because I learn what it can do and what it can't do.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. Soda Popinski

    Soda Popinski Member

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  8. Colorfinger

    Colorfinger Member

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    This is great information. I'll have to check out the You Tube videos.

    I know I'm just being a paranoid husband and possibly looking for an excuse to get a high tech toy, but I like the idea of a little support when she is driving on 32. I use to drive that road regularly in all conditions and it is a mind numbing drive at times. Not as bad as I40 south of Raleigh but drab none the less.

    Range and her vehicle tastes is another story. She really liked the Y better than the S when we test drove last week. She drives a combination of a Ram and a Rogue (loaner from her folks) right now, so that isn't a big surprise. The longest drive to Athens is only a few times a year, so she could either charge up there or take a different car on those occasions (I believe their is a charger there, guess I should confirm, lol). I'm probably too concerned about range, but I keep making the same assessment as Tam. I think what she really wants is an X that doesn't have Gull wing doors and does have more range, lol.
     
  9. animorph

    animorph Active Member

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    You might try a sample route or two using ABetterRoutePlanner to see if range might be a problem for you. It is very realistic, and can handle multiple waypoints.

    Autopilot should be fine, though limited to 5 MPH over the speed limit when the car is steering on non-divided highways. It has been good for us in a few national parks with curvy/hilly roads. Slowing down for curves has been on again/off again, but if it's working it can be very good. Just a little slower than I would normally be, but that's not bad.

    I'd consider paying for FSD if Autopilot will be used off-highway. That will ensure you get the best possible performance on all roads.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    I love the open-up door rather than traditional doors. Much easier to get in/out and load things on/off with Falcon Wing Doors.

    I am also spoiled with the automatic driver door to open and close especially when my hands are busy holding stuff.

    I also love the convenience that I can close all doors with a touch of a button and I don't have to get out of the seat to manually close a door that was not completely shut like other non-Model X cars.
     
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  11. Colorfinger

    Colorfinger Member

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    I don't doubt they are very convenient, much like a powered rear hatch provides convenience and a little shelter while loading/unloading. Her dislike of them stems largely from our experience with automatic minivan doors on our old Town and Country. After a couple years they started having 'hiccups'. I would hope that Tesla's engineering and QC would be better than Chrysler but a failing motor in a door is a pain, lol.
     
  12. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    Very true. The more sophisticated the feature is, the potential of high maintenance can be there.

    At the beginning of the production in 2015, there were complaints about the Falcon Wing Doors. However, after that ramp up, there have been seldom any problems anymore.

    I've had them 3 years and they've been trouble-free so far.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. mspisars

    mspisars Member

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    I have an early (15k vin) Model X with 2 kids... after 150k miles on the car, we still have not had any issues with the falcon wing doors. Now that second row pop-out cup holder on the other hand...
     
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  14. Colorfinger

    Colorfinger Member

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    Sounds like I should campaign for a second round of test drives that involves the X. In truth, I think if the Y had a third row (I know, it's coming) and it was reasonable for the 7 year old to climb back there... she would have been all over it. She is coming to terms with some of the range anxiety but she hasn't tried the auto pilot yet. She liked driving it so much on the test drive she didn't want to throw it in FSD, lol.
     
  15. Atari2600

    Atari2600 Member

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    I live in Cincinnati and drive around in Scioto county often. If driving to Portsmouth I prefer to stay on 32 to 23 or 104 but my wife likes Portsmouth road to 73 to 104 which is horribly curvy and hilly. I have used autopilot on all of those multiple times. Hills are never a problem but if autopilot decides to take a 35 MPH turn at 55 then give up when it's in the middle of a turn you better have your hands on the wheel so you don't die. 2020.12.x and newer seems to have helped a lot but as others will say it is random and if you goose the pedal while on autopilot the speed slowdown will disable for a bit. That's bad for curvy roads.
    State routes 32, 23, 104 are easy on AP and you could probably sleep while driving and be fine.. (never do that though)
    If you have to drive out that way and drive around in the area much or stay there for a while keep in mind there are no superchargers.
     
  16. Colorfinger

    Colorfinger Member

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    This is exactly the roads she drives! Thank you for the information. 32 to Athens is a route I think I can do in my sleep after 5 years of going back and forth from school. In fact, there were times when I probably did and AP would have been smart (but was completely Sci Fi back then). I can remember hitting Seaman and not really being aware that I had passed HWY 35 let alone made it nearly home, lol.

    She drives more in Brown and Adams but she also hits Scioto, Pike, Highland, and Clinton. She has a couple clients in Athens so Vinton, Hocking, and Jackson may be and occasional option but the guys in Gallipois largely handle Athens and the surrounding counties.
     
  17. Atari2600

    Atari2600 Member

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    Be sure to check out the plugshare map carefully as charging option, even level 2 are sketchy. I’ll take a picture of my rural charging survival kit later and post it here.
    I used to do some intermittent work in Jackson. That place was starting to grow with all the frozen foods and soup plants but I’m not sure if that’s still happening. I have not checked the charging situation there.
     
  18. emmz0r

    emmz0r Active Member

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    No it doesn't.

    https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/model_3_owners_manual_north_america_en.pdf

    "Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is primarily intended for driving on dry, straight roads, such as highways and freeways. It should not be used on city streets."

    Also it has traffic lights detection with automatic stop. How can it even be used if it isn't engaged?
     
  19. Atari2600

    Atari2600 Member

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    #19 Atari2600, Aug 2, 2020 at 1:02 PM
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 1:07 PM
    I have three main charging supplies groupings.

    NEMA 14-30 or 5-15. This gives 25 ft that is built into the charger and nothing else. Poor choices for on the road, very horrible. 110v on the road is pretty much not an option.
    IMG_5485a.JPG

    Next is my Tesla NEMA 14-50 adapter and 50ft NEMA 14-50 extension cable. Not only can I plug it into 14-50 but I can plug it into the old 10-50 range outlet, both of these are using in America. I also have a NEMA 10-30 adapter for plugging into an old style dryer outlet. This adapter is dangerous because you need to manually turn the amps down to 24 when using it. You can see where I stuck a warning on top of the purple adapter to turn the current down to 24 amps. I think this cable weights more than a wheel. It is very heavy duty.
    IMG_5484a.JPG

    The last is my NEMA 6-20 240v Tesla Adapter. I also have a 25 ft and 75 ft extension for a total of 100 ft length using Tesla's adapter. I also have a NEMA 6-20 to 6-15 adapter so you need to manually turn the amps down to 12. I "almost" purchased adapters for my 14-50 extension cable but decided the difference between 12, 15 amps and 24, 32 amps was just too far. FYI that extension cord is very flexible and about 1/3 the diameter for the 14-50 extension.
    IMG_5483a.JPG

    My goal is to maximize 240v charging opportunities.
     
  20. Colorfinger

    Colorfinger Member

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    Thank you, that is awesome information. There is a ton to learn but it is great to have resources like this community to help the transition.
     

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