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How To Experience AP / Does It Help For Highway Travel

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by Skotty, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Jun 27, 2013
    Kansas City, MO
    I've often thought about how I can experience autopilot to see if it would really be of value to me. My S is non-AP. I frequently drive long trips on the interstate for work, where AP should shine. But it's not like it's full self driving, so you still have to pay attention. I don't really know how much it would appeal to me. Maybe a lot. Maybe not at all. I think maybe I just have to try it. But how?

    I sometimes get to drive other Model S cars, loaners when mine is in for service, but the loaners around here are almost always non-AP cars.

    Not sure how I can get my hands on an AP car (either V1 or V2) to try out AP on the interstate for a few miles to really get a feel for it, short of just buying an AP car, but that seems pretty extreme just to try out AP.

    Any helpful thoughts from anyone? Maybe I should do a poll or something.

    I'm not interested really in it's use in stop and go traffic. Only for highway travel, as I spend hours each week driving straight down the interstate.

    Will AP actually be an improvement over driving myself when I still have to pay attention? Will it make occasional sleepiness better or worse? I sometimes have to stop on a ramp like a trucker to nap so I'm not driving sleepy. Won't I be more likely to get sleepy if I'm doing even less work driving than I was before but still have to pay attention?
  2. idealsol

    idealsol Member

    Oct 8, 2016
    Orange County, Ca
    If you can't get an is AP loaner, I'd try Turo to see if you can get a short term rental
  3. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Visalia, CA
    Prior to the past 3 months, I drove manually all my life including classic 2012 Model S.

    I have enjoyed AP2 very much and I've used it as much as I can.

    It is not perfect and I still have to be alert to intervene at any time but every little help is better than none.

    It's just like I used to drive without a simple cruise control and I was so happy when I got a classic cruise control in classic 2012 Model S.

    I would say AP2 has improved safety even when I don't change my prior behaviors: taking eyes off the road to select a song, typing for a GPS address...

    At this stage, driving sleepy with AP2 is still dangerous because the system is still in its infancy.

    The system does give out visual and audio alarms when you ignore "Hold steering wheel" but when you are sleepy, they may not be enough to wake you up.
  4. Phil Seastrand

    Mar 4, 2014
    United States
    Autopilot frees your attention up from the minutiae of driving, i.e., keeping in the center of the lane, watching your speed, etc., so you can focus on the big picture of what's going on. I find it much more enjoyable to drive and my wife trusts it more than me!
    • Like x 2
  5. animorph

    animorph Active Member

    Apr 1, 2016
    Scottsdale, AZ
    My wife and I found it to be very easy to drive long distance with just TACC on our AP2 X. Autosteer should be just about ready for us with the next "smooth" update. I wouldn't take long drives without TACC. I've only done a few drive segments with Autosteer enabled. It was a little drunk for us, and the steering feel of the X is very precise and "calm". Very easy to steer.

    I don't think it will do much for sleepiness. But I feel better with Supercharger stops every 2 hours or so. Without that I get a little sick and dizzy.
  6. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2016
    Palmdale, CA
    I eventually won the loaner lotto with an AP car and got to drive it to work for a few days. They are refreshing the loaner fleet, so that is probably your best bet.

    I also have a highway/interstate commute, perfect for AP. Turns out I love TACC, but Autosteer, not so much. My particular highway caused it some troubles, and I had to take over several times. Decided it wasn't worth the extra stress to use it. TACC is worth the upgrade, tho.
  7. BrettS

    BrettS Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Orlando, FL
    For what it’s worth, I take a 130 mile round trip in my 2015 AP1 model S two to three times a week. 90% of those 130 miles are on the highway and I use autopilot for pretty much all of the highway portion (and some of the non highway portion).

    One thing I discovered is that autopilot is much less fatiguing for me. Often I’m doing the 65 mile trip home at 9:00 at night and before I got my model S I would usually be pretty wiped out and fatigued when I got home, but even though you need to pay attention when autopilot is ‘driving’ it is not nearly as fatiguing and I’ve discovered that I am much less tired when I get home after those late night drives.

    I know you mentioned that you don’t have to deal with traffic much, but honestly, that’s another one of my favorite uses for autopilot. There are times when I get stuck in stop and go traffic and just turning on autopilot and letting it inch the car forward as traffic slowly moves is so much nicer than doing it manually.

    As far as getting a chance to drive an autopilot car, if you have a Tesla store near you I’m sure you could schedule a test drive and take one out on the highway for a few minutes. You might even be able to arrange an overnight test drive as well and try it on one of your regular trips.
    • Like x 1
  8. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

    May 7, 2015
    New Mexico
    I have TACC and lane keep assist (LKA) in my Toyota and appreciate them both a lot.
    The TACC removes a lot of the fatigue of driving, and the LKA is an insurance against falling asleep while driving because it beeps at me if I will cross a traffic lane on the highway without signaling, and the steering wheel turns to push the car back into the center of the road. These two actions do not add up to autonomous driving, but the stimuli are enough to refocus the driver.

    Highly recommended
  9. John Green

    John Green Banned

    Jun 9, 2017
    Just relax and enjoy your Autopilot.
    Nothing can possibly go wron

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