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MBZ launching 3rd generation autosteer - finally autopilot competition?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by calisnow, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    This piece from The Verge yesterday says MBZ is launching their third generation lane keeping system this summer in the 2018 S Class. The author went for a drive and claims it works as well as Autopilot, at least on his limited test drive. However MBZ is still making the claim that the car wobbles a bit in the lane on purpose as a safety feature to remind you that you're driving, not the car.

    Mercedes will give Tesla's Autopilot its first real competition this year

    "A simpler version of Drive Pilot is available today in the 2017 Mercedes E-Class... the new Drive Pilot can take charge of 80 percent of driving tasks, while the more primitive E-Class version can only handle a paltry 20 percent of the job.

    It’s activated by pressing a button on the steering wheel and the car will maintain speed and keep within its lane. Though the driver doesn’t need to keep a hand on the wheel, it will request a driver response every 10 seconds or so, depending on current road conditions. A pair of capacitive-touch buttons on the steering wheel can be used to acknowledge the request, which starts with a visual notification and escalates to an insistent bonging if ignored.

    Keep ignoring the warnings — or in the event of a medical emergency — and the car will initiate a controlled-but-determined “emergency stop” in the middle of the roadway, activating the hazard lights to warn other motorists that there’s a problem. Tesla’s system acts similarly, though the Mercedes goes a step further and contacts the Mercedes SOS service where a live agent is connected to provide assistance and contact emergency personnel, if needed...The system adapts to how much steering force is used, which allows the driver to decide exactly how much input to give. Use a light touch and the steering assist does most of the work. Apply a firmer hand and the system seamlessly gives up control. With Tesla’s Autopilot, applying steering force results in a slightly alarming jerk of the wheel when the system disengages. Mercedes engineers told me they wanted anyone to be able to take control of the car without any difficulty, noting more than once that the driver was always in charge, no matter how much work the car was doing on their behalf.

    “We put a lot of energy into making this human-machine interaction as complementary as possible,” said Tobias Mueller, a communications executive with Mercedes-Benz. “It’s not the machine versus you, but it’s you together.”

    The system is also intentionally less precise than it’s capable of. With Drive Pilot in control through some sweeping turns, I noticed the car drift slightly within the lane. It wasn’t heading over the line, but it wasn’t fixed exactly in the center like one might expect a computer to do. Mercedes programmed this drift deliberately, encouraging the car to move a little bit within the lane both to improve ride comfort depending on road camber and other factors. It’s also to remind the driver that Drive Pilot is only an assist system, not fully autonomous.

    “It’s actually so you don’t feel too safe,” Mueller told me. “That sounds stupid, but it’s to make you stay engaged and aware of what’s going on around you. It’s letting you know that the car is assisting you, but it’s not doing the entire job for you"
     
  2. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

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    It's not really launching unless you can go out and buy a car today that has it.

    So in that case Tesla is ...

    oh, wait.

    nevermind...
     
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  3. Bladerskb

    Bladerskb Like how many times do i have to be right?

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    Not at all impressed with the struggle for level 2 supremacy. I'm more interested in the public deployments of level 3 and 4 cars like Volvo drive me, waymo
     
  4. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing. We were all wondering what you're interested in.
     
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  5. oktane

    oktane Active Member

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    This is awesome. I hope Tesla stays competitive. Looks like I might get a couple months of AutoSteer exclusivity (assuming Tesla gets on the ball with the firmware we were promised in December 2016) before every S-class has it in June 2017.
     
  6. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    I'm not really seeing anything that it adds over what an eAP car should do.

    It certainly seems like an improvement over AP1. With AP1 most of my driving tends to be TACC only because AP doesn't really free me from anything, and just causes additional stress of overseeing areas where it can glitch. My actual use of it tends to be limited to bumper to bumper traffic, and occasional times where I want to rest my hands. Or very rarely I'm in an area with no one around where it's relaxing to use.

    In the case of the MBZ 3rd generation system I could see how it would be an improvement over AP1. The steering wheel sensors seem like they would do a much better job at sensing, and the take over seems like it would be way less abrupt. Taking over an AP1 car during a truck lust event can be a bit jolting especially if using a sport setting for the steering wheel.

    But, it's not something that's going to land on the list of semi-autonomous cars I'll take a look at.

    I've decided that I'm going to continue having one electric car, and one ICE car. Where in both cases I'm going to get the most advanced autonomous car I can. Or simply wait for that to arrive.

    Where the ICE is going to be an SUV, and the electric is going to be as small as can be. Which right now is a Model S because it's not like there is anything else.

    The reason an EAP car is appealing over the third generation MBZ system is the EAB should switch lanes by itself without me telling it to. Most of the time spent on the freeway is yelling at drivers to get the hell over. So instead of yelling just let EAP do the work of getting around the idiot. This is something the Germans probably don't get because they don't have this issue like we do in the states.
     
  7. oktane

    oktane Active Member

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    I wish we had the same rule in the USA, that the left lane is for passing only.
     
  8. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

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    We do. It's obeyed by all the people who've never had a drink before they turned 21.
     
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  9. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Why on earth would a company launch a product that "is intentionally less precise than it’s capable of"?

    I'll tell you why: too many GD lawyers running the show! That is such crap!!! I also disagree with "With Tesla’s Autopilot, applying steering force results in a slightly alarming jerk of the wheel when the system disengages". I'm not alarmed. Nor are my passengers.

    To date, I have had no screaming, jumping, convulsions or peeing in my car when using AP with passengers. Though I did have one tech-phobic say "oh please don't". I complied. She was a my boss. I thought it prudent.
     
  10. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I have lived in CA for 36 years, where there is no reg saying pass only on the left. LIKE THE REST OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD!!!, including US states.

    It still pisses me off.
     
  11. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    It's seems pretty nutty, but I think it's based on legit psychological reasons where people become too trusting.

    I kind of expect a more cautious approach from a German company. It's too cautious for my taste, but I can respect it.
     
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  12. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    I'm not sure about where you live, but where I live there are signs all over I5 telling people that the left lane is for passing only. There are also times where supposedly the cops are out in force where they pull people over for hanging out in the left lane. I've personally never seen this though.

    We also have laws against Semi's in the left lane, but they constantly get in the left lane "to pass" despite the fact that it takes them 10 miles to pass.

    Overall I think it has more do with the cultural, and the road conditions in the US than the laws.

    The people are ignorant, and the roads are bad especially the middle and right lanes. There is also a strongly willingness to break the law within the population.

    Even common courtesy stuff in the US is ignored. Like not putting your feet up on the seats is often ignored in the US, but in Germany people don't take too kindly to it.

    On fridays episode of The Grand Tour they were taking about how Germans refuse to break laws. That they just can't imagine doing it. Where in the US we break laws with very little thought given to it.
     
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  13. oktane

    oktane Active Member

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    Yes gotta love two semi-trucks trying to pass each other with a 1MPH speed differential. Totally pointless, I wonder if they do it purely out of boredom or to P/O other drivers.
     
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  14. Don85D

    Don85D Member

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    In Europe passing is only allowed on the left side of a slower vehicle. Passing a vehicle on the right is illegal and dangerous. So when both rules are in place the roads are safer and the common courtesy is to stay in a right lane.

    That's the driver training that is missing in North America.
     
  15. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    The lack of enforcement of the left lane for passing only not only slows down driving on the freeways, it also makes it more dangerous.

    There are many drivers (at least on our roads) who decide to sit in the left lane all of the time, even if there isn't anyone in the right lane and even if they aren't driving at or above the posted speed limit. And as traffic gets heavier, we seem to get long lines of cars sitting in the left lane, and traffic is sometimes faster in the right lane.

    Or you end up merging into the left lane, passing a slow car on the right and then weaving back and forth between the two lanes trying to get past the cars blocking the passing lane.

    As we transition to more autonomous driving, the current roads will be able to handle much more traffic at higher speeds, because the cars will communicate together and the software will more effectively use the roads compared to today when a few drivers can slow down traffic flow.
     
  16. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    Competition is good - and it's inevitable that Tesla will see increasing competition for AP/EAP/FSD.

    Tesla is claiming AP 2.0 will eventually be capable of FSD. If Tesla would provide a few more details on their commitment to FSD, they could have a strong marketing message against any of the other manufacturers.

    Tesla can't guarantee today that the current hardware will ever pass validation or receive regulatory approval. Tesla's order page states "when" and not "if" for activating FSD. During testing, Tesla might discover hardware upgrades (sensor changes?) may be needed to get FSD operating. And other hardware changes (such as vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-traffic system communications) may be needed to get regulatory approval.

    If Tesla made some commitment about how they would provide these hardware changes to owners purchasing AP 2.0/FSD today, that would be something none of the other manufacturers would likely ever match - and buy Tesla a few years that no matter what the other manufacturers bring out, Tesla would remain at the lead for EAP/FSD.
     

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