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My 5-month review of driving a Model 3 that I have decided is not for me

I've been a long-time contributor of openpilot, I've driven with the OSS stack across a Prius Prime and Rav 4 before switching to a Model 3 as I was curious what autonomy looked like on the other side of the pond.

Once the initial novelty wore off of all of the features and easter eggs, the actual day-to-day life didn't jive well with me. Autopilot is miles behind the quality of openpilot. Phantom braking, reliance on lane lines, weird driver monitoring (op uses a camera for attention tracking, wheel touch isn't required). The best way I can summarize Autopilot is very confident, especially when incorrect. I think there's a deeper uncanny valley when using the system compared to openpilot and even Toyota LTA. Less room for error and more just going with what the car is doing. It's hard to describe.

Never used FSD, even though I met the requirements last enrollment period. I think it's dumb to focus on the 5% use case when Autopilot/highway is the 95% use case and where you get most benefit, IMO. Autopilot feels abandoned and it could be so much better. But when you have a CEO who constantly lies to stock scam FSD and Robotaxi every year... kinda paints yourself into the corner.

My speakers and mic stop working when driving through a car wash sometimes, or during heavy rain. My left seat belt pillar just came off when getting in the car one day and it's made of this thin, paperboard like material that refuses to snap back in correctly. A/C often just blows at my feet when turning the car on, climate keeper is often not working due to a "system fault". The car has 10k miles.

I think the car is cool in some aspects. The acceleration is nice, it looks nice from an aesthetic level. Some people may like all the attention they get in public driving it "OOOH is that a TESLA?!", but as someone who dislikes Elon Musk, it kinda makes me feel like a tool.

The Chevy Bolt, at least the 2017 I had was more enjoyable in some ways. The seats sucked, until I modded them and added more foam. But the price was much lower, the acceleration was adequate, and the range was comparable. openpilot works on the bolt, although I never installed it. Never used supercruise. The interior is plastic everywhere and cheap feeling, but the car had some character to me. As an electric car, I miss it.

Tesla service is meh.. the advisors really seem to have an attitude, but so would I having to deal with rabid customers spamming forum links, self-diagnosing. I think the most irritating part is hearing of other customers getting free things like fixed repeater cameras that work for blind spot usage at night, then being quoted a cash price as "they don't offer that". Having them come to your house is cool, though.

I think, overall, Tesla should really, actually make a $30k model with decent range like the Bolt. The "luxury" segment isn't quite there due to quality issues and I can have better than Autopilot "self driving" for the cost of a used 2017 Prius, or Rav, or many other supported cars and openpilot, which is open source. I think FSD is dumb and feels like a stock scam at best, and I think that after several years of hardcore vehicle autonomy usage in general, it's made me a worse driver with slower reflexes (the same thing happens to pilots due to overreliance on aircraft autopilot).

Overall, there's a part of me that will be sad to see the Model 3 go tomorrow, but also a relief that one of the most unreliable cars I've driven will no longer be a $1,000 payment on credit. I just picked up a Jeep Gladiator and I'm loving it, even though I don't think there could be a car that could be more of a polar opposite.. even if the Jeep is only 600lbs heavier.

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I've been a long-time contributor of openpilot, I've driven with the OSS stack across a Prius Prime and Rav 4 before switching to a Model 3 as I was curious what autonomy looked like on the other side of the pond.

Once the initial novelty wore off of all of the features and easter eggs, the actual day-to-day life didn't jive well with me. Autopilot is miles behind the quality of openpilot. Phantom braking, reliance on lane lines, weird driver monitoring (op uses a camera for attention tracking, wheel touch isn't required). The best way I can summarize Autopilot is very confident, especially when incorrect. I think there's a deeper uncanny valley when using the system compared to openpilot and even Toyota LTA. Less room for error and more just going with what the car is doing. It's hard to describe.

Never used FSD, even though I met the requirements last enrollment period. I think it's dumb to focus on the 5% use case when Autopilot/highway is the 95% use case and where you get most benefit, IMO. Autopilot feels abandoned and it could be so much better. But when you have a CEO who constantly lies to stock scam FSD and Robotaxi every year... kinda paints yourself into the corner.

My speakers and mic stop working when driving through a car wash sometimes, or during heavy rain. My left seat belt pillar just came off when getting in the car one day and it's made of this thin, paperboard like material that refuses to snap back in correctly. A/C often just blows at my feet when turning the car on, climate keeper is often not working due to a "system fault". The car has 10k miles.

I think the car is cool in some aspects. The acceleration is nice, it looks nice from an aesthetic level. Some people may like all the attention they get in public driving it "OOOH is that a TESLA?!", but as someone who dislikes Elon Musk, it kinda makes me feel like a tool.

The Chevy Bolt, at least the 2017 I had was more enjoyable in some ways. The seats sucked, until I modded them and added more foam. But the price was much lower, the acceleration was adequate, and the range was comparable. openpilot works on the bolt, although I never installed it. Never used supercruise. The interior is plastic everywhere and cheap feeling, but the car had some character to me. As an electric car, I miss it.

Tesla service is meh.. the advisors really seem to have an attitude, but so would I having to deal with rabid customers spamming forum links, self-diagnosing. I think the most irritating part is hearing of other customers getting free things like fixed repeater cameras that work for blind spot usage at night, then being quoted a cash price as "they don't offer that". Having them come to your house is cool, though.

I think, overall, Tesla should really, actually make a $30k model with decent range like the Bolt. The "luxury" segment isn't quite there due to quality issues and I can have better than Autopilot "self driving" for the cost of a used 2017 Prius, or Rav, or many other supported cars and openpilot, which is open source. I think FSD is dumb and feels like a stock scam at best, and I think that after several years of hardcore vehicle autonomy usage in general, it's made me a worse driver with slower reflexes (the same thing happens to pilots due to overreliance on aircraft autopilot).

Overall, there's a part of me that will be sad to see the Model 3 go tomorrow, but also a relief that one of the most unreliable cars I've driven will no longer be a $1,000 payment on credit. I just picked up a Jeep Gladiator and I'm loving it, even though I don't think there could be a car that could be more of a polar opposite.. even if the Jeep is only 600lbs heavier.

View attachment 841987
If you’re concerned about reliability, that Jeep will be a real shitshow. Stellantis is an absolutely incompetent car company in every dimension.
 
Not sure about that, pikeman; my 2008 Jeep Wrangler has over 330,000 miles on it with the original engine. And those have been some tough (every mountain range east of the Mississippi) miles.
That was 2008. FCA, and now Stellantis have reduced the quality of the brand. Heck, back in 2005 or so, my coworker bought a new Wrangler and it sat in the rain top down for an hour in a big storm. It was never the same!
 
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If you’re concerned about reliability, that Jeep will be a real shitshow. Stellantis is an absolutely incompetent car company in every dimension.

I've been driving Jeeps for quite some time now. I'm on my fourth one in a row. None have yet had an issue or been back to the dealership for anything. So far, I'm pretty happy with the reliability that I've had with all four of them.
 

Electroman

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2012
7,353
10,504
TX
I haven't read the whole thread, just the first post by OP.

I will just state my experience. I have driven in AP1 in Model S and then now AP2.5 in Model 3 and Y for the past 6 years. For a total of around 75K miles. Almost 90% of that in AP. I use AP all the time, back roads or highways, wherever there is a semblance of lane lines. I only disengage and drive manually in construction zones and confusing/poor lane lines and lane splits.


My experience has been top notch. it drives like a champ and has only gotten better. No zig zagging and not even phantom braking that others have complained. Typically a 400 mile manual drive on a single day will wear me out. But now I do 600 mile drives with not much fatigue, thanks to Autopilot.

For some, plush seats and smooth closing doors is luxury. For me having the car drive itself with me watching the traffic lazily is real luxury. One pedal driving and Autopilot are the only reasons why I am driving a Tesla and why I will never buy another EV.
 

Electroman

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2012
7,353
10,504
TX
That seems like a strange thing to say. Do you think other EVs don't (or won't) have one pedal driving and the equivilant to Autopilot?
One pedal driving.. ya sure. Autopilot, I can't think how anything can be better than what my Model Y does today. Very happy with it. I have given countless number of rides/drives and so many of friends bought one after riding with me on Autopilot. AP and Superchargers being the main selling point.

I remember I took a friend from North Dallas to Houston, driving mostly on Autopilot and he reserved one right at the end of the trip.
 
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Autopilot, I can't think how anything can be better than what my Model Y does today. Very happy with it. I have given countless number of rides/drives and so many of friends bought one after riding with me on Autopilot.

GM's version is said to be better than Tesla's Autopilot. I'm sure people may argue that, but the point remains that practically every new car now has at least some form of self driving or lane assist. My first vehicle with the technology was a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had "LaneSense" built in. I think the newest Jeeps now have what they call Active Driving Assist or something like that. Same idea, better technology.
 

nate704

Active Member
Apr 20, 2021
1,755
1,665
Virginia
GM's version is said to be better than Tesla's Autopilot. I'm sure people may argue that, but the point remains that practically every new car now has at least some form of self driving or lane assist. My first vehicle with the technology was a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had "LaneSense" built in. I think the newest Jeeps now have what they call Active Driving Assist or something like that. Same idea, better technology.
GM's super cruise is only good for pre-mapped highways and nothing else, and even on pre-mapped highways, it is very unreliable meaning it will not engage even on those pre-mapped highways for some reason.
 
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Its unfortunate that you have had this experience, but I get it because there isn't a car in the world that someone hasn't had horror stories about.. always going to be someone. Completely happy with my M3LR. Also not really sure why personal feelings about a CEO would make you hate something so much but people are different I guess:confused: good luck with the Jeep.
 
GM's super cruise is only good for pre-mapped highways and nothing else, and even on pre-mapped highways, it is very unreliable meaning it will not engage even on those pre-mapped highways for some reason.

I have no personal experience, so I was just going by what I read. Still though, the technology is advancing rapidly and I'm sure it's only going to get better and better with time. Personally, I'm not a fan anyway. A self-driving car is pretty much completely against my principals as an enthusiast. I always want to drive my car...I don't want my car to drive itself. If we reach a point in time that all cars are fully autonomous, I think that will be a sad day. Fortunately, I really don't see that happening in my lifetime, no matter how fast the technology advances. Tesla is certainly a pioneer in this area, but it is proving to be very difficult to perfect.
 
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>> I've been a long-time contributor of openpilot.

@zorrobyte are you a developper, a reviewer, or both...?​
>> Autopilot is miles behind the quality of openpilot.

It would be interesting to compare feature by feature OpenPilot and Tesla AutoPilot.​
Can you show some pictures or videos? Your comments seem just like a rant, not a constructive review, IMO.​
In my case, I cannot compare FSD to any other system because I only drove cars with radar cruise control and no steering vision-based control.​
I only saw recently the Sandy Munro, but I cannot say that those videos were very instructive:​
(Note: the first review made by a staff engineer was very honest but was deleted and was replaced by a mundane review)​
(Idem, looks like a TV advertisement)​
>> Phantom braking

I never experienced it. I only noticed that Autopilot slow down the car when passing a green light, or passing close to pedestrians or bicycles.​
So I keep my feet above the accelerator to accelerate if I feel this is safe and helpful.​

>> reliance on lane lines

The steering cannot be engaged when there is no noticeable side marking, but posted speed still work.​
How does openpilot can control the car in this case, does it use GPS lane mapping?​

>> weird driver monitoring (op uses a camera for attention tracking, wheel touch isn't required).

I agree, I keep my hands all the time on the steering wheel, but still I get this flashing blue warning?​

>> The best way I can summarize Autopilot is very confident, especially when incorrect.
>> I think there's a deeper uncanny valley when using the system compared to openpilot and even Toyota LTA.
>> Less room for error and more just going with what the car is doing. It's hard to describe.

It would be interesting to compare some videos of similar driving situations.​
Tesla FSD is not perfect, I wish for example that the car moves away on the left from the center of a lane,​
when passing a big truck, as I find been too close a truck, compared to what I would do if I was driving.​

>> ...but also a relief that one of the most unreliable cars I've driven.

I have a 2018 M3 LR and the only time I went to the Tesla Service center was to get the FSD 3.0 CPU update.​
I like the HVAC, I used in winter and summer with no complaint, except may be the noise when above the 5 setting.​
Doesn’t the Bolt had big batteries issues....​

>> Never used FSD, even though I met the requirements last enrollment period.

I also don't have the FSD Beta. (I get penalized by someone cutting me off, and I cannot get my score adjusted, kind of dumb scoring...)​

>> Autopilot feels abandoned and it could be so much better.

I just drove last week back and forth from San Francisco to Vancouver, BC so about 2,000 miles using FSD all the time.​
Even after a full day of driving, I was not tired, and felt like I have been spending my day using a car racing game on my computer.​
My favorite feature is certainly the auto-change lane, as this relax from constantly looking at the rear and side mirrors​
when passing and merging back, but I use the manual control to choose when I need it, instead of having the system​
constantly starting to change lane unless you cancel it.​
Driving at night with FSD is also of a great help, as the car don't have any problem staying in its lane even when other cars​
are coming toward you, and I have to squint my eyes because of the other cars highlight blocking my view.​
Overall, I cannot say that FSD is perfect, and it takes time to get used to, but it is very relaxing to use it when doing a long trip.​
However on curvy roads, and I prefer controlling the speed with the accelerator or the right button on the steering wheel,​
to slow down before entering a curve and accelerating when I can see the end of the curve.​
>> The Chevy Bolt, at least the 2017 I had was more enjoyable in some ways.

The Bolt curb-to-curb turning radius is certainly nicer than the Model 3,​
but the basic front Macpherson and rear torsion beam suspension... well may be not so enjoyable!!!​

>> openpilot works on the bolt, although I never installed it. Never used supercruise.

Looking at some recent FSD videos, I would be curious to see how openpilot handle unprotected left turns.​



The phantom breaking has occurred for me many times with the cruise control engaged. I have determined that it happens most often when the dividing wall is tall and turning left and there is a car on the right. If the tesla people are listening.. Ours is a 2020 M3DM LR.

With respect to the bolt, they could have made that car handle better than the typical front drive people hauler that pushes around every corner. But of course maybe that is their market. Not that the M3 is a track star, but it is much much better than the bolt.

We have had zero issues our M3. The sentry mode caused issues in the beginning but that is hardly a reliability issue. The car is less than perfect, like every other EV, without a charger at home.
 
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IMG_1674.jpeg


A month or so later and I have my roof top tent on, a 200W solar panel with Battleborn Lithium heated battery, inverter, jack, shovel, axe, HAM radio, haha. I have a mount coming today to install Starlink on my Jeep!

Funnest car I've ever owned so far!
IMG_1438.jpeg


I don't commute for work and have only put 300 miles on the Gladiator. I'm saving money at the same car payment due to decreased insurance, even with fuel factored in. Now I'm running over cones at Chick-fl-a and driving over curbs while I would have obsessed over the tiniest scratch on my M3.

Loving it!
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
16,762
22,148
Riverside Co. CA
View attachment 857385 View attachment 857387

A month or so later and I have my roof top tent on, a 200W solar panel with Battleborn Lithium heated battery, inverter, jack, shovel, axe, HAM radio, haha. I have a mount coming today to install Starlink on my Jeep!

Funnest car I've ever owned so far!
View attachment 857388

I don't commute for work and have only put 300 miles on the Gladiator. I'm saving money at the same car payment due to decreased insurance, even with fuel factored in. Now I'm running over cones at Chick-fl-a and driving over curbs while I would have obsessed over the tiniest scratch on my M3.

Loving it!

Glad you are happy with it, but this is no longer tesla or model 3 related. You seem well on your way now with your new vehicle, so I believe this thread has run its course. What I mean by that, is that I will likely move any other jeep feedback from you into its own thread and move it to a different subforum.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
16,762
22,148
Riverside Co. CA
Any news regarding the Open Pilot project, such as the Tesla iBooster Openpilot Kit, will be still welcome!!!

Not in this thread it wont. Any discussion on that should be in the autopilot subforum

 
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