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Range on Autopilot

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by PremiumPackage, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. PremiumPackage

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    This has probably been discussed before but searching didn't help much:

    On longer road trips, does Autopilot do a good job of maximizing range? Similar to how you generally get the best mileage using cruise control? Or is it better to hand drive if maximizing range is your goal? Thanks.
     
  2. kavyboy

    kavyboy Member

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    I never noticed a difference, so I think AP's impact on range is unimportant. If range is important, speed is the most important controllable variable by far.
     
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  3. jsmay311

    jsmay311 Member

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    Idk if anyone on here could give you a definitive answer, but in open highway driving, compared to basic cruise control or TACC, if anything I would think AP would give you (very slightly) worse range due to the power demand of the computers being used.

    Compared to no cruise at all... I'd guess it would depend on how steady your foot is.
     
  4. morrisdl

    morrisdl Member

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    computing power? I dont think that is a measurable factor. As mentioned the TACC would be the biggest benefit to range. Consistent speed wins in efficiency over the human accell/deceleration fluctuations.

    Bigger benefit to range is using TACC to draft behind large vehicles. I find that even a pickup with follow distance at 2 provides significant improvements (+10% maybe).
     
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  5. animorph

    animorph Member

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  6. jdw

    jdw Supporting Member

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    On a D car, especially with range mode on, AP definitely gets better range than manually driving in my experience.
     
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  7. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Member

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    I believe that speed will be the greatest factor. I was testing today on a road trip, 65 mph was showing 10% more efficient than 70 mph.
     
  8. BestHand

    BestHand Member

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    Following big tracks to save energy is very tempting, but to be effective you should be close and there is a big chance to damage the car. Rocks, rubber pieces can bring more troubles than whatever you save.
     
  9. buttershrimp

    buttershrimp Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode

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    Autopilot is really good at maximizing range. Only exception is that when someone moves out of the lane and your car accelerates.... you probably can improve range by controlling the rate of increase. Moderate drafting is nice when you are on relatively clean road behind a relatively new car with relatively new tires and also if your car has xpel or suntek wrap. But you have to be careful, I'd say follow on 2 with care.
     
  10. morrisdl

    morrisdl Member

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    Good points about drafting. We reduce the set speed to be just a few MPH over the car we are following to avoid the lane change-acceleration. My wife uses Chill-mode 100% and seems to help here too. Our car came with 3M clear wrap on all forward facing surfaces and it has definitely been great in the past 12k driving around this country. Only one small windshield chip to-date and those can happen to anyone/anytime. Waze - "Object on road ahead" warnings have warned us a few times to back off and allow for more reaction time. Be safe out there!
     
  11. chinnam3

    chinnam3 Member

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    #11 chinnam3, Jul 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
    This is very good question. I made some observations during my last 2000 mile trip with various combinations.

    1. As someone mentioned above, speed is the biggest factor in the range. I have gotten range of 350 miles few times and only 270 miles few times. Main difference is speed. If you can keep under 65, you get the best range(330-350),if you are pegging 80+ you will only get (270-280).

    2. Air-conditioner has some impact, but not as much as I thought. My guess is it would not make range difference of more than 10 miles.

    3. Hills/mountains did cause some range loss, but surprisingly not that much. Lost range recovered while coming down(not fully for obvious reasons).

    Now, to answer EAP vs Manual. In real world scenario(not like those tests of running in a controlled loop), you can always get better than EAP. It is not because EAP processing, it is because of its aggressiveness.

    These are following I observed, hence stating as aggressive:
    1. When a vehicle moves away from your lane, EAP stabs the throttle to reach the set speed( pretty aggressive). This burns more energy.
    2. It constantly trying to maintain same set distance, unlike our driving where we smooth out those variations when traffic speeds varies because of traffic and or speed change in that road. (Say speed changes in the road from 35 to 55) .
    3. Some wastage of power because of Phantom braking for shadows, overpasses etc.

    In my experience, I can always get better range than EAP in real world scenarios. But again if you are driving on a major highways without much traffic, it may not make difference if you drive vs EAP drives.

    Keep an Eye on Power used/Recovery bar above speedo (Green vs Black), you will see the difference of how long black bar is when EAP vs your driving. That will tell you who is more efficient.

    This black bar is your friend to get the best, for efficient driving. You are driving more efficient if the black bar is smallest, and you are coasting when there is neither Black or Green, and this is where you should strive to get the best. Coast whenever possible.

    I wish there is a setting where we can specify the how smooth/aggressive EAP can reach set speed.

    Also wish some kind of coast option is there, and when you lift of your foot from accelerator slowly, it recognize you want to coast and does not apply regenerating braking until we touch brake. But if you lift of foot fast from accelerator pedal, then apply regenerative brake.

    Yesterday, I drove our minivan after longtime to ferry folks from airport, and I realized how far its coasts, it coasts miles and if there is even slight downward incline, it keeps coasting. Wish we can coast like that when needed to avoid regenerative losses.

    Currently, we can get into coast mode by keeping accelerator in correct position relative to speed, but it is bit tricky and needs a constant watch on that bar.

    If anyone observe, the accelerator pedal position is directly proportional to speed or speed of Motor since it is single ratio gearbox. (unlike ICE, which proportional to Throttle opening, not RPM).
     

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  12. BestHand

    BestHand Member

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    We cannot say how new tires are when we follow that car. And always there is a chance that car in front of you will try to avoid sudden obstacle or hit a break for some reason. It is scary. It is almost like a roulette. i understand that chance are not that high, but would you take it?
     
  13. tivoboy

    tivoboy Member

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    yes, I was going to say if maximum range if one's objective setup TACC or AP at your desired speed - and then LOWER it 5mph. It will probably increase range 7-10% from the prior highway speed. But frankly, none of us want to drive this way.
     
  14. d21mike

    d21mike Member

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    For my "driving personality" EAP gets better range. As others have said SPEED is the most important. With EAP I am much more calm and allow the car to do the driving at the set speed. However, if I am driving I am much less "calm" and normally trying to get to my destination faster which means I would most of the time pass slower traffic and often hit > 80 where if I am on EAP that seldom happens.
     
  15. paulvinh

    paulvinh Member

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