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The thing I thought I’d like the most about my Model 3 is the thing I like the least

I know I’m going to catch some flak for this thread whatever I do, so I will try to head off at least some of it by saying up front that I still love my Model 3 overall, think it’s better than other EVs available at the same price point for a variety of reasons, and I have no intention of swapping it for something else. I’m sure I’ll get a flood of “well if you hate it so much why don’t you sell it!!” replies despite having said this 😆

But today I was ‘hypermiling’ down the motorway, sat behind a lorry that was doing a steady 56mph. I don’t normally try to squeeze out every last drop of efficiency like that, but my home charger is broken at the moment and rapid charging costs are ruinous, so needs must! As I did this, I became more and more annoyed that the car would frequently back off a few mph, let some distance build up to the lorry, then surge back up to my set speed (60mph), close right up to the lorry, then back off again, over and over. I find the adaptive cruise control in the Model 3 frequently does this. It doesn’t match the speed of the vehicle in front, it sort of matches the speed of the vehicle in front within a 5mph or so range, backing off and closing up again frequently. It is annoying.

I then thought back to my previous two cars that had adaptive cruise control, which were both VWs. In those cars, the speed always matched exactly to the vehicle in front. No backing off and surging forward, it was extremely precise. Why is the VW system so much better? Presumably because it uses a radar to detect the distance rather than relying on cameras.

It then occurred to me that when I bought the Tesla, I’d believed the hype about its ‘self-driving’ aids, believed it was the leader in this technology, and it was the thing I was most interested in trying out. However, I now think that in the real world, Tesla’s implementation of this is much worse than VW’s, and presumably other traditional manufacturers too. I tried the Enhanced Autopilot as well, but got my money back as, Autopark aside, it was hopeless. The thing I thought I would like most about the Model 3 is the thing I like the least.

Now, that’s ok overall. I’ve discovered over my time owning the car that there are many many things I love about this car, and overall those things make up for the crappy driver aid implementation. But I thought it worth posting my opinion in case belief that Tesla’s driver aids are more advanced than others is a reason anyone here is considering buying a Model 3. If you think that’s the car’s USP, and it is really important to you, then you will be disappointed. You’ll find loads of other amazing things about the car that you love, but you will be disappointed in the self-driving tech on UK roads in 2022.

I also know that data scientists are going to set me on fire for this thread, because I don’t understand the awesome potential of vision based systems, and that the AI models will learn and improve over time. That’s fine, but I bought a car in 2022 to work as a car in 2022. I didn’t buy the car for the joy of being part of a research project, or in the hope that in 5-10 years time it will surpass the abilities of cars that rely on radar. If you’re happy to accept lousy driver aid performance to be at the vanguard of a machine learning revolution then fine, but I just want features on my car to work now, like they did on my VWs.

But again, to repeat one last time - I prefer my Model 3 to my previous cars overall, and have no desire to get rid of it.

0x0-Model3_20.jpg

(Featured Image Courtesy of Tesla, Inc)
 
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Much of the driving technology (that is available on other cars) is in fact inferior on Teslas. Sign reading, adaptive cruise control, navigation, automatic parking. All far superior on VWs and Toyotas in my experience. I'm enjoying my Model Y, but I am very underwhelmed by its technology.

PS. I'll join you in the flames from the Tesla fanboys
 
Pretty sure European cars still have radar…
If true, then it is even more baffling why Tesla’s system is so much worse than VW’s. I assumed it was because Tesla was relying on camera data rather than radar data, but if not then there’s even less of an excuse for its poor performance.

The other thing VW’s system did, which was lovely, was that as soon as you put on your indicator to overtake it would start accelerating back up to your set speed. This matched normal driving so much better, because most people don’t wait until they’ve fully completed the lane change (plus a second or two for Tesla’s system to be confident that you have completed the lane change) before they start accelerating. It’s annoying to cars coming up behind you in the lane you’ve just pulled into if you then take an age to start accelerating after pulling into their lane.

For this reason, when I overtake in the Tesla I manually accelerate with the pedal, rather than waiting for the car to do it. In my VWs I never had to do this. I could drive happily for 100s of miles without touching any pedals.
 

GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Moderator
Mar 16, 2018
2,021
1,879
UK
For me this boils down to reality v expectation. Tesla have built a high expectation with all the talk of feature complete, coast to coast etc and back in 2017 they even released a video of the car driving someone to work then going off and parking itself. 5 years on and that’s still a dream. If your expectation is higher than reality then you’ll be disappointed with anything in life. I’ve no problem with TACC or auto steer in general, but I am disappointed with things like auto wipers, auto headlights etc. But no car is perfect, so you make choices on what to accept and what you can live with, and for me Tesla doesn’t really figure anymore in terms of high tech. A farting noise doesn’t trump a head up display (did you see what I did there?)

OP, I don’t think you’ll get a particular hard time on here with your view, I think in general there’s a bit more realism about things that places like the official owners group.
 
Hmmm, I don't really buy that @GeorgeSymonds. For capabilities that are on many cars like autopark, TACC and navigation, I am used to them working well, so have no higher expectations of Tesla. But my Model Y's navigation is very poor, providing incorrect verbal directions and sub-optimal routes. The parking feature is laughable, whereas it's a mature technology on many makes. I could go on. This is why I qualified my earlier comment "(that is available on other cars)"

Navigate on Autopilot technically works, but with the driver having to watch the screen for when the car flashes it wants to change lanes and have the driver indicate to 'approve', I would argue it's less efficient (and possibly more dangerous) than just changing lanes yourself and using TACC. But what it does with Nav-On-Auto, to my knowledge, is better than any other manufacturer.
 
I had an Audi with a driver assistance package, which should be the same as VW. While it had all merits of radar, it was never perfect and frequently led to the ping pong effect where the car would move to left and right on curvy motorway sections. There is no way you could drive 100s of miles with such a system. In contrast, once you know the limitations of autopilot, you know when to engage and disengage. During my 8-hour trip to Edinburgh, I used autopilot for over 7 hours, which made the whole journey stress free.
 
Hmmm, I don't really buy that @GeorgeSymonds. For capabilities that are on many cars like autopark, TACC and navigation, I am used to them working well, so have no higher expectations of Tesla. But my Model Y's navigation is very poor, providing incorrect verbal directions and sub-optimal routes. The parking feature is laughable, whereas it's a mature technology on many makes. I could go on. This is why I qualified my earlier comment "(that is available on other cars)"

Navigate on Autopilot technically works, but with the driver having to watch the screen for when the car flashes it wants to change lanes and have the driver indicate to 'approve', I would argue it's less efficient (and possibly more dangerous) than just changing lanes yourself and using TACC. But what it does with Nav-On-Auto, to my knowledge, is better than any other manufacturer.
Which car navigation system is the best? Last time I checked most people use Android Auto or carplay on non-tesla cars and use Waze or Google Maps. With Tesla, if you use the navigation, the range estimate would get more accurate. You could, of course, mount your phone and use other navigation apps.
 
I know I’m going to catch some flak for this thread whatever I do, so I will try to head off at least some of it by saying up front that I still love my Model 3 overall, think it’s better than other EVs available at the same price point for a variety of reasons, and I have no intention of swapping it for something else. I’m sure I’ll get a flood of “well if you hate it so much why don’t you sell it!!” replies despite having said this 😆

But today I was ‘hypermiling’ down the motorway, sat behind a lorry that was doing a steady 56mph. I don’t normally try to squeeze out every last drop of efficiency like that, but my home charger is broken at the moment and rapid charging costs are ruinous, so needs must! As I did this, I became more and more annoyed that the car would frequently back off a few mph, let some distance build up to the lorry, then surge back up to my set speed (60mph), close right up to the lorry, then back off again, over and over. I find the adaptive cruise control in the Model 3 frequently does this. It doesn’t match the speed of the vehicle in front, it sort of matches the speed of the vehicle in front within a 5mph or so range, backing off and closing up again frequently. It is annoying.

I then thought back to my previous two cars that had adaptive cruise control, which were both VWs. In those cars, the speed always matched exactly to the vehicle in front. No backing off and surging forward, it was extremely precise. Why is the VW system so much better? Presumably because it uses a radar to detect the distance rather than relying on cameras.

It then occurred to me that when I bought the Tesla, I’d believed the hype about its ‘self-driving’ aids, believed it was the leader in this technology, and it was the thing I was most interested in trying out. However, I now think that in the real world, Tesla’s implementation of this is much worse than VW’s, and presumably other traditional manufacturers too. I tried the Enhanced Autopilot as well, but got my money back as, Autopark aside, it was hopeless. The thing I thought I would like most about the Model 3 is the thing I like the least.

Now, that’s ok overall. I’ve discovered over my time owning the car that there are many many things I love about this car, and overall those things make up for the crappy driver aid implementation. But I thought it worth posting my opinion in case belief that Tesla’s driver aids are more advanced than others is a reason anyone here is considering buying a Model 3. If you think that’s the car’s USP, and it is really important to you, then you will be disappointed. You’ll find loads of other amazing things about the car that you love, but you will be disappointed in the self-driving tech on UK roads in 2022.

I also know that data scientists are going to set me on fire for this thread, because I don’t understand the awesome potential of vision based systems, and that the AI models will learn and improve over time. That’s fine, but I bought a car in 2022 to work as a car in 2022. I didn’t buy the car for the joy of being part of a research project, or in the hope that in 5-10 years time it will surpass the abilities of cars that rely on radar. If you’re happy to accept lousy driver aid performance to be at the vanguard of a machine learning revolution then fine, but I just want features on my car to work now, like they did on my VWs.

But again, to repeat one last time - I prefer my Model 3 to my previous cars overall, and have no desire to get rid of it.
@AutomaticMan, I’m completely with you. I had eight happy years in an oldish 911 then got a Golf R when the kids grew and the absolute revelation was not that the Golf was as fast as a 90s sports car but the radar cruise: amazing - biggest advance since I got a licence in the late 80s. And I thought the M3 with its McLaren performance (I have a P) would bring this all together in perfection - but I have to say the TACC implementation is just awful. It accelerates too hard, it doesn’t judge gaps, and I’ve been on radar too (if Sept 2020 was still running radar TACC). At the risk of reopening perennial wounds, it’s Teslas obsession with reinventing the (steering) wheel - wipers working on cameras, yokes, algorithms that can’t tell a shadow from a hazard…
I’m keeping it, because I think electricity is a compelling way to drive a car - for instant torque more than economy, and none of the bagginess of the now ubiquitous automatic and dual clutch gearboxes. But I absolutely hate it quite a lot of the time.
It’s like the partner in your 20s that does one thing really well but is otherwise hateful: do you see yourself settling down with them?

Better alternatives are close. Sell your shares!
 
Much of the driving technology (that is available on other cars) is in fact inferior on Teslas. Sign reading, adaptive cruise control, navigation, automatic parking. All far superior on VWs and Toyotas in my experience. I'm enjoying my Model Y, but I am very underwhelmed by its technology.

PS. I'll join you in the flames from the Tesla fanboys
100% agree. There are two areas where I think Tesla particularly excels. Efficiency (yet to test drive a car that gets close to the Model 3) and the Supercharging network (less so now).

They also have very useful features like Sentry Mode and Dog Mode and being able to get in the car and just drive it without having to switch it on. Other manufacturers would do well to implement these features.

But for everything else, Tesla lags behind.
 

BillN

New Member
May 15, 2022
3
4
Kent
Compared to other EVs I’ve driven (i3, e208, Kona, ID3, Zoe, MX-30, Leaf, Polestar), Tesla’s key advantage is in the drivetrain, and how it’s calibrated.

Then efficiency, packaging, and overall UX.

‘Autopilot’ was as good in a 2016 Skoda Superb. Better in some ways, worse in others - but overall about on par with current basic Autopilot in the UK.
 
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MrT3

Active Member
Jun 26, 2021
1,408
885
UK
If true, then it is even more baffling why Tesla’s system is so much worse than VW’s. I assumed it was because Tesla was relying on camera data rather than radar data, but if not then there’s even less of an excuse for its poor performance.
Other systems really only ‘look‘ at the lane you are in so don’t get confused by cars and other objects so easily. Tesla’s system is more advanced in what it is trying to do and is needed for future FSD, but for just simple adaptive cruise control it falls short of the competition.
 
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gangzoom

Active Member
May 22, 2014
1,564
1,436
Uk
That’s not really true though, is it? Most modern cars are looking beyond their own lane, that’s why they also have much better blind spot detection and automatic lane changing.

Other cars have better driver assistance features than AP on M ways?

Can you post a link?

AP on the Mway has been damn good in my experience for the last 12 months+. I use it pretty much the time on Mway runs, lane changes even in traffic is pretty smooth/good these days, I can barely remeber the last time AP aborted a lane change.
 

Undecided_2

Member
Supporting Member
Jan 21, 2022
475
344
Helensburgh
The other thing VW’s system did, which was lovely, was that as soon as you put on your indicator to overtake it would start accelerating back up to your set speed.
I agree. The VW Tiguan Tech R I had - adaptive CC - was great at that. My MY takes forever to accelerate after a lane change.

I also regret paying for EAP. It makes driving more stressful. I drank the cool aid when I saw the visualisation on the screen during the test drive. We don’t use it anymore. However, AB was well worth the upgrade cost. 🤪

From research on here it appears Tesla don’t like to pay/license proven tech and prefer to develop their own.
 

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