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Thoughts on Autopilot after a week of ownership (UK)

I trained and got licensed in the US. It never even entered my consciousness what "undertaking" is. We do learn that left=fast, and right=slow, but pretty much nobody observes that rule on the road. The behavior is the same across all states. People drive and pass wherever they want.

It's nowhere as bad as something like Brazil, in global context. But it'll drive a German or Swiss mad. Think of something closer to Naples, without all the scooters zigging around.

I visited the US a few years ago with my parents and we drove over there from Chicago to Lansing, MI, then over to Sandusky, OH. The few things I noticed about driving were:
1. People 'ping pong' in the lane A LOT, it's terrifying driving by them. That's rare here, but maybe only because the lanes are narrower so you can't afford to do it.
2. Brake lights everywhere, but maybe that's because most US cars are automatic so there's not much engine braking? Friends following me in my M3P get confused because it looks like I'm braking all the time from regen... :p
3. Like you said, people just drive wherever they want to.
4. At least 30% of people are using a phone whilst driving.

In the UK, undertaking can get you 3 points on your license and is really frowned upon. Using your phone is 6 points and sometimes a driving ban. :) (12 points = License revoked)
 
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I trained and got licensed in the US. It never even entered my consciousness what "undertaking" is. We do learn that left=fast, and right=slow, but pretty much nobody observes that rule on the road. The behavior is the same across all states. People drive and pass wherever they want.

The problem is everyone has their own definition of what constitutes fast and slow. I know on the autobahn fast and slow are "faster" and "slower". As soon as you pass you pull to the slower lane. In many places in the US you can't do that. The roads are just too congested. We also have speed limits that nearly everyone ignores, but to different degrees. No matter how fast I drive, there is always someone wanting me to get out of their way... not unlike the autobahn.

Oh, well.
 
I know what's it's intended for right now, but it's great to train it in other roads to as that's the end goal for autopilot!

What training? The autopilot doesn't "learn". It will make the same mistake over and over and over. Who said the autopilot learns?

I used to think reporting bugs would actually provide some feedback to Tesla so they could fix issues. Then I found out no one ever sees the bug reports unless you tell someone they are there and give them the time and date (or is that date and time in the UK <grin>)! No, Tesla can pull recent information from the car if they have a reason and they may well be tracking statistics that get reported on a regular basis. But they aren't watching for the problems all of us have on any regular basis. The cars aren't being "trained" other than receiving updates.
 
This I agree with, in traffic, people will pull out of junctions in front of you because it leaves a large gap. It also feels a bit slow to follow traffic again once it starts moving, like if you were driving and didn't notice people were moving again. :)

This I've paid attention to. Most ICE drivers mash the gas pedal on accelerating with a high initial start and the acceleration tapering off. The Tesla accelerates at a constant rate right up to the last two MPH... very different and ends up leaving a gap. So, yeah, you will have people jumping in front of you at intersections.

The point of the autopilot is to relieve you of some of the stress of driving. So don't sweat the small stuff like people jumping in front of you... and remember, it's all small stuff.
 
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This I've paid attention to. Most ICE drivers mash the gas pedal on accelerating with a high initial start and the acceleration tapering off. The Tesla accelerates at a constant rate right up to the last two MPH... very different and ends up leaving a gap. So, yeah, you will have people jumping in front of you at intersections.

The point of the autopilot is to relieve you of some of the stress of driving. So don't sweat the small stuff like people jumping in front of you... and remember, it's all small stuff.

When I'm not the one driving, I'm quite happy to just chill and listen to music. Like you said, there's no rush in Autopilot. :)
 
1. When the lane splits in the US we have the same problem.
2 & 4. You shouldn't be using AP on those types of roads. Divided highways are for AP.

If you never use it, it'll never be trained for it! The data is handy I'd imagine. It's fun regardless, as a software engineer I like learning what it's thinking and seeing how it improves over time. :)

(I'm aware the second computer runs in 'shadow mode', so it's gathering data whilst you drive, but that's not as interesting to me! As I said in the OP, this isn't a complaint, more just my observations of the current state. :p)
 
I don't mean while moving, this is fine. When you are stopped waiting for a traffic light, it stops with way too much room.

The driver behind rightly or wrongly may assume you will stop with the usual distance of half a meter from the car in front and brake too late when you actually stop 3-5 meters away. This is fine on a motorway when everyone stops for a short time, but on a traffic light it's way too much room.

Totally agree, I give it a little nudge and it stays in autopilot, but it is annoying.
 

lolder

Member
Jun 11, 2016
952
855
SW Florida
If you never use it, it'll never be trained for it! The data is handy I'd imagine. It's fun regardless, as a software engineer I like learning what it's thinking and seeing how it improves over time. :)

(I'm aware the second computer runs in 'shadow mode', so it's gathering data whilst you drive, but that's not as interesting to me! As I said in the OP, this isn't a complaint, more just my observations of the current state. :p)
The cars cannot individually learn, they can only be "trained" when the software is updated.
 
The cars cannot individually learn, they can only be "trained" when the software is updated.

Sorry! That's what I mean, but the training data is gathered from the fleet, which could be your vehicle!
I'd like to assume vehicles can submit data based on the driver taking over control suddenly as this is essentially autopilot failing at something. Or maybe they just find an issue and gather data from the fleet about it, such as they described with the autopilot misidentifying bikes on a rack on the back of cars. :)
 

Yev000

Active Member
May 3, 2019
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Knaphill
Really? 3-5 meters is only 10 to 16 feet! That's less than half a car length. Why would anyone feel the need to get closer to a stopped car than that?

You clearly haven't been driving in Europe, most cars here are 4 meters long. Some light let maybe 3 cars through at a time. Sometimes you only have 15 meters of room to queue. If you take up room that 2 cars can fit people get really irate.

By the way, Model 3 is 4.69 meters long...

Van and lorry (thats truck in US) drivers here in UK stop close enough to set off my parking sensors....
 
You clearly haven't been driving in Europe, most cars here are 4 meters long. Some light let maybe 3 cars through at a time. Sometimes you only have 15 meters of room to queue. If you take up room that 2 cars can fit people get really irate.

By the way, Model 3 is 4.69 meters long...

Van and lorry (thats truck in US) drivers here in UK stop close enough to set off my parking sensors....

Yeahhhhh, I've had my rear parking sensor set off a lot from other vehicles. I try not to tailgate others as much especially on hills as some people roll back a bit.

But you're totally not wrong about traffic lights. It goes green for a whole 30 seconds and everyone hammers it to get through in time. :D
And as you said, the Model 3 is quite a wide and long car in Europe.
 

lolder

Member
Jun 11, 2016
952
855
SW Florida
You've got to tear down all those old houses and hedgerows in the UK and add several lanes to all the roads and live in your cars like we do in the US. All those quaint old villages are a breeding ground of a terrific murder rate that I see on Midsomer Murders, Lewis, Endeavour, etc.
 
You've got to tear down all those old houses and hedgerows in the UK and add several lanes to all the roads and live in your cars like we do in the US. All those quaint old villages are a breeding ground of a terrific murder rate that I see on Midsomer Murders, Lewis, Endeavour, etc.

It always amazed me when I visited the US how amazingly straight the roads were. Literally just roads for North, South, East, and West. It's so logical!
But then somehow with bigger straight roads, it seems like at least half the driver forgot how to drive properly... Or at least seem to think they can drive with their phone in the other hand... ;)

I struggle enough to change the wiper settings in my M3P when driving, so however people can drive and text is beyond me!
 
You clearly haven't been driving in Europe, most cars here are 4 meters long. Some light let maybe 3 cars through at a time. Sometimes you only have 15 meters of room to queue. If you take up room that 2 cars can fit people get really irate.

By the way, Model 3 is 4.69 meters long...

Van and lorry (thats truck in US) drivers here in UK stop close enough to set off my parking sensors....

So what happens to cars that can't fit in the queue? I'm not picturing this.

Different horses for different courses.
 
It always amazed me when I visited the US how amazingly straight the roads were. Literally just roads for North, South, East, and West. It's so logical!
But then somehow with bigger straight roads, it seems like at least half the driver forgot how to drive properly... Or at least seem to think they can drive with their phone in the other hand... ;)

I struggle enough to change the wiper settings in my M3P when driving, so however people can drive and text is beyond me!

Once, when looking at the inherent inefficiency of perpendicular roads I tried to consider a hexagonal based road layout. It can save some driving, but the intersections become a bit difficult. lol
 
So, just like any other American driving in the UK. (The image of Kevin Klein in A Fish Called Wanda comes to mind.)

Roundabouts are honestly so much easier and less stressful than a busy intersection!
Yield to cars coming around the roundabout, join it, indicate into it if you're going around, indicate out when you're pulling off. Easy! I'm really intrigued to see how autopilot uses them. :D

The most annoying thing is when someone doesn't indicate out of the roundabout and you were waiting for them to pass before joining!
 

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