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Will Autopilot Work on a Road Like This?

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by PianoAl, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. PianoAl

    PianoAl Member

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    Taking delivery soon ...

    Will autopilot work on, for example, Route 299 in California? Thanks.

    Screen Shot 2019-12-27 at 6.43.42 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2019-12-27 at 6.43.20 PM.jpg
     
  2. Big Earl

    Big Earl bnkwupt

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  3. Knightshade

    Knightshade Well-Known Member

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    Depends what you mean by "work"

    Autopilot is explicitly intended for limited access divided highways- which that isn't for the section you show (SR 299 IS one in some parts though)

    it's default assumption is all cars in all accessible lanes are going the same direction as you, and that there are no intersections or cross traffic... none of which is true for that section of road either.


    The car won't stop you from turning it on for that road- but it's not meant to be used there, and there's a lot of ways it can behave unexpectedly or inappropriately in places it's not intended to be used. especially if you're not paying attention and not having your hands and feet always at the ready to take back over.

    That said? tons of folks use it all kinds of places it's not meant to be and it's only killed like 2 or 3 people ever on such roads in over 2 billion miles of driving (all in cases where there was cross traffic coming across their driving lane that the car didn't see), so your odds are excellent.
     
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  4. diezel_dave

    diezel_dave Member

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    It will probably try to work but be careful on really tight curves. Mine has given up halfway through tight curves several times and you have to be ready to catch the steering wheel or you might be in for a surprise.
     
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  5. AquaMan

    AquaMan Member

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    #5 AquaMan, Dec 28, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
    I've tried it on such roads (who hasn't?) What I've found is two things:

    A) It loses the road sometimes, especially on tight turns, over hills or where the line is broken or obscured. When this happens you need to take control quickly, and it usually happens on a tight turn.
    B) Driving with Autopilot on such roads is a neat trick, but it doesn't make driving any more convenient, comfortable or safe.

    On such roads, I found I have to be MORE alert using Autopilot than without, because when you're using Autopilot, it tries to stay dead-center in the lane, which often isn't the "ideal" lane position. So you have to specifically discipline yourself not to influence the wheel too much for your instincts, lest Autopilot will turn off. This means you will "react late" to its imperfections... In turn, this means if you do need to take control, such a reaction will be delayed by your attempt to "trust" the system.

    It's also not very good at adjusting its speed for tight turns. If there's a car in front of you, the Tesla will adjust its speed to match what that other driver (usually human) is doing, which is generally appropriate. But without a driver in front of you, it will usually be either too slow for the straightaways, or too fast for the tight turns.

    I've actually found that my forearms get tired from the act of "being ready" to react on roads like that, even with my hands lightly on the wheel.

    I actually encourage you to try it to get to know to its limitations, but stay very alert because it will surprise you. It's something the car is capable of doing, but you'll probably not choose to use it much if you drive such roads every day.

    [Edit: The road shown in the picture by the OP looks a little more "straight and predictable" than the "mountain road" I had in mind as I typed this.]
     
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  6. AlanSubie4Life

    AlanSubie4Life Efficiency Obsessed Member

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    No.


    This is the answer if you have to say just “yes” or “no.”
     
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  7. PianoAl

    PianoAl Member

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    >Driving with Autopilot on such roads is a neat trick, but it doesn't make driving any more convenient, comfortable or safe.

    Good info. Thanks.

    Think it will do better in the future?
     
  8. AlanSubie4Life

    AlanSubie4Life Efficiency Obsessed Member

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    If you bought FSD, maybe, at some point. Hard to know when.
     
  9. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

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    HW3 AP works through many mountain hairpin turns, so I don't think there's any well marked road left that it won't work on. Those mountain roads are more likely to have issues with deer and debris though, so you certainly need to be paying attention, and just because it's worked on many mountain hairpins that I've driven doesn't mean it'll certainly work on every single one...
     
  10. AquaMan

    AquaMan Member

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    Per my edit, it might actually be okay on that road. I checked that road on Google Maps and it appears to be fairly wide and well-painted in most places and there are few places where the turns are "suddenly sharp". But Autopilot is only intended for freeway/highway driving at this point.

    I suggest you certainly SHOULD try it, especially if that's somewhere you drive often. But know that it's not perfect and be careful. And also know this: No matter how good it is, you should be paying attention.

    Even better in the future? Certainly!

    You're about to own a car you will LOVE. But my personal opinion differs from Elon's on the future of "full" self driving. It'll happen some day, but I think my car will have driven its last mile LONG before it's possible to sleep in a car while it drives. Even if it becomes safer than a human driver, I think the politicians and voters will have a hard time accepting the fact (which will always be true) that people can die if a self-driving car has a brain fart. So I think it's likely to be regulated, or even restricted. They might even prevent Autopilot from working on non-freeways due to ignorance and FUD. Many others disagree with me but I think some are blinded by fanboy-ism.
     
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  11. Yang_H

    Yang_H Member

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    Well said, AquaMan. I feel more and more comfortable that I didn't fork $7000 for FSD for my SR+. I'm ready to jump in if FSD one day indeed works as promised, but I too suspect that day can be a very long time away, and not necessary due to Musk or Tesla's fault.
     
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  12. PianoAl

    PianoAl Member

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    Thanks, Aquaman and others.

    I'll be driving that road back after we pick up the car. It's a very tiring road to drive, and I'll let you know how it goes. But I'lll stay alert, just as I do when I'm posting ... uh ... here ... oops, sorry, I fell asleep.
     
  13. postersw

    postersw Member

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    I agree completely. Full self driving has a long long way to go.

    I also agree that:
    1. The auto-pilot tends to give up on tight turns at speed (without any warning).
    2. The car doesn't anticipate and slow down appropriately on tight turns
    3. When you are zipping down a curvy road at 50 mph and the auto-pilot gives up, you don't have time to react without drifting into the oncoming lane. (Hence the warning to not use it on 2 lane roads with 2-way traffic).
    4. Maintaining sufficient 'situational awareness' to take over control immediately and seamlessly when the auto-pilot can't handle a turn is more work that driving yourself (think of driving this road where you have a 10-year-old sitting on your lap and steering for you).

    Also I suggest you watch the end of:
    Admittedly this video is from a model X, not a model 3, and is about a year old, so possibly it might not happen today, but it is a very real example of what can happen when you trust autopilot on a 2 lane winding road.
     
  14. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Well-Known Member

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    Simple answer, yes.
    There's good lines, so it should be happy.
     
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  15. Magnets!

    Magnets! Member

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    That guy just escaped death, check out the drop off on the right side of the road where he initially went off. To the OP, I say, you'd be crazy to use it. It looks like a fun road to drive, why not enjoy the road and drive yourself?
     
  16. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    Then again NoA won't work on 2 tight "S" curves near my house at 18 mph. So never assume you won't have to take over.
     
  17. jkoya

    jkoya NA2 NSX

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    There was a brave soul that reported successfully using it on Hwy 17 going to Santa Cruz, CA about a year ago......
     
  18. oldguyNM

    oldguyNM Member

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    My observation is that autosteer doesn’t work with yellow lines only white. Same seems to be true for lane assist.
     
  19. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Well-Known Member

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    While it may work of such roads, those type of roads are some of the most pleasurable driving experiences possible.

    Would be far better to turn off autopilot and take the wheel yourself. Great joy to be had here.
     
  20. Needsdecaf

    Needsdecaf Member

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    :mad::mad::mad::mad:

    This kind of sh!t makes me REALLY pissed. Whatever asshat was driving that car should have turned off Auto Pilot a LONG time before that crash. There were so many close calls, and indications the car couldn’t handle that road in just that 3 minute video. Arrrgh. They deserved that crash.
    Imagine that car had crossed the centerline and taken out a car on a head on and killed someone. All because the owner used Autopilot in a situation it’s CLEARLY not designed for.

    Tesla is extremely reckless for not restricting AP use on roads such as this. It would be very easily done. But no, they want people to drive these roads on AP to gather data. Uncool. Very uncool. To be clear, I do not place the blame on Tesla for the crash shown. In the end it’s up to the operator. But they could easily prevent this, and don’t.

    To the OP, please do not use AP on a road like that. It’s dangerous and we don’t need you killing someone. It’s not designed for use there.
     
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