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Crash course on Tesla's Cruise Control, EAP, and FSD

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Brokedoc, Jul 31, 2017.

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  1. Brokedoc

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    #1 Brokedoc, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
    One of the hottest topics I see on this site is Autopilot. Tesla's autopilot is the most advanced automatic driving system available to the public currently and has the most number of miles driven. A lot of this has to do with the fact that Tesla is a different kind of car company and its owners are different kinds of owners. We not only willingly BETA TEST this system for Tesla but we happily pay $5000 for the privilege to be guinea pigs.

    The systems and the terminology:
    Tesla keeps changing and updating the hardware and the software and the bundles that are sold so I will quickly summarize old and new tech and list abbreviations that you may see. I am in no way an expert in this so if I make any errors in describing this, please be nice and I'll do my best to correct it.

    Dumb CC - Dumb Cruise control. This is what was on my 1978 Chevy Caprice. Set the speed and the car keeps the speed no matter what. No auto steering or braking is involved here.
    ACC - Adaptive Cruise control - The most popular new cruise control with higher model cars of most manufacturers that will maintain a set speed but also uses laser or radar to slow down if the car in front is slowing. Again, no steering control.
    TACC - Traffic Aware Cruise Control - this is a term coined by Tesla before Autopilot was released to describe an advanced ACC to even allow stop and go cruise control in heavy traffic. No steering control.
    Lane Departure Warning/Lane Keep Assist - Many manufacturers now offer LDW to beep at the driver or shake the steering wheel when when it detects the car drifting into another lane without intention by the driver. Some manufacturers have gone one step further to do an auto steering correction to bring you back into the lane when deviation is detected. A quick search of the internet shows that these are more for emergency purposes and not routine driving because it's like a bowling ball bouncing between two gutter bumpers.
    EAB - Emergency Auto Braking - for braking only, a laser or radar on the front calculates that an object is approaching quickly (wall, stopped vehicle, etc) and calculates that your speed will collide with the object. If you do not slow down and the computer figures collision is imminent, it applies FULL, EMERGENCY braking almost at the last second to prevent the accident. On slippery surfaces or ice or gravel, EAB may still not stop in time but will still lessen the severity of the impact.
    AP1 - Autopilot 1.0 - Tesla's first autopilot that was based on MobilEye's camera and primarily relied on visual AI. This system was the one in use in Tesla's Florida fatality which resulted in many software safety changes including the near constant need to keep your hand on the wheel and more incorporation of the AP1 forward radar into the driving algorithm.
    AP2 - Autopilot 2.0 is Tesla's in house developed system that overcomes many limitations of AP1. More computing power, more sensors, and theoretical ability to perform Full Self Driving. Because Tesla designed the system from scratch, they were unable to use the hardware and software and algorithms from AP1. Only recently has AP2 arguably reached similar functionality and smooth driving of the AP1 system.
    EAP - Enhanced Auto Pilot - this term arose during the transition from AP1 to AP2. As best as I can tell, AP2 initially was severely limited in speed and functions so there was a cheaper AP upgrade that didn't have all the bells and whistles of EAP but you couldn't use EAP anyway because AP2 wasn't refined enough at that point. Regardless, "plain" Autopilot is no longer an option and EAP is a $5k upgrade.
    FSD - Full Self Drive is the theoretical ability for the car to go from point A to point B with absolutely no input from a driver.
    Automated Ride Sharing - Think "Uber" without drivers. Many companies including Zip car, Uber, Google, Tesla, Facebook and Apple have all announced future plans or interests in this industry disruptive concept.

    What to expect on Your Tesla Model 3:
    The easy answer is: we can only guess based on what is available currently on MS/MX because there is a lack of specifics. Also, due to the OTA updates of software, Tesla can decide to add or remove any standard features. A famous example of this is when Tesla disabled EAB on the MS for a few months to adjust the algorithm and Consumer reports responded by removing the MS from their 'Recommended' list for over a year until Consumer Reports got around to testing the new EAB algorithms.

    Base Model 3: assuming it is similar to the current base MS without EAP, it will have dumb CC, EAB, Front Collision Warning, Side Collision Warning, and automatic high beam control.

    EAP: Currently you get to enjoy being a guinea pig. With this system, you can do mundane things like parallel or perpendicular auto parking, command the car to pull forward or reverse (if you need to get into a tight spot/garage), and of course, drive itself on the highway or major street. Auto lane change allows you to simply move the turn signal and the car will change lanes when it detects it is safe to do so. It adapts to the speed of the car in front of you up to the maximum set speed and will steer itself to keep in the lane. There are also videos on the internet (many are AP1 vehicles) where the car swerved to avoid another car coming into the lane. Currently, traffic signals and stop signs are NOT recognized.

    Future abilities of EAP ***NOT YET AVAILABLE, TIME FRAME UNKNOWN***: follow your GPS navigation route from on ramp to off ramp and merge from one highway to another. Smart summon your car from the garage to drive to your front door to pick you up. Smart park feature where you can pull in front of a restaurant, get out and go eat and the car will find its own spot and park itself then when you're done eating, you can summon your car to meet you in front of the restaurant again. (***caveat*** see limitations for FSD below)

    My take: The AP2 system is fun to show off and gives you a nice break from monotonous driving but I feel it is definitely in Beta test mode and I WOULD NOT trust the system to drive my vehicle without me ready to take over in an instant. Many times, the car will try to take an off ramp even though I want to continue on the highway, slow down or brake semi- abruptly with no obstacles in front, 'lose sight' of lane markings, etc. I can't even imagine how AP will behave on a snow dusted road where I can't figure out where the lanes are. With each update, these abberancies become less frequent. Already, in the first month that I've had my MX, the auto lane change feature went from a sharp, abrupt change to a much smoother, natural change and the car tries to exit the freeway much less. I feel that my experimentation and use of AP gives Tesla more information to further refine the system and make it better for the rest of us in the future. This is kind of like how Waze users benefit from the guy up front to signal that there's a speed trap. If you don't want to be a beta tester, don't buy EAP now.

    FSD: This is a future feature that Elon has envisioned. You can be in Florida, 'summon' you car to leave your garage in California and drive cross country by itself while stopping for automatic Supercharging along the way. Also, You can get into the car in the morning, program it to drive you to work while you are reading or doing anything else except driving. Once you get to work, you can let the car enter Tesla's automatic ride sharing program to actually MAKE YOU MONEY when the car would be otherwise parked in the parking lot. It should be noted that I recall reading in some fine print somewhere that the Terms Of Use for FSD will prohibit owners from using their Tesla with any ride sharing service other than Tesla's ride sharing...

    My take: FSD is YEARS away. Almost nobody pays money for FSD when they buy a Tesla because it may not be ready by the time you're ready to sell the car. As I said above, I currently don't trust the car to do AP. I sure as hell would NOT trust it to do FSD until the software is MUCH more refined which it may be extremely quickly with 500,000 more M3s on the road. The software isn't the problem though. The bigger issue is that THERE ARE NO LAWS governing autonomous vehicles. Who is responsible in an accident? What if there's a mechanical failure leading to an unavoidable accident? In the U.S., the STATES are responsible for traffic regulations. How can a FSD Tesla drive from California to Florida when 5 states along the route don't allow autonomous vehicles? You get my drift... PLUS, lawmakers are notoriously slow at passing major legislation like this. Hence, I believe the technology will be ready WAY before the laws are in place. When FSD is finally ready to be released and the laws are in place, THEN I'll put down my money to turn on the feature.

    So this is my crash course for all of you Model 3 reservationists that have a little bit of time to wait before your configurator pops up. As the technology at Tesla is constantly updating, I'm sure many things I've mentioned will change or possibly become obsolete by the time you get your car (especially for RHD countries....sorry!)
     
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    • NEO

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      Thanks for the info! I really hope it has acc for those that don't want to pay for the EAP.
       
    • Michael Russo

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      Thank you for this excellent summary!

      Just one point: I hope you are correct with regards to basic (safety) features for the base Model 3... though the fact that these are available for free on Model S is no guarantee they will come as part of the standard equipment of the lower margin Model 3...

      Time will tell... and we'll adjust accordingly! ;)
       
    • Brokedoc

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      #4 Brokedoc, Aug 2, 2017
      Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
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      I hope my assumptions are correct but from Tesla's current spec sheet, EAB and "collision avoidance" are listed as standard for M3. I can't imagine that dumb CC isn't available standard. I haven't been able to find out what "collision avoidance" is. Does the car auto swerve? There doesn't seem to be a definition of this feature...
       
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      • Jakesthree

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        I'm not sure "dumb CC" would be available. I could see the danger of having people using it but assuming it was ACC or even EAP.
         
      • Michael Russo

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        Dunno, I've been using it dumbly for more than a decade and never expected anything else from it... :D
         
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        • ModFather

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          [​IMG] Well you can't blame that on the Cruise Control! [​IMG]
           
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          • Gizmo

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            You can’t fix stupid...
             
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            • Jakesthree

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              Ah yes but you've never had a Tesla which is known to have "self driving" capabilities ;). Remember that many of the 500K new owners won't be as familiar with Tesla as the bright people on this forum:D.
               
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              • Thomas Mikl

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                Do not underestimate the power of stupid :)

                It would be really nice to know if there is standard CC without EAP. Might give one a chance to go a year without EAP and buy that when the bank account is in order again hehe
                 
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                • HvyMtlChaos

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                  Since Steve Jurvetson was kind enough to give us that YT video of the charge port door, I tweeted both him and Elon asking about CC details. If I get a response I'll post it here, but I'm basically a nobody on twitter so probably won't get one. :laughing:

                  @Brokedoc Thanks for the write up!
                   
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