My first autopilot road rage...

Do people act differently around you while in autopilot?

  • Oblivious

    Votes: 16 72.7%
  • Notice but don't act

    Votes: 3 13.6%
  • Act different from when you're driving

    Votes: 3 13.6%

  • Total voters
    22
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#1
Greetings friendly friends.

Just thought I'd share a first surprise I've had with autopilot. Not getting rage while driving, but by getting raged at.

A little background: We were in 'status red' stop and go traffic on a jammed 6 lane zipper merge averaging about 0-20km/hr. Autopilot is *still* magic in my mind. I had follow distance set to 4, so about 1 car could comfortably merge in front of me at any time...and they frequently do. At this particular moment there was a brief jog forward so there became a gap both in front of, and behind me. Some vehicles merged into both spots at the same time. The one in front caused the car to panic a tad and regen-only moderate brake to maintain the gap...not sure if brake lights turned on since it was relatively calm slow down. The guy merging behind me was hard into his mirrors making sure he could sneak into the room behind me...but that room was quickly shrinking because of the brake maneuver. To him I'm sure it looked like I brake checked him for following too closely. He zippered past my lane, then pulled up and had some yelling and obscene gestures to share. I wasn't sure how to take it...he was literally having...rage against the machine. I did a 2-handed wave and point at the steering wheel to indicate I wasn't in charge... Even if I had been driving I would have braked the same to let the guy ahead of me in, but in this case it was funny seeing someone yell at a frackin' toaster.

It was unique because it was the first disconnect I've had from traffic and rage. I now want a sign on the car warning people that it acts suddenly (if it weren't gaudy). Anyone else have similar experience?
 
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#3
using the 4 setting leaves way too much distance, I usually use 1 or 2 ...
Interesting to note. I like to leave a gap big enough if someone ever needs to make an emergency maneuver but I suppose closing it down to be less tempting a target would prevent the frequency of the cut-ins.
 

Firewired

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#5
I have owned AP 1, then AP 2.0 and now 2.5. I do a lot of bumper to bumper traffic most days. Maximum I set it at is 3 just for that reason. If someone is tailgating me too closely I turn AP off as I know the care likely can brake faster than they can react, and I don't want it to contribute to being rearended.
 

Ed Woodrick

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#7
In stop and go heavy traffic, indeed 4 is a lot too long. Or maybe put another way, it tends to be the distance that everyone uses to pull in front of you and/or yell at you for leaving too big of a gap.

Since the guy had no idea that the car was driving, your gestures were probably seen as pointing to something else.

But most importantly, at this point in time. The car is not self-driving. Anything that happens is completely your fault. In this case, without the real intelligence of self-driving and the understanding that in this situation, maintaining the same gap could have cause an incident, it may have been the time to disable all of the automation.
 

babula

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#9
IMO in traffic its safer to keep it at 1-2 car lengths max, otherwise you'll have people trying to squeeze in front of you constantly.

One thing I don't like about AP in traffic is that it stops much harder than I would. I like to drive and break smoothly, especially in traffic.
 

jsmay311

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#10
If you're expecting vehicles to be merging into your lane while in tight traffic, I don't think that's an appropriate time to be using Autopilot for exactly the reason the OP describes.

Autopilot/TACC operates on rules that pretty much ignore every other vehicle on the road except for the one directly ahead of you.
In situations where cars in adjacent lanes may need/want to change into your lane (like the one described by the OP), AP/TACC drives like a dumb/inconsiderate/oblivious driver who’s wearing blinders.
And when a vehicle enters or leaves your lane in front of you, AP/TACC often reacts late, abruptly, and "unnaturally" compared to how a human driver would react.

So I’m not unsympathetic to the “rager“ in this case.
 

GDN

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#11
IMO in traffic its safer to keep it at 1-2 car lengths max, otherwise you'll have people trying to squeeze in front of you constantly.

One thing I don't like about AP in traffic is that it stops much harder than I would. I like to drive and break smoothly, especially in traffic.
One thing I've done that has helped is to use chill mode while in stop and go traffic. I don't all the time, but it can be a bit easier on the start and stop. To make it easy to choose you can duplicate your driving profile and turn chill mode on in that new profile - update the name to indicate. Much easier to turn on and off.

It's also been discussed in other threads but I think the car should use the brake lights more when in regen and stopping. As much as I like EAP and especially in stop and go traffic, I'm truly afraid of getting rear ended
 
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PNWmisty

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#12
If you're expecting vehicles to be merging into your lane while in tight traffic, I don't think that's an appropriate time to be using Autopilot for exactly the reason the OP describes.

Autopilot/TACC operates on rules that pretty much ignore every other vehicle on the road except for the one directly ahead of you.
In situations where cars in adjacent lanes may need/want to change into your lane (like the one described by the OP), AP/TACC drives like a dumb/inconsiderate/oblivious driver who’s wearing blinders.
And when a vehicle enters or leaves your lane in front of you, AP/TACC often reacts late, abruptly, and "unnaturally" compared to how a human driver would react.

So I’m not unsympathetic to the “rager“ in this case.
True, AP/TACC still needs human management. I suspect a well-timed push on the accelerator might have prevented the rage. This will over-ride the EAP's tendency to stay further back than necessary. And the distance setting of "4" probably compounded the situation. You can't use the EAP to absolve yourself because, even with EAP, it is still you who is "driving". If there is an accident, it will do you no favors to try to blame it on the EAP.
 

kort677

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#13
IMO in traffic its safer to keep it at 1-2 car lengths max, otherwise you'll have people trying to squeeze in front of you constantly.

One thing I don't like about AP in traffic is that it stops much harder than I would. I like to drive and break smoothly, especially in traffic.
if the traffic is moving at speed I agree it stops more harshly than I would but in -10MPH bumper to bumper traffic the car is great while on AP
 

kort677

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#14
One thing I've done that has helped is to use chill mode while in stop and go traffic. I don't all the time, but it can be a bit easier on the start and stop. To make it easy to choose you an just duplicate your driving profile and turn chill mode on in that new profile - update the name to indicate. Much easier to turn on and off.

It's also been discussed in other threads but I think the car should use the brake lights more when in regen and stopping. As much as I like EAP and especially in stop and go traffic, I'm truly afraid of getting rear ended
what makes you believe that the car doesn't use it's brake lights when in regen? in my experience when the car uses regen the brake lights come on
 

garsh

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#15
what makes you believe that the car doesn't use it's brake lights when in regen? in my experience when the car uses regen the brake lights come on
It puts on the brake lights only when deceleration exceeds some threshold. Light regen will not turn on the brake lights.

I think it's fine.
 

GDN

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#16
what makes you believe that the car doesn't use it's brake lights when in regen? in my experience when the car uses regen the brake lights come on
I believe it does and as @garsh notes many are OK with when and how they come on, but it is a threshold. If you are feathering off of the pedal and slowing, you may never get brake lights. If you let off and get good regen, you'll get brake lights, but if you watch there is a point they also go back off once you slow to a certain point. In stop and go traffic it all depends on your speed and how quickly you stop/let off the pedal. I do know that regen will kick on the brake lights, but not in all situations, it depends on speed and amount of regen. YMMV.
 

MelindaV

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#17
did a 2-handed wave and point at the steering wheel to indicate I wasn't in charge... Even if I had been driving I would have braked the same to let the guy ahead of me in, but in this case it was funny seeing someone yell at a frackin' toaster.
You as the driver ARE ALWAYS IN CHARGE.
The guy getting upset because you slowed down is his issue, you as a driver though, should not be differing ‘blame’ to the car you are responsible for though no matter.
 
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#18
Absolutely agree always in charge and to blame for any faults -- keeping in mind a rear end accident is 99% always the fault of the person in the rear. I was just remarking that it was funny that a person was mad at a machine and the strange feeling of having the anger directed at me. It's not deferring blame, just that it's...different.

To clarify the original story, if I had to guess, both the spots in front of and behind me were both "barely comfortable sized to parallel park in" despite the '4' setting. It was during an initial start from a standstill where the person ahead went, the person behind didn't go leaving a gap.

If I had been in direct control I would have done exactly what AP did to slow moderately to let the guy in...it just coincided with someone pushing the back gap at the same time. I have a strong hunch it was that regen didn't show brake lights because the slowing was so low-moderate.
 

GDN

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#20
If I had been in direct control I would have done exactly what AP did to slow moderately to let the guy in...it just coincided with someone pushing the back gap at the same time. I have a strong hunch it was that regen didn't show brake lights because the slowing was so low-moderate.
This isn't directed at anyone, just enforces that if you are slowing down, most would expect the car to have brake lights on.

At slow speeds like this with small gaps and people doing crazy things, if the car is slowing it would be nice if the brake lights were on. I get that it shouldn't be necessary, I get that the gap wasn't probably big enough for someone to fit in, but the fact is a lot of people don't have good depth perception and don't see a car slowing or a gap getting smaller and it would just be nice that the brake lights stayed on once regen kicks in, until I press the accelerator again.