Purchased a Model 3 and didn’t get EAP for a few reasons, but am thinking about adding it now. I’ve read most of the stories of the good and the bad, but I’m curious if anyone regrets buying EAP or regrets adding it after the fact?
I haven't gotten my car yet, but I don't think I'd get a Tesla without EAP.
My wife is just telling me to bite the bullet and get FSD. That is the harder sale for me right now. I know it won't be ready any time soon, but there is always that "what if" question going through my head. Just the idea of being able to go let the car park itself seems pretty awesome.
Adaptive Cruise Control: This has become a MUST HAVE for me -- possibly my favorite feature of the car.
Autosteer (AutoPilot): I find it unnerving in traffic of any kind. I will keep trying it in small doses, but mostly I don't use it.
Auto Lane Change: This is scary because I am paranoid about blindspots and accidentally changing lanes into someone. We've tried it under very low traffic conditions and it worked well. It's just hard to give up control like that.
Auto Park: Also a bit scary to use; we tried to use it to back-in to a spot between two cars once. It got halfway through the process, sticking nose out into the parking lot, and stopped with a "failed" message. Not ready for primetime I think. Perhaps it's better at parallel parking.
Summon: Not available yet. From all the horror stories I've see about it crunching Teslas into garage walls or other things, I'm also a "no" on that.
Overall, I am glad I got EAP. It's a fledgling technology still. I am happy to support its development and use it more as Tesla improves it. If that wasn't a factor and I could buy these features ala cart, I'd only get adaptive cruise control. It's the only one that's made a difference for my driving.
I let everyone who would like to to drive my Model 3. I have standard loop I have them do that includes most of the features of the car, including voice commands and Autopilot. And of course flooring it. By now I have about a couple of dozen test ride data points that I have observed to conclude the following:
"The Opinion People Have Formed about Autopilot" and "What People Think about Autopilot after Using It" are two distinctly different things, and this varies very little whether they know a lot about Tesla or very little.
Before they use it, they are very wary, if not afraid. Some folks truly do not even want to try it. "Let's not," they might say. But with a good bit of explanation that "You can easily take back control by doing just about anything," and "Almost half of the miles of this car have been driven on Autopilot," they have always agreed so far to try. Those who have kept up a bit more with Tesla, or who are eager fans, want to try but have very low expectations. They assume that it doesn't work very well, but they're curious, and they'll humor me.
During the drive, I ask them to move to a center lane on the highway (why complicate matters) and to press down twice on the drive stalk. Then I say, "Okay, take your hands and feet away," and once again reassure them that they are the driver, they are still responsible, that they can take over at any time, and that the car will ask them periodically to let it know that they are paying attention. At this point they have big eyes darting around and jazz hands over the steering wheel.
After the car has gone around a couple of curves by itself, and perhaps someone has jumped in front of us, or slowed down ahead of us, they begin to visibly relax. If they haven't asked by now, I say, "It's at its best in stop-and-go traffic, because it takes away all of the worry of stopping and starting, and it does it automatically and really well. You just supervise."
The time it takes varies, but after taking a while to calm down (the start is always exciting), a realization starts to sink in. "This is actually pretty cool. It's very good!" So I gently explain that although they are still in command and need to pay attention, that it's surprisingly less stressful to supervise driving than it is to worry about doing all of the grunt work. "You can focus on what's further ahead, check the mirrors, and look for anything weird going on around us, and look forward to when we need to exit next."
Fact: it's over ten times easier to be a back-seat driver than a driver. Known fact.
At some point they make a point of saying, because it's such a marked departure from what they felt and thought before using it themselves, "Yeah, um... I could really use this. This is a really, really good feature. Seriously," as if I didn't already believe it, "This is really cool!"
In a nutshell, the only news that travels quickly and easily is sensational. Autopilot in reality is as boring as cruise control, and is not a defective robot trying to weed out the negligent among us. Just like we don't expect cruise control to do more than it's supposed to, Autopilot has its intended use, and its limitations. Within those, it does really well. Once test drivers have gotten their head around it, I tell them how my family likes to continually figure out—when we can safely do so—what it can do and not do. This is a thing that a person controls, not a thing that controls a person.
Think ahead to a time—use your own assumption—when Autopilot begins to observe stop signs and stop lights, and once again read speed/construction/school zone signs. Even then, it will continue to be a non-exciting, pretty mundane feature. Like cruise control on steroids. Of COURSE it will stop at stop signs. Of COURSE it will go to the destination you entered (we're into FSD territory now). Should we let it find a parking space for us, or take over? Decisions, decisions. But no grunt work. And not sensational.
But boy does it make other cars look dumb.
Summary: Yeah. If you can afford it, get it. It's not cheap. But it's great. And getting better all the time.
I hate to be an advocate for the opposite but I did not get EAP with mine.
Now before you jump down my throat as to why, it simply came down to a few factors.
Money and can be added later
I'm a hardware engineer but I do understand how much software plays a part in technology, I wanted to get the hardware of the car (LR, PUP) and the software can be installed/unlocked later on (like some that are waiting for the D/P versions).
To me it was a struggle just to get the car now even with a predicted full $10k EV rebate ($7500 gov, $2500 CA), I've had to make some bold promises to the other half and sell just about every scrap of savings to get the car. We even skipped the sport wheels which she is a fan of.
Now all this isn't to say I don't trust EAP, I do. I want to have it in my car, I want to use the TACC in stop/go traffic (being in LA), the self parking and all the other features but I simply could not afford to add in another $5k to the price. That would have meant no M3 as the other half is already freaking over the current price (see above about bold promises).
In a perfect world where money was not an issue, I would have got both the EAP and FSD packages added.
That’s why I didn’t originally get it, I wasn’t going to be commuting daily, but in the 10 weeks between configuring and now, a lot has changed.
The lack of responses would indicate that I should just bite the bullet.
I used to be in the "no way I'm paying $5K for EAP" camp, given that my typical roundtrip commute is ~25 miles on local roads and state highways with traffic lights and minimal congestion, and given that we rarely go on road trips. In my particular case, the $5K price tag seemed way too high for a feature I'd only want a few times per year (at best), and I was actually surprised that a large majority of reservation-holders intended to purchase it.
However, over the past few months, I've started considering purchasing EAP up-front as an insurance policy against changing circumstances. The odds of my commute and/or job changing over the ownership period of my Model 3 are fairly high, and the odds of my commute becoming more "typical" (i.e., longer, mostly on interstate highways, more time spent in gridlock) are even higher. If I end up with such a commute, there's no question that I'd want EAP.
So that leaves me with two choices:
Purchase EAP with the car for $5K and roll it into the the loan. Monthly loan payment increases anywhere between $75 (72-month) or $90 (60-month), interest paid increases by $350-425.
Purchase EAP if/when my commute becomes a daily disaster for $6K without the option of rolling it into a loan.
The way I see it, the first option requires less financial planning, provides the benefits of EAP over the entire ownership period (versus just when I decided that I "need" it), and removes the risk of any future increase in price for EAP (however small that risk may be in the near-term). To frame it in terms of regret: in my case, I think it's much more likely that I'll regret *not* ordering EAP up-front than the other way around... so, when I am finally ready to press that Place Order button, odds are pretty good that the EAP box will be checked.
I regret that I bought it. My commute just a couple of miles and I normally don't drive long distances. The one time I used it on a roadtrip into Denver on I25, it was fine - no issues at all - and it was nice in stop 'n go traffic. So there was that - it was great that one time. But the one time that I used it on Hwy 287 from Fort Collins to Laramie, WY, it crossed the double yellow on a turn into oncoming traffic and absolutely freaked me out. I had another time where I went over a little hill - like for a drainage culvert - on a highway east of Fort Collins, it veered sharply at the crest of the hill and it absolutely freaked me out as well. Both times I had my hand on the wheel so it was no huge deal but if I have to watch it constantly to make sure it's not trying to kill me, it sort of defeats the point. And then there's adaptive cruise control and I will say that I use this a bit more... but on most of the roads that I go on there's no car in front of me, so then it's just cruise control.
So people will say it's better with the recent software update - most of my bad experiences were in February on 2017.50 - and perhaps it is but like I say, I don't drive on roads that suit it well (lots of lights and stop signs, not a lot of traffic) and so I don't have much opportunity to test it or use it.
I love my Model 3 and I love everything about it, but so far if I were to divide the cost of autopilot versus what I'm getting out of it, I'd have skipped it.
EAP is definitely worth the hefty price tag in my opinion. As many others have said here, the benefits are many and, as long as the driver is aware of its limitations and uses it responsibly, it is a very useful tool.
When I bought my last ICE car in 2014, it had adaptive cruise control. Before I even considered buying a Tesla, I had already made up my mind that I would never buy another car without it. Every time I have to rent a car for work where I will be driving long distances, I ask for a car with ACC. More times than not, the rental clerk looks a me with that “dog tilted head” look. The rental I had last week, a Toyota Camry, had it and it worked great. The lane keep didn’t, but the radar cruise was flawless. Looking forward to EAP when I get my car Monday!
Borrowing the bullet points from an earlier post and customizing them with my own thoughts:
Adaptive Cruise Control: This has become a MUST HAVE for me -- possibly my favorite feature of the car. Completely agree. It transforms rush hour traffic from a stressful annoyance to a benign task. Stress of rush hour absolutely plummets to near zero.
Autosteer (AutoPilot): I have nearly 70,000 miles on my Model S, a huge percentage of it done using AP1. It's as great as the previous posters attest. It's not perfect but on long road trips or in certain types of traffic, it's a huge comfort. I don't use it in all circumstances, avoiding things like construction zones, with odd lane markings or concrete barriers and in fast moving, highly congested roads. For boring stretches of highway that go on and on, it's invaluable in reducing fatigue.
Auto Lane Change: Auto lane change has never, not once, attempted to change lanes when it shoudn't. Its failure mode is the exact opposite: if lane change fails, it does so by refusing to change lanes when it's perfectly fine for it to do so.
Auto Park: I've used it a handful of times, however, it has a couple of issues that dissuade me from using it often. First, it's finicky regarding the recognition of a space in which it can park. Often, I'll drive by a parallel parking space and the car won't recognize it, so I'll have to back up and give it another chance to see. If there are cars behind me this isn't always an option and I'm forced to either move on or park manually. The second reason I avoid it is I've heard stories about autopark not seeing extended bumpers or trailer hitches and grazing them or just plain being off by a few inches and clipping the stationary vehicles around me. I'm adept at parking myself so the risk is rarely worth it.
Summon: On my Model S, it's worked fine every time I've used it; however, I'm very disinclined to use it if there's a risk of hitting something so basically I just use it as a gimmicky demonstration, letting the car pull out of a space into the aisle if there are no other cars nearby. It's not terribly useful to me in the real world.
In summary, adaptive cruise control is a Godsend. An absolute must. Autopilot is a very close second, not to be used all the time and not to be trusted blindly, but is very useful in reducing fatigue in drives that are of any significant length.
I've had my Model 3 for a bit over 2 weeks. I bought it without EAP, but lost too much sleep feeling I was driving the highest tech car crippled - and so I added EAP 2 days ago. Honestly, I love it. I'm a tech guy, and I marvel at the tech. Can I justify the cost in terms of anything that would be convincing to everybody? Probably not. We are paying to be beta testers; I'm OK with that, and I will really enjoy seeing the improvements as they roll out. My initial impression is similar to others - TACC is awesome, and useful. Autosteer really cool, but I'm not sure overseeing it is any less effort than steering. If I had a long highway commute, I might feel different. I already scared my wife a few times when the car lurched very slightly when I had to assume control. She got a Model 3 as well (his and hers!) and adores it - but wants nothing to do with Autosteer. My bottom line at this point: if you think an iPhone is just a phone, maybe you don't need EAP - but if you enjoy how amazing it is what the iPhone can do - then EAP will make you happy. What an amazing car!
I paid for EAP on my Model 3 and have been driving it for about 500 miles now on 2018.14.13. It's worth it simply because it can drive itself in stop and go traffic and significantly reduces driver fatigue with adaptive cruise control and autosteer. Automatic lane change also works beautifully, although my only gripe is that the turn signal stays on for 2 clicks/flashes too many. However, there are a few situations where I turn off Autopilot/adaptive cruise control because it does not perform well:
- When many cars are merging ahead. Sometimes drivers ahead merge quickly and brake slightly, and this causes the car to brake very aggressively if my follow distance is set to something >4
- When different lanes are moving at very different speeds. For me this is just something I prefer, in case somebody tries to merge from a standstill into my lane moving at the speed limit.
- When the sun is directly shining at the windshield/driver/front of the car. Autopilot actually can get blinded and it has not negotiated turns before in these situations. Has happened two times.
- When the road crests and dips over a hill. Autopilot thinks the road is closing in, and brakes aggressively before the dip unnecessarily. Has happened twice and I am learning where to deactivate it now.
- When I'm in the right lane of the highway and there is an exit up ahead. The car will not take the exit, but it will move to the right during the onramp merge, in an attempt to stay in the middle of the widened lane. I don't particularly like this steering behavior.
But for the most part, I try to activate Autopilot whenever I'm on a clearly marked freeway/highway with most traffic moving at the same speed.
I’ve only had AP1 for about 4 weeks in my Red Dragon S85 now and I’ve already become a super fan.
In addition to @John ’s super instructor-led report, I feel like @Impatient ’s summary accurately reflects my thoughts about my experience with AP.
My challenge has actually been not to use it, when it’s not either not safe or not functional. I’ll pull on the stalk twice and realize, oh shoot, it does not work here...
Yet clearly you learn very fast how to be responsible about it...
I have a question about Autosteer: Does EAP autosteer always in the middle of the lane or can it side ride?
I have this question because here you have basically two grooves in each lanes, tranched by studded tires and overloaded trucks, with at the very bottom of the grooves, nice potholes of different sizes and depth.
To avoid that, I always side ride, either on the right of my lane or the left, depending of the situation.
I am looking at it as I am like some others with a short commute (6-8 km) and not so many road trips (that part may change when I will get the car ) and I like to drive (the few times I do it)... and definitively do not like driving from potholes to potholes...