Autopilot worth the cost?

F0ZZ

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#1
im just about to configure my M3. I’m debating the autopilot option. I drive a lot, 50k-60k per year. 60% of that is highway driving. I rarely if ever use cruise control, and I’m not sure I would ever use autopilot with the acception of showing passengers what it can do. So it could just be a $6000 toy I don’t play with.

Is it worth the price?
 

tivoboy

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#2
Are you in Canada? It’s only 5k$ in the USA if ordered at configuration and probably up until pickup.

in my opinion having the autopilot in a Tesla is really the icing on the cake. It’s the piece of technology that is really pushing the boundaries as to what driving a car really is.

We’re nowhere near the car doing everything but for someone who clearly does A LOT of highway diving I think you more than anyone could get a lot out of the TACC and autopilot.

You can always buy it after the fact of course and trials probably for 30 days are probably coming soon.
 

John

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#3
"Worth it" is a personal thing that depends on lot on what else the $6000 could be used for in your life and how much you'll appreciate the use of EAP.

I don't use cruise control in other cars either—maybe once in a while in my wife's car on very long trips because it uses radar to be somewhat traffic-aware—yet I use Autopilot pretty much every time I'm on the freeway in Model 3. As do the other members of my family who NEVER use cruise control. If I had to list out why, I'd say:
  1. Letting it do the grunt work feels safer to me (it's great at constantly monitoring the next two cars in front for you in your lane)
  2. It is more relaxing to monitor the car's driving than to be a "low level servo controller" yourself (that subconscious work wears on you)
  3. In stop and go traffic the stress level reduction is immense; it's like night and day
  4. It has a great user interface on the screen and steering wheel (plain cruise control has fairly cryptic controls)
  5. It actually works more reliably and smoother than any cruise control I've used before (no sudden movements unless needed)
  6. It's very interesting to see what it can/can't handle, and how much better (or worse) it does with each release
  7. It uses machine learning, which may very well turn out to be the most important tech development of our age
I would never argue that it's a screaming good deal, because it's a lot of money and there is a workaround (drive yourself). But I am super glad I could afford it, and I'm pretty sure as I get older I'll appreciate it more and more.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#4
With how much you drive and the high percentage of highway driving it’s worth every penny.

My daily commute is 60-70 miles mostly highway and this has been a major help in stress reduction!
 

rjhoskins

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#5
Here is a thread that shows a lot of people's opinions on autopilot:
https://teslaownersonline.com/threads/autopilot-regrets.6688/

In my particular case, I drive about 10 minutes to work every day then back home. Zero traffic on my way to work. When we travel, we usually go in my Yukon since I have 3 children and with friends/luggage, the Yukon XL is the best alternative. So with that in mind, I have decided NOT to get EAP even though the $ was not a concern.

@SoFlaModel3 stated it best in my opinion in the thread I reference above https://teslaownersonline.com/threads/autopilot-regrets.6688/page-2#post-100982
 
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3V Pilot

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#6
I use autopilot on every road, every time I can. It is by far the best money I've ever spent in my life. Love the fact that the car is watching all the little stuff and I can relax and be more alert for important things. Especially helpful in today's world of distracted drivers!
 

John

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#7
I will also say that there are psychological effects at play that make the decision a little harder.
  1. It's one of those products that needs to be tried to be appreciated; when people try it their outlook changes fairly dramatically. In that regard, it's much like answering machines, voice mail, and digital video recorders (TiVo). Lots of pushback when you hear about it, then you try it, then you get used to it, then you have to have it.

    I've let many people try it in a very controlled environment with me walking them through it and providing encouragement and making sure they stay in the right mode and learn how to use it. The typical initial attitude is "I heard it's kind of dangerous. You don't use it, do you?" But on the freeway, as it gracefully takes turns and slows down when other cars change lanes ahead, there's a dawning that usually happens. "Okay. huh. This is actually pretty cool. Hmm, okay, I could see this would be nice to have."

  2. Some people never take to it; we have members like that here

    Perhaps it matters a great deal what kind of personality you have, and what your first experience is like. A bad experience could well lead you to not trust it again. That's not stress-reducing. There are a wide range of personality types and attitudes towards cars. Remember, some people don't like to drive at all.

  3. Some people don't drive all that much on the freeway where it's currently most useful
 

F0ZZ

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#8
I’ve never been in a moving Tesla, just the display models and my local showroom. That could be the issue for me. I dont even buy ice cream unless I’ve tasted it first! So the entire Tesla purchase is a leap of faith on my part. The Autopilot is just an extra leap.
 

Ed Woodrick

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#9
If you don't use cruise control, then why would you use autopilot?

The other side of the question is why you don't use cruise control? You need to move into the 20th century (yes, we are in the 21st now).
Cruise control dramatically reduces the stress levels while you drive. And if you reply you don't get stressed, well, get used to the cruise control before you tell me that it doesn't add stress.

The adaptive cruise control in the Tesla significantly relieves a lot more stress when driving, especially in stop and go driving. In most stop and go driving, I feel significantly safer with adaptive cruise control on.

My wife took our Leaf up to visit my dad (in his 80s) and they went to lunch with his buddies. The 2018 Leaf ProPilot has the same features as the Tesla now, and they were talking about it, mostly weren't sure about self-driving, but one was wishing that it would hurry up.

Seems he realized that the day when his reflexes and eye-sight were getting close to curtailing his driving. But a full auto-pilot would allow him to stay mobile!
 

Umar Sear

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#11
It is definitely worth it, remember it's not just the enhanced autopilot features, it includes other features bundled in. I use cruise control a lot, so take that into consideration with my perspective.
 

WolfmanXII

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#12
Was pondering it, as well. For me, the best way to come to a conclusion prior to delivery was to test drive the Model S. EAP really is something you have to try to understand it's value...no video online can quite compare to a first-hand experience with it. It really is a game-changer and once you use it you will understand...especially since you drive quite a bit.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#13
If you don't use cruise control, then why would you use autopilot?

The other side of the question is why you don't use cruise control? You need to move into the 20th century (yes, we are in the 21st now).
Cruise control dramatically reduces the stress levels while you drive. And if you reply you don't get stressed, well, get used to the cruise control before you tell me that it doesn't add stress.

The adaptive cruise control in the Tesla significantly relieves a lot more stress when driving, especially in stop and go driving. In most stop and go driving, I feel significantly safer with adaptive cruise control on.

My wife took our Leaf up to visit my dad (in his 80s) and they went to lunch with his buddies. The 2018 Leaf ProPilot has the same features as the Tesla now, and they were talking about it, mostly weren't sure about self-driving, but one was wishing that it would hurry up.

Seems he realized that the day when his reflexes and eye-sight were getting close to curtailing his driving. But a full auto-pilot would allow him to stay mobile!
I actually never used cruise control and now I use autopilot every(week)day.

It’s funny we had an earlier conversation on this and I mentioned that I always pegged cruise control (read as regular cruise control and not TACC) as being unsafe because it relaxed the driver but didn’t include safety features such as automatic emergency braking (at least not in previous cars we have owned).

I still feel that way. We took my wife’s car out tonight (wedding with valet parking only — couldn’t stand to see the valet drive my car ;) ) and I was pretty tired but never once considered cruise control for the drive for the reasons mentioned above.
 

Poppa

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#14
I drive a little over 50 miles each way for my commute so decided to try EAP on the Model S.

Initially, I thought it's just better to drive without EAP because I drive pretty aggressively in order to get home as fast as possible.

After trying EAP out I think it's definitely worth it as although you still have to be alert of what's around you it's nice to have the car take some of the worry from you. Also, you can set the speed pretty high so you'll still be zooming on your commute.
 

Spiffywerks

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#15
The look on friends/family/coworker faces on their first ride when you turn to look at them at 75 mph around a curve on the freeway while using both your hands to engage in the conversation - worth it.

(*Done in a safe area, little to no traffic and only long enough to bewilder them as to why your not holding the steering wheel on a curve. :cool:)
 

MelindaV

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#16
If you don't use cruise control, then why would you use autopilot?

The other side of the question is why you don't use cruise control? You need to move into the 20th century (yes, we are in the 21st now).
Cruise control dramatically reduces the stress levels while you drive. And if you reply you don't get stressed, well, get used to the cruise control before you tell me that it doesn't add stress.

The adaptive cruise control in the Tesla significantly relieves a lot more stress when driving, especially in stop and go driving. In most stop and go driving, I feel significantly safer with adaptive cruise control on.

My wife took our Leaf up to visit my dad (in his 80s) and they went to lunch with his buddies. The 2018 Leaf ProPilot has the same features as the Tesla now, and they were talking about it, mostly weren't sure about self-driving, but one was wishing that it would hurry up.

Seems he realized that the day when his reflexes and eye-sight were getting close to curtailing his driving. But a full auto-pilot would allow him to stay mobile!
I don’t use cruise control because it is too annoying to constantly have to adjust the speed up and down when you come upon traffic (on a road trip). Locally, I am always in traffic, so there is no use at all to using cruise, but overwhelming reason to use autopilot.
 

John

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#17
For me, cruise control in some cars is an example of "not quite good enough to reduce stress." Definitely if it's not traffic-aware, but also if it brakes too hard and accelerates too abruptly. And my wife's car is an example of pretty good traffic-aware cruise control that is just hard to use (to wit: bumping up or down the set speed). I always end up canceling and resetting it when I just wanted to nudge it up or down a little.

GPS navigation was like this for me. Back in the early days it was so error-prone and had so many limitations (cutting out in tunnels due to no dead reckoning capabilities) that I stopped even trying to get it on rental cars. My favorite was the time I landed in Boston Logan, rented a car, and immediately dropped into tunnels when I needed it the most.h

But GOOD GPS is now a must have for me. When something finally works really well, it's a whole other ballgame. EAP is like that for me. Works really well (within its limitations).
 

BigBri

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#18
Cruise control is really only useful if you get behind someone else using it. Any foot driver will have some speed ups and downs and eventually you'll either adjust it or turn it off. It's useful for long stretches though.

With that much highway driving I'd say its 100% worth it. I tried hard to justify it to myself but with around 5km of highway driving most days it just wasn't worth it for me. It'll have to be a normal everyday purchase I save up for as the $80 a month in financing was crazy for a total of 5km a day.
 

PNWmisty

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#20
Wow! This is a great discussion and, after seven weeks of using EAP in many varied situations, I agree with almost everything that's been written. I'm actually a little shocked with how many people have weighed in with comments that don't counter each other and that their comments match my experiences very closely.

Is it worth the price?
If you have the cash, YES!

If you have to finance, no. I don't care how compelling it is, you need to keep saving your money.
Sorry, but I have to call it how I see it.