Bad Tesla Autopilot drivers

JeffC

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On a 3-lane (or more) highway I drive differently in a Tesla with AP than I do in an ICE car without.

In an ICE car without AP, I like to drive in the middle lane, because the merge lane is annoying. Because the middle lane generally moves a bit faster than the speed limit, I drive a bit faster than the speed limit (maybe 5-10 mph faster).

But with TACC, I like to drive just a bit above the speed limit. I like the better efficiency than driving faster...I've commented elsewhere on this forum that I do achieve the rated range in summer, and that's part of the reason why. It's also nice knowing I'm not at risk of tickets.

But to do that, it means I've had to re-train myself to drive in the merge lane! TACC has no problem with dealing with the modest speed adjustments needed as people ahead of me merge on and off. And travelling at the speed limit + 2 mph is acceptable in that lane.

So I agree with @JeffC. I think a lot of Tesla drivers have made the first part of my shift in driving strategy, using a bit slower speed than they would in a car without AP, but haven't figured out that they can do so in the merging lane.
Thanks @DocScott, it's useful feedback that TACC handles the merge lane well. Perhaps that might encourage hypermilers, folks who want to drive nearer to the speed limit, etc., to use it more often.

Again, the principle is to keep traffic flowing smoothly and avoid going too quickly or slowly for conditions, including the speed of cars nearby.

I do understand the idea that the middle lane is a good place to be for the good reasons you and others gave, but it should be done in a way that is similar to the speed of other cars in that lane.

Also agree that the physics of drag means that driving slower will be more thrifty with energy, especially at highway speeds.

Therefore driving relatively slower does usually result in greater driving range. Since drag is a cube of velocity, the effect goes up quickly at higher speeds (say, more than 70 MPH), even though Teslas have very low drag coefficients.
 
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Long Ranger

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TACC has no problem with dealing with the modest speed adjustments needed as people ahead of me merge on and off.
I don’t drive in the far right lane much, but my experience has always been that TACC doesn’t handle slow moving vehicles on the on-ramp well. It frequently panics and hits the brakes to let them merge, when it could have just maintained speed and been far in front before they merged.
 

JasonF

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I've read articles and watched videos about the topic of people driving slower than traffic flow because either they have the right to, or they believe they're setting a good example, or they believe they're slowing everyone down to a safe speed.

One thing that was common in all of those was that people who are driving slower than traffic believe they're following the law and therefore have the right do do what they do; But the fact is, they can be ticketed over for impeding traffic, and they might even be stopped and tested for suspicion of DUI or inattentive driving if they're really oblivious. So while some people feel that slower is safer, it can get them into as much trouble as speeding.
 

garsh

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One thing that was common in all of those was that people who are driving slower than traffic believe they're following the law and therefore have the right do do what they do; But the fact is, they can be ticketed over for impeding traffic
<citation needed>

If you refuse to move to the right to allow cars to pass, sure.
If you're not keeping above a minimum speed limits, ok.
But I've never heard of anybody get ticketed for staying below the speed limit in the right lane.
 

lance.bailey

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not ticketed, but pulled over and "discussed" with an RCMP officer.

I was driving my cube truck camper (7 feet wide, 21 feet long, many feet tall) about 10 - 15km over the limit in the left lane. I got pulled over and "asked" to keep in the right lane because even though I was over the speed limit, other people wanted to travel even more over the limit and they wanted to get past me.

FWIW, i was travelling faster than the right lane, and matching speed with a buddy - but still i was considered an impedment due to size and the need for other to travel faster than a cube truck.
 
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Mr. Spacely

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<citation needed>

If you refuse to move to the right to allow cars to pass, sure.
If you're not keeping above a minimum speed limits, ok.

It's a law in 40 US states.
 
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FRC

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It's a law in 40 US states.
Now we're comingling discussions about driving too slowly in the passing lane and too slowly in ANY lane. Every driver who is not a flaming A****** agrees that driving slowly in the passing lane is wrong, and in most states there are laws in place prohibiting this behavior.

However, driving at the speed limit(and even slower as @garsh states) in the NON-passing lanes is not illegal anywhere that I'm aware of. In fact travelling in excess of the speed limit is illegal everywhere, as far as I know, in any lane.

Caveat, I generally drive at +9 and use to left lane only to pass.
 

JasonF

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But I've never heard of anybody get ticketed for staying below the speed limit in the right lane.

The topic was doing that in the left (or center) lane. You can be ticketed for driving above the minimum speed limit but much slower than traffic there.

It's an extremely common misconception that you can drive in the left lane at anything above the minimum speed and be 100% legal - hence the entire argument that's been going on in Youtube videos for years. Trolls that purposely drive slow in the left lane just to make other drivers mad, people who genuinely believe that they're making the roads safer by doing that, people who intentionally move to the left lane to slow it down because they want to pretend they're the highway patrol, etc.
 

FRC

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The topic was doing that in the left (or center) lane. You can be ticketed for driving above the minimum speed limit but much slower than traffic there.

It's an extremely common misconception that you can drive in the left lane at anything above the minimum speed and be 100% legal - hence the entire argument that's been going on in Youtube videos for years. Trolls that purposely drive slow in the left lane just to make other drivers mad, people who genuinely believe that they're making the roads safer by doing that, people who intentionally move to the left lane to slow it down because they want to pretend they're the highway patrol, etc.
Left lane, you're correct. Center lane, not so much.
 
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lance.bailey

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freeway entrance sign, Delta BC. you will be ticketed if you cannot maintain 60 on the freeway.

speedlimit.png
 
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DocScott

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I don’t drive in the far right lane much, but my experience has always been that TACC doesn’t handle slow moving vehicles on the on-ramp well. It frequently panics and hits the brakes to let them merge, when it could have just maintained speed and been far in front before they merged.
For me, that used to be a problem, but AP got significantly better with that circumstance maybe a year ago. I could have that timeframe off, but it definitely improved. If anything, I now have a bit of the opposite problem--I sometimes disengage to slow a few mph and let a car in the on-ramp merge in ahead of me, when AP would rather just keep toodling along at the speed limit + 2 mph, ending up roughly even with the other car when that car gets to the end of the on-ramp.
 
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JasonF

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Left lane, you're correct. Center lane, not so much.

Obstructing traffic citations apply to the center lane as well. But you'd have to be going much slower than in the left lane to get it. Like if you see the minimum speed is 45 mph, and you go 45 in the center lane when traffic is moving at 75, you're definitely getting a ticket.
 
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JeffC

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For me, that used to be a problem, but AP got significantly better with that circumstance maybe a year ago. I could have that timeframe off, but it definitely improved. If anything, I now have a bit of the opposite problem--I sometimes disengage to slow a few mph and let a car in the on-ramp merge in ahead of me, when AP would rather just keep toodling along at the speed limit + 2 mph, ending up roughly even with the other car when that car gets to the end of the on-ramp.
Rather than disengaging TACC/AP, why not dial down the speed a few MPH/KPH using the thumb wheel?

I routinely use the speed adjustment thumbwheel to stay in AP/TACC while matching the speed of surrounding traffic.

In other words, I use the speed thumbwheel like a smart throttle to semi-automatically match the speed of surrounding traffic. Most of the time the automation does the right thing, but I occassionally nudge the speed up or down a little to be a "better citizen" and maintain smooth traffic flow. It's sort of like a adjusting a trim wheel on an airplane to keep maintain level flight, but in this case it's to match the speed of surrounding cars.

In this case I'm using the speed thumbwheel to keep the car matched to the local traffic speed.

I assume most Tesla drivers have noticed that the steering wheel right thumbwheel can adjust TACC speed. If not, please give it a try. I find it incredibly useful and very convenient.

In addition left/right presses of the right thumbwheel adjust TACC following distance.

Basically, while cruising in TACC/AP you can use the right thumbwheel to do all of the most common adjustments (speed and following distance).

(Pressing steering wheel buttons like this is also a way to avoid the AP nags, since any input on the steering wheel, including any thumbwheel movement, counts as driver attention. So for example, would could scroll up 1 MPH then down 1 MPH without actually changing the speed, in order to avoid the nags. )
 
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DocScott

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Rather than disengaging TACC/AP, why not dial down the speed a few MPH/KPH using the thumb wheel?

I routinely use the speed adjustment thumbwheel to stay in AP/TACC while matching the speed of surrounding traffic.

In other words, I use the speed thumbwheel like a smart throttle to semi-automatically match the speed of surrounding traffic. Most of the time the automation does the right thing, but I occassionally nudge the speed up or down a little to be a "better citizen" and maintain smooth traffic flow. It's sort of like a adjusting a trim wheel on an airplane to keep maintain level flight, but in this case it's to match the speed of surrounding cars.

In this case I'm using the speed thumbwheel to keep the car matched to the local traffic speed.

I assume most Tesla drivers have noticed that the steering wheel right thumbwheel can adjust TACC speed. If not, please give it a try. I find it incredibly useful and very convenient.

In addition left right presses of the right thumbwheel adjust TACC following distance.

Basically, while cruising in TACC/AP you can use the right thumbwheel to do all of the most common adjustments (speed and following distance).

(Pressing steering wheel buttons like this is also a way to avoid the AP nags, since any input on the steering wheel, including any thumbwheel movement, counts as driver attention. So for example, would could scroll up 1 MPH then down 1 MPH without actually changing the speed, in order to avoid the nags. )
I do that too!

But that's not the kind of situation I'm describing where I disengage. It's when there's a car a little ahead of me in a merge lane that's travelling slower than I am and the merge lane is going to end soon. Using the thumbwheel is good for changes in speed that are going to last for a bit, but this is more of a case of needing to slow down 5-10 mph to encourage the car to merge and then speed right back up once the car ahead does. That's easiest to do by tapping the brake, letting the regen slow me down, and then reengaging TACC at the original speed once the car has moved in to my lane.
 
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FRC

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I do that too!

But that's not the kind of situation I'm describing where I disengage. It's when there's a car a little ahead of me in a merge lane that's travelling slower than I am and the merge lane is going to end soon. Using the thumbwheel is good for changes in speed that are going to last for a bit, but this is more of a case of needing to slow down 5-10 mph to encourage the car to merge and then speed right back up once the car ahead does. That's easiest to do by tapping the brake, letting the regen slow me down, and then reengaging TACC at the original speed once the car has moved in to my lane.
Interesting...I find it much easier to do the right scroll-wheel flick to decrease 5 mph, or double-flick to decrease 10 mph, then do the opposite to return to desired speed. Generally, I avoid disengagement of TACC at all costs. Can't say why, just different personalities I suppose.
 

JasonF

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I do that too!

But that's not the kind of situation I'm describing where I disengage. It's when there's a car a little ahead of me in a merge lane that's travelling slower than I am and the merge lane is going to end soon. Using the thumbwheel is good for changes in speed that are going to last for a bit, but this is more of a case of needing to slow down 5-10 mph to encourage the car to merge and then speed right back up once the car ahead does. That's easiest to do by tapping the brake, letting the regen slow me down, and then reengaging TACC at the original speed once the car has moved in to my lane.

Where do you get people that good at merging? Usually here in Florida if someone is next to me and a little ahead in the merge lane I’d better disengage AP and move over, because they will absolutely jam on the brakes while merging in.

When I was in Ohio 10 years ago, the sport there was the merging driver matching your speed exactly so both of you would end up having to come to a complete stop when the merge ends. Bailing out there was also best, except usually the center lane driver would also be matching your speed to keep you out.
 
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JeffC

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Interesting...I find it much easier to do the right scroll-wheel flick to decrease 5 mph, or double-flick to decrease 10 mph, then do the opposite to return to desired speed. Generally, I avoid disengagement of TACC at all costs. Can't say why, just different personalities I suppose.
Good point. Quick spins up or down of the thumb wheel will move the speed in 5 to 10 increments, and that could be enough of a change to accomplish what @DocScott wanted. I also get @DocScott's point that manual driving could be useful for dealing with merging traffic. It depends on how well people are driving, what the traffic flow is like, how well speeds are matched, etc.

I probably need more practice, since I don't always hit the 5 or 10 that I'm trying for on the thumbwheel. Surely it gets easier with more use, and don't call me Shirley. ;)

That said, like all of the controls on Teslas, the 5 to 10 thumbwheel change motion is well calibrated to how humans move. I probably just need to practice it a bit more to get consistent at it.
 
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FRC

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Good point. Quick spins up or down of the thumb wheel will move the speed in 5 to 10 increments, and that could be enough of a change to accomplish what @DocScott wanted. I also get @DocScott's point that manual driving could be useful for dealing with merging traffic. It depends on how well people are driving, what the traffic flow is like, how well speeds are matched, etc.

I probably need more practice, since I don't always hit the 5 or 10 that I'm trying for on the thumbwheel. Surely it gets easier with more use, and don't call me Shirley. ;)

That said, like all of the controls on Teslas, the 5 to 10 thumbwheel change motion is well calibrated to how humans move. I probably just need to practice it a bit more to get consistent at it.
In my experience 5 mph is the maximum adjustment that can be made with a single flick. So flick it as hard as you can. Believe me, if manual dexterity were required, I'd be unable to do it!
 
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JeffC

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In my experience 5 mph is the maximum adjustment that can be made with a single flick. So flick it as hard as you can. Believe me, if manual dexterity were required, I'd be unable to do it!
Now that you mention it, when I flick the thumb wheel fairly quickly and almost randomly, I do seem to get a pretty consistent 5 MPH, so perhaps it's more forgiving than I'm thinking and I should just use it more often, when I want to make larger adjustments.

Thanks for the tip!
 
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