Monday, November 05, 2018

AutoPilot v9 Impressions

One of the most exciting options with Tesla vehicles is the optional Enhanced AutoPilot functionality.  All cars manufactured include the hardware, so this is a software option to enable the package of driver assist software functions.  This includes traffic aware adaptive cruise control, auto steering controls to maintain your lane, auto lane change with blind spot detection when engaged with your turn signal, auto park both parallel and perpendicular in scenarios that it can detect, and with the most recent update (2018.42.3 as of this posting) limited Navigation on freeway and interstates was added.  There is also limited support to "summon" the car using the app, moving the car in or out of your garage or parking space without someone in the car driving, but this is VERY limited at present and only mildly useful.

I use AutoPilot heavily, keeping it on whenever possible.  This is both for my own benefit and to benefit the fleet learning aspect of Tesla AutoPilot.  I disable the system to handle all stop signs and traffic signals manually, those aren't recognized and handled by the system yet.  This lends itself well to freeway and interstates since there are no stop signs and no traffic signals, but as long as you are monitoring as closely as you should be it's easy to see the upcoming intersections and disable the system until you pass through them.  This manual handling is a small price to pay when the car can handle 90% of the rest of the driving.

The system is not perfect, and in the week and a half of heavy usage I've had a few situations where I didn't feel comfortable and disabled the system.  This is the job of the "co-pilot," the system is NOT ready for prime time self driving and WILL require interventions from time to time.  That said, it's pretty damn good at what it does do and I try to use it as much as possible. :)

AutoPilot is an amazing feature and a MUST HAVE for your new Tesla vehicle.  Go in with reasonable expectations, and know that more will be coming via software updates when you least expect it.  I've had my car a week and a half, and last week it did not have Navigation support with AutoPilot. Now it does.  Simply unheard of in the automotive industry, and I LOVE IT!


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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Navigate on AutoPilot


More official details of Navigate on AutoPilot are now available, along with a nice intro video that does a good job of explaining it.  For an initial test period the system will ask for confirmation of lane changes, but once that is well tested (Elon said ~10 Million miles of use) there will be an option to skip the confirmation.  A beautiful next step, and I certainly welcome the support for merging now, that was one that was needed.  Hopefully it works even when Navigate is not utilized and just AutoPilot is engaged.  We will see, I'm waiting on the update.. there is no "check for latest" option, you just have to wait.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Drive on Navigation hits AutoPilot



What a delight to see this drop after Day 2 of my Model 3! I’m quite excited to see this in action, from the videos of the beta that some folks provided it is quite something to behold the car change lanes to overtake a slower driver, managing interchanges and exits on highways and interstates.. this will require more diligence than ever to oversee and maintain safety, but what an exciting time!

Day One AutoPilot



After my first day of driving around I LOVE AutoPilot on the interstate!

From the time I merged in on 24, to the 440 offramp, circling around Nashville to the West End exit.. it was a breeze, even in the rain.  When I needed to change lanes, I just toss on my blinker and the car does the rest.  The one spot I had to disengage was when my lane split and AutoPilot does not yet follow navigation for things like that, a feature coming in the next update. I could have avoided the disengagement by changing out of the lane before it split. 

On other roads the system requires a lot more handholding. Traffic lights and stop signs are not supported yet, neither are turns. You can still get some benefit from the system, especially if you have a car in front of you so it will handle braking when the car in front of you brakes for the traffic light. For turns you just step on the brake to disengage and handle the turn, then once the lane is established by AutoPilot you are free to engage again. 




The future is going to be amazing as software updates continue to refine the AutoPilot system but what is already possible is quite helpful. This is by far the best feature on an already stunning car. I can’t wait for the next update, which Elon says should be pushed out soon! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Twelve Days of Christmas



From order to delivery it took a startling 12 days. This was quite the surprise given the 4-6 week delivery estimate. I’m not complaining, we got our ducks in a row with some quickness and made it happen.

This car is insane and I love it! More to come..


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tesla Model 3, made the plunge!

I made the plunge last week and ordered a Tesla Model 3.  I had been waiting on the base model, but with the expiration of the full tax credit looming at the end of the year it made sense to consider picking up the long range version instead, it was just a matter of timing.  I then made the mistake of test driving the car.. WOW!!

Model 3 * Long Range RWD * Midnight Silver Metallic
18" Aero Wheels * Black Premium Interior
 Enhanced Autopilot * Full Self Driving (when ready)


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Friday, March 23, 2012

Draw Something

First let me say this is a great game that I've had fun playing, despite the occasional server communication issues losing my upgrades temporarily.

Unfortunately Zynga agrees with me and bought omgpop, the company who created Draw Something. This will expand the Evil With Friends empire.

Sadly today will probably be my last day playing the game. Sorry peeps, can't support a company like Zynga.