Tesla is the King of Autonomy and Nobody Sees It

Mike K

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It's coming... And they are making headway at such a rapid pace that even as someone that reads about them every day I didn't have any idea how far along they were.

Quick catchup... Autopilot 2.0 came out in late 2016 and consists of 8 cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a long range forward facing radar setup. Tesla boasted that all cars shipping at that point had the hardware installed to drive themselves completely and all that needed to catch up was the software. At the time nobody believed this because the Autopilot 2.0 cars couldn't even stay in a single lane properly. It took them almost a year before they were just equal to Autopilot 1.0.

Over the past few years Tesla has pushed back the promised timeline for full self driving and most recently said they were close and would be feature complete (but with the driver still needing to pay attention) by the end of this year. I thought that was a load of shit. I just rented a Model 3 to make sure it will work in my day to day life... I'm happy to say I'm wrong.

Current Autopilot

Autopilot used to see just lanes. More specifically: just your lane. If your lane turned too much it would simply disengage. If you entered a turn too fast it would make no attempt to slow down because it was stupid. It just saw two lines and knew it's job was to keep the car between them. This made for interesting experiences if you dared to use autopilot on an offramp. It would simply maintain your set speed and try to follow the lane until physics deemed it couldn't and you'd need to take over for the car. And this was the way things were until very recently.

Fast forward to now and the car is 99% fully autonomous on the expressway. Set a destination, get on the onramp, engage autopilot and sit back. It will merge onto the expressway for you, it will overtake slower cars automatically (without driver intervention), it will move to the lane it needs to be in to stay on it's route and then automatically move you over to the next expressway and then it will exit where you need to get off, disengage and hand control back over to you. And it's fucking fantastic.

I was expecting a parlor trick. I was expecting it to get easily confused or to need my intervention often. Instead it needs my intervention maybe 2 - 3% of the time which when you consider it is still not being billed as fully autonomous that is uncanny. Where it impressed me most was anticipating things:

-HOV LANES - In LA we have HOV lanes and the lanes are separated from the rest of the expressway by double yellow lines and then in set areas that changes to standard lane markings where cars can enter or exit the lanes. So a couple times I thought the car was trying to push me into the HOV lanes in the double yellow line areas but it was actually just able to see the break in the lanes sooner than I was, put it's signal on and waited until the break to move over. Same with exiting the lanes.

-Slower Cars - When pushing me over from one expressway to another it had to move me over 5 lanes of traffic in the course of a mile. It did this but on the last lane it had maybe a quarter mile to get me over before I missed the interchange to the next expressway. The problem: there was a cluster of cars to my right blocking my way. I either needed to slow down or speed up and then get in that lane. Now this seems like an obvious thing to us but for autonomy this has been a struggle. The car handled it effortlessly. It sped up, put me ahead of those cars and then slowed back down. It was fucking unbelievable. The video I'll post doesn't look impressive and the reason it doesn't look impressive is because the car is driving like I'd be driving it. Here is a video I sent my brother of my wacky ass freaking out... :rofl:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NBDG_1M3Kk

-Heavy Traffic - Another area I thought it would have problems. Today I was sitting in heavy traffic on the 101 and it needed to move over into the next lane. I thought it would wait for a break in traffic before signaling and moving itself over. Instead it proactively signaled and safely pushed it's way into the next lane, exactly how you'd do it yourself in that situation.

But where I'm seeing the most improvement, and I think this is what a lot of people are overlooking, is the car's ability to handle tight curves and to adjust it's speed to accommodate those curves. I live off of Mulholland in Los Angeles. It's a complex road that runs along the top of the Hollywood Hills and has very few straight areas. I distinctly recall engaging autopilot on my car (and on the last Model 3 I had) and the first curve the car would hit it would immediately disengage autopilot and hand control over to you or if it did manage to see the curve it would enter it without slowing at all. Last night I drove the entirety of this 8 - 9 mile road and the car did almost the entire thing itself. Again, the video doesn't look impressive and that's what's impressive about it. It just looks like I'm driving but in this video the car is doing all the work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naIHl9pj0tc

The takeaway? Nobody is even close to Tesla in autonomy on this level. They'd have to be hiding the tech because it would be impossible for them to be testing it on a fleet this size. We are close to your car being able to drive you in most situations.
 

Mook

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Ok, that first vid is pretty awesome.
 

Mook

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Make me an image that I can use w/ this thread for social media sharing.
 

N20GT

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That really is cool

Now they just need to figure out a way to make money, because if they don't another OEM will buy the software on the cheap after bankruptcy and do nothing with it. Lol
 

N20GT

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That's crazy that it sped you up to 85mph to get around those cars, i'm kind of surprised
 

Mike K

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That's crazy that it sped you up to 85mph to get around those cars, i'm kind of surprised
My max speed was set to 90. So it will never go above that and if it was set lower I suspect it would have slowed me down instead.
 

Mike K

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Gotta love a computer that hits the gas to get to the best hole. No PC slow down until safe computer bs here.
The tech in the new computers is supposed to be pretty cool too. For redundancy purposes there are two completely independent cores in their new self driving computer and each core is doing 100% of the work all of the time and both are comparing what they do to the other core.

This stuff is a nerd's dream.
 

lastls1

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Love it on my S. If you go into the settings as well you can set the level on how aggressive it is with lane changes. The top level is called “mad max” mode lol.

I don’t drive myself home everyday from work the car does from the moment I hit 88-355-55.
 

tinfoilhat

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The tech in the new computers is supposed to be pretty cool too. For redundancy purposes there are two completely independent cores in their new self driving computer and each core is doing 100% of the work all of the time and both are comparing what they do to the other core.

This stuff is a nerd's dream.
Eh it's not really for redundancy.

It's so they can run 2 versions of their software and compare outputs for testing as well. So 1 will be the active software while the newer one is doing the same thing to make sure there isn't any bugs between the 2 versions and so updates can be checked and tested before rolled out.
 

lastls1

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Also I am pretty sure those who purchased full self driving will get this new hardware free. I have autopilot 2.5. So for my car all I would need is their new MCU hardware. I already have all the cameras necessary for full self driving.
 

tinfoilhat

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The question is....who is going to swoop in and buy that technology in a few years....
I'm pretty sure Tesla made it open source so others can use it.

They just have massive amounts of data compared to others.

It's like Google giving access to it's Maps API.
 

lastls1

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I doubt anyone unless they get to the point where it’s a last ditch effort to stay alive. Their software is one of their biggest reasons they crush every single other car manufacturer.

It still shocks me no one else has tried to even slightly replicate their model with consistent software updates etc with major improvements.
 

Ryan02Stang

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I'm pretty sure Tesla made it open source so others can use it.

They just have massive amounts of data compared to others.

It's like Google giving access to it's Maps API.
Right...but that will all get bought.

I doubt anyone unless they get to the point where it’s a last ditch effort to stay alive. Their software is one of their biggest reasons they crush every single other car manufacturer.

It still shocks me no one else has tried to even slightly replicate their model with consistent software updates etc with major improvements.
Replicate Tesla's model of consistently losing shit loads of money? Why replicate a cash losing model? I mean yeah...its friggen cool as hell to play with I'm sure...but it doesn't convert to cash.

If Tesla doesn't figure out what the other car manufacturers have figured out...and figure it out soon...its going to be bought by one of them.
 

lastls1

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Can’t do that. At least not anymore. Some guy rode in the passenger seat on auto pilot and someone filmed it. Tesla immediately rolled out a patch. As soon as you leave the seat the car comes to a stop.
 

CMNTMXR57

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Unacceptable! I want to channel my inner Titanic also.
 

lastls1

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The dash also shifts depending on where you are. In the parking garage or lot the dash zooms in. Giving you a more detailed view of the car and what is around you.

When you are on the road and cars approach around you, it zooms out to give you a birds eye view of blind spots

IMG_2554.jpg

IMG_2556.jpg
 

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