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Tesla Model 3 Autopilot First Look – 500 Mile Road Trip

Tesla Model 3 Autopilot First Look – 500 Mile Road Trip

– Okay, I don’t know what
the hell just happened. It said, hold the steering wheel. And I did. And when I’m holding the steering wheel it keeps beeping, but I’m holding it with both hands, giving it a little jiggle and it just kicked me out and said, Autosteer unavailable for rest of drive. So that sucks because I still have three-and-a-half hours left. Yeah, I wonder what the hell happened because it wasn’t doing anything crazy. Wonder if it just didn’t like how I was holding it, or something? I’m curious if you guys
have a Model S or X with autopilot. What I understood, you just kinda grab it, jiggle it a little bit. But maybe it didn’t like that. And so now it won’t let me do it. (dashboard beeps) Autosteer unavailable for
the rest of this drive. Hold steering warning was ignored. See, so that’s not true. Ah, bummer. I have to actually drive the car. How can you do this? Well, shit, I guess there’s that. – [Man] Well how’s it going? – Not good. I need your help. It tells me I can’t use
Autosteer the rest of my drive. – [Man] (mumbles) you can
hold it, but it won’t, sometimes it won’t register. It just needs to sense a
little bit of weight in like, one or two degree
in groupment either to the left or to the right. So, if you rest your
hand on it the whole time and the steering wheel
kinda does its left and right motions, your weight
of your hand typically will do enough to not have it annoy you. – Cool, man. Well hey, thank you so much. Yeah, I’ll call you if I have
any other freak-out moments. All right, so we stopped
here in Yermo, Yermo, again and Eddie World, thank you
for another lovely time. Probably the most enjoyable
urinal I’ve ever been to. This is ridiculous. (laughing) Yeah, OK. But now, time to head back. This thing charges really fast. I think I need to dig in more to that, so I’m going to try to do that soon. And as you heard, my
friends from Like Tesla helped out, now that I’ve stopped I should be able to get my Autosteer back which means I can use
Autopilot essentially. We’ll test that out as soon
as we get back in the car. Man, this place is nice though. You should come visit. All right, getting ready. Going to now try to re-engage Autopilot after it telling me I was bad. And thanks to my friends
at Like Tesla to try to help me figure out how
to, how to work with it because if you recall, I was holding the steering wheel and
it still kept beeping. And I just couldn’t figure
out how to let it know, So apparently there’s a
little torque motor in there so you have to give it
a little jiggle there but it’s kinda finicky and, yeah, it told me I was bad. It wouldn’t let me do it anymore. So here we go. Looks like it’ll work. Tap, tap. Boom. So please keep your hands on the wheel. So apparently here’s the deal: You’re supposed to just keep your hand resting on it and as long as you do that kinda the weight of your hand against the steering that it does will auto, let it know that your, so you never have to really worry about it. But if you take your hands off, like if you put them up
on the side, or rest them on your lap or whatever,
then it’s a problem. And then you have to grab it
and kind of figure out what it wants you to do. Not very intuitive. A problem I think a lot of folks are going to struggle with. As you can see, you know a Tesla owner is struggling with it myself. So, and there goes the GoPro. Next stop, Santa Monica. OK guys, so I’m taking a
back way around Los Angeles because it is 4:00 p.m. on a weekday, which means traffic is
absulutely disgusting. And we’re gonna try
Autopilot on city streets, not on the freeway. Let’s do it. (dashboard beeps) Oh, Autosteer temporarily unavailable. Here it comes. (dashboard beeps) So it automatically picked
up the speed limit there ’cause you can see it in the top right but the people in front of
me aren’t going super fast. So that’s kinda where we’re at right now. This is a really good
road, just to be clear. That’s one of the things
about this that works well. Especially on this route, the road itself is high quality, the
lane markings are good so you really don’t have a problem. You don’t have the Bott’s Dots, or whatever they’re called,
the little bump versions which you see in Las Vegas. Definitely the trick, one of the tricks is to keep your hand on the wheel because you don’t really have to steer but just the weight of
your hand makes it aware that you are holding the wheel, in fact. So that’s a big deal. All right. Let’s see how long this lasts. OK, so I just lost, well the GoPro again. I just lost Autopilot because this road got kinda bumpy. And it was almost immediate. And what it did is it tried to actually throw me into the other lane. – [Both] You’re going the wrong way. – And I just had to,
like, jerk it back and make sure that I didn’t
go into oncoming traffic. I’m probably making it
sound a bit more dramatic but it certainly felt that way. Good thing I had my hand on the wheel, which I’m now realizing is
kind of a critical thing. You can kinda hear the bumps there. Yeah this road just got
a whole lot more bumpy and more difficult I suppose. So it wasn’t that the
lane lines were gone, it’s that there was a bump in it. And the bump kinda pushed
the car one way and it looked like it tried to correct for it, in which case it was
going into the other lane. It may have corrected
itself and put me back in the correct lane, but I
wasn’t gonna test that, right? The engineers can do that on a test drag. This was real life. So, yeah and I just had to
kinda jerk the wheel back, take control and it disengaged. Yeah, there you go. First autopilot fail. All right, the second one. The second time autopilot
failed on me, but again it’s about the quality of the road. I’m going to show you the road here. It’s kinda bumpy, but it’s, it’ll be fine like you can see the logo and icon are fine right now, but as soon as this
thing gets the traction gets a little off it just fails completely. You need to be really paying attention. And, also, on a road
like this the adaptive cruise control is fine. It’s a one-lane road that
just goes straight for 40 miles, but these little
bumps here will just totally throw the autopilot off. So this is why I feel
these things are much further out is because in
a perfect-world scenario autopilot, self driving, it’s here. As soon as things get a little bit dicey, you lose it. So we’re just gonna do
adaptive cruise control here for the remainder. Got about an hour, 40 til
I’m back in Santa Monica. Stay tuned. OK, guys as we have kinda
good lighting here now. I wanna just show you one
feature that I discovered. I thought it was a bug, but
it turned to be a feature, which happens, and it’s the lane assist. So I know in a lot of
other cars have this. What you see here is
as I kind of drift into the edge of the lane, the steering wheel will vibrate. There’s no auditory stuff,
or I’ve not pushed it far enough to do it. But, here you go. Let’s see where we can put it. So you can see the lane there and if I just kind of
let it go to the side, I don’t know if you can see that? It’s so subtle. I’ll just let it go to the side. So my hand is on there and as we go, you can see it just vibrate, it just vibrates my hand off. Hard to tell. Gonna try to get better
shots of that before but it does have automatic lane assist or the, I forget what the feature’s called, but basically a warning when you’re going into a different lane. Obviously with autopilot, it will stay in the lane for you. But as I mentioned before,
in a scenario like this, you don’t really want that to be, the road conditions aren’t ideal. Sorry. So, in a scenario where
the road conditions are questionable, this still
helps you a little bit. That’s kinda the cool thing. And, didn’t know that. That’s why we do this. All right, guys, we’re doing it. This is the thing that
everyone raves about, autopilot in stop-and-go traffic. Where better to test
that than in Los Angeles? Surprised at how well it does. I think the detection of cars stopped far ahead of us is really helpful. Earlier I was driving
and it detected basically somebody had stopped,
beeped, let me know and I couldn’t even tell because the car in front of me hadn’t stopped yet. I don’t know how it did that. This is working surprisingly well. Oh, hold the steering wheel, there it is. So I have to kinda jiggle it a little bit. It’s sensitive. I don’t know what the trick is there. I gotta figure that out, but yeah. More to come.

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95 thoughts on “Tesla Model 3 Autopilot First Look – 500 Mile Road Trip

  1. “Autopilot” should be called pilot assist. Drove a rental Volvo XC90 with that feature and it seems they behave the same way (as far as the wheel movements go while on cruise). Like your Model 3!

  2. Ridiculous design flaw, doh, bumps in the road, who would have thought that, surely not?

    My old BMW has automatic lane departure, speed control, auto navigation and everything, she sits next to me and shouts a lot!

  3. This is the why western society is lazy and overweight. Shock you needto drive the car next you will be moaning about the wind and rain. Try working out in -10 degrees freezing cold and i bet you wont be moaning about the tesla model 3 not driving the car for you.

  4. I saw some dude attaching an apple to the steering wheel to avoid putting the hand… that is somewhat stupid, they will crash

  5. I have a Model X..went on a cross country drive from FL-CA..I never put my hand on the steering..every minute or 1.5 minutes,I hold the steering and jerk the steering back and forth and I don’t get the warning

  6. Titel is a bit missleading, was hoping for same real life range information. 115 miles (Yermo>LA) and your charge is low. Did you speed so badly? what about the 310 mile range?

    Well after the "orange" wheel you'll see probably another solution, but people tend to hack around obstacles. It's till beta, so don't mess around and stay safe 🙂

  7. Thanks again Ben for your review, glad you’re enjoying the 3.
    Having done a long highway drive last October in a Model S, in what was at times, very heavy traffic, (even stop start at one point), having autopilot was absolutely fabulous. It doesn’t mean you can ignore everything and play with your phone or go to sleep, rather just allows you to relax a lot more and “oversee” the whole operation. (BTW that’s how we use autopilot and autothrottle in commercial jets!) It definitely reduces the concentration level required and therefore also reduces fatigue, but needs to be used with a degree of common sense- which of course is a big ask for some people. ;-(
    I will definitely get it on our Model 3, (and of course by then it will have probably improved further.)

  8. Ben, in a video last year someone asked if the brake lights come on during regenerative braking. You said you didn't know. Yes they do of course. Transit buses have what's called 'retarders'. You'll notice if you're behind a public transit bus on a freeway (there are lots of freeway routes in San Diego) (automatic transmission). You may notice the brakes lights turn on briefly (or in some counties they will have flashing yellow lights); the Bus Driver is simply letting off of the accelerator without touching the brakes and the retarders (part of the transmission typically hydraulic) kick in, slow the coach down, and save brake pads or drums over time.

  9. Yea, you'll have to pull over, turn the car off, open/close door, restart car. Then you have autopilot back. My S kicks off after a few ignored warnings….gotta be vigilant.

  10. Dude I would NEVER use Autopilot for the road you showed after the second fail. I only trust it on highways with concrete barriers, without intersection, where all traffic is going in the same direction or slow stop and go only on highway. Tacc is good for more condition than Autosteer. Do your research. Autosteer is not meant for the roads on which you were traveling. Great volg! Love your show.

  11. Hey Ben, Loving these vlog vids way more than the live stuff.. Thanks for sharing your model 3 experience. The hand on the wheel beeping problem sometimes happens with the Model X 2.0. If the sensor doesn't feel your hand back on the steering wheel, you need to just squeeze harder (much harder) either at the 10 and 2 position or 5 and 8 position. . . The lane depart vibrating warning is on the Model S and X, its not new.

  12. I don't think it is how you hold the wheel but where you hold it. As at least one person has alluded to, there is a video of a guy who defeated autopilot's hand check with an orange. The video states that the sensors are where the bumps are on the steering wheel – like where your thumbs would go if you were holding at 10 and 2.

  13. Super scary two lane highway to be messing around with autopilot. I'd just stick with the highways without oncoming traffic inches away. It proves how much faith you have to have in autonomous computer systems and how much further they have to go, even though they're pretty good now.

  14. I have a Model S AP 2.0 and I used to think it was more of shaking the wheel but to let the car know I'm holding but it's more of pressure so u may want to try to squeeze the steering wheel rather than swerving which can be dangerous.

  15. I saw a video where a guy shoved an orange in his steering wheel, to give the wheel fake hand feedback. I guess it would work, but its super dangerous and pretty dumb

  16. Can't you tell how strong it is picking up the road lines from the monitor? It seems to me by watching your video that bold blue lines show up when the model 3 picks them up well, but faint grey lines appear when it's rather more questionable… Could be a useful thing to know how reliable auto-pilot is. Just a guess.

  17. Model 3 chargers faster than Model S and X because it's very significantly more energy efficient. Lower energy use means the same charging power to Model 3 gains miles faster than Model S or X.

    If the sun or reflections are shining into the camera, the Autopilot has a hard time working. The sun is low where you lost autopilot. Autopilot is much safer on a fully divided road, like a highway.

    Autopilot detects cars that have stopped ahead of the car in front by bouncing radar under the car in front. Elon explained this in a talk and it's been mentioned videos, online, etc. Have you not seen those?

    P.S. Safety tips. Never put anything in front of the airbag in the steering wheel. Arms, fingers, etc. can be broken by the airbag if it deploys. The seatbelt shoulder anchor should be at or below the shoulder. When the anchor is above the shoulder the added leverage will help break your collarbone in a crash.

  18. There is nothing to figure out. Get it in your head people. You are never allowed to take your hands off the steering wheel. DOT has not cleared any domestic car owners to drive autonomously. Legally you can engage in any form of drivers assist but NO autonomous driving. Elon Musk has recently spoke out about this. Driver's are responsible for anything that happens.

  19. It needs a slight rotational force. It’s nothing to do with grip force.
    I tend to hang my hand at 5oclock on the wheel and that is sufficient torque for AP to be happy…

  20. What is the bumpy road? Could you or others test this same road with Autopilot 1 and Autopilot 2.5 in an S or X, to see if the baby Model 3 autopilot is more primitive?

  21. Hi Ben, FYI on electric steering gears (Rack and Pinion) they all have input torque sensing for the purpose of applying assistance. Today’s vehicle can auto steer because they use magnetic assistance to turn the wheels free of steering wheel input. Something you could try on a safe quiet road would be weight the steering wheel on one side to induce torque input then you won’t need to touch wheel at all. Find something that can hang from wheel spoke either side will work and should weigh at least 4 ounces I would think. Let us know if you try it, should work. With a scan tool you can see the input torque for diagnostic purposes.

  22. Hi Ben, good, real life feedback from you. Interesting when your car has to teach YOU how IT drives…lol! Cheers, John 😉

  23. Drive an international semi
    Has adaptive cruise control
    Just 2 items
    One is a camera on the windshield for lane departure control
    I get a 'rumble strip " sound from speakers on either side .
    The other is a sensor in the front bumper to measure distance
    It's life saving
    In heavy rain, I had limited disability. All of a sudden the engimg brake "jake brake "came on
    A car 400 ft ahead slowed down drastivly .
    With out the warning , I would have to be 200 ft closer to recognise that the car hadcxlowed down without brake lights.
    Just thinking what 2 simple features can do
    What your tesla can do is absolutely amazing

  24. I'm surprised that a bump in the road threw off your autopilot. I know the autosteer in my X doesn't get bothered by bumps in the road (and we have our fair share up here), so I'm a little puzzled by that.
    The trick to getting the "hold wheel" thing down is to gently turn the wheel until you feel the car push back against your turn. That should clear the message without disengaging the autopilot.

  25. Think slight torque not jiggle. When I first started with my MS I thought you needed to jiggle fast but that did not work well. You just need to use a slight turn of the steering wheel. I usually rest 1 of my hands on the bottom of the steering wheel and as the road curves I can added a little into the turn and that is enough. I driven fir hours without the nag. If I do get the nag I never jiggle, just pull or push against the resistance. Again slight. Try using less pressure then you think and it will be almost automatic without much though.

  26. Assholes that don't use their turn signals complained about that feature. Lol It doesn't jiggle if you use the turn signals so that it knows the move was intentional.

  27. Tesla is such a scam. When I did the test drive of the Model S, the autopilot was butter smooth (and I had to take a designated route) and I barely had to touch the steering wheel to have it not disengage AP. But when I drove a friend's new [software up to date] Model S for a day it was a completely different experience. AP was no where nearly as smooth and I had to put so much pressure on the steering wheels to keep AP from disengaging that it was more tiring than to just steer myself. Obviously Tesla tuned the software for the test drive which I think is a total scam.

  28. You should try taping an orange to the steering wheel and see if the the steering wheel detects the weight of the orange (during auto steering).

  29. My Mercedes Drive Pilot is better .. and it's actually pretty bad. Until there's an Autonomous Driving option (Level 4 or 5) these are a waste of money. Most of the Tesla's unless they're manufactured after November 2017 or probably later aren't even capable of Autonomous Driving regardless of software updates.

  30. Dips in the road will throw the car into oncoming traffic as well. Cresting rises is dangerous too. Autopilot likes flat roads only.

  31. Ben, remember not to rely needlessly on Autopilot too much. Personally, I would not engage AP on an undivided 2 lane road especially at 60 mph. Stop and go traffic is a great time to use it but be aware of the situation when the car in front of you suddenly changes lanes or turns off leaving you with AP still engaged and the AP looking for a moving object. This is a possible scenario some people have found themselves which can confuse AP to the point where AP runs into a stopped car. Basically you need to take it to heart that AP is a driving tool and you are still 100% responsible for the actions of your vehicle.

  32. With all glass on top, it has UV layer, however, with a sensitive skin, Sun rays will be really bad? Plus with a little rain and dust, the top glass will look really bad very fast?

  33. Autopilot 2.5 Oct 2017 delivery of my Model X, has the Lane departure steering wheel giggle also.. originally thought the wheels needed to be realigned

  34. Quick way to overcome that problem: pull in on the hard shoulder, put the car in park, and then start driving again

  35. Acknowledging the steering wheel is not really a jiggle, just pull it to the left or right until you feel the resistance of the wheel, give a little more force gradually to clear the warning but not disengage the autopilot. Once you figure it out, it is easy.

  36. Bill Calloway
    I have a model S and I thought it was not recommended to use autopilot on a two lane road. My limited experience on two lanes the markings are not as consistent as 4 lane and interstate roads.

  37. When I first started driving, I had nightmares about being in a self-driving cars all the time. That was years before the first self-driving car ever hit the streets. My hands are clammy just thinking about it.

  38. "Not very intuitive that you need to keep your hands on the wheel"

    Dude, it literally says on the screen when you turn on Autopilot "Keep your hands on the wheel".

    How much more intuitive can it get? You want a giant warning over the whole windshield or something? Lol

  39. These videos are super solid man… obviously you make a good living promoting Tesla, but still willing to criticize in a constructive way and not just relentless pitch-man-ship… thanks for the time!

  40. You need just put little pressure on one of the side (left or right) until the message disappears.
    If AP is locked you can stop. Park and then can continue with AP. Park will reset the trip.

  41. It is all these reports from people that have autopilot on different versions of Tesla cars that convinces me that there will be no self driving during my lifetime. If I do actually order my Model 3 from my reservation, I cannot see myself getting EAP.

  42. Yeah, a limp hand doesn't work. At first some Model S owners thought they had to squeeze the wheel, but that's not it. Torque is the key.

    What does your Owner's Manual say about roads like you're trying to drive on? The Model S manual says that road isn't suitable.

  43. This autopilot issue is a no go. is this a beta test???? I want to grab the steering wheel as i please…. not as tesla thinks is compatible with the autopilot!!! this is a joke right?

  44. Perhaps when autopilot was asking you to take the wheel- and it was not sensing you… you should have tried cancelling it then reengaged it… or if that did not solve the problem, reset the computer?

  45. You can thank you YouTubers driving is early days playing games and such! So look at yourselves for the Autopilot woes!

  46. So I guess autopilot is practically useless in the winter if you live in a place like me (Canada)? Sometimes I can't even see where the lines are when it's really bad, not sure how Tesla is going to overcome heavy rain and heavy snow when slightly bad roads in California are an issue still…

  47. It looks like the Tesla Autopilot is even more dangerous than a drunk driver.

    It can't just turn on and off on it's own. It is even harder for the driver to be alert and re-gain control of the car whenever the autopilot fails.

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