Watch Tesla Model 3 Navigate On Autopilot Versus Dreadful LA Traffic


Even Mad Max is no match for the gridlock that is LA’s daily traffic grind.

A setting above Tesla’s Mad Max mode should be called Los Angeles Traffic Mode where the car shoots into the ever-so-tiny gaps.

The latest v9 over-the-air software update upgraded Tesla’s Autopilot system by adding a new feature Navigate on Autopilot (Beta). It enables the car to change lanes, as well as enter and exit highways automatically.

The driver first needs to set navigation, engage Autopilot and allow Autopilot to do so, which requires reading a disclaimer. Settings allow for changing lanes without confirmation (yes/no) and, separately, speed-based lane changes (disabled, mild, average, mad max).

The video above features a Tesla Model 3, but the system is found on the Model S and Model X, too.

Video description:

Mix of stop and go, and congested, but flowing traffic.

In general, I feel Musk’s joke of a setting above Mad Max mode being “Los Angeles Traffic Mode” may need to be a thing. To be more effective, Nav on AP needs to be more aggressive on lane changes, and go into smaller gaps.

To be fair, this is the first public deployment of Nav on AP, and it’s best to be cautious, putting more emphasis on safety than on efficacy. Thinking like a drug trial, this is Phase I, the safety trial. Later we’ll see improvements in efficacy, hopefully.

I also found it best to confirm the lane changes when you are or about to be clear to change lanes. Otherwise, the car may slow down and wait for a gap, severely slowing down your lane.

This is with a Tesla Model 3, running v9 / 2018.42.2.

Bonus video below where Navigate On Autopilot attempts to take on the “Curve of Death.”

Video Description:

Tesla autopilot v9 (2018.42.3) is able to handle very tight (20 mph) cloverleaf interchange curves like never before.

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18 Comments on "Watch Tesla Model 3 Navigate On Autopilot Versus Dreadful LA Traffic"

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Simply Irresponsible, period. LA traffic requires Acute Superior Human driving skills (likely at least 2+ accidents in yr lifetime). Extreme hubris to decide unilaterally to a) slow down the traffic flow b) risk Severe Injury and Death (as proven by Mt View Tbone, firetruck impalement, FL driver decap, 1st China stationary vehicle death 3 years ago)
Human brain pump-fake, per AAA DOJ SEC foreignGov
Mister, LA is not yr Petri dish, a la tunnel digging.
Also, hijacking a country’s national spirit and trademark is Silicon Valley Goggle glass olde behavior.
Not OK-just because yr Mexico sales are next to Nada.

You sound like a “we should devolve back in to monkeys” type of guy.

“Logic” is nothing more then the latest carpet-bombing, serial anti-Tesla and anti-EV shorter and bitterly desperate troll to come here to pollute the threads.

The Florida driver who was killed was watching Harry Potter, completely not paying attention, while driving AP1 traveling at 80+ mph. The guy in this video is traveling 15-20 mph and paying attention the whole time. Your parallel is completely inappropriate.

Calling it AP1 is misleading because no car uses that software. It was changed substantially after that, making radar a primary source that can see several cars ahead. More importantly, the car worked as designed. Tesla never claimed that it had cross traffic detection. Also, what it had in common with all but one of the high profile accidents is that autosteer worked perfectly and kept the car on course. In the one case where a car went off course, it appears to have been a circumstance that the owner should have known that the car wasn’t designed for. Nobody got impaled by a fire truck. Someone who should have been paying attention, and who would have blown through a red light if the truck hadn’t been there, was most likely tailgating a vehicle that changed lanes at the last moment, which Tesla makes clear that the car isn’t designed to handle. The headline should have been that someone hit a firetruck at 60 mph and wss virtually uninjured. Countless people have had experiences where a Tesla has prevented accidents and if not for Autopilot there would be far more. The problem we have now is that navigate on autopilot… Read more »

I totally agree. Unfortunately, that narrative gets in the way of ‘Logic.’

Is the screen name “Logic” meant to be taken as utterly ironic? 🙄

Extreme hubris to have cars go faster than speed limit no? Think of the deaths that could have been saved every day.
Please call every legacy car maker and ask for their forgiveness on your way back to troll land.

Is there a Google Translate for that? The language auto detect did not work.

I did the first part of that trip in late September on my way to the Getty Center. I wish I had some of those features like automatic braking on my C-Max Energi. Don’t need that sort of thing out here in the middle-of-nowhere Oregon. Fortunately that is the last time I plan to go to Los Angeles.

“I also found it best to confirm the lane changes when you are or about to be clear to change lanes. Otherwise, the car may slow down and wait for a gap, severely slowing down your lane.”

Anyone who drives in LA knows that does not work. The LA algorithm is to SPEED UP and jump into a gap.

I am actually totally serious. You watch people coming off the onramp, or trying to change lanes, and holding up traffic in their lane trying to slow down for the next lane to go ahead. Those people are not helping themselves or others. If there is a gap ahead, and you can speed up with sufficient clearance with the car ahead to make that, then this is the efficient way to change lanes. An AP can emulate that safely.

Grandma does not help traffic this way. Mad max does…

There certainly is a conflict between programming a self-driving car to drive safely, vs. the way that American drivers dangerously compete — rather than cooperate — when driving in dense traffic.

Most American drivers very clearly do not understand that competing for the tiniest speed advantage in dense traffic actually has the effect of slowing down the entire flow of traffic. I won’t presume to speak for drivers in other countries, since I’ve only driven in the USA.

Autonomous cars will be — almost certainly are being — programmed to facilitate smooth traffic flow by cooperating, rather than competing with each other.



Sadly, I doubt that human American drivers will be re-trained to similarly cooperate to ensure smooth traffic flow and eliminate traffic jams. The conflict between human and robotic drivers is likely to create even more disruption in traffic flow, as autonomous cars will exhibit behavior quite different from human drivers. Almost entirely self-driving cars will be a great boon; we can expect them to cooperate in making traffic flow far more smoothly, and expect traffic jams to become a rarity. But the transition period between almost all human drivers and almost all self-driving cars may create traffic jams far worse than we get even with all human drivers.

Hopefully, no developer of autonomous cars — not Tesla or anyone else — will actually program cars to perform the risky, aggressive behavior that all too many human drivers exhibit when trying to change lanes in heavy traffic. If they do, then the accident rate for self-driving cars is going to rise sharply.

Yes, yes American drivers are dumb. Have you ever driven in other countries? They are dumber. Minus Canada. They are pretty good drivers.

Yes, AP9 improved the ability to take corners better, but it’s still far from perfect. In my own experience, it brakes late (and thus heavy) and starts the turn late. It’s just not smooth. LA gridlock traffic is not a torture test. AP thrives in heavy traffic – having vehicles to follow, it does great. Where I think AP needs a lot of work are in roads without traffic but may have changes in lane marking. See recent video where it nearly crashed into emergency pullover lane. Even with AP9, it’ll be driving just fine, then get confused and give up with a “red flash and warning”. Then sometimes under similar conditions, it does just fine. Hilly roads is another problem. When you’re cresting the top, there’s a brief moment when the camera can lose sight of the road lanes. One reaction is to drift to the middle of the road (and thus cross lanes). Another reaction is to slam on the brakes to drastically slow down. It’s dangerous. So to summarize, I only trust AP in heavy traffic, which works out well because that’s when driving is no longer fun. As the video here showed, it is overly cautious… Read more »

AI has a way to go but it’s fun and exciting to see the improvements. 10x computer upgrade should be quite interesting

All the more reason to never let a Tesla get in front of you.

Tesla manual says “Do not use Auto Lane Change on city streets or on roads where traffic conditions are constantly changing…”

Seems like using it in highly congested traffic like in the video above would not follow this direction from Tesla.