Testing Tesla Model 3 Navigate On Autopilot In Heavy LA Traffic: Video


LA traffic can be a major mess.

How does Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot negotiate heavy traffic situations like you’d experience in Los Angeles?

Perhaps 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.

Tesla’s Autopilot system added a new feature Navigate on Autopilot (Beta) rather recently. 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 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.

So, how well or poorly does it work in LA traffic? Click play on the video to find out.

Video description:

Software version 9 (2018.48.12). Tesla Model 3. Navigate on Autopilot in heavy highway traffic.

Quick video showing merging and lane changing in moderately heavy highway traffic with Navigate on Autopilot. Autopilot performs well when there’s about 2 or more car-lengths between vehicles, but can swerve unnaturally when aborting an automatic lane change.

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5 Comments on "Testing Tesla Model 3 Navigate On Autopilot In Heavy LA Traffic: Video"

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Heavy traffic is no place for autopilot, pay the F attention!

Nonsense. See mobileeyes demo of heavy traffic in israel. There is no reason an AP cannot perform under heavy load.


Heavy traffic is exactly the place where self-driving cars, or even semi-self-driving ones, are most needed. Unlike human drivers, they don’t get distracted… or drive drunk… or drive while sleepy… or start texting on their cellphone… or start talking to a passenger instead of watching where they’re driving.

I was impressed. That looks like progress.

Right now I use autopilot constantly on the freeway, and ACC on city streets (to keep from speeding) but leave navigate on autopilot off. The ‘mad max’ setting is (currently) just about how much slower than another lane you’re going before it prompts a lane change. In heavy traffic it will often suggest a lane change not far from an exit or interchange that, if taken, will keep you from being able to make your exit because there’s no room to merge back in. Navigate on autopilot will also tend to use blinkers on interchanges or off-ramps when I wouldn’t. Example 1: On an exit only lane, where it splits into three lanes after the exit and I want to turn left, it turns on the left turn signal before I’ve hit the gore point, making traffic on the freeway think I’m about to try and dive out of the exit only lane. Example 2: On an interchange where there are three lanes that split into 4, with the center lane forking, it will use the turn signal to indicate direction of travel on the fork, even though there’s no intention of changing lanes. In a 5g world (and hopefully… Read more »