Going electric; AP1 vs AP2

The ‘going electric’ will be different blogs from my usual beat. Not only because they will not be related (directly) to software development, but also because they are opinionated and personal reports; editorials about switching over to an electric car. They will list my personal joys and annoyances about the switch, but I’ll try to be fair and balanced.

Loaner Model S

My own model S is in the shop for some adjustments and I got a four to five years old (I guess) Model S P90D as a loaner. The car has AP1, as I noticed the missing camera’s in the way the environment was shown in the binnacle.

AP1 vs AP2

After having driven over 300 km (200 miles) with it, I found some noticeable differences between AP1 and AP2. Most noticeable is the “follow the car” behaviour; which is visualized on screen by a car turning blue. AP1 seems to prefer following a car over sticking between the lines. When a car is followed, the line markings are often removed from the screen.

This morning I was behind a car and it decided to change lanes, and my Tesla initially attempted to follow him. Very weird, and immediately manually intervened. Don’t know if it would have followed through.

This whole follow-the-car (nothing ever turns blue) is not present in AP2. Good call changing that Tesla.

However, from a responsiveness AP1 seems to be quicker. When I indicate that I want to switch lanes, AP1 does this immediately, where AP2 seems to hesitate and feels sluggish in responding. Maybe that is why Elon wants a new AI chip. Although I figure the system has a constant awareness of all surrounding cars and lanes, so asking to switch should not need a complex analysis, the system should know at any time what its options are; I can move left, I can move right, I can brake, I can accelerate, etc. Otherwise it can never properly and quickly respond to unexpected situations (which is what Tesla is aiming for). So asking it to move over, should be instantaneous.

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