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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone really looked into Pilot Assist, at least the lane-keeping part? I'm disappointed.

My wife had a CR-V and now a Ridgeline, both with "LKAS" - Lane Keeping Assist System - which will steer the car between lines - for the most part. I've used it while going cross-country on isolated highways to be able to take my hands off the wheel for a little while; have some food/drink, send a message, etc. I never used it in traffic or busy areas, etc. I found it to be VERY helpful on long driving trips!

Enter Volvo -- the Pilot Assist won't work unless your hands are on the wheel and apparently providing some input. And it seems to fight my input more than help it; if I relax my grip on the wheel very much, it'll fault and turn itself off because I'm not "steering".

So... .what the heck is the point? (He said, in a rant-y voice and perplexed expression)

No, seriously, I think it's useless as designed. What's your take?
 

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...the Pilot Assist won't work unless your hands are on the wheel and apparently providing some input...
Sounds similar to how it works in a Tesla. Have to constantly pull down on one side of the wheel. Some other mfgrs use an eye-tracking system instead.
 

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Yep, I've come to the same conclusion (essentially useless). I do love the adaptive cruise control, though (available on lots of cars these days, I realize).
 

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You only have to touch it with something (singular) that is warm. One finger is enough as should be your knee ( will test this). You can also take your hands off for a short period of time.

What is it good for? Fiddling with the radio with one hand on the wheel. Briefly hands off while you switch glasses. Trying to kill a spider one handed whilst screaming with one hand on the wheel. Anything you can do with one hand on the wheel.

Not good for preparing a meal for the family but that would be full on situational auto pilot not pilot assist.

Am I glad people cannot just take their hands off and have a nap? Yes I am. This is Volvo. Goal being to keep you safe and I am sure they feel that at this point it is not safe for you to have no situational awareness or to not be in a place to respond safely in an emergency. Other companies like to push the edge of safety. Not Volvo.
 

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First let me add to @SeattleCat by saying that I totally agree. Tesla has to put their neck on line to make name for themselves, but legacy makers like Volvo, Mercedes, etc have a reputation to uphold. So I think they'll not push things as quickly and wait for a more fully baked "semi autonomous" experience. And I agree, Volvo's name synonymous with safety means they want you engaged in the drive.

However, to @sbixby post at the top of this thread-- I have to say, I agree and feel the same way. Meaning, I find that the "Pilot Assist" is more a hinderance than I want. Compared to having owned 12 diff Tesla products since 2014 from the early "AutoPilot v1" system, to Enhanced AutoPilot, to Full Self Driving hardware, etc. Tesla not only lets you "let go" of the wheel, it also doesnt fight you as much.

Example: You're on a relatively straight road, with small turns that the Volvo can handle. Even just going fairly straight and holding the wheel, the pressure required against the car's input in the Volvo often feels like you're fighting the car just to stay centered. I find it more relaxing, less muscle tension, to just use adaptive cruise w/o PA. On the other hand, in our Tesla vehicles (my wife's 2020 Model Y we traded for the Volvo had "basic AP" with no FSD -- and on the expressway even holding the wheel was "limp hand" -- no fighting, and it just worked. Less muscle tension, more relaxing. And, it took sweepers better, could input greater steering angle than the Volvo does (or some BMWs I've test driven lately).

All said, the Volvo "does ok" -- but for what Pilot Assist claims to do, the Tesla does it better. Perhaps the trifecta of front facing cameras and the data collection that Tesla has done helps, too. In Ohio, where the winter ravages the roads, and lane markings are fading in places, the Tesla did a better job staying the correct path, where the Volvo often darts or gets upset. I don't have a lot of faith in the Volvo PA system, nor comfort in how it handles the steering-- its better than nothing maybe. We have a 300 mile (each way) trip this weekend, so I am curious to see how that goes. (We've driven the Volvo a bunch so far, but this will be the longest single day of driving 600+ miles). Confidence is low it'll come even close to Tesla AP -- or Tesla efficiency. But it'll be far smoother and more comfy a ride; which is why my wife traded in her Tesla in the first place.
 

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As well as the P8, I also own a 2017 Tesla Model S, upgraded to their latest Autopilot hardware (HW 3.0). In my opinion, Volvo Pilot Assist doesn't come close to the functionality and stability of Tesla Autopilot during freeway driving. But I do agree with arijaycomet's wife that the Volvo's ride is smoother and more comfy.
 

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As well as the P8, I also own a 2017 Tesla Model S.... But I do agree with arijaycomet's wife that the Volvo's ride is smoother and more comfy.
Wow! The P8 ride is better than the Model S? My Model 3 is pretty harsh and I'd heard the S is quite a bit smoother, though not as smooth as a big BMW.
 

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Okay I want to change everything i said.
Pilot assist is pretty bloody useless and maybe even dangerous.

I tested it before with one hand and it seemed fine but today when wife(1) wanted a demo (wife(2) never wants to see this feature ). I had it on. Was following the road. Had one hand on the wheel when it screamed at me for not having 2 hands and promptly switched off. So had I been really distracted it would of happily switched to dumb mode.

I think it should work with one hand. If it only works with 2 hands and if you fail to have two hands just switches off that is dangerous.

How about they change it so if it catches you playing silly buggers it does not switch off but next time you come to switch it in it says
“Sorry you were a dumb ^%^% and I warned you n times and you ignored me. This feature is now off line until you have it reset at the dealership”

Or something like that :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And when it switches off in OPD mode, it "slams on the brakes" too. 😡
 

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Yep.

But at least it does not eject us !!!
 

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Okay I want to change everything i said.
Pilot assist is pretty bloody useless and maybe even dangerous.

I tested it before with one hand and it seemed fine but today when wife(1) wanted a demo (wife(2) never wants to see this feature ). I had it on. Was following the road. Had one hand on the wheel when it screamed at me for not having 2 hands and promptly switched off. So had I been really distracted it would of happily switched to dumb mode.

I think it should work with one hand. If it only works with 2 hands and if you fail to have two hands just switches off that is dangerous.

How about they change it so if it catches you playing silly buggers it does not switch off but next time you come to switch it in it says
“Sorry you were a dumb ^%^% and I warned you n times and you ignored me. This feature is now off line until you have it reset at the dealership”

Or something like that :)
I have used Pilot Assist quite a bit on long drives, both on Interstate highways and on regular 2-lane roads. It does not simply sense the presence of your hand or hands. What it does is monitor that you are providing either a small amount of steering wheel input or a small amount of resistance to it turning the steering wheel. That's how it detects that you are alive and well and paying attention. You can't just rest your hand(s) on the wheel. I have driven one-handed for hundreds, if not thousands, of miles with absolutely no issues. If it hasn't sensed any steering wheel input from you for a while it will prompt you and you just move the wheel a tiny amount (it doesn't take much) to make it happy again. There is also a time delay before it disengages, at least 10-15 seconds I believe. I will typically switch between Pilot Assist and regular Adaptive Cruise every half hour or so on a long drive just to break the monotony. Note that I am referring to how it works in my T5 but I would assume that it should work the same in the P8 since it's probably the same software.
 

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Thanks will re test :)
Explains why it worked the first time and not today.

Cheers
 

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Maybe I am missing something, but my XC40 P8 Recharge just vibrates the wheel and easily drifts out of lanes. I am actually very unimpressed with it.
 

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Maybe I am missing something, but my XC40 P8 Recharge just vibrates the wheel and easily drifts out of lanes. I am actually very unimpressed with it.
Yes Lane Keeping will vibrate the steering wheel and gently guide you away from the line for a moment.
Of course Pilot Assist is different - keeps you in the middle of your driving lane while on an Interstate/freeway with a light hold on your steering wheel with at least one of your hands.
 

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I have used Pilot Assist quite a bit on long drives, both on Interstate highways and on regular 2-lane roads. It does not simply sense the presence of your hand or hands. What it does is monitor that you are providing either a small amount of steering wheel input or a small amount of resistance to it turning the steering wheel. That's how it detects that you are alive and well and paying attention. You can't just rest your hand(s) on the wheel. I have driven one-handed for hundreds, if not thousands, of miles with absolutely no issues. If it hasn't sensed any steering wheel input from you for a while it will prompt you and you just move the wheel a tiny amount (it doesn't take much) to make it happy again. There is also a time delay before it disengages, at least 10-15 seconds I believe. I will typically switch between Pilot Assist and regular Adaptive Cruise every half hour or so on a long drive just to break the monotony. Note that I am referring to how it works in my T5 but I would assume that it should work the same in the P8 since it's probably the same software.
You are absolutely correct. Pilot assist registers motion or occasional resistance. It does not require two hands on the wheel. If two hands are place and there is no pressure or occasional steering wheel input, pilot assist will turn off.

I place my left hand at the yoke, where the wheel meets the cross section, and simply squeeze it at times with my thumb and forefinger. It works without a problem.

I switch between pilot assist and adaptive cruise and find both very helpful on long drives.
 

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I used my knee for testing this week. Like knee driving in the past but instead of working to make the right movements I just knee giggled it :) worked perfectly.
 

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I've used it while going cross-country on isolated highways to be able to take my hands off the wheel for a little while; have some food/drink, send a message, etc.
If you are doing those things while driving at highway speeds, I feel you should be taken off the highway immediately.

It's my opinion that all those things are supremely dangerous, and I'm GLAD Volvo engineers decided to build a system that does not allow you do be so spectacularly irresponsible.
 

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You should always do your best to drive perfectly. Sometimes though you might want to undo a bottle of water to drink. Change something on the cars interface etc. Surely it is better to have technology help cover you short term decrease in perfection?

Should you pull off the road every time you have a sip of water?
 

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That's pretty different from "I take my HANDS OFF THE WHEEL for a little while" isn't it?

Are you seriously advocating that people take their hands off the wheel while a 5,000 pound vehicle is driving at highway speeds?

I hope I misunderstood you.
 
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