Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

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mookie
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Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by mookie »

My mother is 70. She uses a computer, ipad and iphone for their basic features but does not use GPS or Waze while driving. She drives 50 miles each way to work on the highway everyday, but I'm concerned about her reaction time and discomfort when driving to places she does not already know how to get to. Would buying a Tesla for its self-driving features be a good idea for her?
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by Valuethinker »

[edited]

My comment clearly implied something I did not mean it to, so I have deleted it.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by TomatoTomahto »

My reaction times are still pretty good, approaching 70, but my Tesla auto brake has reacted more quickly than me on at least one occasion. FWIW, my sensor hardware is >4 years old, so it is less capable than newer hardware.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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mookie
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by mookie »

OP here. To clarify: she would not be going to sleep or reading the paper while Tesla drives. Also, if Tesla's not a good option, does anyone have tips for helping her get comfortable with using GPS while driving to a new destination?
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by Jags4186 »

mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:16 am OP here. To clarify: she would not be going to sleep or reading the paper while Tesla drives. Also, if Tesla's not a good option, does anyone have tips for helping her get comfortable with using GPS while driving to a new destination?
If she’s comfortable using her iPhone you would want a car with car play. That way all she needs to do is punch in where she’s going on her phone, which she already knows how to use, and then connect the wire from the dashboard to the phone.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

She would be in great shape with a car that has emergency self braking and Apple Car Play. We have 2 Subarus with Car Play and they are extremely easy to use. You can hit the "voice" button and say where you want to go and use either the apple map or the far superior google map, which can be downloaded onto the phone and it guides you on the screen with voice directions over the car's radio system.

Any new Subaru can be purchased with eyesight, which has the emergency self braking along with adaptive cruise control. I've used this on a 1300 mile trip, bringing my mom's 2018 Legacy from Massachusetts to Orlando. I set the cruise and as traffic slows, the car keeps the distance constant and varies speed to do this. Once traffic moves again, it goes back to the speed setting, which is displayed in the middle of the instruments.

I know cars like the Nissan Sentra even have emergency self braking, so she doesn't need to spend $50k for a Tesla. A new Subaru Legacy, Crosstrek, Impreza or Forester can easily be found for half that with eyesight and going to a 1 year old Legacy, she can up to the Limited model which includes leather and all the upper trim features for that same $25k.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by 4nursebee »

Ask yo mamma, not strangers.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by Valuethinker »

mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:16 am OP here. To clarify: she would not be going to sleep or reading the paper while Tesla drives. Also, if Tesla's not a good option, does anyone have tips for helping her get comfortable with using GPS while driving to a new destination?
Apologies if I implied otherwise.

I was worried that these features might encourage a lower level of alertness NOT that I think your mother would not be attentive to the road etc.
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mookie
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by mookie »

Valuethinker wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:25 am
mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:16 am OP here. To clarify: she would not be going to sleep or reading the paper while Tesla drives. Also, if Tesla's not a good option, does anyone have tips for helping her get comfortable with using GPS while driving to a new destination?
Apologies if I implied otherwise.

I was worried that these features might encourage a lower level of alertness NOT that I think your mother would not be attentive to the road etc.
No worries, I just figured I should clarify how she would intend to use it.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by Nate79 »

As already mentioned the Subaru Eyesight is an amazing system. There is no reason to just consider a Tesla as there are many of these type of systems on the market these days.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by eddot98 »

mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:03 am My mother is 70. She uses a computer, ipad and iphone for their basic features but does not use GPS or Waze while driving. She drives 50 miles each way to work on the highway everyday, but I'm concerned about her reaction time and discomfort when driving to places she does not already know how to get to. Would buying a Tesla for its self-driving features be a good idea for her?
What symptoms has your mother displayed that are causing you concern? Has she had accidents recently? Has she gotten lost repeatedly? Does she have a GPS built in to her car or an add on unit? Our add on Garmin unit is very simple to use and so is the Maps program in her iPhone. If she is using the devices you say she is, there’s no reason she can’t use a GPS. If she drives as much as you say, I expect that she is a good, experienced driver.
BTW, DW and I are about the same age as your mother and before the pandemic we drove 30,000+ miles per year: long distances, in major cities, in unfamiliar areas, and even all over Western Europe and we are very comfortable doing that.
Having said all that, a modern, reliable vehicle with most of the currently available safety features is certainly something that SHE should consider.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by lthenderson »

I guess if it were my mom, I would be hesitant to buy her technology as a way of keeping her "safer" on the roads. Autobraking is only one way of keeping the occupant safe out of many many ways she could potentially get hurt. Would a Tesla prevent someone from running a red light or turning in front of somebody? Sure the Tesla will stop the car if it turns into oncoming traffic or senses traffic as one runs a red light but it doesn't stop the oncoming traffic. It doesn't have defensive driving built into the software package.

I just spent the last five years convincing someone that they shouldn't drive anymore, they are 87 years old. She finally gave up her keys and got rid of the car last month when she finally realized that perhaps she wasn't safe to drive anymore. I couldn't image sticking her in a Tesla and saying you are good to go again.

I'm not saying you should take away your mom's keys because 70 is still plenty young enough to drive safely. I don't think technology is the answer to making her a safer driver. I think making her aware of diminished driving abilities and taking appropriate actions is a much better solution.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by Swansea »

When driving to a location for the first time, I find Google Maps excellent. I enter the destination into my iPhone and it is broadcast through my car's speakers.
Obviously it has no braking help etc, but you are told in advance when a change in direction is coming.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by z0r »

tesla self driving isn't what it sounds like. it's a set of driver assist features that take CONSTANT monitoring because they could fail at any time, sending you into a barrier or parked car or whatever. it can only operate safely as something a fully aware driver is delegating to, not something you're ceding control to. using it responsibly is a very difficult task because you need to avoid being lulled into passivity, which seems to be basic human nature with such systems - but actually you need to be able to take over at a moment's notice, with no warning

in short... no
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by Tingting1013 »

Nate79 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:48 am As already mentioned the Subaru Eyesight is an amazing system. There is no reason to just consider a Tesla as there are many of these type of systems on the market these days.
These systems are not all created equal.

The highways around here have repainted lane lines that are often confusing to these systems. I’ve driven the Honda, Nissan, and Tesla systems. Tesla’s is heads and shoulders above the others.

One small example of how Tesla’s software is in another class: when a semi pulls up alongside you, the car imperceptibly shifts to the outside edge of your lane to give the truck more room.
Last edited by Tingting1013 on Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:43 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Nate79 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:48 am As already mentioned the Subaru Eyesight is an amazing system. There is no reason to just consider a Tesla as there are many of these type of systems on the market these days.
Allow me to put in a plug for Volvo, which IMO has the best seats in the business. As much as I love my Tesla, the seats are not as good.

Volvo’s driver assistance is great.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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mookie
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by mookie »

OK, I guess I'm conflating topics here. My question is: for those who have used Tesla or other brand's advanced driving safety features: it it easy and intuitive to use and does it help you drive more safely, particularly if you do not already use GPS apps? I'm trying to gather information on personal experiences with those systems because I have never used one.
Last edited by mookie on Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by illumination »

I would heavily lean against it.

FWIW, my brother owns a Tesla and is a big fanboy. To an annoying degree. :D They had a program where you get a trial period for the auto pilot feature. After trying it for a while, he conceded it was not ready for prime time, for example the car hit a neighbor's trash can on his commute.

I have another friend with one also, and he was trying to show me how it had like a "smart summon" to pick you up , but the car could not figure out basically a 100 foot trip from the parking spot to pickup.

This is not to rag on Tesla, I think the cars are marvels. But I personally don't think the "semi-auto pilot" type designations should be legal for road use as it's sort of a gray line where the self-driving stops and the human driver starts.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by hunoraut »

mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:03 am My mother is 70. She uses a computer, ipad and iphone for their basic features but does not use GPS or Waze while driving. She drives 50 miles each way to work on the highway everyday, but I'm concerned about her reaction time and discomfort when driving to places she does not already know how to get to. Would buying a Tesla for its self-driving features be a good idea for her?
at a high-level, it's a driver aid, not a driver replacement. you already knew that -- but the point i'm trying to make is that it places even higher demand on the driver's reaction for WHEN the system fails. whereas if a driver had been driving manually, they would have had better anticipation of whatever obstacle comes up.


if her main issue is navigation, there are cars like mercedes that have integrated windshield navigation overlay, making it very obvious where to turn

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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by bookworm »

I am 60 years old. We have a 2017 Subaru with eyesight /carplay and a Tesla Model 3 with basic autopilot. We bought the basic version of reliable cars and drove them until they dropped so these were the first cars we purchased that had luxury features. We paid extra with the Subaru specifically to get the eyesight.

The features on both cars I really love are a backup camera and adaptive cruise control. The Tesla does full stop start control and I find it way less stressful to drive in bumper to bumper traffic on the interstate. The safety features are useful - the auto-breaking on the Subaru has engaged a handful of times over 3 years, and each time my wife has asked me "was that you or the car?" and the answer is I am not sure but the brakes were possibly pressured up by the time I got to them. For the lane departure warnings, I found that I was setting those off, for example crossing a center line to give a bicyclist room, what I learned from that was that while I always use a signal when switching lanes it was simultaneous with starting to move over and I have started to signal slightly longer before...

For both cars, having the navigation on a larger screen makes it more useful - I tended to turn on navigation for my daily commute just to get the traffic warnings. For the Tesla the voice commands make it a bit easier, also having the car know were you are going helps to manage the battery life.

The Tesla basic autopilot on the interstate works very well and we have driven a couple of thousand mile long trips where we probably had it on for most of the highway drive. I find it less tiring for a long trip. I understand the comment about higher demands on reaction time, I would at least partly disagree. The system can enable stupid behavior so if the driver doesn't pay attention the comment applies. The Tesla display is always showing me exactly what the car sees ie lane markings other vehicles etc so part of being an alert driver on autopilot is being aware of any mismatches.
All models are wrong ... some are useful.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by investor997 »

z0r wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:37 am tesla self driving isn't what it sounds like. it's a set of driver assist features that take CONSTANT monitoring because they could fail at any time, sending you into a barrier or parked car or whatever. it can only operate safely as something a fully aware driver is delegating to, not something you're ceding control to. using it responsibly is a very difficult task because you need to avoid being lulled into passivity, which seems to be basic human nature with such systems - but actually you need to be able to take over at a moment's notice, with no warning

in short... no
This.

Disclaimer: I own a Tesla Model 3 and have experience using the product.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by investor997 »

mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:03 am My mother is 70. She uses a computer, ipad and iphone for their basic features but does not use GPS or Waze while driving. She drives 50 miles each way to work on the highway everyday, but I'm concerned about her reaction time and discomfort when driving to places she does not already know how to get to. Would buying a Tesla for its self-driving features be a good idea for her?
Tesla's Autopilot might be valuable for the highway drive portion but as others have pointed out, it requires diligent, constant monitoring. It also suffers from "phantom braking". The system will sometimes slam on the brakes unexpectedly even though the road ahead is perfectly clear. It's been a problem for some time and Tesla hasn't completely fixed it. It's VERY startling when it occurs.

Tesla's FSD is not useful for "self driving" on local roads, despite the name. It will be some day, perhaps years from now, but it's not there yet.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by LilyFleur »

Learning curve: My best friend just got the Model 3 Tesla. Instead of the dials and buttons that most cars have, there is a sleek computer screen. The design is beautiful, but I know I, at age 60, would have trouble transitioning to a computer screen when I've been driving for 44 years with dials and push buttons.

My mom would occasionally forget how to turn her car off (she wouldn't remember the push button on/off switch).

It seems like your mom is quite capable since she is working and commuting... I just wanted to point out the learning curve aspect of this. Other cars have the safety features but the interface isn't quite as different.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by hunoraut »

Also, the core issue here is navigation. If you want the best navigation experience, with OR without buying an entirely new car, just use a large-screen phone with voice dictation and Google Maps or Waze.

The overall navigation and entertain system in Tesla is the best I've ever used. But specifically for following routing in original scenario, it is not the best because:
(1) map doesnt have full 3D view...only a tilted plane.
(2) no instrument cluster display or heads up display for projection along driver's line of sight
(3) the text is very small
(4) the lane-choice display is very small

The best routing is an augmented reality of mercedes benz above. other good options are using Carplay or Android Auto that integrates phone into car display. or using standalone phone. or native systems like BMW iDrive with really nice street + 3D building rendering and clear lane guidance
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by harikaried »

LilyFleur wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:31 pmMy mom would occasionally forget how to turn her car off (she wouldn't remember the push button on/off switch).
Ha! :wink: Some Tesla owners complain they forget to turn off ICE cars after driving a Tesla for a while. In fact, you let off the accelerator, the car comes to a stop, and you just open the door and walk away. No need to put into park. No need to turn off the car. No need to lock the car.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by squirm »

She needs to test drive different cars to make sure she's comfortable with the gadgets. Personally I wouldn't want my mother driving a Tesla, too many gadgets and screens and then there is the charging issue. I knew someone who talked his parents into a Tesla, they weren't exactly thrilled with it. Frankly I think he was only more interested in it.

If I'm worried about mom running into something get a Volvo or something with good auto braking. also I'd just get the in car navigation and not bother piggy backing on the phone, I don't wouldn't want my elderly mom playing around on the phone while driving.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by wander »

I would suggest to schedule a test drive for her.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by Wannaretireearly »

mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:01 am OK, I guess I'm conflating topics here. My question is: for those who have used Tesla or other brand's advanced driving safety features: it it easy and intuitive to use and does it help you drive more safely, particularly if you do not already use GPS apps? I'm trying to gather information on personal experiences with those systems because I have never used one.
I have a 2020 mid tier hyundai palisade with all new safety features. No autopilot but adaptive cruise control on the highways is a dream. Makes highway driving very easy, less stressful, while still obvi paying attention.
My mom got a Toyota corolla which has the basic new safety features. Auto braking has saved her a few times already
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by Valuethinker »

LilyFleur wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:31 pm Learning curve: My best friend just got the Model 3 Tesla. Instead of the dials and buttons that most cars have, there is a sleek computer screen. The design is beautiful, but I know I, at age 60, would have trouble transitioning to a computer screen when I've been driving for 44 years with dials and push buttons.

My mom would occasionally forget how to turn her car off (she wouldn't remember the push button on/off switch).

It seems like your mom is quite capable since she is working and commuting... I just wanted to point out the learning curve aspect of this. Other cars have the safety features but the interface isn't quite as different.
There was a collision of a US Navy ship, an LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) that revolved around the fact that the controls had been replaced with touch sensitive screens (I don't remember all the details, the LCS is a troubled class with 2 different ships built by different companies). This was with a very young crewmember at the helm.

I am not an expert in Ergonomics, but my gut is that dials and push buttons are significantly better as ways to control a large moving mass of metal where attention and reaction time are very important parts of the pilot (aka "driver") experience.

I know Airbus does it differently (I think) but still has human touch controls, even if those simply link to a computer.

The F-18A/B had "moaning Minnie". Research when the fighter was designed showed that pilots came faster out of G Shock (a grogginess induced by blood flowing out of the brain during high g acceleration manoeuvres) if they were addressed by a female voice (in fact, their spouse's voice - in those days, I don't believe the USN had any women F-18 pilots). The pilots learned to hate her and cheered when the class is finally being decommissioned ;-).
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by retire14 »

One data point. My neighbor is 72 yrs old and decided to try a Tesla. He does not know how to use GPS. He returned the Tesla simply because every he needed to do was on the screen. He told me that even opening the glove box was via a touch button on the screen.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by TomatoTomahto »

retire14 wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:39 am One data point. My neighbor is 72 yrs old and decided to try a Tesla. He does not know how to use GPS. He returned the Tesla simply because every he needed to do was on the screen. He told me that even opening the glove box was via a touch button on the screen.
I got my Tesla when I was 65 yo iirc. I had more trouble transitioning to an iPad from a manual keyboard than driving my Tesla. But, maybe at 72, I will have trouble adapting to my CyberTruck. 8-)
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by MathWizard »

Would she use a Gamin GPS rather than the car's or a phone's GPS?

Two pluses for a Garmin.

It is always the same even if you switch cars or use a rental, just move the Garmin.

It works from satellites, so a cell deadzone is not an issue.

Blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise are the best self driving features, and I trust them,
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by bagle »

I can't speak to a 70-year old's needs, but I can speak to a 63-year old's experience over the past year.

I wouldn't recommend the Full Self Driving features for a 70-year old. Yes, it's very cool how the new beta FSD can stop and start at traffic lights, make turns on it's own and handle roundabouts. But it's still very much a beta version and requires active supervision.

On the other hand, the mere autopilot does a very nice job of keeping the car centered in the lane, maintaining the right distance from cars ahead of you and warning of potential accidents. This is useful on the longer trips the OP mentions. Tesla doesn't have a monopoly on this, but it's certainly one of the best (as Consumer Reports, for instance, recently attested).

As much as I like Waze, I think the large Tesla screen makes it easier to navigate if your mom's vision is less than perfect.

There is a learning curve for the Tesla. It requires some mental agility to open the glovebox using voice controls or touching a screen rather than pushing a physical button. But that should be easy for someone who can manage an iPad. Beyond that, the Tesla is very intuitive as a lot can be automated (e.g. turning headlights or wipers on) and the regenerative braking (IMHO) makes it easier to slow down 99% of the time - once you get used to it.
Last edited by bagle on Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by TravelGeek »

mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:01 am OK, I guess I'm conflating topics here. My question is: for those who have used Tesla or other brand's advanced driving safety features: it it easy and intuitive to use and does it help you drive more safely, particularly if you do not already use GPS apps? I'm trying to gather information on personal experiences with those systems because I have never used one.
Subaru's Eye Sight (we have the 2016 version) and Nissan's equivalent (not sure what the brand name is) work very well for emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning. There is next to no learning curve.

If you mom isn't even using GPS, I would not add more complex technology such as semi-self-driving technology that steers the car. A fairly recent model of a reliable brand with built-in safety features as described above may be worth having, but I am not convinced that a Tesla is the best choice for her (I say that as someone who likes gadgets and will buy a Model Y next spring). I have test-driven a Model Y and played with the autopilot functionality (not FSD). It was impressive on a country road, but as a software engineer I spent the entire time thinking about unexpected scenarios that might cause it to screw up (potholes, road debris, ground squirrel crossing the road, lane closure due to construction or accident, ... the list is endless), so it wasn't very relaxing to use. Blissful ignorance might be useful here, but it could also be dangerous if you trust the system too much and end up not paying enough attention (that doesn't imply reading or sleeping).

I would, however, spend a bit of time with my mom teaching her how to use a GPS system (either the one built into the car or a phone-based one). It's not rocket science. Many people in her age group use it. My dad's ten years older and uses it without issues.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by michaelingp »

mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:03 am My mother is 70. She uses a computer, ipad and iphone for their basic features but does not use GPS or Waze while driving. She drives 50 miles each way to work on the highway everyday, but I'm concerned about her reaction time and discomfort when driving to places she does not already know how to get to. Would buying a Tesla for its self-driving features be a good idea for her?
It sounds like you are looking for a car that you just enter your destination in and the car drives there by itself. I don't think any car does that today (Tesla fans correct me if I'm wrong). I own a 2020 Subaru Forester with the self-driving features talked about in previous posts, and at 68, I feel much safer with them than without them. I'm very receptive to new technology, but I still think the car is overly complicated. For example, there is a display in front of the driver, and also one on the dash in the middle. Each of these displays has 5 or 6 different modes, and you switch between them with
(different) buttons on the steering wheel. My wife has never gotten the hang of that. It was only recently that she explained to me how to remember which way to move the parking brake button to set the brake. We don't normally plug our iPhone's into the system because we are more used to the way the Bluetooth interaction works and there are some annoying "features" when the phone is plugged in. When you buy the car, they sit with you for up to an hour to explain how everything works. So, yes, the automation is wonderful, but there is a level of complexity. For example, how do you turn on the headlights if the automatic setting decides they don't have to be on? When it's self-driving, the car pretends to know if your hands are on the wheel, and gives you a pretty distracting warning if it thinks they're not. So much so that I rarely use that feature, not to mention the anxiety from knowing that it could lose sight of the lane markings while going around a sharp curve. Yes, it tells you that, but do you want to be on the alert all the time in case it happens? And don't get me started on the "feature" that stalls the engine at traffic lights.

For the cost of a new car, you could pay for a lot of Uber rides, if that's an option for places she doesn't know how to get to, and learning to use a navigator is too much (assuming the Uber app is not too complicated).
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by harrychan »

Have you driven a tesla? I've test drove one and used autopilot and encountered a few phantom braking when it came close to a parked car. It didn't always center itself when we were going on a slight curve and I had to correct it before I drifted into another lane. In some aspects, you need MORE reaction time and attentiveness than a dumb car.
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by harikaried »

harrychan wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:17 pmI've test drove one and used autopilot and encountered a few phantom braking when it came close to a parked car
Were these parked cars on the side of the highway? Autopilot currently is not yet supposed to be used on city streets even though you can activate it anywhere it detects a line. But yes, Autopilot is currently driver assistance where the driver is responsible for monitoring, and in some situations especially "unofficial" usage might require more attentiveness.
michaelingp
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by michaelingp »

harrychan wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:17 pm It didn't always center itself when we were going on a slight curve and I had to correct it before I drifted into another lane. In some aspects, you need MORE reaction time and attentiveness than a dumb car.
Same thing on my 2020 Subara Forester, although I'm not absolutely sure it would have drifted into the next lane. I've thought about letting it go and find out some time when I know there aren't any cars in the next lane, but so far it's been too scary not to take control. The adaptive cruise control seems very accurate, and curves don't seem to faze it.
tibbitts
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by tibbitts »

mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:03 am My mother is 70. She uses a computer, ipad and iphone for their basic features but does not use GPS or Waze while driving. She drives 50 miles each way to work on the highway everyday, but I'm concerned about her reaction time and discomfort when driving to places she does not already know how to get to. Would buying a Tesla for its self-driving features be a good idea for her?
Why is she 70 and driving 50 miles to work every day? At 70 her reactions and discomfort in unfamiliar places aren't that much different than yours are. You aren't what you were a couple of decades ago either. If she drives in unfamiliar places she'll use a GPS like the rest of us, but of course she drove for fifty years without one, so you might need to suggest it. There are GPS pros and cons. You know the GPS is going to flash red and scream "You are going the WRONG WAY!!!" when she's on the correct highway on-ramp, and tell her to drive into a concrete wall at some point, so reliance on the GPS requires another, different kind of judgement. Some people are better or worse at that than doing whatever they've done before. Personally I'm only a few years younger and think GPS is awesome - I get lost much less than without it - but each person is different. Come back in ten years and ask about the self-driving cars, and in twenty years they'll almost surely be the way to go when she's 90. I would also say that my experience is that at 70 people are pretty self-regulating. Some things they can't do as well as when younger, but they recognize that and compensate. Not always so much at 90.
z0r
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by z0r »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:11 pm
mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:01 am OK, I guess I'm conflating topics here. My question is: for those who have used Tesla or other brand's advanced driving safety features: it it easy and intuitive to use and does it help you drive more safely, particularly if you do not already use GPS apps? I'm trying to gather information on personal experiences with those systems because I have never used one.
I have a 2020 mid tier hyundai palisade with all new safety features. No autopilot but adaptive cruise control on the highways is a dream. Makes highway driving very easy, less stressful, while still obvi paying attention.
My mom got a Toyota corolla which has the basic new safety features. Auto braking has saved her a few times already
a few times? the first time auto braking saves you, you should turn in your keys for a while, you've failed
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Watty
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by Watty »

mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:03 am She drives 50 miles each way to work on the highway everyday....
A hundred mile daily commute would be crazy for someone half her age. She really needs to;
1) Move closer to her job.
2) Find a job closer to her home.
3) Retire.

In some situations she could also consider getting an apartment near her work and then just go there Monday morning and returning Friday evening.
egrets
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by egrets »

Watty wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:20 am
mookie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:03 am She drives 50 miles each way to work on the highway everyday....
A hundred mile daily commute would be crazy for someone half her age. She really needs to;
1) Move closer to her job.
2) Find a job closer to her home.
3) Retire.

In some situations she could also consider getting an apartment near her work and then just go there Monday morning and returning Friday evening.
That is a long commute.

I'm older than your Mom and last year bought a car with a navigation system for the first time. It took me some time and help from a relative to find the small set of controls I actually need to use. Also the manual is in the glove compartment (not for use while driving, obviously) in case something goes awry like I push a wrong button and need to figure out how to get back to my subset.

I feel comfortable entering a destination and pushing Guide. If your Mom is working, driving 100 miles a workday, and using some technology, I would think she could do this.

Before I got this car, I printed out google maps of the route and surrounding area, Also I still have some paper maps.

On the other hand, if she is not safe to drive without assistance features, which it sounds like she may be, she should not be driving.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by LilyFleur »

bagle wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:16 pm I can't speak to a 70-year old's needs, but I can speak to a 63-year old's experience over the past year.

I wouldn't recommend the Full Self Driving features for a 70-year old. Yes, it's very cool how the new beta FSD can stop and start at traffic lights, make turns on it's own and handle roundabouts. But it's still very much a beta version and requires active supervision.

On the other hand, the mere autopilot does a very nice job of keeping the car centered in the lane, maintaining the right distance from cars ahead of you and warning of potential accidents. This is useful on the longer trips the OP mentions. Tesla doesn't have a monopoly on this, but it's certainly one of the best (as Consumer Reports, for instance, recently attested).

As much as I like Waze, I think the large Tesla screen makes it easier to navigate if your mom's vision is less than perfect.

There is a learning curve for the Tesla. It requires some mental agility to open the glovebox using voice controls or touching a screen rather than pushing a physical button. But that should be easy for someone who can manage an iPad. Beyond that, the Tesla is very intuitive as a lot can be automated (e.g. turning headlights or wipers on) and the regenerative braking (IMHO) makes it easier to slow down 99% of the time - once you get used to it.
Here's the difference: when you are looking at your iPad and trying to figure something out, you are not simultaneously piloting a very heavy metal death machine. And as we age, it takes us longer to learn new things and our response time is slower. I remember when I got my 2014 Honda Accord. It had this really cool feature: when you turned on your right blinker, you got a display that showed a camera view of your right blind spot. It also was extremely distracting when I was learning it (I was in my late 50s).

Now I have the 2019 hybrid Honda Accord. Honda actually brought back some dials that people missed. I like being able to turn a dial for my radio volume when I am driving on the crowded freeway at high speed. (Although, yes, I do use the buttons on the steering wheel most of the time.)
mgensler
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Re: Tesla's self-driving features for a 70 year old

Post by mgensler »

If she can use an Ipad, she can use the Tesla screen. It's much easier and more "locked down" than an Ipad. The turn by turn navigation is dead simple to use and looks great on the big screen. She should also be much more comfortable on long drives without the vibration from a gas engine. The automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise, lane departure all work pretty well. We have an early version of the Autopilot and it works well enough to use on longer trips. As someone mentioned up thread it's less tiring when driving with it on.

However, before spending this much money on a new vehicle I would encourage her to evaluate her life/work balance. If that commute was in my town, only about 1-2% of people drive that much in a day. That much time in the car or any car drives up the likelihood of a serious collision. People 65+ are the most likely to be injured or killed in vehicular collisions second only to people under 25.
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