First of all, let me say right up front - this is definitely still BETA. Keeping your hands on the wheel while driving 75 mph is definitely a requirement. My first impression is that AutoPilot is currently driving like a teenager--over correcting most of the time and correcting too often (not to mention occasionally scaring the crap out of me). However, automatic cruise control started this way last April and got better and better over a few months and I would honestly say now it is amazing.
In its current state, these are the use cases I think make sense:
- "the reach". How many times without auto pilot are you trying to grab something, trying to open something, etc, and doing insane things like holding the wheel with your knee? A no-brainer.
- LA traffic. Rush hour often means stop and go traffic between 0 and 40 miles an hour. This is a perfect use case for auto pilot - relax, listen to an audio blog, make a blue tooth call.
- "the long drive". Even with your hands on the wheel, there is comfort in the car looking out for changes. I will say that there are times you feel like you are fighting it (i.e. It wants to be in the middle of the lane but as a motorcycle passes in between traffic you want to move to the left), and ironically it drives more accurately in the nighttime than the day (I think that has to do with the reflective lines being easier to distinguish vs. the washed out daytime view).
I think we are 18 months or more from being able to comfortably drive at 75 mph on a highway without fear of the autopilot misreading the lines on the road and sounding the very alarming collision alert signal so ou can quickly take control.