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    Thread: Pilot Assist

    1. #1
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      Pilot Assist

      Hey everyone,

      First time poster here. Apologize if this was discussed elsewhere but I couldn't find it. My girlfriend bought her T5 Inscription XC40 the other day prior to moving across the country with me. Had to have it to drive the 2000 miles instead of her ancient Focus. Awesome car for long distance! Except that Pilot Assist likes to shut off without warning. Had it happen probably 10 times, no problems with weather, but maybe some odd lane lines during construction or going over a bridge for a second. Few of those times it didn't pick back up at all. Luckily had hands on the wheel and head up, otherwise would have taken a few cones for a ride. I've seen an article or two mentioning that there's no obvious sign except for the symbol on the dash going from green to grey. Seems incredibly unsafe if you're relying on that to send a text, as our salesperson suggested. Why no chime when it switches off?

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    3. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by volvogolfer View Post
      Hey everyone,

      First time poster here. Apologize if this was discussed elsewhere but I couldn't find it. My girlfriend bought her T5 Inscription XC40 the other day prior to moving across the country with me. Had to have it to drive the 2000 miles instead of her ancient Focus. Awesome car for long distance! Except that Pilot Assist likes to shut off without warning. Had it happen probably 10 times, no problems with weather, but maybe some odd lane lines during construction or going over a bridge for a second. Few of those times it didn't pick back up at all. Luckily had hands on the wheel and head up, otherwise would have taken a few cones for a ride. I've seen an article or two mentioning that there's no obvious sign except for the symbol on the dash going from green to grey. Seems incredibly unsafe if you're relying on that to send a text, as our salesperson suggested. Why no chime when it switches off?
      There is a menu item that chimes when disconnecting. Also, disconnects I think when it senses driver unattentiveness or distracted. Lots to dig thru I the center screen.

    4. #3
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      The salesperson is an idiot and shouldn't be advocating such things. It's Pilot ASSIST, it is NOT self driving and you should NOT be taking your hands off the wheel to text. Adding an audible notification would probably be a good idea, but it shouldn't be needed to safely use it.

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    6. #4
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      There's two reasons it'll turn off. One is when your hands are not on the wheel for a set period of time (14 seconds?), after a bit there will display an orange steerwheel icon instead of the green one with a message that says 'Apply Steering'. This can happen even if you do have your hands on the wheel, but very lightly. Two is when the lane markings are no longer fully visible or cannot be determined by the system, it'll turn off. You mention 'odd lane lines' during construction... you really should be turning Pilot Assist off when going through construction, its not made to navigate anything but near perfect road setups on the highway. If the lane lines look at all sketchy, you should probably just switch it off for the duration.

      Probably the biggest problem with the XC40 and pilot assist is that the HUD is not available on it at all. Those warnings work very well with a HUD, as they display is in your line of sight. Otherwise you have to keep paying attention to the instrument display.
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    7. #5
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      Along the lines of salespeople being idiots - in regards to pilot assist mine told me to lower the steering wheel all the way and bump it with my knee, or tie a string to it with a weight attached and it will think you are moving the wheel. Seriously, I'm 55 and he thought that was important to tell me.

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      Thanks for the replies so far. I should have clarified, I was only testing to see what situations it was working in. Definitely not flying through construction zones not paying attention. And it was better in many places to just go to adaptive cruise because the car was bouncing between pretty clearly marked lanes. I agree it would be awesome to have a HUD and in your sightline. To me it just becomes basically useless if you have to monitor the dash the entire time it's on. Simple chime when it shuts off would be the easiest solution. I did get the warning to grasp the wheel better which is fine. To 808dakine, do you know if there's an option somewhere? We haven't been able to find it.

    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by samplesdsg View Post
      Along the lines of salespeople being idiots - in regards to pilot assist mine told me to lower the steering wheel all the way and bump it with my knee, or tie a string to it with a weight attached and it will think you are moving the wheel. Seriously, I'm 55 and he thought that was important to tell me.
      Which dealer did this happen at? That definitely should be reported...
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      One simple rule, drive it as you are the only one driving it. Don't forget you are the one to save the car and the world.

      Don't forget driving just because you see the green wheel icon.

      You need to monitor the road, constantly, for curves, faded lines, shades, stopped traffic, etc, and take over before PA goes wrong.

      And don't ask why PA goes wrong. It could just happen. You should have known it.

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      Last edited by FusionRedXC60; 09-17-2018 at 07:23 PM.
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    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by volvogolfer View Post
      Thanks for the replies so far. I should have clarified, I was only testing to see what situations it was working in. Definitely not flying through construction zones not paying attention. And it was better in many places to just go to adaptive cruise because the car was bouncing between pretty clearly marked lanes. I agree it would be awesome to have a HUD and in your sightline. To me it just becomes basically useless if you have to monitor the dash the entire time it's on. Simple chime when it shuts off would be the easiest solution. I did get the warning to grasp the wheel better which is fine. To 808dakine, do you know if there's an option somewhere? We haven't been able to find it.
      I have an XC60, which has the HUD, so my experience may be a bit different because I don't really have to look at the dash. That being said, I monitor the little indicator that shows if it's reading the lanes or not quite often. It's not that much of a hassle as it's pretty close to perfect with clear lane markings or even less clear lane markings in my experience. So when I feel like lane marking aren't that great, I just monitor the dash a bit more. I think how my sales person put it and how I try to think of it....it's just a driving fatigue reducer. It's not really autonomous drive. I can ease up my effort a bit and let the car sort of do it's thing while still being vigilant.

      I just did a 400 mile trip using it about half the time from Northern California to Central California and back, and I arrived much less tired than normal. I do agree a chime would be nice, but it's not meant for that much time spent not looking at what's happening, so the visual warnings are seen to be sufficient. I think sales people just need to be more clear about its intended use as I fear a lot of people are seeing this as real autonomous driving. I think the idea also was that having a chime would encourage people to pay attention less because they would think "Oh, it will beep when I need to look again" so it would actually encourage less attention. Sales people should make it clear that it will shut off by itself with just visual warnings though so people aren't surprised and would be less likely to try to do things like texting or spend a lot of time looking elsewhere. It does sort of fool you into thinking it's going to drive through every situation.
      Last edited by Vavavavolvo; 09-18-2018 at 03:46 AM.

    12. #10
      Quote Originally Posted by volvogolfer View Post
      Seems incredibly unsafe if you're relying on that to send a text, as our salesperson suggested. Why no chime when it switches off?
      I really, really hope I misunderstand your post. It appears you think PA is designed to facilitate your texting while driving, and your inattentive driving in construction zones. Because it doesn't do that, it is an "incredibly unsafe system." Texting while driving is illegal in 47 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands. The only "incredibly unsafe" thing I find in your post is that anyone fool enough to expect PA to take over while driving in a construction zone, and/or while texting, is allowed to share the road with the rest of us.

      As I understand PA's design, and as VavavaVolvo has explained in greater detail here, the reason PA alerts (green to orange, not "grey") is precisely because the system relies on detecting lane markings, which come, go, and may be faded or obscured. So, the system alert is placed where the driver is forced to keep eyes more-or-less on the road. When used as intended, to allow stress relief and therefore less driver fatigue, I find it a useful system.
      Last edited by Orphanscribe; 09-17-2018 at 10:03 PM.

    13. #11
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      On youtube there are claims that you can put a mostly full water bottle in the gaps on the wheel and it was have the same effect.

    14. #12
      Quote Originally Posted by joeboo View Post
      On youtube there are claims that you can put a mostly full water bottle in the gaps on the wheel and it was have the same effect.
      Great! Then you can text to your heart's content, take a nap, practice the flute...until the crash. Whereupon you sue Volvo and the people who you maimed.

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      Yes to be clear, not relying on the system to text the entire drive. As I said, I had my hands on the wheel and was looking up. But if it shuts off without warning and you're blinking or taking a sip of water on a 15 hour drive, doesn't take much time at 70mph for something to happen. People are awful at lane discipline and anytime I saw someone coming into my lane I shut it off so it wouldn't slam the brakes. I left it off for a good portion of the drive after seeing how it handled certain situations. My salesperson suggested the texting, I was not. The point about people paying less attention because they're relying on the beep is valid, but I don't think it's different than the current system where clearly there are those playing the how long can I have my hands off the wheel game before it beeps at me. I was a psych major in college, Pavlov's dogs anyone? The beeps would be training you when the conditions are unsafe. A good portion of the drivers I encountered needed some of that.

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      You are looking ahead on the road and should make sure the road condition is good and safe before blinking or reach to water bottle.

      Understand this first.

      If road condition needs your attention, you should be attentive already as you were looking ahead, not waiting for the warning beep.

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      Last edited by FusionRedXC60; 09-18-2018 at 11:03 AM.
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    17. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by FusionRedXC60 View Post
      You are looking ahead on the road and should make sure the road condition is good and safe before blinking or reach to water bottle.

      Understand this first.

      If road condition needs your attention, you should be attentive already as you were looking ahead, not waiting for the warning beep.

      Sent from my Z978 using Tapatalk
      What if I think the conditions are safe but the car doesn't?

    18. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by volvogolfer View Post
      What if I think the conditions are safe but the car doesn't?
      Then you need to learn what are the conditions the car doesn't think safe.
      Follow the manual, means, pay attention always.

      And learn from other's experience for unsafe conditions:

      - Curves are always not safe.
      - Fading lane marks, on either side.
      - Car stopped far in front.
      - Raining or snowing or bad weather.
      - Shades on road.
      - Passing by freeway exits.

      Yes there are lot of unsafe conditions but PA can still help 80 - 90% of an interstate trip.
      Human can easily see 10 seconds ahead, this is what PA cannot do today.
      Once you are quite clear on those unsafe conditions, you know you can correct PA before it goes wrong.
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    19. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by volvogolfer View Post
      Yes to be clear, not relying on the system to text the entire drive. As I said, I had my hands on the wheel and was looking up. But if it shuts off without warning and you're blinking or taking a sip of water on a 15 hour drive, doesn't take much time at 70mph for something to happen. People are awful at lane discipline and anytime I saw someone coming into my lane I shut it off so it wouldn't slam the brakes. I left it off for a good portion of the drive after seeing how it handled certain situations. My salesperson suggested the texting, I was not. The point about people paying less attention because they're relying on the beep is valid, but I don't think it's different than the current system where clearly there are those playing the how long can I have my hands off the wheel game before it beeps at me. I was a psych major in college, Pavlov's dogs anyone? The beeps would be training you when the conditions are unsafe. A good portion of the drivers I encountered needed some of that.
      Also a psych major among other things and I get what you’re saying there. But driving a car is way different than training dogs and far more dangerous even under perfect conditions. There may not be time for the beeps to train you when conditions are unsafe. The visual indications do the same for me by the way. Hence monitoring the symbol that tells me when it is reading the lanes or not. I am learning what the car sees in a given situation.

      I don’t know. I don’t usually have to look away to take a sip of water. If I was that concerned about lack of a chime and not being able to look at the dash to see what’s going on with PA I’d use a straw. Blinking takes half a second. Plenty of time to see visually if PA is on or not no? A chime would only serve well if one was spending a good portion of time not paying attention. No?

    20. #18
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      Anybody wants a chime doesn't realize how slowly human reacts to sound, even when fully alerted like a 100m racer, not to mention relaxed, or even absent-minded drivers, or all kind of human kinds sitting behind the wheel.

      When you predict road condition correctly, driving can be relaxed, but still not neglected.
      I think human driver can usually see 10 seconds safe road in advance and this helps a lot for safe and relaxed driving, and is why human still does better than PA.

      With new LiDAR radar equipped on autonomous cars, computer will do better than human in near future. But that's well beyond what PA can do today.
      Last edited by FusionRedXC60; 09-18-2018 at 02:37 PM.
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      I simply think a chime that it is deactivated is a simple and safer way to do this. Probably takes a few lines of code and an OTA update. If Pilot Assist isn't safe to use under many conditions, we shouldn't have access to it at all because, as others have said, people will find a way to hack it to use it when it's not safe. US roads are pretty terrible.

      As I said, I had it off for much of the drive because it was unreliable. I felt like it handled curves at 70 in the rain better than some slightly faded lane lines on some straights in perfect weather. And being a great driver with a flawless record, I've got my damn hands on the wheel and am paying attention. I just feel like a Tesla running into a barrier situation is coming because someone is relying on this being on when the system can decide at any point, even under conditions that it's handled before and should be fine with, to turn off with no warning other than the green light turning off. And if I have to take my eyes off the road to see if it's off, even for a second, that's unsafe.

    22. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by volvogolfer View Post
      I simply think a chime that it is deactivated is a simple and safer way to do this. Probably takes a few lines of code and an OTA update. If Pilot Assist isn't safe to use under many conditions, we shouldn't have access to it at all because, as others have said, people will find a way to hack it to use it when it's not safe. US roads are pretty terrible.

      As I said, I had it off for much of the drive because it was unreliable. I felt like it handled curves at 70 in the rain better than some slightly faded lane lines on some straights in perfect weather. And being a great driver with a flawless record, I've got my damn hands on the wheel and am paying attention. I just feel like a Tesla running into a barrier situation is coming because someone is relying on this being on when the system can decide at any point, even under conditions that it's handled before and should be fine with, to turn off with no warning other than the green light turning off. And if I have to take my eyes off the road to see if it's off, even for a second, that's unsafe.
      I agree without HUD it is not good to look at the dash so often. Maybe just drive as if PA is not there and you can feel from the resistance on steering that PA is active or not. I got HUD and feel much easier with the PA icon on HUD. It is a pity XC40 doesn't come with HUD.

      I guess without HUD, I'd only take a peek of dash when road is safe to do so, just like I peek the speed reading now and then.

      Even PA only handles well marked and nearly straight lanes, it is majority of your long trip and you can be much relaxed on those boring roads.
      Last edited by FusionRedXC60; 09-18-2018 at 07:29 PM.
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    23. #21
      Quote Originally Posted by FusionRedXC60 View Post
      Anybody wants a chime doesn't realize how slowly human reacts to sound, even when fully alerted like a 100m racer, not to mention drivers.
      +1

    24. #22
      Quote Originally Posted by volvogolfer View Post
      I simply think a chime that it is deactivated is a simple and safer way to do this. Probably takes a few lines of code and an OTA update.
      You are entitled to your opinion. Even though your opinion seems to be that Volvo was too dumb, or too cheap, to add the chime. You are also entitled not to order, and to refrain from engaging, PA in situations where its clearly-announced limitations trouble you.

      I'm confident Volvo is more aware than you are how many lines of code were required to add a chime, added it, then tested it far more extensively than your drive in your girlfriend's car. Then concluded that the system was safer without it, for the many reasons others have pointed out here, and likely for more reasons not mentioned here.

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      It is clearly gap between what people wish to have, and what PA can currently do.

      L3 is not better in terms of satisfactory to people's desire.
      L4 and L5, maybe.

      People are just either heroes (when they are driving) or babies (when L5 computer driving) when facing the danger on road.
      Anything in between is doomed to be not satisfactory.
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    26. #24
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      For what it's worth, I tend to switch between PA and ACC quite often based on the situation.
      I mostly leave PA on when the markings are clear and the road is straight. In lots of drives on NJ Tpk and GSP people get too close to my lane, and sometimes encroach too much, so I switch to ACC because PA tries to keep the car centered at all times.
      There are just too many instances to count when I have to play with the PA-->ACC and PA-->OFF. But overall, I love PA and it's useful. I'm definitely too scared to look away even for a bit. The tech is just not there yet for that.

      So overall, one shouldn't rely on PA to work at all times. The more you drive with it, the more you'll adapt to using it.
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      Drove quite a bit using PA in Switzerland on our OSD trip. A couple of times PA disengaged by itself and discovering that after the fact was quite hair raising. I understand it is an “assist” feature but I’d like to know when that assistance is no longer active. My hand was always on the steering wheel but a lot of times on a turn, PA would start the turn later than I would’ve. So I had to learn to trust that PA would start the turn a second after my brain starts to get worried. But if PA disengages by itself without warning, then I can never trust it. I would have to double check whether I see a green icon before entering every turn. Which makes PA less helpful at reducing my workload.

      A non-visual warning of any kind would work for me. A chime or a quick vibrate the steering wheel are both valid options.

      My takes is that when a system deviates from the expected state, it’s best to warn the operator. Why not? It can only help.

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      Don't trust PA, just start the turn early as usual as you drive. PA is not good at turns but it helps on nearly straight roads, which is a lot on your trip.

      Keep the curves and any challenge to yourself.

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    29. #27
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      Im in the market for the XC40. I dont really need the Pilot Assist I just want the adaptive cruise control. Is it standard or do I have to have the package with Pilot Assist?

    30. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by volvogolfer View Post
      I simply think a chime that it is deactivated is a simple and safer way to do this. Probably takes a few lines of code and an OTA update. If Pilot Assist isn't safe to use under many conditions, we shouldn't have access to it at all because, as others have said, people will find a way to hack it to use it when it's not safe. US roads are pretty terrible.

      As I said, I had it off for much of the drive because it was unreliable. I felt like it handled curves at 70 in the rain better than some slightly faded lane lines on some straights in perfect weather. And being a great driver with a flawless record, I've got my damn hands on the wheel and am paying attention. I just feel like a Tesla running into a barrier situation is coming because someone is relying on this being on when the system can decide at any point, even under conditions that it's handled before and should be fine with, to turn off with no warning other than the green light turning off. And if I have to take my eyes off the road to see if it's off, even for a second, that's unsafe.
      I've absolutely never had a problem of it deactivating without me knowing and my MY19 XC90 doesn't have an HUD. But with that being said, there are 3 different versions of PA and that may be the reason we have different storys about how good the system is. My cars running Pilot Assist 3 to my knowledge and its works pretty well. However, there was this one time when I was driving at 60 mph, there was a dead deer in the road over the lane marker and it started trying to jerk towards the deer. But, my hands were on the wheel and I could pull it back. I even make use of the system in town sometimes.

      With that being said though, I totally agree that there should be a chime when activates and disengages. Disengaging being the main one, some people aren't always looking at their dash and it could be off putting if it turns off while you think it's still on. I driven a Model X before and when Autopilot disengages it gives you a chime to let you know. Volvo should at least give you a little chime in a future update...

    31. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by baseballfan1192 View Post
      Im in the market for the XC40. I dont really need the Pilot Assist I just want the adaptive cruise control. Is it standard or do I have to have the package with Pilot Assist?
      Pilot Assist comes with the Premium Package on all XC40 specs, but the Adaptive Cruise does as well (Specifically, the option the package adds is "Pilot Assist - Semi Autonomous Drive System w/Adaptive Cruise Control"), so you cannot get ACC without Pilot Assist.
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      Quote Originally Posted by SeppTB View Post
      Pilot Assist comes with the Premium Package on all XC40 specs, but the Adaptive Cruise does as well (Specifically, the option the package adds is "Pilot Assist - Semi Autonomous Drive System w/Adaptive Cruise Control"), so you cannot get ACC without Pilot Assist.
      Just to be clear in order to have Pilot Assist for the XC40 you have to get the Advanced Package.

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      Quote Originally Posted by volvoxc9008 View Post
      I've absolutely never had a problem of it deactivating without me knowing and my MY19 XC90 doesn't have an HUD. But with that being said, there are 3 different versions of PA and that may be the reason we have different storys about how good the system is. My cars running Pilot Assist 3 to my knowledge and its works pretty well. However, there was this one time when I was driving at 60 mph, there was a dead deer in the road over the lane marker and it started trying to jerk towards the deer. But, my hands were on the wheel and I could pull it back. I even make use of the system in town sometimes.

      With that being said though, I totally agree that there should be a chime when activates and disengages. Disengaging being the main one, some people aren't always looking at their dash and it could be off putting if it turns off while you think it's still on. I driven a Model X before and when Autopilot disengages it gives you a chime to let you know. Volvo should at least give you a little chime in a future update...
      Are you sure you have PA3 on MY2019 XC90? Love to know if anyone got PA3 with human-like curve handling. So far I only see it is mentioned in spec of S60 P*Engineered car as "PA with navi".

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    34. #32
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      Quote Originally Posted by FusionRedXC60 View Post
      Are you sure you have PA3 on MY2019 XC90? Love to know if anyone got PA3 with human-like curve handling. So far I only see it is mentioned in spec of S60 P*Engineered car as "PA with navi".

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      No this was my mistake I’m running PA2. Sales man at the time told me PA3 was running on the car.


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      Quote Originally Posted by volvogolfer View Post
      Hey everyone,

      First time poster here. Apologize if this was discussed elsewhere but I couldn't find it. My girlfriend bought her T5 Inscription XC40 the other day prior to moving across the country with me. Had to have it to drive the 2000 miles instead of her ancient Focus. Awesome car for long distance! Except that Pilot Assist likes to shut off without warning. Had it happen probably 10 times, no problems with weather, but maybe some odd lane lines during construction or going over a bridge for a second. Few of those times it didn't pick back up at all. Luckily had hands on the wheel and head up, otherwise would have taken a few cones for a ride. I've seen an article or two mentioning that there's no obvious sign except for the symbol on the dash going from green to grey. Seems incredibly unsafe if you're relying on that to send a text, as our salesperson suggested. Why no chime when it switches off?
      In my experience with PA in the XC40, the system will display an amber wheel when it detects that you are no longer steering. This will soon thereafter change to a red steering wheel with an audible warning chime if no action is taken and the system will switch off.

      In the instances that you're talking about, I believe that what is happening is that the system can no longer "see" the lane markings anymore. This action is highlighted ONLY by a vibration transmitted through the steering wheel, and the green wheel icon changes to gray without any animation whatsoever.

      These situations can happen when the road changes from a dark asphalt to a lighter one like going over a bridge or definitely through a construction zone. Sometimes I can't tell if the system has disengaged because the road surface is not completely smooth and you can't feel the warning vibration over the vibration of the actual road.

      For this reason, I feel an audible warning would be good, but seeing as how you're supposed to be in control the whole time, this warning we're asking for may be misconstrued for permission to not pay attention and drive the car.

      In these instances personally I have been fine because I behave the same as if the system is NOT engaged. For me it is strictly assistance and insurance, not a replacement for my input. Pay attention to the road markings in your instrument cluster. White markings show a clear understanding of the road by the system, gray for not so much, yellow for line crossing detection. This system is only meant to relieve the driver from minuscule adjustments on longer stints, and therefore helping to keep you alert and fresh longer. Never intended to fully take over the process.

      Safe driving to you!

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