A word of caution about Lane Centering

CP-Mach-E

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Let me start out by saying that I love the Lane Centering feature on my Mach-E. For the most part it works great, and I can't wait until the hands-free option becomes available (assuming that any of the highways near me will be included in the pre-mapped zones).

Having said that, I need to caution other drivers that the feature only seems to work safely when there are clearly visible lines on both the left and the right of the car.

Twice now I've had the car attempt to swerve into the ditch beside the road. Luckily I was paying attention and was able to grab the steering wheel. In both cases the only visible line was the center line. The road itself was clear, but the snow to the right of the road overlapped the road a little bit, covering the line on the right side of the lane.

In both cases the road was perfectly straight. I have no idea why the car thought that the road was turning to the right.

In short, just be careful with the Lane Centering feature. I'm sure it will get better over time, but just make sure that you are paying attention, especially in cases where both lines are not clearly visible.





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timbop

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Whoa! That is actually one of the things they warn you about (lines on both sides clearly visible), but thanks for the heads-up about the consequences!
 

jhalkias

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Let me start out by saying that I love the Lane Centering feature on my Mach-E. For the most part it works great, and I can't wait until the hands-free option becomes available (assuming that any of the highways near me will be included in the pre-mapped zones).

Having said that, I need to caution other drivers that the feature only seems to work safely when there are clearly visible lines on both the left and the right of the car.

Twice now I've had the car attempt to swerve into the ditch beside the road. Luckily I was paying attention and was able to grab the steering wheel. In both cases the only visible line was the center line. The road itself was clear, but the snow to the right of the road overlapped the road a little bit, covering the line on the right side of the lane.

In both cases the road was perfectly straight. I have no idea why the car thought that the road was turning to the right.

In short, just be careful with the Lane Centering feature. I'm sure it will get better over time, but just make sure that you are paying attention, especially in cases where both lines are not clearly visible.
Good point to make to people. White snow may make the camera seek the line and fool it. Glad to hear you were paying attention!
 

0CO2

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I can confirm. My MME FE handles lane centering erratically and more than once has tried to put me in the path of oncoming traffic when the road was curving, even for well-marked highways. It seems to handle lane centering in rain poorly, not that we get much of THAT in western Oregon in the winter... (yes, sarcasm there). Perhaps on a dry interstate in good condition it will be a useful function, but not on a secondary road or even an interstate with sharper curves it isn't ready for prime time. Having driven a Model Y in autopilot (and also with FSD), and having seen reviews saying the MME had better lane centering - I beg to differ. At the moment the Model Y does a better job, at least compared to the MME I took delivery of.

Other issues include very poor speed control when using cruise control. My current (2020) and previous (2017) Chevy Bolts had this nailed - if you set it to 35 mph, unless it was cresting a very steep hill, it would absolutely maintain that speed even descending a steep hill on regenerative braking. The MME wobbles around a few mph of the target and has bursts of acceleration to catch up when it drifts too low and jerks of regenerative braking when it drifts too high - it's just not smooth and consistent. We have a lot of hills around here, and it doesn't handle those well at all, whereas the Bolt has no trouble with them. Yes, I've played around with the tolerance settings, but that doesn't solve this problem - it seems to be an issue with the fundamental control loop for speed control. This needs significant work in my view. Let's hope Ford takes note and we'll see this happen through an OTA update. At the moment, I'm not enjoying the ride.

Overall I feel like I am experiencing constant g-forces on as the control loop on the cruise control attempts to maintain speed, whereas on the (half the price of the MME) Bolt the same drive is free of high frequency speed adjustment jerkiness, and is a more restful ride. The suspension system too is not doing too good a job of damping normal road roughness either.

All in all, having driven two versions of the Bolt over the past four years, plus the Model 3, Model Y and now my own MME, I had expected the MME would be clearly superior to the Model Y as well as to the far less expensive Bolt, but after nearly a week of driving the MME, I would rate it below all of these other vehicles in overall comfort and quality of automated control features. Disappointing considering the price on the road before tax credits was $60k. Hopefully Ford is monitoring these forums so they can get useful feedback.

There have been software glitches too. I am waiting for Ford Engineering to get back to me on the problem of downloading a profile that was set up before delivery but won't install when following the instructions. Other minor glitches include inability to remotely control the windows, although this is a FordPass feature. It is also a pity that if you do a remote start, there is no feedback through FordPass that the remote start has actually happened and the car is being preconditioned.

Other grumbles - the way the MME handles setting desired charging levels and departure times is rather poor. On the MyChevrolet app, all I have to do is set the departure time, and the Bolt figures out when to start charging in order to reach the desired charge level precisely at the departure time - this way you avoid leaving the battery in a high charge state for too long, whereas as far as I can tell, I have to set a time window when the Ford is allowed to charge, and as soon as it enters the window, it begins charging - so the algorithm GM uses to determine the optimal starting time within the window, to avoid resting the battery at a high charge state, doesn't seem to implemented through FordPass and the MME's charging control. It would be a big improvement if this was implemented.

ForPass also has lots of design issues - there are tiny 'refresh" symbols that are almost impossible to use on a smartphone screen - they've taken a desktop web interface and tried to shoehorn it only a tiny screen. The app needs a re-write. MyChevrolet is far easier and more intuitive to use.

Too soon to tell about overall efficiency - but clearly notably less efficient (miles/kWh) than the Bolt and the published values for the Model Y. I still need to take it on a long road trip to get a better view of this as well as the hit to efficiency from the resistive heater (which the Bolt also suffers from). I assume the efficiency gap between the MME and the Model Y will be greater in the winter because of the lack of a heat pump, but we'll see...

The small scree above the steering wheel is a nice feature, but Ford has over-simplified the display. The clean minimal design aesthetic is nice - but it is so stripped down that the point of having the screen is almost lost. Would Ford provide an ICE Mustang instrument cluster without a tachometer for instance? Well on the MME they don't give you much useful information yet of the sort you would want to see on an instrument cluster.

For instance I would like to see the mi/kWh for the current trip (a trip meter) as well as instantaneous kW being used. These are standard features on the Bolt's steering wheel console and they provide very useful dynamic information that lets the driver adjust their driving style to maximize efficiency. There are other more subtle feedback cues on the Bolt, showing for instance not only the projected range but also (based on previous driving patterns) an upper and lower (optimistic and pessimistic) limit to the projected range, and also an instantaneous display done very cleverly that shows you if you are currently tending toward achieving better or worse range than the projected range estimate. Some of these features appear in an optional engineering mode on the display, and they really have positively impacted my driving style.

Even on my old 2017 Bolt (which had only a 60 kW battery and a 238 mile EPA rating) I would routinely exceed 300 miles range in the summer. So all-in-all I think Ford would do well to look more carefully at some of the competitor's display, feedback and control systems since there is definitely room for improvement.
 

JellyBelly

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I have had lane centering for past several years in a CRV and CX5. I don’t expect the MME to behave much differently. And the posts above are similar to my experiences where in if it’s a highway with two clear white lines it works best con straight roads or slight curves. More windy roads or country roads with no clear markings I try to not use it exactly for the reason that system can be confused. Even on a highway with clear markings it can be confused with new roads created for lane expansions and the line markings overlap old road and new or exits that are wide enough and the system can direct you to an exit than straight. So yeah need to know it’s limitations and be very careful.
 

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