Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Tesla Model S Drivers Set Record-Breaking Cross Country Trip Using Autopilot Almost Entire Time

Business
Tesla Model S Drivers Set Record-Breaking Cross Country Trip Using Autopilot Almost Entire Time

A Tesla Model S completed a cross-country road trip in record time for an electric vehicle—and the car drove itself almost the entire way. Three friends—Carl Reese, Deena Mastracci and Alex Roy—made the trek from Redonda Beach, California to New York City in 57 hours and 48 minutes, according to Wired.

The autopilot feature was added as an update to Tesla cars just last week. Stephen Colbert, a proud Tesla owner, has already expressed how ecstatic he was about the new feature on the Late ShowAlthough there have already been some mishaps among Tesla drivers, even though Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned drivers to be very careful because the technology is so new.

But the trio's cross-country journey "highlights how quickly and enthusiastically autonomous technology is likely to be adopted, and how tricky it may be to keep in check once drivers get their first taste of freedom behind the wheel." As Colbert said on the Late Show, "this technology is self-driving towards us whether we like it or not."

The group's time still has to be verified by an independent third party, according to Wired. Regardless, their journey sounded harrowing.

Wired writes:

They covered 2,994 miles at an average speed of 51.8 mph, a figure that includes the time spent plugged into Supercharger stations along the way. They had autopilot mode engaged 96 percent of the time, Reese says, using it at speeds around 90 mph. It eased the burden on the team, a big deal when you’re in a car for 57 hours straight.

Autopilot caused a few scares, Roy says, largely because the car was moving so quickly. “There were probably three or four moments where we were on autonomous mode at 90 miles an hour, and hands off the wheel,” and the road curved, Roy says. Where a trained driver would aim for the apex—the geometric center of the turn—to maintain speed and control, the car follows the lane lines. “If I hadn’t had my hands there, ready to take over, the car would have gone off the road and killed us.” He’s not annoyed by this, though. “That’s my fault for setting a speed faster than the system’s capable of compensating.”

Laws will have to catch up with technology as there are very few rules governing autonomous driving. Even Roy, a trained racing driver, admits that “there’s no reason this car should be allowed to go 20 or 30 miles per hour over the speed limit in autonomous mode.” Still, Musk and Tesla congratulated the team on Twitter.

And this isn't even the crew's first record-breaking trip. In April, Reese and Mastracci set a record for the least amount of time spent charging an electric vehicle while driving across the country. And Roy set an unofficial record in 2006, driving from New York to LA in just 31 hours and four minutes.

Watch them refuel at the Supercharging station in Englewood, Ohio:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Donald Trump Blames Intern for Tweet Insulting Monsanto, Ben Carson and Iowa Republicans

SeaWorld Orca Too ‘Depressed’ to Nurse Her Calf + 7 Other Reasons Killer Whales Should Not Be Captive

Hydrogen Fuel Cell vs. Electric Cars: Which Will Drive Us Into the Future?

3 Autopilot Fail Videos Show Why Tesla Owners Still Need to Keep Hands on Wheel

A deadly tornado touched down near the city of Fultondale, Alabama on Jan. 25, 2021. Justin1569 / Wikipedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

A tornado tore through a city north of Birmingham, Alabama, Monday night, killing one person and injuring at least 30.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An empty school bus by a field of chemical plants in "Cancer Alley," one of the most polluted areas of the U.S. that stretches from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, where oil refineries and petrochemical plants reside alongside suburban homes. Giles Clarke / Getty Images

By David Konisky

On his first day in office President Joe Biden started signing executive orders to reverse Trump administration policies. One sweeping directive calls for stronger action to protect public health and the environment and hold polluters accountable, including those who "disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities."

Read More Show Less

Trending

Pixabay

By Katherine Kornei

Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.

Read More Show Less
Icebergs near Ilulissat, Greenland on Oct. 13, 2020. Climate change is having a profound effect with glaciers and the Greenland ice cap retreating. Ulrik Pedersen / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.

Read More Show Less
Caribbean islands such as Trinidad have plenty of water for swimming, but locals face water shortages for basic needs. Marc Guitard / Getty Images

By Jewel Fraser

Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.

Read More Show Less