Quantcast

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

Business

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

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Gretchen Goldman

The Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel has released their consensus recommendations to the EPA administrator on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. The group of 20 independent experts, that were disbanded by Administrator Wheeler last October and reconvened last week, hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, has now made clear that the current particulate pollution standards don't protect public health and welfare.

Read More Show Less
An African elephant is pictured on November 19, 2012, in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

The unprecedented drought that has caused a water crisis in Zimbabwe has now claimed the life of at least 55 elephants since September, according to a wildlife spokesman, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Maria Dornelas.

By John C. Cannon

Life is reshuffling itself at an unsettling clip across Earth's surface and in its oceans, a new study has found.

Read More Show Less
An Exxon station in Florida remains open despite losing its roof during Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005. Florida Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shaun Withers

The country's largest fossil fuel company goes on trial today to face charges that it lied to investors about the safety of its assets in the face of the climate crisis and potential legislation to fight it, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
El Niño's effect on Antarctica is seen in a tabular iceberg off of Thwaites ice shelf. Jeremy Harbeck / NASA

El Niños are getting stronger due to climate change, according to a new study in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Julia Ries

  • Antibiotic resistance has doubled in the last 20 years.
  • Additionally a new study found one patient developed resistance to a last resort antibiotic in a matter of weeks.
  • Health experts say antibiotic prescriptions should only be given when absolutely necessary in order to avoid growing resistance.

Over the past decade, antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the greatest public health threats.

Read More Show Less
Pexels


There are hundreds of millions of acres of public land in the U.S., but not everyone has had the chance to hike in a national forest or picnic in a state park.

Read More Show Less
Workers attend to a rooftop solar panel project on May 14, 2017 in Wuhan, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

By Simon Evans

Renewable sources of electricity are set for rapid growth over the next five years, which could see them match the output of the world's coal-fired power stations for the first time ever.

Read More Show Less