10,000 Miles and Still Getting Better
I’m a technology guy, whose day job is to run a surface transportation technology company (traffic lights, school beacons, emergency vehicle response, etc.). Before buying one, I did not know much about Tesla, but I knew I wanted to experience the car and technology firsthand. Is all of this for real? Is this really the way of the future? Six months and 10,000 miles ago I bought a Model S 90D to find out the answer for myself.
I had some initial questions regarding living with an electric vehicle: Isn’t this more trouble than gas? What about range anxiety? Is long distance travel really practical? The answers have totally surprised me. Having an electric vehicle is far more convenient than gas, primarily because you leave home with a full battery every day. You never get caught short and have to stop to pump gas in the cold. As for long distance travel, what a pleasure! Road trips are simple: follow the planned route on the 17” touchscreen which will automatically route you through Superchargers on the way to your final destination. Supercharging is a great time to stretch your legs, eat, and drink coffee. When your Tesla app on your phone goes ‘ping - ready to continue your trip,’ you carry on driving.
Are there really advantages of the car being connected to the Internet? The experience surprised me here again. Over-the-air software updates are a real game changer – the car is literally becoming better and safer the longer I own it.
Because the car is always connected to the internet the navigation software uses current traffic patterns, information about weather, and terrain to find the optimal route to your destination. If conditions change while you are driving, the car will update the route. It really is very cool to experience, and the algorithms continue to improve.
Is Autopilot a gimmick? Will I continue to use it when the novelty wears off? After driving 10,000 miles and about 9,000 on Autopilot, I have been pleasantly surprised. It’s a fundamentally safer and better way to drive. It is a much richer experience than I expected, as I found out when I drove from Atlanta all the way to Chattanooga and did not need to touch the pedals or interfere once. I set the target speed, monitor the surroundings for danger, and keep my hands on the wheel, feeling the car move the steering wheel under my hands. The car handles the chore of staying between the lines and keeps distance from the vehicles in front, while I retain supervision.
All in all, a great experience Tesla. Bring on the next 10,000 miles, and new software updates!