Tesla Model X: Where we’re going, we don’t need roads
I can conceive that in saner circumstances, Tesla Model X might never have come to be. But the strongest blades are forged in the hottest fires, and for those that survive the heat, something very special is born.
Model X is special in a way that the automotive industry hasn’t been able to conceive in a very long time. It is an all-electric SUV that can seat up to seven people with bucketloads of cargo space to spare. It is a sporty all-wheel drive car that can throw instant and ungodly amounts of torque at the tarmac. It is a serene cruiser with its silent drive and breathtaking panoramic windshield. It is, in essence, an eight-eyed falcon with a supercomputer brain that dreams of a future of fully autonomous driving. And I had to have it.
As a Model S owner, I had already experienced and enjoyed more than a year of zero emissions Tesla driving. I knew what great things the car was capable of. I’d felt the thrill of instant torque, I’d fallen in love with the one-foot, regenerative braking driving experience, and I’d been chauffeured up and down the M1 by my very own Autopilot. Where the Model S presented itself as an all electric car - a subtle statement and proof of concept about a future of green but powerful motoring, Model X presented itself as a bold vision for what a car could be, if its only blueprint were imagination.
You see, I grew up on science fiction. I was nurtured on films, novels and comic books that painted a picture of a future of self-driving, flying cars. A future of spacecraft, interplanetary human civilisation, highly intelligent machines and all manner of technological wizardry. Whilst we got the Nintendo GameBoy, iPhone and the internet, the rest remained a hazy and elusive promise. But in Tesla and in SpaceX, we have two companies that are taking the positive sci-fi futures we all dreamt of as children and offering them up as palpable realities.
Today you can drive a car that runs on sunlight and doesn’t pollute the streets that our own children play on. Today you can buy a car that has those fantastic vertical opening doors. Today you can sit in a car that can drive the highway for you. Tomorrow you may be driven from door to door. Tomorrow you may be driving six hundred and fifty feet above the surface of the earth. Tomorrow you may be driving on Martian soil. And that’s really important. That isn’t talked about enough. Life has to be about more than just solving problems. Life should be fun and inspiring. Life should get you up early in the morning and keep you up late at night. Life should be about building the future we all want to live in.
That’s what owning a Tesla is all about. For all the talk of mind-blowing technology, jaw-dropping zero to sixty times, and zero emissions motoring, Tesla is really about being part of a community of people who believe in, and who are willing to take steps towards building a brighter, cleaner, more inspiring future. The past couple of years of electric driving have made many memories for me, from my first time nervously switching on Autopilot, to the first time I plugged into a Supercharger. But the memories that stay with me are those human stories. The amazing people I have met over coffees while charging. The friends I have made at Tesla meet-ups. The people who I have not yet met, but who extended the hand of friendship over an ocean wide and offered their help - Morgan, thanks again for the CHAdeMO charger!
In a world full of boring metal boxes, Tesla Model X stands in a class of its own . It asks what life would be like if we engineered not just for utility, but looked to build upon those childhood dreams of a science fiction future. It asks what we might do in life were we not burdened with conventions gone before, and what we might create if we were guided principally by that which makes life joyful.
So where next? For now I am going to continue loving each and every drive in this fantastic spaceship, continue meeting fellow wonderful Tesla owners , and hope and dream that as the technology progresses, and as companies like Tesla continue to create and innovate, that in the near future, where we’re going, maybe we really won’t need roads..
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