Now that the autopilot function in Tesla’s new operating system has been out for awhile, we’re starting to see people really test how far the system can be pushed. For better or for worse…
On the “better” side, I recently came across a story concerning rally driver Alex Roy making a coast to coast journey on autopilot in a Tesla Model S P85D owned by friends Carl Reese and Deena Mastracci.
The trio claims to have set two new records — the fastest cross-country trip in an electric car, and the fastest cross-country trip in an autonomous car. The group set off from the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California, and arrived at the Red Ball Garage on East 31st Street in New York City, New York, around 2.5 days later. The total trip time was apparently “only” 57 hours and 48 minutes.
InsideEVs provides more:
A clue that this record attempt was in progress came when @AlexRoy144 tweeted, “What Is The Level 2 Autonomous Driving Record? Enquiring Minds Want to Know. #Tesla #Autopilot.” According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) proposed classification system, a Level 2 automated vehicle system has at least two controls that can be automated in unison, such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping.
Deena Mastracci, who stayed for much of the trip, said the Tesla Autopilot performance was “stellar”. In recent years, Guinness has no longer recognized time-based records conducted on public roads, so both records may remain “unofficial” by Guinness standards.
While that certainly makes for a welcome break from videos of people being extremely careless in their exploration of the new autopilot feature, it also makes one salivate at the thought of a fully autonomous car. How great would it be to hop in your car and take a nap in the back while on the way to your destination?
(h/t to “Noneduck” on the Tesla Motors Club forum)
Image Credit: Alex Roy