Road Trip with a Tesla – Day 1: Testing out the Tesla

tesla ph Mike Nelson is embarking on a cross-country road trip from Orange County, California to New York City in a Tesla 90D Model S.  The Model S is equipped with autopilot and electric all-wheel drive.  Mike will share his experiences on the road with autonomous technology with Up to Speed readers in a series of posts.

In order to develop a deeper understanding of autonomous vehicles, I decided to buy a Tesla 90D Model S from Tesla’s Costa Mesa, California dealership from Orange County to New York City and drive over the course of a three day trip with my son.  We will drive along I-15 north through Southern Utah, with plans to route through I-70 past Denver, then straight on to Independence, Missouri, where we will resume travel tomorrow with our path taking us through Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Mastering the user interface largely requires trusting the vehicle’s auto-pilot function or trying to avoid an unnecessary reflexive over-correction.

The vehicle has responded well to both a commercial truck sharply cutting into our lane and causing us to reduce speed from 77 to 29 miles per hour and has handled well at higher rates of speed through canyon passes and on sharp turns. I’m going to chronicle some of the events we observe cross country, however it’s not too early to say automated driving is already a reality.

Back to top