Science

Watch a Tesla Model 3 drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles with almost no intervention

A self-driving Tesla prototype has successfully driven from San Francisco to Los Angeles with almost no human intervention.

A time-lapse video from Whole Mars Catalog shows the driver’s view of a Tesla Model 3 Performance upgraded with the company’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology making the 380-mile journey.

The electric sedan encountered numerous traffic environments, from highways to urban streets.

It wasn’t a completely driverless trek, though: In the video the human driver take control to avoid road debris and to charge the car along the way.

There was also some ‘erratic’ driving on San Francisco’s Market Street, Engadget reported.

Introduced in October, FSD is billed as an ‘advanced driver assistance system’ that uses external cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors and a powerful onboard computer to steer, change lanes, park, navigate on and off highways, and slow and stop at traffic lights.    

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Tesla aficionado Whole Mars Catalog used the carmaker’s still-beta Full Self-Driving (FSD) tech to take a Model 3 from San Francisco to Los Angeles

A select number of Tesla owners have been invited to test the technology and have been sharing the results.

Last fall, YouTuber Dan Markham and SpaceX enthusiast Eli Burton filmed their ride down Las Vegas Boulevard on a Tesla Model S outfitted with FSD. 

 

Tesla fell just shy of hitting CEO Elon Musk’s goal of delivering 500,000 vehicles in 2020, the company announced Saturday.

Tesla introduced its FSD technology in beta in October and has allowed select users to test it out

Tesla introduced its FSD technology in beta in October and has allowed select users to test it out

The electric vehicle only relied on its human occupant briefly on the 380-mile trek, to avoid road debris and recharge its batteries

The electric vehicle only relied on its human occupant briefly on the 380-mile trek, to avoid road debris and recharge its batteries

It missed the goal by less than 500 cars, but, with the final numbers still being tallied, it might cross the threshold after all.

The vow was made well before the global coronavirus pandemic closed factories worldwide and threw established resource channels into chaos.

‘So proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone! At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10% chance of surviving at all,’ Musk tweeted Saturday. ‘Tesla is responsible for 2/3 of all the personal & professional pain in my life combined. But it was worth it.’  

In November, Consumer Reports removed Tesla’s Model S sedan and Model Y crossover SUV from its ‘recommended’ list due to a number of reliability concerns.

The ratings organization dropped the cars due to problems in the Model S’ air suspension and main computer and touch screens, and the crossover lost support because of problems with its body hardware and paint, CNBC reported. 

 Consumer Reports continues to recommend the Tesla Model 3, used by Whole Mars Catalog on the SF/LA road trip.

Tesla's Model S sedan (seen here) and Model Y crossover SUV are no longer 'recommended' by Consumer Reports due to a number of reliability concerns. The ratings organization dropped the cars due to problems in the Model S' air suspension and main computer and touch screens

Tesla’s Model S sedan (seen here) and Model Y crossover SUV are no longer ‘recommended’ by Consumer Reports due to a number of reliability concerns. The ratings organization dropped the cars due to problems in the Model S’ air suspension and main computer and touch screens

Many owners of the Model S Sedan and Model Y crossover SUV have reported issues with their vehicles over the years – claims which lowered Tesla’s overall ratings.

In 2015, the Model S was listed as the top-rated vehicle, but Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, told CNBC that the group has seen a number of problems arise from drivers of the vehicle.

‘It’s wavered throughout its life cycle,’ he said highlighting the fact it was first introduced in 2012.

In November, Tesla notified some owners by email that their warranties would be expanded to cover various problems, such as memory-card failure.  

The move may have been an attempt to head off lawsuits or even a mandatory recall.

Shortly after the email was sent, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a safety probe into Model S and Model X vehicles built between 2012 and early 2018 — about 159,000 vehicles.

‘The data show failure rates over 30 percent in certain build months and accelerating failure trends after three to four years in service,’ the agency said.

Last month, Tesla’s Freemont, California, factory abruptly stopped producing the Model S and the Model X SUV.

No details were given about why production lines on those cars were closed between December 24 and January 11, but a revamped Model S was reportedly seen cruising around Palo Alto last week.

‘This previously unseen design looks like it has a wider body than the Model S, updated headlights and wheels, a new rear diffuser, and a more pronounced fender,’ Gizmodo reported.

It’s not known if the car was indeed a redesign or if it addresses the issues raised by Consumer Reports.


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