TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

A Tesla driver took a 6,392-mile road trip using Autopilot and Full Self-Driving software — there were some hiccups

A Tesla driver took a 6,392-mile road trip using Autopilot and Full Self-Driving software — there were some hiccups

Tim Heckman, a site reliability engineer, said the autonomous software is a "lifesaver" during long road trips, but also a "stressful drive" at times.

A Tesla owner took a 6,392-mile road trip using primarily Tesla Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) — and said that while the software was a "lifesaver," there were some hiccups along the way.

In December, Tim Heckman drove a Model S Plaid from Los Angeles to Pennsylvania and back, using the autonomous software for 99% of the journey, an experience he documented on Twitter.

Heckman, a site reliability engineer, told Insider that while the autonomous software proved helpful during his journey, it also made for a "stressful drive" at times, detailing incidents where the technology phantom braked and struggled to obey the speed limit, proper following distances, or stay in its lane. 


The pros and cons of autonomous driving


While Autopilot is a driver assist software that is built into all Teslas and designed for driving on highways, FSD is a beta add-on that can operate in urban settings and is designed to change lanes, recognize stop signs and lights, as well as park.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the software will eventually be able to operate entirely on its own and will be safer than human drivers, but the beta program still requires a licensed driver to monitor it at all times.

Tesla Model S Plaid.


Heckman told Insider the software sometimes registered cars on the screen that weren't there or had difficulty identifying lane markings when there was salt on the road.

"It's kind of like driving with a 15 or 16-year-old driver sometimes," Heckman said of using FSD in city streets outside of California. "There's weird jerky maneuvers. It'll stop or get into a turn lane too early. In a way, there's just a general lack of awareness about the environment."

On the other hand, the Tesla owner said Autopilot was a "lifesaver" on highways, adding that while he had to disengage the FSD software on numerous occasions, Autopilot was only disengaged once when a car in front of him on the highway slammed on his brakes.

"It can be a huge cognitive relief. Long trips can take a mental toll," Heckman said, noting that he's used Autopilot on previous road trips and discovered he could drive further without getting tired.

The software has also helped him avoid collisions on the highway in the past.

"I realize I sometimes tune out when I'm driving," Heckman said "This [software] can augment that, but I know if I do tune out, at least I know the vehicle is backing me up."  


Getting 'worse,' not better


In his Twitter thread about the experience, Heckman wrote Autopilot was "worse" than when he bought his first Tesla in 2019 and FSD was "exceptionally poor outside of California."

Hedges & Company, a digital marketing firm for automakers, found in an analysis of over 175 million car owners in 2019 that the majority of Tesla owners live in California — meaning the AI software could have more opportunities to learn from California roads.

Ultimately, Heckman said he couldn't see himself buying a non-Tesla electric-car — at least not until the charging networks could catch up to Tesla — but he wishes the automaker would rely on LiDAR, radar sensors that can help vehicles detect nearby objects.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk speaks to the media next to a Model S in Hong Kong on January 25, 2016.


Musk has spoken out against the expensive hardware in the past and reportedly demanded cameras over radar because he wants the autonomous software to operate like human eyes. The car company stopped installing LiDAR in its cars in 2021.

Heckman isn't the first person to detail issues with Tesla's Autopilot or FSD add-on. Many FSD testers have posted videos showing bugs in the software. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Autopilot and its potential connection to several accidents.

"At the end of the day, I think this stuff has tremendous potential," Heckman wrote on Twitter. "But at this point there needs to be focus and good execution, while not causing regressions in the experience especially on features that impact your safety and the safety of others on the road."

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
Close
0:00
0:00
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×