The EV future is also autonomous

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 9:39 PM | comments: 0

We decided last year to buy a Tesla Model S despite the cost, because we felt so strongly about going all-electric. It's the future. I know a few other owners, and none of us are wealthy, not by a long shot, but our enthusiasm for EV's is intense. I'm sure we all had our own justification (for science, American can-do, gadget fetish), but I know that being part of an amazing future is certainly part of it.

If you're watching certain headlines, then you know that there is a bigger vision in play for Tesla. It's an ambition shared by Google, probably Apple and maybe Detroit... self-driving autonomous cars. Sure, we were supposed to have flying cars by now, but traffic accidents are a problem because people suck at driving. Cars have been able to park themselves for a few years, and the Model S will do that. It also takes adaptive cruise control to the next level by also steering the car and changing lanes by simply clicking the turn signal. It's like magic.

Unfortunately, while the car ships with the hardware for all of this magic, the software is a $2,500 upgrade at the time of order, or $3k if you want it after the fact. It was hard enough to justify the car in the first place, so this was not an option I could justify. Tesla benefits from having as many people as possible using it though, because it records data and sends it back to the mothership for analysis. As a tease, they're offering a 30-day trial of the software, so I got to try it today. It blows my flipping mind. I don't trust it, and I can't believe that it works. But there it is.

This is our future. Think about it, there will come a day when you can drive without driving, and I suspect that the biggest problem won't be the technology, but government regulation. Made in the USA.


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