Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Monday, Jan 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

Saudi Press
Close
0:00
0:00
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Saudi FM discusses Kingdom’s economy, oil, Iran and US ties in Davos
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Saudi Arabia plans to use domestic uranium for nuclear fuel
Mohammed Bin Salman chosen most influential Arab leader of 2022
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
United Arab Emirates says it will teach Holocaust in schools
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
Almubarak named ‘The Best Central Bank Governor of the Year 2023 for the Middle East’
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Dubai announces $8.7 trillion economic plan to boost trade, investment and global hub status
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
×