Tesla Model 3 & Tesla Full Self Driving (Beta) On ~1500 Mile Cross-Country Adventure

Determine 1: From Utah winter to Wisconsin summer time. Alta, Utah/Three Lakes, Wisconsin. July 2007/March 2023. Photographs by Fritz Hasler.

Within the spring my spouse, our small canine, and I make our annual ~1500 mile journey from our winter dwelling in Utah to our summer time lake home in Northern Wisconsin in our Tesla Mannequin 3. Most Utah snowbirds are going south for the winter, however as Wisconsin natives, we expect northern Utah winters are delicate, and as an Alpine ski teacher, I loved the monster all-time 900-inch document snowfall this yr (see Determine 1).

Hopping from Supercharger to Supercharger throughout 5 States

Our long-range, dual-motor Mannequin 3 has an EPA vary of 310 miles, however with two huge e-bikes on the again, something greater than 130 miles is a stretch. Fortuitously, Tesla has constructed out its Supercharger community, together with on our I-80 and I-90 Minneapolis route, so it’s not an issue. At age 83, the ~1.5 hour charging interval is ideal for my rest room breaks, and my spouse will get to stroll our canine Zuni. After our breaks, we seldom wait greater than an extra 10 minutes earlier than we hit 80% cost. Charging above 80% is so sluggish that it’s not value it. We stopped a complete of 16 instances for Supercharging: 5 instances in Wyoming, 6 in South Dakota, 3 in Minnesota, and a pair of in Wisconsin. Wait, subtract one for the vacation spot charger on the Bavarian Inn in Custer, South Dakota (see Determine 2).

Determine 2: Tesla vacation spot charger at Bavarian Inn. Custer, South Dakota. Might 13, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

We additionally stopped to see my cousin and his spouse in Sioux Falls, in order that was an additional Supercharger cease we usually don’t make. Usually, we’d Supercharge a complete of 15 instances on the journey. On earlier journeys, we weren’t ready to make use of vacation spot chargers as a result of the resorts my spouse discovered that allowed pets didn’t have vacation spot chargers. Usually, we discover a resort close to a Tesla Supercharger and I drop my spouse off on the resort and I’m going cost whereas watching one other 25 minutes of Again to the Future 2 on Netflix. The Bavarian Inn was nice! We pulled as much as the vacation spot charger and plugged in whereas the supervisor grabbed my two e-bikes and put them in a storage room. The lock on my bike service isn’t working, in order that was the secure factor to do. The following evening, I introduced the bikes as much as our resort room.

The Tesla Superchargers had been most of the time unoccupied on our route and often no more that 100 ft from a close-by resort (see Determine 4) the place the administration was comfortable to allow us to use the restrooms. In Determine 4, we might see the resort solely 100 ft from our first cease on the Supercharger in Evanston, Wyoming.

Determine 3: Mary, Zuni, our Tesla Mannequin 3, and a few bikes. Wall South, Dakota. Might 16, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

Determine 4: Resort 100 ft from Supercharger. Evanston, Wyoming. Might 13, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

The closest restroom was no less than 300 yards from the automobile in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Due to this fact, I dropped my spouse off at her favourite retailer, TJ Maxx, and used their restroom earlier than going to the Supercharger. There was a grocery store 50 yards from the Supercharger in Menomonie, Wisconsin. The Supercharger in Wausau, Wisconsin, is within the car parking zone of the Hilton Gardens Resort and there’s one other TJ Maxx and a Walmart a number of miles away.

After staying on the Bavarian Inn in Custer, South Dakota, the following day we had been on the Wildlife Loop at Custer State Park close by. Custer has 1500 bison (buffalo), the second largest herd within the US — see one which wandered into the State Recreation Lodge car parking zone in Determine 6. In addition they have our favourite, a small herd of donkeys which are solely too wanting to eat the crackers and carrots that my spouse brings for them — see Determine 5.

Determine 5: Mary feeding the donkeys. Custer State Park, South Dakota. Might 17, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

Determine 6: Bison in State Recreation Lodge car parking zone. Custer State Park, South Dakota. Might 13, 2023. Photograph by Fritz Hasler.

Full Self Driving (Beta) Fail

We’ve got Full Self Driving (Beta), however I discover it’s too simple to screw up with it on lengthy journeys, so I default to Visitors Conscious Cruise Management and Autosteer (Beta). Due to this fact, I had turned off FSD Beta earlier than we began, however I had chosen the choice to begin it with every journey in order that it was activated as we started our journey. I assumed: Let’s give it an opportunity. However I quickly got here to remorse it. Touring by way of distant components of Wyoming and South Dakota, the music streaming usually doesn’t work due to poor cellular phone community protection. That meant that I wanted to resort to the playlist on my iPhone paired with my automobile by way of Bluetooth. It simply wouldn’t pair! As a final resort, I rebooted the Tesla working system by urgent and holding down the 2 scroll wheels on the steering wheel. I had discovered that you are able to do this even when driving. It’s unnerving at first as a result of the display turns fully black. Nevertheless, the automobile nonetheless works. The constructive: when the reboot accomplished, I used to be capable of pair my iPhone to my automobile and we performed music from my playlist for the remainder of the journey. … Hurray! The detrimental: I used to be distracted sufficient in the course of the makes an attempt to pair that I acquired one other compelled disengagement. Three down, two to go. I turned off FSD Beta once more and unchecked the choice to begin it up for every journey.

Full Self Driving (Beta) & Visitors Conscious Cruise Management Notes on the 1500-Mile Journey

Phantom braking has not improved with the newest model of FSD Beta, V11.3.6. It occurred to us quite a few instances on our 1500-mile journey. I assume that the efficiency of Visitors Conscious Cruise Management and FSD Beta is identical in regard to phantom braking. Additionally, FSD Beta wouldn’t cross a slower transferring car, however it could return me properly to the right-hand lane after passing. However, Autosteer would cross the slower transferring car however wouldn’t return to the right-hand lane. Go determine!

Full Self Driving (Beta) in Northern Wisconsin

FSD Beta works very well, for essentially the most half, within the low-traffic rural roads of Northern Wisconsin if you’re affected person. You often solely must intervene when somebody is behind you and also you don’t wish to annoy them. It’s very nice to have the Autosteer perform on the agricultural roads with no yellow or white traces.

Nevertheless, I drove 130 miles east from Three Lakes, Wisconsin, to Escanaba, Michigan (within the Higher Peninsula of Michigan) and again on two-lane roads, and I used to be very disturbed when FSD Beta wouldn’t solely do phantom braking, however phantom swerving! It could swerve to the left a number of ft into the oncoming site visitors lane after which proper onto the paved shoulder. I assume it was making an attempt to keep away from an imaginary pedestrian, animal, or tire. God solely is aware of? If there was no site visitors close by, I’d let it do that maneuver, however it was very unnerving.

I’m studying fixed studies as of late of the unbelievable feats of AI (synthetic intelligence) like ChatGPT. Each day I’m a part of an experiment in driving AI. If my expertise is prologue, I’m not too nervous about AI taking on the world any time quickly.


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