Tesla FSD on long trip

My neighbors, retired mid to
late 60’s bought a new Model 3. They tried the free FSD. At first they hated it.


They decided to take the car on a long road trip to see how charging and super chargers and FSD worked. They left Panama City Beach Florida on a Thursday and arrived back the following Monday. They had their English Bulldog with them.

They told me that the trip to Southern Michigan was easy and fun. They planned to get back on Wednesday rather than Monday. FSD changed their minds. They left some small town in Michigan, just north of Indianapolis around 6:30 am Eastern time and arrived home in Panama City around 8:30 central time. I have recently driven the same route and it took me two days and one of those days was pretty long. (Very bad traffic in Tennessee and Kentucky)

They reported that it was just so easy to sit there and supervise the FSD that a 14 or 15 hour day on the road was not hard on them at all. I imagine good seats and relatively long breaks while charging made it nice too. The dog liked the long walks and bathroom breaks.



You just sold me.

Question what was their average speed on the highway?

I don’t know. But knowing them they ran the speed limit plus a couple. The husband likes to drive and tends to push some. The wife, who did the whole drive back from Michigan, is not a little old lady driver, but she is not one to push.

When we made the run up to Indianapolis the Interstates pretty much had 70 mph speed limits except in the cities. However, as we were traveling at the eclipse the traffic was very heavy and we had some long slow times, mostly in Tennessee where the interstate is mostly only two
lanes in each direction.

They indicated that traffic was normal not light but it did not over whelm the interstate system.



Shouldn’t this be on the Tesla board?
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While there are macroeconomic implications to some Tesla posts, most Tesla posts are about Tesla quality/strategy/charging etc. and not the economy at large.


i did a similar trip in a gas powered, no-FSD vehicle a few years back. Was coming from 3-4 hours north of their start location, and went to Destin. It was like a job,lol, driving is working. I did it in 2 full days plus a morning, we stopped and camped. Did the same bit with longer stops, even though it obviously wasn’t needed for fueling up a gas vehicle. FSD would be a huge asset for long trips. I’m interested in electric vehicles, but it doesn’t work out yet in cold climate ( assuming I still live in snowbelt, last couple of years are making me wonder ).

FSD and Electric seem to be intertwined, I wonder why the car companies aren’t making a push to sell it on gas powered vehicles. I fully understand that Full Self Drive is not really happening yet ( other than maybe WAYMO or ride related cab like services ), and I do know that the lane assist and alerts and adaptive cruise control are steps on the way to self drive. But I don’t think you can take a nap behind the wheel of an FSD, or at least I don’t think I’d trust it enough to do that. It that was available, could take multi-state trips and do a lot of driving at night, which would help deal with traffic congestion during rush hours across every metro area in the country.

Sure hope FSD comes to pass while I’m still around to enjoy it.

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I have also wondered that. There is no reason it could not be, of course. My Accord (pure ICE) has emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, speed limit sign detection, and adaptive cruise control (all the way to zero, nice for rush hour). There is no reason why that could not be taken to Level 3 automation, just because it is ICE.

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Btresist has frequently argued that EV’s are just better suited for autonomy - I’m sure he’ll be along to give that position in full.

But I also think it’s because everyone (including the major car companies) was pretty sure that the future of automobiles was certain to be electric. That pretty soon, there wouldn’t be any new ICE models - and not long after that, car companies would choose to (or be forced to) stop making the old ones. So if the Car of the Future is going to be electric, you’re pushing the Driver of the Future on those cars. Though Mercedes sells its Drive Pilot on both BEV and ICE versions, and virtually all the other ADAS products are offered on both EV and ICE cars.

If you have more companies coming around to Toyota’s position that the Car of the Future is probably a HEV (not a BEV) for a pretty big chunk of “Future,” then you might see more of the pure autonomy programs aiming for both drivetrains.


“If you have more companies coming around to Toyota’s position that the Car of the Future is probably a HEV (not a BEV) for a pretty big chunk of “Future,” then you might see more of the pure autonomy programs aiming for both drivetrains.”

Good point(s) about why it doesn’t seem to be pushed for ICE vehicles.

Hybrid actually makes more sense to me. Only caveat to this is that there are 2 drive systems that you need to maintain.

Have been watching some vids a younger mechanic on utube puts out, he tears apart engines and systems and figures out why they failed, just for fun. I know there are some hybrid minivans that he thinks are junk, comes right out and says do not buy these, if you do there are some hefty repair bills coming in your future. I think one of his main complaints is how much work needs to be done just to get access to the parts or systems that need to be repaired or replaced. But Toyota has been doing hybrids for a long time, and I have yet to hear or see him have to dismantle a hybrid Toyota to see why it failed.

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Having just bought a RAV4 Hybrid this is very comforting information. Thanks!


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I don’t think that is valid.

For example, GMs Super Cruise is available on a number of ICE vehicles.

Here is the Chevy lineup:

Per GM, it should have been available on 22 models by the end of last year:


Maybe strictly speaking. But I don’t think this post is about Tesla per se. It’s more about advanced assistive driving (Tesla erroneously calls it FSD, while in reality it is neither F nor S) technology. And advanced assistive driving technology will have huge macro effects over the next few decades.

Though some of the other Tesla posts don’t really belong in this group.

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However, I posted a first take on FSD from this same couple. It was very negative. I felt that the change of heart should be noted in the same place.

I don’t know if it is MACRO but the ability of the FSD to allow a couple that is neither young nor athletic to complete 16 hour trip with one driver and little fatigue is pretty amazing.

Note, I just mapped the trip, they went all the way to Lake Michigan. Apple maps shows the trip to be a little over 900 miles.


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Yup, when I googled it this morning, Super Cruise came up. I didn’t have time to look into it, thought it was the lane-alert type stuff, but it is actual hands-free driving.

From your 1st link: “Always pay attention while driving and when using Super Cruise. Do not use a hand-held device. Requires active Super Cruise plan or trial. Terms apply”.
This is something to consider for purchase. No idea how much just the subscription costs, let alone the option package on the vehicle, but this feels like a tremendously good option to have for any long distance driving trips. Doesn’t sound like a person could nap while driving, but just being able to not concentrate on the road would make the drive less taxing.

Interesting stuff, will keep it in mind whenever the next vehicle purchase arrives.

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It is indeed. I know an older couple that won’t do the drive from NY to FL anymore and instead drive a few hours, load the car onto the car train, take the train down to FL, and then drive a few hours to their destination. And this is at great expense. They used to simply do the entire drive themselves once or twice a year.


Wow, I didn’t know that was a thing. I assume these are snow birds so they can’t simply do a short term car rental?

Yes, pretty much.

It’s called the Amtrak auto train. Goes from somewhere near DC to somewhere near Orlando.


Also, car rental rates are much higher in Florida during the winter.

Autonomous driving (whenever it arrives) will certainly cut into train revenues.


Maybe. But for people who don’t need their vehicle on both sides of the trip, a train is far more comfortable than a car.

There’s also the issue of how much one values privacy and flexibility.