Tesla fans struggle to get their loved ones on board with ‘Full Self Driving’

by Matt McFarland | CNN Business

Thrifty Tesla Guy, A youtube The personality, centered on Tesla, gives a speech to prepare its passengers before they turn to “full self-driving.”

“I need you to understand that I have full and complete control. I’m behind the wheel. I have access to the brakes, accelerator, and steering wheel. Whenever it does something that doesn’t feel safe, I I will take control of the car,” he says.

But the assurances have not eased his wife’s concerns. She says the technology is often upsetting and causing anxiety.

“If I’m reading, I’m like, ‘Oh good gum,'” Sadie Krueger told CNN Business. “It’ll be jerky or pop out of the blue. You’re like, ‘Whoa, are you drunk?'”

Krueger says she loves her Tesla Model 3, but feels that “full self-driving” drives closer to bigger trucks than most drivers, and sometimes gets into the wrong lane. She says the technology moves like a “grandfather” in some cases, annoying nearby drivers, but can be aggressive at other times.

Tesla enthusiasts with an unfinished, test version of “full self-driving,” currently a driver-assistance system thanks to enhanced cruise control, are finding that family and friends like Krueger don’t always share their enthusiasm. . The technology promises to one day transport passengers to their destinations without human intervention. Many people tell CNN Business that they use the software less frequently while driving with other people, including their romantic partners.

Passengers sometimes object to what is described as a jerky driving style of “full self-driving” and have asked Tesla fans not to use “full self-driving” while in the vehicle. Some Tesla owners are already deciding not to turn on “full self-driving” to give passengers a smoother ride.

Krueger said she makes fun of her husband because he is prompted to test the software near their California home. His YouTube channel has over 42,000 subscribers who watch his videos on Tesla. But she draws a line, too, and has told him not to use it when she rides with him in cities or where she knows it’s likely to be jerky.

But many travelers, especially young ones like Krueger’s teenage son, and tech junkies, are enthralled by new technology, and savor the experience, the flaws and all.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said every year from 2015 to 2022 that self-driving Teslas were probably a year or two away. He said that safe roads and affordable transport will change lives. Musk describes Tesla as “plausible asset” worth as much as it should $200,000and claim they could someday bring in up to $30,000 in gross profit in the form of roboticaxis in the automaker’s proposed future ridewheel network.

In Musk’s pitch, Robotaxis will act like Uber or Lyft vehicles that can be called up via a Tesla smartphone app. There will be no human driver behind the wheel. The vehicle may not even have a steering wheel or pedals. Some Tesla enthusiasts have bought their vehicles with plans to use them as robotaxis in the future.

But before Tesla’s technology can change the world, it must first work, and then it must win over loved ones of fans. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment about reactions from family and friends of its beta testers.

Tesla takes the wheel

Tesla released an early version for the first time of “full self-driving” for a small group in October 2021. “Full self-driving” isn’t really “self-driving” in the eyes of regulators and autonomous vehicle experts. It’s like an advanced cruise control that steers, accelerates and navigates intersections, but it requires an attentive human driver behind the wheel who can take control at any time due to the system’s shortcomings.

drivers reported having both amazed and worried By the system, which sometimes shines, and in other cases makes dangerous decisions.

Tesla owner Justin Demary says he tries to use “full self-driving” as much as possible. He sees it as a historically significant work. Tesla cars with “full self-driving” send driving data back to the automaker, which uses it to refine the software.

Daimary envisions a day when people can no longer even fly because self-driving software gets so good.

“It will change everything,” Demary said. “If you don’t have to pay attention, you don’t have to do anything, you can spend that time with family or do other things that are more productive or add more value.”

But Demary must discern the difference between the promised future and the present reality when his family gets in the car. He only uses “full self-driving” about half the time he drives with his wife, Heather.

“If it’s temperamental, he doesn’t have to ask anymore,” Demre said. “I just turn it off.”

Walt Corey, 70, hopes he will never have to turn off “full self-driving” software when driving alone or with his wife Nancy. He bought a Tesla in hopes of ensuring his mobility and independence as he got older.

He says he gets annoyed by the loud alarms that sound to alert drivers when they need to take control of the car immediately because it can’t handle a situation.

“It’s really unpleasant,” Corey said, explaining that the noise bothers him too. “Tell me if I’m about to drive off a cliff or kill someone, but don’t because the software gets confused.”

Worth the Effort?

Jeff Goin, a pilot and self-described “techno-geek”, bought a Tesla partly because he felt that Autopilot, its driver-assistance technology that was more rudimentary than “full self-driving”, would later cost him Will make you feel less tired. long drive. Tesla owners generally say that using Autopilot’s auto-steering function on divided highways makes them less dry after hours on the road.

But Goin doesn’t use “full self-driving.” He tried the software and realized that he had to pay even more attention when using it.

Goin’s partner Tim regularly uses “full self-driving.” “Wait,” Goin says as Tim jokes to the friends he rides with when he turns on “full self-driving.”

Tim makes little use of “full self-driving” when the couple rides alone. Goin said that he sometimes works in the car, so he doesn’t like the distraction of having to worry. Still, Goin says he is sometimes influenced by “complete self-driving.”

“Sometimes you get there and you think it’s come a long way. And then it stops on the railroad tracks,” Goin said, describing a recent incident in which he said That his Tesla’s “full self-driving” sensed a stop sign down the road and decided to stop before the advice, briefly stopping on railroad tracks.

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