November 17th, 2020 by Johnna Crider
Tesla Raj has shared a Tesla Full Self-Driving (FSD) road trip on YouTube, one of the first such road trips out there for people to view. He drove from Redwood City to Santa Cruze — or, rather, his Tesla did the driving. Raj pointed out in his video’s description that he drove on Highway 17 with no interventions.
The trip takes about an hour, give or take depending on traffic, according to Google Maps. That’s an hour on the highway that Raj drove with FSD Beta enabled. Again, that’s an hour without any intervention from Raj. That means that he didn’t have to take over at all.
I asked Raj to share his thoughts with me about his trip. “This was from Redwood City to Santa Cruz,” Raj said. “Zero intervention means that I did not take over at all. You can see FSD take over in 17 by the change of screen. In a normal freeway, you can see a basic non-colorful display. But when FSD is active you see the colors on screen which is what happens for all of highway 17. Highway 17 is a windy crazy freeway where locals drive fast and if you’re not used to it it can be a nervous drive because of a wrong move and you could go off the edge or slam into the mountain. My arms in the video are relaxed but obviously due to safety have to be ready to take over and hold the wheel. However, when I arrived at the location I felt much more relaxed and rested as typically you’re gripping the steering wheel and are using much more brainpower and calculations being aware.”
Tesla Geeks Talk Tesla FSD Beta
Raj and John (who typically represents Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley online) joined the Tesla Geeks Show, hosted by Anuarbek and Eli (My Tesla Adventure, Adventures of Starman), to talk about this more. After looking at the footage of their first reaction to FSD Beta, John pointed out that Elon was very specific that only cautious drivers would get the FSD Beta. Both John and Raj shared how they felt during their initial experiences cautiously testing it out.
John, who Eli pointed out was the first in the world outside of Tesla’s internal team to get the Tesla FSD Beta, noted that it hasn’t really resonated yet. “I think it will be something that maybe five to ten years we’ll look back at this and be like ‘we were literally the first people.’ But literally what you saw was raw footage of us doing it for the first time — and, honestly, it blew my mind, and I think the biggest thing was making that left turn.
“You know, we all know navigate on Autopilot does a fairly good job but it doesn’t do left and right turns and I’ve tried it before but it does not do left and right turns,” he said, while adding that this was his first time testing anything new out. “For me to get FSD Beta and be able to share it — because you guys know I love Twitter — this was just a huge privilege.”
John also mentioned that now that the technology is here, it is mind blowing. It is now all about refinement.
Raj agreed with John that it was pretty mind blowing. “You’re watching a car do something that no other car — I mean, I have not seen a car do this. There may be a small segment of cars that can do it, but I have never seen the car make a turn like that, and not only make a turn, but make a turn where there are no lane markings — you’re in a residential street and there are cars parked on the side of the road.”
Raj noted that some people didn’t think his reaction was genuine, and he pointed out that his perspective was from the passenger seat. “It’s one thing seeing this for the first time, but secondly seeing it from the passenger, where you know if somebody’s driving … you kind of get a little bit more scared, but then they’re like, ‘no, I have control.’ John knew how it was turning. He felt confident in how it was turning. But, for me, it was still like — I’m on the outside. So, I’m on the side that is turning with the cars on the side of the road.” That’s where Raj’s reaction came from, and yes, it was genuine. You can watch the full Tesla Geeks interview here.
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