Doubts about the total autonomy of Tesla’s Full Self Driving feature were put to the test for a near-perfect mark on the first known recorded autopilot trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles and then back to the Bay Area.
Whole Mars Catalog posted a YouTube video that put the viewer behind the wheel for the fast-forwarded drives of the Model 3. The all-electric sedan made two charging stops from San Francisco to Los Angeles but otherwise made the journey without human interaction until there was a piece of debris in the road after entering Los Angeles. On an ensuing Los Angeles-to-San Jose drive posted Monday, the car made one charging stop and again did not require intervention.
The time-lapse videos use a voiceover of Tesla CEO Elon Musk talking at 2019 Tesla Autonomy Day, ending the first one with Musk saying, “I said we’d do this. We did it. We’re going to do radio taxis. The only criticism, and it’s a fair one, sometimes I’m not on time but I got it done and the Tesla team gets it done.”
The video shows the Tesla changing lanes on the freeway, cruising at 90 mph, and patiently waiting behind a tractor-trailer to turn even with a gap to move ahead at a stoplight.
Whole Mars Catalog reported erratic lane behavior on San Francisco city streets, but the video shows how the Tesla went from Full Self Driving mode on city streets to Autopilot mode on the freeway.
The Full Self Driving mode began to roll out two months ago in limited form but already has included features such as U-turns.
“Tesla’s FSD beta definitely seems to be taking solid steps towards autonomy,” Whole Mars Catalog wrote. “That’s an incredible milestone either way.”
The driver did take control for the charging stops. So whether it’s the steep sticker price or cross-California trips, the Tesla is not free of charge.