I recently drove from Alexandria, VA, to Nashville, TN, and back for a long weekend. We took two days each way. Going to Nashville we stopped at Kingsport, TN, and on the way back we stopped at Hickory, NC, taking a different, southern route back.
The trip was 1,613 miles, including traveling around Nashville for the weekend and a short trip to the Loveless Café to get some biscuits, 14.2 miles from the Nashville supercharger. The air conditioning was on almost all of the time. All charging was at superchargers. We made eight stops at superchargers, three of which allowed us to stop for lunch. By the time we finished lunch, the car was ready to go. The total cost for charging was $62.50, which calculates to $0.039 a mile. My previous, gas powered car would have cost $208 in gas alone.
I have firmware 2019.16.2 and I used Autopilot and Navigate on Autopilot for large portions of the trip. Those were set for five miles above the speed limit, or 70 to 75 mph for large portions of the highway driving. In general, they worked very well. It was much easier monitoring the car’s driving than actually doing the driving. Here are a few observations. First, I found it easier to use the wheel on the steering wheel rather than torquing the steering wheel to let the car know I was paying attention. (Sometimes I would torque the steering wheel too hard and cancel Autopilot.) The wheel has to be moved one click up/down and then one click in the other direction. Otherwise, the speed increases or decreases (right wheel) or the volume on the audio system goes up or down (left wheel). I had the car set to Mad Max for changing lanes; that seems to be the most human version of changing lanes. Navigate on Autopilot still required me to confirm the lane change it wanted to make, not by pushing the turn signal, but by torquing the steering wheel in the direction of the turn, the same as telling the car that I was paying attention. This caught me by surprise the first couple of times it happened until I actually read the pop-up window on the dashpad. I thought Navigate on Autopilot did not require confirmation. But it did. Taking my hands off the wheel while the car changed lanes at 70 mph spooked out the passengers in the rear seats. Very entertaining.
There were two issues when using Autopilot. First it wanted to change one lane to the left. The car turned on the left blinker. At the time, a van was coming out quickly in the left lane. It slowed down a little behind me to let me make the lane change. However, the car seemed to be confused and did not make the lane change. I had to take control from Autopilot. This points out a flaw in the system. When the car wants to make a lane change it starts the change four blinks after the turn signal starts. In my region this is way too long. It needs to start around two or three blinks. Four blinks before starting the lane change confuse other drivers, I think.
Secondly, I was driving on the highway using Autopilot when an 18-wheeler passed me in the next lane over on the right. Since I was gently speeding, he was hauling. There was a gentle left curve in the road and he took it a little too chose to my car. In fact, the trailer crossed into my lane, especially the rear wheels of the trailer. Even though it came within a foot of my car, no warning was sounded. Nor did Autopilot take any evasive action. Even my passenger said that it should have done something.
All in all, the car performed very well. The supercharging went well. Most of the time the car started charging at between 140 – 145 kWhs. The estimate of time remaining that was given at the start of a changing session was always more than the actual time needed.