You should never rely exclusively on Tesla’s Autopilot software. That said, it is possible to travel for long distances on highways with Autopilot enabled, even though you should still make sure you’re ready to retake control of your car in case a major failure occurs. The Motley Fool’s Daniel Sparks recently took a 61-mile trip where he relied on Tesla’s Autopilot software to guide him and he found the end result “shocking” compared to what he’d expected would happen.
“In a 61-mile drive, which passed through several cities, including the 27-mile-long stretch of Colorado Springs, I didn’t have to steer or use the pedals a single time,” he writes. “I even changed lanes when I normally would have — though by a tap of the blinker each time instead of by turning the wheel. Other cars on the road would have never guessed it wasn’t a human driving. Model S slowed when slower vehicles cut in front of me, sped up when they moved, and accelerated with eerily human-like driving skills amid lane changes when passing vehicles.”
Sparks didn’t do anything foolish like climb in the backseat of the car during his long trek and he was ready to grab the wheel at the first sign of trouble. He nonetheless found that he didn’t have to touch it for long periods of time and only relented when “a semi truck beside me encroached my lane and I decided I didn’t want to wait to see whether or not Model S would avert a collision.”
Check out his full account of what it was like to drive 61 straight miles on Autopilot at this link.