Kyle’s Rant

May 13th, 2024Kyle’s Rant

Tesla motor cars, in my opinion, aren’t all that they are cracked up to be.

Tesla motor cars, in my opinion, aren’t all that they are cracked up to be.

Here at TL HQ we have joined the electric car race and decided to trade the 2009 Toyota in on a Y series Tesla (T). Now, I have been searching around the new car market for a while as regular readers are aware, and it has been important to get an electric vehicle not a combustion engine.

The other side of the purchase argument is it had to be a long-term car as we don’t change our cars very often, so we decided on a new bouncing baby, red Tesla. It was a bit more expensive than other electric cars, however it is built from the ground up to be electric. Not just had its engine pulled out and replaced with an electric engine as some manufacturers are doing.

When parking the thing I am contending with all the sensor sounds and bonging of the proximity alerts, but I do have quite a few cameras looking around to help out this incompetent human. Oh, and then there is the wife who is constantly reminding me in a worried “lookout” voice about things I could bump into, so no more Braille parking for me. (And the worried voice beside me turns to a scream when the T offers me an auto park and I accept.)

But I must admit the auto park leaves something to be desired as the other day I was well lined up for a reverse park and could have completed the manoeuvre in one fell swoop. But I gave into the T’s desire to have a crack.

It then had half a dozen goes at trying to get in and I stopped it, overrode it and with a flick of the wheel was home in my park. It was flicking the wheel from lock to lock, flying full speed back and forward and back again and by that stage we were both screaming. Is there such a thing as a dumb, smart car?

And then there is the auto pilot where we did more than scream. I thought we were dead. Now these things come with two stages of auto pilot – the first is adaptive cruise control which is like regular cruise control, but it also locks onto the car in front. It then adjusts to their speed so you don’t hit them or of course you can change lanes and the cruise will get back to your speed. I could drive with that all day long.

The second marvel of technology comes in the form of a real auto pilot. You know when you have achieved this mode as a rainbow road comes onto the screen. But this bit of tech proved dangerous for us as we found out on the Calder Freeway recently. I was doing an overtake at 110km with a car following us, not too close, perhaps about three car lengths behind.

Everything was going well when the T decided to instantly brake to 60km for some unknown reason. And please bear in mind two of the great things about the T are its take-off – and braking.

The car behind us didn’t stand a chance and if it hadn’t been because it was my first time in this mode and my hoof was hovering above the accelerator we would have been in all sorts.

This phenomenon is called “phantom braking”. It is where the vehicle picks up on something and according to Tesla “errs on the side of caution”. Tell that to a huge semi that’s just entered your tailgate.

So we have since decided that as the autopilot was simply a $5000 ‘over the air’ upgrade, that we wanted it taken off the car. Surely it falls under the rights of the ACCC for a refund if something major is not working?

However the good folks at Tesla are duckshoving from one department to another skipping the pub test completely. Stay tuned rant over…

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