Retrieving the Model X

The first real drive in the car was the day after I took ownership of it. I drove to where it was parked and swapped cars, and took local roads back home.

Before setting-off, I figured I'd say hi! to my car via the iOS app, only to be met with a message that it was "no longer part of Tesla account". That wasn't good; did Tesla decide to reposes it? Did something happen to it while it was sitting in a parking garage? A few minutes later, the app reconnected, and saw it just fine. Relieved, I set-out on the road.

Arriving at the Car

I got to where I had left the car, and figured since I had a little bit of time, to try the app's remote start. The app, to which I was logged-in, popped-up a request for my password. That wasn't very helpful, since I had a unique, fairly long, password which I was not going to commit to memory. Fortunately, I had brought my key fob. (When I returned home, I realized that the app had a separate option to enable Face-ID which could be used for remote-start in place of the password.) I got into the car, and began going through the configuration since, unlike yesterday, I was not running from one appointment to another and had time to take in the panels of options.

Autosteer Beta

Of course I enabled Autosteer. In doing so, I got to see a rambling, confusing, definition of Beta—I mean not Beta—er, yeah Beta:

The third paragraph finally got to the question, phrased in a prime example of why you don't let software developers (or product managers for that matter) write text:

Do you want to enable Autosteer while it is in the Beta phase? To be clear, when we say "beta", we do so to encourage a higher level of vigilance. If this were PC desktop or mobile software, we would not refer to it as such. It is simply that we believe the standard for the term should be considerably higher for control of a vehicle.

I would hope that my car were mobile. It continues with one more full paragraph before re-iterating the question it just posed:

To reiterate, if you are at all uncertain about activating the new Autopilot hardware and software, we recommend waiting until at least a few hundred million miles or more have been accumulated.

This is the first time Autopilot is mentioned here, where presumably it is being used interchangeably with Autosteer. This paragraph refers back to the second paragraph (although reiterate in my opinion should read closer to clarify, or idealy the clause dropped entirely):

Please enable only if you are willing to pay close attention to the road and be prepared to override it at any time. Those interested in a more robust Autosteer experience should wait as fleet learning refines Autosteer performance over hundreds of millions of miles.

How many miles has fleet learning covered, that is, how close to hundreds of millions of miles are we? Mr. Musk stated back in 2016 that Autopilot had completed 222 million miles. Not only that, Tesla vehicles had by that point covered 1.3 **billion** miles, and that each of those, even without Autopilot enabled, contribute to fleet learning.

(Before anybody points out that this mentions new Autopilot hardware and software; the only reasonable reading of that phrase is, to me, as the hardware and software in this vehicle as this is a dialog surfaced when first enabling the feature, and it'd be unreasonable for Tesla to expect that someone would know that there have been a Autopilot v1, Autopilot v2, and Autopilot v2.5 versions of the hardware.)

The Drive Home

I took the route which I usually take home from work, so I was familiar with it. This, coupled with the non-crowded roads late on a Saturday, left me some freedom to get a feel for the car; specifically for Autopilot. I recalled reading about the Rainbow Road easter egg, which I wanted to try, so I kept pulling the cruise-control stick trying to get the right number of pulls before getting the Christopher Walkens SNL bit to play.

My first observations of Autopilot was that it didn't take turns the way I'd expect: it tended to enter them late, and even then take the turn wider than I'd expect. This would make sense if it isn't looking very far down the road, which could be because of processing limitations. Generally, it tended to hug the right shoulder, especially when there was not any line demarcating the lane; and it bounced a little as obstacles triggered the ultrasonic sensors along the side of the vehicle. Finally, it gave very little warning when dropping out of Autopilot. Sometimes these were reasonable and could be predicted, such as when interescting traffic encroached into the lane rather than stopping behind their stop line; other times it would continue driving as if everything were fine, and then turn off in the middle of a turn. It seems odd that there isn't better lead time in the latter situation.

In the Garage

Getting home, I'm reminded of how wide and long this vehicle is: 2.4" wider than the XC90 and a full four inches wider than the Audi Q7, not to mention a full 13" wider than my WRX. At nearly two feet longer than my WRX, it turns out I was had to do some impromptu last-minute cleaning to make space. In the end, the car essentially backed-up as far as it could to clear the door, and while its ultrasonic sensors were worried, it had a good amount of space on either side to get in. It turns out, backing-up as far as it did, the falcon wing doors even open fully, just behind the garage door motor.

Finally, I tried to get the car onto the home WiFi. I'd even set-up a user, just for the car; unfortunately, and although I can't find this documented anywhere, it does not appear to support WPA2 Enterprise networks. Moreover, it also failed to connect to an unencrypted, open network. My Model X, Pensive, will stick to the cellular connection for the time being.