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Oldest Tesla Model X Driver? 99th B’Day Drive

Discussion in 'Model X' started by RR Runabout, Feb 1, 2017.

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  1. RR Runabout

    RR Runabout Member

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    I was a long-term Tesla X Reservation holder. After the P100 announcement and rumors about the 2.0 AP Hardware, I placed my order for a Model X P100DL with standard 20 wheels with all the options.

    Throughout the whole reservation process, production and delivery, about 3 years, my Grandpa and I would talk a couple of times a week and always the car would come into the conversation. Instead of giving me the conservative advice he was always encouraging to buy the car.

    The first car he was ever in was a 1918 Allen Touring car, the family’s first car. The first car he drove was a Buick 1926. And the first car he bought was a 1936 Ford Model AB Coup at age 18. He enlisted at 16 into the Army National Guard, served in the Pacific Theater and left the service with at the rank LT Col to work at NASA retiring at age 51 with 35 years of service. He still lives independently in a military retirement community and he did not renew his driver’s license at 96 years old so his current transportation is an electric motorized chair to get around the community. Truly a life in modern history.

    I received the car after a few delays right before Christmas 2016 and we hatched the plan to surprise my G’Pa by driving it down from Charlotte, NC to San Antonio, TX for his 99th birthday in Mid-January 2017. He is working on three digits now….
     
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  2. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    No pictures?
     
  3. RR Runabout

    RR Runabout Member

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    Here is a pic... Trying to figure out how to load the short video too... GPa.JPG
     
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  4. RR Runabout

    RR Runabout Member

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  5. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    You may want to edit a little bit out of your first post now that you've shared that video. Just saying...
     
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  6. RR Runabout

    RR Runabout Member

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    The trip in total was just over 2800 miles with a average consumption of just under 400 Wh/mi..
     
  7. RR Runabout

    RR Runabout Member

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    thanks... To be clear, GPa's drive was all on a private road ;-)
     
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  8. RR Runabout

    RR Runabout Member

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    On the return trip on I-35 North, just 30 minutes into our drive and outside of Austin and right before 5 am, I had the X on cruise control at around 75 mph when I noticed headlights driving southbound on the northbound side of the divided highway. No AP 2.0 HW features were yet enabled. In fractions of seconds, I ascertained the oncoming car was traversing lanes from my right to left, so I steered right turning into him. The closing speeds, guessing 150+mph, was hard to fathom and he was coming so fast. At the last fraction, the vector math did not work, he was going to kill us, I spun the wheel harder to the right and braked, a pretty violent twist. The memory of door handles of the white four door are still embedded in my memory as the car flashed by… The miss was about 4 feet without exaggerating – SOOOO close SOOO fast.. and in the total of a few seconds it was all over and we were safe…. However, all the lights behind us stopped following us and the highway was empty behind us.. The wrong-way driver in the white car hit a semi-tractor trailer. The semi driver survived but the wrong-way-driver did not. The highway was closed down for 6 hours. As can be seen by pics the forces of the accident were incredible.. I am not sure just how well the Tesla X would have taken that impact – a scary thought giving the damage to the semi..


    Car driving opposite direction on I-35 northbound causes fatal crash and I-35 closure
    thumbnail_IMG_0748_1485029838014_7876382_ver1.0.jpg thumbnail_IMG_0750_1485029846978_7876383_ver1.0.jpg
     
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  9. RR Runabout

    RR Runabout Member

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    The car reacted very nimbly and without over reacting... No sway, no locking of wheels no need to correct... truly lucky to be alive...

    Cherish life and you never know what you will be driving at 99....
     
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  10. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    That sounds terrifying! Glad you are OK.
     
  11. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    While watching the video of Grandpa driving the X was very heart warming, the near miss above made my heart skip a beat. Gosh, you have excellent motor skills to have been able to navigate out of that car's way. Really glad you and anyone else with you are fine.
     
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  12. CmdrThor

    CmdrThor Active Member

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    Wow, what a terrifying experience. I also have had one experience with a wrong way driver on an interstate. To make matters worse I was towing a trailer and my friends were following in the truck behind me. It was all I could do to flash my lights at the driver, swerve into the right lane, get on the CB radio to warn other drivers, and pray no one died as a result. We never did find any news reports about the incident so hopefully the driver was able to avoid certain death unlike the driver in your experience. Thankful you and your family are alive.
     
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  13. BigMskiman

    BigMskiman Member

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    Terrific story of Grampa in action, yet horrific near head-on incident upon return. Thanks for sharing!
    I wanna be driving my MX P100DL at his age (40yrs from now)
     
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  14. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    I am hoping I won't have to drive at his age and an autonomous car will serve my transportation needs. (actually much before like 10 years from now)
     
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  15. 3s-a-charm

    3s-a-charm Active Member

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    Holy smokes! What an emotion-causing thread!! I was happy for Gpa then horrified by the recalling of the accident! I thought you were involved (impacted) in the accident till I read on. Wow that must have been incredibly scary - a guess the best safety feature is the ability to avoid an accident completely. Glad you are okay.
     
  16. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    #16 AudubonB, Feb 2, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
    That's a terrific story.
    Dad didn't make it quite so far - just into his 94th year - but he did get to drive a Model S before he passed on and I'm ever joyful that the ol' boiled-in-oil fossil fuel diehard's reaction was "This is the future".
     
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  17. RR Runabout

    RR Runabout Member

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    I am just not sure how the autonomous mode will avoid an accident like this. I steered into the oncoming car.. The semi steered away..

    Will the Artificial Intelligence algorithm know that you cannot out vector many objects traveling at velocities, especially for object that cannot reverse quickly (cars and deer). You have to turn inside their vector radius to avoid them - that is to say, steer where they came from and NOT where they are going. But with deer, always have to be on the lookout for the last one in the herd...
     
  18. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    I think it is fairly safe to say that you handled the situation better than an autonomous vehicle could. I can't imagine there being a lot of programming going into "what to do if a vehicle is speeding towards you on the wrong side of an interstate." Perhaps I am mistaken.
     
  19. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    It's a good question and you are obviously a very smart person. As for me, I would have panicked and gone off road not necessarily that it would have saved me but just my gut reaction. You obviously have more science in you.

    And that's how I would expect these AI coders from Stanford, MIT, and CalTech working at Tesla to program the autonomous vehicle. Now people like me will of course freak out that my vehicle is trying to kill me through a head- on collision and that's why there shouldn't be a steering in the car for me to override the car that is smarter than I am.

    (Of course I am talking about when the AI has become sophisticated enough and it's not going to be for the first few years and will require driver to override)
     
  20. Pwdr Extreme

    Pwdr Extreme Member

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    So glad you avoided the wreck! I've been in that exact situation myself, SCARY. It's hard to say how full autonomous would have handled it. But hopefully not to long into the future we will all have fully autonomous vehicles where there will never be a wrong way driver to avoid in the first place.
     
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