Ludicrous Mode: Driving the Future with Tesla

Frankly, if you’re not rooting for Elon Musk… why? Yea, he may be a little whacky and possibly a robot, or maybe an alien… but he is literally doing everything he can to save the world. He owns like 8 companies all trying to make the world better – Energy? Check. Cars? Check. Telecommunications? Check. Transportation? Check. Infrastructure & Tunneling? Check. Aerospace? Check. AI? Check. Healthcare? Check. You get the point. Why would you not apprecitate that?

“Idk he’s fucking weird, dude…”

You may be justified in your reasons for not liking him, but after my last weekend, Tesla should not be one of them.

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My girlfriend has always been obsessed with Teslas so I decided to surprise her with a Test drive out on Long Island. It was easier than booking an appointment at the Apple Store – which isn’t saying much actually…

The cars are beautiful. I took a look inside the Model X (SUV), Model S (Sedan), and the more affordable Model 3. The SUV version with suicide doors is probably the coolest looking from the inside. The sunroof makes it look like a spaceship.

The center console, or giant iPad depending on how you wanna look at it, is the one of the coolest parts of the car. Everything is digital – so no tactile buttons. The reasoning for this is that all of the updates occur over software. By not having any buttons or manual gauges, nothing will be outdated over time. The Tesla you bought in 2015 will be the exact same functionally as the Tesla you buy in 2025 – somewhat similar to updating iOS on your iPhone.

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There is also no ignition or key to turn the car on. Once you open the door, the car is on. To put the car in drive, just click the “D” button on the stearing wheel. So weird.

In terms of driving the actual car, it’s not too different than the feel of a normal car. Gas on the right, brake on the left. The only major difference is the acceleration. HOLY SHIT. We were lucky enough to be driving the Model S P100D, which is the fastest accelerating production car in the world. If you’ve ever been on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, pressing the gas pedal down feels exactly like that.

GIVE ME FUEL, GIVE ME FIRE, GIVE ME THAT WHICH I DESIRE!

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The weirdest part about accelerating in a Tesla is not that it goes 0 to 60 in 2.2 seconds, it’s that, as a fully electric vehicle, it makes no sound. Because you normally associate speed with sound (i.e. a loud NASCAR whizzing by or the sound of your Hemi when you press down on the gas), it seems so foreign to be going 90 mph and you feel like you’re in Neutral.

Even though I felt like I was in the Millenium Falcon going warp speed, I felt like I was in total control. You actually have the option on the digital screen to select how you want the car to drive. Do you like a loose steering wheel, or a stiff one? Do you want to drive in Sport or Ludicrous Mode? Yes, that’s a real feature. And yes, of course I selected Ludicrous mode. Why would you not?

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The next part was the auto-pilot feature. You double click a button behind the steering wheel and all the sudden, the car is driving itself. Think of it as auto-pilot on steroids. It will not only control your speed, but it will steer for you. If there are turns and mergers in the highway, the car will turn the wheel for you. I was driving with no feet or hands for about 45 seconds. It was so bizarre. Somehow I felt safe though.

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The salesperson said they technically have the capibility to plug in the address of your destination and the car can literally drive itself there. But let’s keep that on the DOWN LOW…

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The Model S starts aroudn $80,000 but the Model 3 is a safe, affordable $35,000. Installation for an electric charger in your home costs about $1,500.

It was funny to go to the Tesla dealership since it was not what you’d typically expect from a car salesman. I came in fully prepared to play defense when the salesperson inevitably asked “Sooooo, you in the market for an electric vehicle?” “What are you looking for in your next car?” “Need a baby seat?” 

But the salesperson literally didn’t need to pitch at all because the car essentially sells itself. Chances are, if you’re at the Tesla dealership, you either love Teslas and want to check them out, or you’re looking to buy one. There’s really no one coming in and saying “Yeaaaahhh, ya know what – this is too expensive for me, I’m just gonna get an environmentally-friendly luxury spaceship somewhere else.” 

Finally was the self-parking feature, which by the end of my ridiculous experience, I was unimpressed. I feel like of all the bells and whistles, that was the most normal. I think a lot of cars will be able to do that in the next year or so. But still really cool.

All in all, electric cars are the future. I felt like I was sitting behind the wheel in a Macbook Pro. It made me think that any other diesel or gas-powered car is absolutely ancient. Literally I looked at my 2003 Honda Accord like it was a Walkman next to an iPhone or that new foldable Samsung phone. Not to mention you can now purchase a Tesla from your phone. You can literally buy one right now without stepping foot in a Tesla – all you need is an internet connection. The electric car market is only going to grow, and we can only hope that gas cars are phased out in the next 15-25 years. Tesla is coming out with semi-trucks that will litter the highway, and also just announced the new Model Y SUV that will be more like a pickup truck. Experiencing a Tesla gave me extreme hope for what the future will bring. 80% of the mechanical erros in a Tesla can be fixed over a computer from someone remotely. That’s INSANE. Fuck Triple A. Just call up Toby in San Jose and he’ll write some <header code> straight into your freakin’ vehicle. THAT’S the future.

-KB

 

 

 

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