NEW YORK (Oct. 21, 2015)—A trio of veteran transcontinental drivers today broke the transcontinental autonomous driving record from Los Angeles to New York using Tesla’s Autopilot technology released just last week. Deena Mastracci, Carl Reese and Alex Roy made the 2,995-mile journey in 57 hours, 48 minutes, departing from the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California on Oct. 18 at 9:15 p.m. PST and arriving at Red Ball Garage in New York on Oct. 21 at 10:03 a.m. EST. Witnesses at the departure included AJ Gordon, from the Peteresen Museum, and Jeff Glucker. Witnesses at the arrival included Michael Spinelli and Henry Joost.
This is the first transcontinental attempt in a Tesla Model S P85D employing the Autopilot system released by Tesla just six days ago. The semiautonomous technology allows for hands and pedal-free driving on the highway, making lane changes and adjusting throttle, steering and breaking based on sensor scans. Tesla made the system available to Model S and X owners via wireless software update on Oct. 15.
“This car is the future—ask my attorney if you want to know why,” said Roy about the Tesla Model S and its Autopilot.
“Deena and I have been planning this autonomous record for over 11 months,” said Reese. “We knew we wanted to be the first group to make the cross-country attempt using the autonomous technology.”
Evidence of the team’s run has been submitted to the TransContinental Drivers Association for verification. All three drivers hold current or past transcontinental driving records; Mastracci now with three; Reese with four; and Roy with two. Mastracci and Reese were members of a team that broke the record of least non-driving time to cross the U.S. in an electric vehicle on April 19 of this year. Automotive journalist and author, Roy is the previous holder of the transcontinental driving record from Los Angeles to New York in a gas vehicle, set in 2006.
“This is now the fourth record-breaking transcontinental trip I’ve been a part of, and I have to say it has been the most exhilarating road trip of my life,” said Mastracci.
Source: Transcontinental Drivers Association