Articles

Tesla vs Train: Can the Model 3 Beat a Bullet Train

September 12, 2019


Electric propulsion is the future. That
much is certain. Although there is quite a debate on how
it will be applied. This episode of the American Rail Club, we’re taking
a fair look of the future transportation, and, comparing the Tesla Model 3’s
autopilot versus taking the train. Take a seat or, in this case, strap on your seat
belt, and enjoy the ride. Big shout out to Turo for making this
video possible. Turo is way better than a car-rental. In a world where you can
book a house or ride share from other people using your phone. Turo books
better cars from local hosts across the US and around the world.
This gives you the choice to choose from hundreds of unique cars for every
occasion, and, every budget. For, up to less than, 35 percent than traditional car
rental agencies. Whenever and wherever, from, Corollas to Corvettes and, even
Tesla’s, take your next trip through Turo. And use my referral code in the
description when signing up for $25 off your first ride. The service and hosts on
Turo are awesome people. And this trip was made so much easier and exciting
because of it. It makes a fantastic last mile option in cities you can add to
your list, and, you don’t have to deal with the hidden charges and trickery of
car rental companies. Find the perfect car, book it, and, grab it and go.
Revolutionize your drive and skip the rental car counter with Turo. Now before
I continue in, let me be clear, unfortunately, this won’t be a Grand Tour
Top Gear type of race. It’s a very fair in-depth and clear perspective of
autonomous driving versus riding a train. We’re going from Indianapolis, Indiana to
Chicago, Illinois and the only train that actually covers that route is Amtrak’s
Hoosier state; which has seen far better days, better scheduling and faster times.
Also the governor and legislature of the great state of Indiana is about to kill
the service after years of choking it out. More on that in another video. So
there’s no contest in terms of driving time versus Amtrak. Your grandma and her
Buick Regal would have no problem. Beyond the clown world that is America’s
failing infrastructure, there are solutions coming into place to fix our
ground transportation. One in particular aims to solve not just our pollution
issues, but, our traffic woes. The Tesla Model 3. The culmination of Elon Musk’s
promise for an affordable and, awesome electric car. That looks to usher in the
next step of, not just electric cars, but for autonomous
driving. Already looking at the car it’s design is unlike anything else on the
road and, instantly recognizable. The interior is also unlike anything else.
Modern and minimalist is an understatement here as all the
information and controls for the car is all on one massive iPad touchscreen
infotainment system. Controlling everything from radio, navigation, climate,
windshield wipers, your glovebox, and, comes with some fun extras stowed away. (a crackling fire) it’s a different take from your typical
Lexus IS’s, BMW 3-series, or Mercedes c-class. And certainly higher quality
than your *cough* overpriced Chevy. Now unlike your typical high-speed train, you can’t
get up, stretch, and, go to the bathroom while on the move. Or order some alcohol.
But you can kinda sorta enjoy looking out the window, without driving. Autopilot
is touted as the next leap forward for the automotive space. So much so, that
Elon predicts 50 years from now, our children will be wondering how people
even drove two-ton roving death cages. Testing a bit of what the future has in
store for us, I thought I’d give it a try. With the new navigate on autopilot in
the car me and my girlfriend were able to drive up all the way from Indy to
Chicago on dangerous I-65 with very light input from myself to remind the car
that, yes I still have a pulse. It’s especially helpful in moderate and heavy
traffic. Tesla’s autopilot drives like a very
careful grandpa. The type that wakes up at 9 a.m. on Saturdays to mow his lawn.
It’s refreshing to not have to think in heavy traffic and have the car do it for
you. And it’s actually quite safe on the road in many conditions. The model 3 did
avoid one collision where a trucker was half asleep or drunk, you can
barely tell in Indiana. He’ swerved into the lane and, the Tesla
was able to avoid it. Granted I was on the wheel ready to take over the entire
time. But realized afterward it was still on autopilot. There are many examples of
Tesla saving lives. And this is an absolutely fair point to get for the Tesla company.
Their cars are far safer. Now I don’t doubt that Elon Musk can get a working
autonomous system for Tesla. The benefit of over-the-air updates is
that the car is always getting better. And, through machine learning, all the
cars are connected to an AI neural network and, learning how to drive from
inputs, like data from its eight cameras, and, twelve ultrasonic sensors, system
mistakes, and, driver mistakes all across the fleet. Kind of like Ultron but, for
cars. Elon, this better not kill us all. Tesla is also planning to roll out full
city driving sometime this year meaning the car can drive itself in city
traffic and stop at red lights. Then there’s the supercharger network it
makes getting cross country easier, cheaper, greener, funner, and; unlike the
other option that musk has kind of abandoned *hmm* actually possible. Tesla has solidified itself in the electric car industry, through this vital network.
None of the big three, the European car makers, nor our Lord and Savior Toyota
will be able to catch up to currently close to 1500 super charging stations
worldwide, with the majority of them in the US. The proprietary charging
solutions make Tesla the apple of the car world. Where you get to charge
alongside other fellow Mac cultists. I..I mean Tesla owners and avoid rather
interesting situations at gas stations. Not to say that Tesla’s get in their own
situations, like dealing with cold rolling dinosaurs. *Hey you. Get off of my cloud*
Range is still an issue for electric cars. Although 320 miles on the long
range model more than enough to cover the necessary distances between most
major cities; compared to 400 in most gas cars. Most commutes fall way under
that. And when you drive your electric car home and charge it, you wake up to a
full charge. So, practically, you never have to visit a gas station or
supercharger ever in normal use. So what’s the cost of taking one home? The
upfront cost of a Tesla is quite expensive. Yes, the average costs for car
transaction the U.S. is about 36 K. And that’s less than the 35 K Model 3 being
touted. However, for most Americans making median wage, the 35k version is just that, a cheaper version of the 3. The
cheapest one with autopilot is 45 K. Honestly though, no car in that price
range has autopilot. Compared to the new Beamer 330i we’re
getting a car that is a smidgen faster to go 0 to 60, faster around the track,
has more trunk space, and, a continuously improving autonomous system. What many argue is at the model 3 and, the all-electric cars for that matter, are
actually cheaper and maintenance in the long run. Since they don’t require oil
gas or anything that comparatively overly complicated internal combustion
engines use. It’s also cheaper to fill up. To get the equivalent of 300 miles in a
Tesla, it cost me about 13 bucks. In a330 I at combined 31 miles per gallon that’s
about 30 bucks in gas equivalent. Electric cars, performance wise, have
already won uped their precious gas cars on the drag strip, the Nurburgring, and on
the road. it’s the automotive equivalent of
Saitama or one punch man. A seemingly unassuming exterior, ripping apart the
competition with *chuckles* just one punch, of the accelerator. However, your neighbors will probably get
the best benefit out of you owning one. Where they don’t have to hear the roar
of a 2jz cold start at 6:00 a.m. in the morning. My honest opinion is that the
model 3 represents the future for the car. And no doubt, as they are becoming
more available, cheaper, and, people are even trading in their trusty Honda’s for it!
No joke! Whether us gearheads like it, or not, electrics have proved themselves faster, easier to maintain, provide more torque,
which will be fun once electric pickups start coming out. When it comes to
self-driving cars, however some experts and; lawmakers are convinced that all
they’ll have to do is make cities compatible with self-driving cars and;
traffic will sort itself out magically without a proper train network. To
reiterate what I said earlier, autonomous cars will replace the car, not the train. Now
despite the fact that trains have had the ability of autonomy for far longer,
taking a high-speed train between two major cities in the same region makes
far more sense. To compare moving the same amount of people powered by
electricity, the model 3 has a capacity to seat 5. Your typical Nozomi and 700
Shinkansen can move 1,323. That means you’ll need about 265 model 3s for that
capacity, and, that’s assuming everyone is buying a 35k car, rather than a $100.00 ticket. On top of that, you can fully relax comfortably, in the Shinkansen. You can
get up and walk, go to the bathroom, plaster yourself with alcohol, all that close to
200 miles per hour. Now maybe you can get away plastered in the Tesla, but, sergeant
Frieda man isn’t going to buy that. “Yeah, three cheeseburgers, two large fries, two chocolate shakes, one large coke.” “And Some flapjacks!” “Too early for flapjacks?”
And then there’s the power consumption, the n700 has twenty-two thousand nine
hundred all-electric horsepower. The base rear wheel drive model 3 has 260. In
total, 265 model 3s produced, in total sixty-eight thousand nine hundred
horsepower. Three times as much as the Shinkansen to move the same amount of
people. Okay, Okay, I know it isn’t exact since it isn’t on a kilowatt per hour usage at
typical running speed. The only data I can find is from China’s bullet train,
which consumer recorded 3.8 kilowatt hour, per 100 kilometer, per passenger. Or
in American, roughly 6.1 kilowatt, per hour, per 100 miles.
The Tesla consumes 26 kilowatt per hour, per 100 miles, which means you have to
have the car filled to its 5 passenger capacity, to reach the same energy
consumption per person. And we know that doesn’t happen. The majority of Americans
commute alone in their car. And that car is most likely a pickup, an SUV, or, God
forbid the cursed crossover. Funny enough, it used to be our God-given
national duty to carpool. But now, we can barely figure out how to drive correctly.
Let alone, forget getting car insurance. “Hello, A-gain!” Car accidents kill more
people, per year than guns. As the dirty-icing on deaths delicious gas
flavored cake, most of our air pollution comes from
driving. Ironically, L.A., having some of the strictest air pollution laws, has the
worst air pollution. Hooray for regulation! It’s sad to say
our American automobile obsession is killing us. And we don’t even obsess
about it right. We don’t even have a speed limit free Autobahn. Elon’s
sentiments about moderate driving in America are correct. “Traffic is, soul
destroying. It’s like acid on the soul. It’s horrible.” We need a change. Some of
our mean reviewer Lords promises include the Tesla Network, and, uber like application but driverless. And that’s great for last mile trips and
cities. Especially in one like Chicago. Where parking is Ridiculously expensive, and, cumbersome to get around. Especially when looking to charge your Tesla. However, in most world-class cities, like Tokyo, Berlin, Hong Kong, Madrid, and, more, the existence of Rapid Transit gives a very vital option for many to get around
without a direct cost of ownership like a car. Chicago has the L and Metro which
covers the needs of many Chicagoans. And in places like Tokyo, the majority of the
population uses the train network. And ride-sharing companies aren’t popular
over there. What policymakers, urban planners, and, other futurists, like myself,
need to understand is that autonomous driving is not a panacea and, a
one-size-fits-all solution. At this point, Tesla dominates everyone in showing a
a self-driving car without driver input. But, as always, market demands, and,
capabilities are always ahead of government thinking and regulation.
Congress can barely figure out Twitter, or garbage desposal. Imagine those poor
souls figuring out policy for autonomous. vehicles. Christian Walmart in his book
“Driverless cars on a road to nowhere.” makes very valid points in the
discussion of regulation and the practicalities of this new technology.
one of those was quote “The extent to which policymakers who ought to be more
skeptical are beginning to tailor policies in relation to this unreachable
Utopia. That is the most dangerous potential consequence of all of this
hype. It is understandably seductive to dream of this new world but also a
diversion away from tackling the real, and, present problems posed by our
transport policies.” I would like to invite him on the show in a future
episode to discuss more. Let me know what you think in the comments below. For the
time being, you still need to keep your hands on the wheel, for the model 3 to
operate In autopilot. There is still plenty on the road ahead, pun intended,
for the automobile. To come full circle here, electric propulsion, is the future,
by train, and, by car. The back and forth on this debate still remains but we’re
continually moving forward. Studies claiming that battery production and
energy consumption for an electric car causes more pollution are widely flawed,
and, have been recently debunked by multiple studies. And there’s plenty
industry-wide that can be done to streamline and, remove waste out of the
process for producing cars and fuel. Have you seen the new car graveyards? Traffic
for some cities could actually become worse with autonomous vehicles, a problem that can be addressed by going back to the main purpose of transportation:
Moving People. Now sure you can go ahead and, build tunnels and, stick cars in them,
one by one, but; at that point, you know what? Leave it to the kings of tunnel transit,
the Train. Now as a road tripper the model 3 is the smoothest and most
easy going experience I’ve had ever driving a car. And it does bring back a
sparkle in the currently glum automotive industry. It’s a bright future.
Where both electric cars and, electric trains will go, hand in hand, to take our infrastructure to the next level. I will
be getting a model 3 in the near future. But in the meantime, I’ll still be
working on ultimately bringing high-speed rail, to the U.S. For the day I
can fully relax, on the train, that can drive itself. Nothing is ever going to be
perfect. And there’s no way we can exactly predict or, simulate how our
future infrastructure works. We’re at a crossroads of technology, that is now
learning to constantly adapt to our surroundings. And with each turn, improve,
to answer the question, “What’s outside the simulation?” The answer is options. A world where people can seamlessly, move from one location to another, in the most
convenient, safest, and, quickest way possible. The American car is about to
evolve and, so too, will the American train. Who wins? We all do. Thank you all
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