I am in a car that is driving itself on the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway—one of
the busiest highways in the country—and I am freaking the hell out.
“Hold the steering wheel, but still let it do its own thing,” Michael, a product
specialist for the electric-vehicle maker Tesla Motors, gently cautions me, trying
to snap me out of the wide-eyed stupor brought on by watching the wheel of my
Model S steer around a curve as if guided by invisible hands.
As we pass through Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood and the waterfront complex of Industry City, my anxiety eases enough to start asking Michael
about how the autopilot feature works (the car’s sensors analyze traffic patterns
RUN THE ROAD
Tesla isn’t just making groundbreaking electric
vehicles. It’s upending the way cars are sold across the
country. And it’s making a few enemies along the way.
By J.J. McCorvey
Illustrations by Yukai Du
September 2016 FastCompany.com 31