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The Edge of the Road Podcast

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An exploration of the new technology of driving, beginning with a 2012 Ford Focus and resuming with a Tesla Model 3.

An exploration of the new technology of driving, beginning with a 2012 Ford Focus and resuming with a Tesla Model 3.


United States


An exploration of the new technology of driving, beginning with a 2012 Ford Focus and resuming with a Tesla Model 3.








EOR 49 Back in Cambridge

This is the view out my window here in Cambridge, where we are visiting for a week before heading back to Denver. This gives me a chance to catch up with the latest system update on Tess, which adds autopilot on navigation capabilities. Also, the automatic parking seems to be improved, or I am getting more used to it. This month marks a year of Tesla ownership and 12,000 miles of electric joy.


EOR 48 My Cousin's New Tesla

My cousin Kevin Tighe and I compare notes on our Model 3's. His, a blue number like the one shown above, arrived two months ago. Ours is parked in our neighbors' yard in Cambridge while we are in Denver. Kevin and I connected today by Skype and agreed--we love this car!


EOR 47 Minor Problems

On the Road to Maine I'm sorry for the long hiatus without uploading an episode of this show. Life has been complicated lately. But here we are, riding in Tess up I-95 to Ocean Park in the off season, a beautiful time of year to be in Maine. You will hear a list of minor problems that have developed since we last spoke, and why they don't in any way diminish my love for the Tesla Model 3. It's the future on wheels.


EOR 46 Darlene's First Drive and Cousin Jim

It's been almost three months since I took delivery of our Tesla Model 3. Last night was the first time my wife Darlene has driven it, and I recorded the historic event. She says she wanted me to have time to learn the complexities of the car, which I may have over-emphasized. Behind the wheel, her first reaction was "What's the big deal?" My cousin Jim, by comparison, went into orbit with delight when I took him for a test drive. You'll hear both of them in this episode. My apology for...


EOR 45 Summon

I finally received a wireless update of our Tesla Model 3's software today. Version 2018.26.1 includes the Summon feature, which enables me to move Tess forward or back using the Tesla app on my iPhone. This is a very weird experience, because you feel as if you are operating a toy car with a remote control, except the toy car is suddenly huge--a real car that's acting like a toy. It goes very slowly, and you have to keep your finger on the Forward or Reverse button the whole time. Also in...


EOR 45 Supercharged Fourth of July

On the way to Ocean Park for the Fourth, Tess and I stopped at the brand-new bank of superchargers at the Kennebunk service area on the Maine Turnpike (I-95). They're fast! Also in this episode, why AutoSteer sometimes tells me to put my hands on the wheel when they're already there, the brotherhood of Tesla owners, a couple of fails for autopark, and a new wall charger for Cambridge. Yesterday's Fourth of July parade here featured a crowd favorite, the Ocean Park Marching Kazoo Band. I've...


EOR 44 Does YOUR Car Company Make Housecalls? Tesla Does.

Photo: Steve my Tesla repair technician installs a new taillight on our Model 3, parked near our home in Cambridge Mass. Well, that was something different! I've never had a car dealership send someone to my home to repair a car. But that's what happened when I called Tesla to report a problem with a taillight. You'll hear about my first Tesla housecall in this episode. Also, something I'm learning not to love about AutoSteer, the challenge of smoothly transitioning from AutoPilot to drive...


EOR 43 Tess in Maine

I drove our Tesla Model 3 to Maine for the first time on Sunday, in a driving rain. She had no trouble following the lane markings with Autosteer. When I arrived at Ocean Park, Maine, a brand new Tesla wall charger was waiting for us. It works perfectly, adding about 35 miles of range during an hour of charging. Thanks to Steven Corey for installing it with help from Mark Gustin! Also in this episode, I will share what I've learned about how hard you have to hold the steering wheel for...


EOR 42 Bumper to Bumper

Much to my surprise, bumper-to-bumper traffic turns out to be the life-altering use of the Tesla's autopilot capability. Darlene and I drove for nearly an hour in order to cover just 11 miles between Cambridge and Boston the other night. This gave us a chance to settle into the ease of driving offered by Enhanced Cruise Control and Autosteer. What a difference it made! When the autopilot mysteriously stopped working for about 10 minutes, I noticed how my anxiety level increased noticeably....


EOR 41 On the Road Again

The Yorkie Claire accompanied me to a Supercharger today in Hadley Massachusetts, conveniently located just a mile from the Paradise City Arts Festival, a favorite event of my wife Darlene's. Fun for everyone. We drove about 100 miles from Cambridge to the festival, near Northampton. This was my longest drive yet, and it gave me a good chance to settle into familiarity with AutoSteer, automatic lane changing, and enhanced cruise control. At one point I realized that I was driving less well...


EOR 40 Unplugged

Our Tesla Model 3 was briefly plugged into a 110-volt outlet in my parents' garage in Cambridge, Mass. But after about a day of charging, I received a notification on my iPhone via the Tesla app that the charging had ended. We turned to ace electrician Pat Flaherty, who has looked after my parents' electrical equipment for decades, to figure out what happened. His diagnosis suggests that if you are going to charge a Tesla in your garage, you should set up a separate circuit for it, lest the...


EOR 39 Supercharged

In this episode, we go looking for the Tesla Supercharger station in Cambridge, Mass., and learn there is a charge for topping off the battery on a Model 3. Also, a friend of mine in Maine suggests Kennebunk's new Supercharger station, now under construction, may contain even faster next-generation Superchargers. Here's hoping! I am in Denver for a couple of weeks and left Tess charging from a 110-volt outlet in my parents' garage in Cambridge. This was working well until the outlet...


EOR 38 Mindfulness Lesson

Above: Tess, our Model 3, this morning at St. Camillus Church in Arlington, Massachusetts. In this episode I consider a lapse in my attention this morning on the way home from a meeting. Tess was moving me through stop-and-go traffic, inching along safely, stopping when appropriate, then waiting for a gap before resuming forward motion. I might have been inclined, if driving a traditional car, to take advantage of the low-risk driving conditions to add a few favorites to the radio stations...


EOR 37 A Day of Firsts

My grandson Jake, 4, helped charge the Model 3 this afternoon at a ChargePoint charging station in Watertown, Mass. In about 20 minutes we added about 12 miles of range to Tess. It cost $10 to set up an account with an iPhone app, but the electricity was free. Also in this episode, I will try to explain what it feels like to drive in an entirely new way using AutoSteer. The car's steering wheel moves to track the road at low speeds and during highway travel. My hands hold the wheel just as...


EOR 36 Meet Tess

Today I picked up our Tesla Model 3, named Tess, at the dealership in Dedham, Massachusetts. This episode captures the orientation session I received from a very sharp Tesla rep who used to work art Apple, as well as my observations at the end of the day after driving Tess to Cambridge. I have not yet tried the auto-driving features, self parking, and other capabilities. But I love the way the car handles and the magic-carpet silence and power of the ride. If I could wave a wand I'd...


EOR 35 Hello Again!

A Tesla Model 3 we saw in a Boston showroom in January After a six-year hiatus, I am dusting off this podcast in order to share with you our experience with the Tesla Model 3 that I will pick up on Tuesday, May 9, 2018, in Dedham, Massachusetts. Darlene stood in line outside the Denver Tesla showroom on a cold day in March two years ago, which put us in line to receive one of the first non-employee Model 3s to be delivered. I am studying a Model 3 Owner's Manual that I found online and...


EOR 34 Driving East

Three topics from our 2,000-mile drive from Denver to Cambridge, Mass., last week in our trusty 2012 Ford Focus named Henry: 1) If you leave the car running and walk off with the smart key, can someone else drive the car away? We have actually done this a couple of times, most recently at the parking lot of Scooters coffee shop in Omaha. The word from the SYNC support center is no, someone who attempts to drive the car away without a key on their person will not be able to make it go...


TKC 33 Darlene Learns Parking Assist

This past Sunday morning, which happened to be our 28th wedding anniversary, Darlene and I and the Yorkie Claire drove to a quiet residential neighbohood of Denver for a parking-assist marathon. Since I drive Henry, our 2012 Ford Focus, a lot more than Darlene does, I've had a chance over the past year to get very comfortable with the technology, which helps you ease into a tight parallel parking space with no hands on the wheel. To achieve mastery of parking assist, I recommend lots of...


EOR 32 Listening to Podcasts

Since I imagine some of you are listening to The Edge of the Road in your car, I thought I would explore the way I listen to podcasts in Henry, our 2012 Ford Focus who turns one year old today. In this episode I will discuss playlists in iTunes, information available at SyncMyRide, and the options for listening to podcasts by Bluetooth or USB connection in the car. If you also listen to my Kindle Chronicles podcast, you will probably enjoy this On the Media special titled "How Publishing...


EOR 31 Darlene on the Update

For this episode, my wife Darlene joined me in our 2012 Ford Focus named Henry for a chat about the Performance Upgrade that I installed two weeks ago. As usual, she gives a candid reaction to both the problems with the original MyFord Touch SYNC system, and the upgrade. Does she like it? Listen in for the answer. She also offers a warning about not backing out of your parking space before your navigation destination has been entered and started, and we detail a few things still missing...