Driving in the Rain

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I finally drove the Roadster in a decent downpour today, and I loved it. I took the (rare-in-CA) opportunity to push the limits a bit and discover how my car comported itself in the wet – I figured it was better to do this now, in a safe way, than to do it in the middle of an emergency.

Driving my Lotus in the rain was always a slightly terrifying ordeal for many reasons: no traction control, warm weather tires, a oversteer-tuned suspension and being so low to the ground you were always in someone’s spray. It was twitchy, white-knuckle stuff, and I never really enjoyed it.

And the softtop leaked on your shoulder the whole time.

The Roadster, as I have it set up today, corrects the worst of these problems. The traction control makes it *almost* impossible to kick the rear out (I tried), the car oversteered a bit, but in a very controllable way (especially helped by the electric throttle control). It is still deep in the spray, but the transparent hardtop help a bit.

I also did some very hard launches and stops on wet pavement, and the car felt in full control at all times (I was only able to trigger the ABS when I drove over some wet leaves).

Tesla Roadster: Driving Dynamics

The Roadster was Tesla’s first foray into making cars, and almost entirely unlike its current Model S. Built on a modified version of the Elise’s bonded-aluminum chassis (which was the secret sauce that made the Elise so perfect), it laid the groundwork for Tesla’s battery, motor and electronics design. In it’s driving dynamics, it feels very Elise-like. The steering is unassisted and very direct, just like the Elise’s. It understeers a bit more (easy to adjust if I wanted to, but I think I like it the way it is), and takes a bit longer to ‘set’ in a corner, but overall I’d say its 95% of what the Elise gave me, which is awesome.

The Woz Speaks Out about NSA and Such

I’ve always loved Steve Wozniak – I think all geek-at-heart 80s-bred computer engineers do. He’s the embodiment of down-to-earth, not-evil geeky happiness we all aspire to. I’d like to think if I suddenly had a billion dollars I’d behave just like him.

This interview, mostly just some off-hand comments he made to a passing journalist regarding the recent big brother nastiness, largely reflect my views and those of many other siliconvalleyians I know.

My first response to many problems is to try to find technical solutions (more articles on that later), but the real problem is political, and the REAL problem is that most people just haven’t given this any in-depth thought. They’re too wrapped up in their lives to stop and consider the ramifications of an all-seeing government insisting that it isn’t all-seeing, but that if it is, its top-secret and illegal to talk about, all while saying they ‘welcome the debate’. You just can’t get any more orwellian than that.