I learnt a new word today. I am sure it was an expletive. It is the sound my Tesla Model 3 makes when you are trying to merge lanes entering the freeway and the BMW next to you won’t let you in. Hard to describe – something like the sound that comes out of a frightened chicken on steroids. I am used to reading gauges and finding plenty of information on the screen, but now I am learning a whole new language of sounds — “Tesla speak,” perhaps.
It struck me that communicating with the Tesla goes two ways. It isn’t just me telling the car what to do — whether using voice commands or signals from my hands and feet — but also the car telling me how to be a better driver. There are some days when I feel like I am a learner again, as I am told what speed to drive, how to hold the steering wheel, and when to brake.
The metaphors are endless. Sometimes Tess is like a teenager — skittish and shy when the semi is coming towards me through a left hand turn (she thinks it is on my side of the road). Sometimes she (yes, I am going anthropomorphic) is like a 2 year old — you hear the sound but don’t quite know what it means. Sometimes she is fearful, on a narrow road with a van parked on the side. Sometimes just a nag.
Like a nanny, she bongs if you don’t put your seat belt on or leave the door open. Worse, if you put the groceries on the back seat and don’t do up that seat belt, she won’t leave you alone till you do. At end of the drive, she makes that “whoooosh” sound (like a jet engine powering down) as she relaxes in the garage. Her work is done, her parents/students/playmates are home safe.
I am sure that there are many sounds I haven’t yet heard, and probably don’t want to. Like the sounds she makes just before you crash?
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