You never forget the moment you pass your driving test. It’s the day you gain your independence and can finally say goodbye to those stress-inducing lessons. And, just like riding a bike, everyone tells you driving is a skill you’ll never forget. After all, once you have your license, you’re probably going to be driving most days, so why would anyone need to refresh their training?

At least, that’s what most of us thought when we passed while driving stick or automatic, which is very much like riding a bike. But what about when it comes to operating a car with a self-driving feature, which has steadily been gaining more traction in recent years?

Maybe you’ve been tempted to treat yourself to a fancy new Tesla — the height of slick, futuristic driving technology, with a lot of environmental benefits, too. Although, while Tesla may be rising in popularity, with this new technology comes the need for a different kind of training. And it’s something people can get a jumpstart on before you even make the purchase.

Tesla Training

One company is offering training for current and future Tesla owners alike in an effort to enhance their knowledge, skills, confidence and safety in driving such a futuristic vehicle. Drivyn, a high-tech education company based in Henderson, Nevada, does this by linking new and current Tesla owners with qualified advisors using state of the art teaching to provide high-level instruction.​ Scheduling a course with Drivyn is as easy as ordering an Uber.

“We utilize a proprietary training system to facilitate mastering skills unmatched by conventional learning technologies,” says Judith Everett, Co-Founder and President of Drivyn. “Our system significantly increases a client’s learning proficiency, backed by real-world data, yielding outstanding comprehension and retention rates. We couple this technology with ‘HandsOn’ Drivyn Advisors delivering superior driving skills.”

Pre-Ownership Training

Anyone who has operated an electric vehicle after driving a car with an internal combustion engine will quickly realize that there is a stark difference between the two. The former is very quiet, accelerates extremely quickly, and runs a lot smoother. When it comes to driving a Tesla, however, all of this is taken up a notch.

Once you purchase one, you can drive it like any other kind of car, but that would be missing out on the numerous differences that set Tesla apart. It takes some know-how to adjust your settings appropriately and practice refining new Tesla-specific driving skills and instincts. Drivyn emphasizes that the best way to prepare is to do the training as soon as you receive your Tesla, or ideally even before. They offer in-person, real-time, hands-on-training with experienced owners who can guide new drivers through the nuts, bolts, and nuances of Tesla driving. They even have a specific course for prospective buyers who want to be able to understand what Tesla offers before making their purchasing decision, providing an opportunity to appreciate the full driving experience before making this significant change.

What’s Actually Different About Teslas?

Tesla describes its autopilot features as a new functionality to make driving “safer and less stressful”. This includes traffic-aware cruise control, which matches the speed of your car to that of surrounding traffic, and autosteer, which assists in steering within a marked lane, using traffic-aware cruise control.

Full Self-Driving capability takes things up a notch by offering auto lane changes (moving into an adjacent lane on the highway when autosteer is engaged), autopark, summon (moving your car in and out of tight spaces), and smart summon (more complex maneuvers) and navigation on autopilot from on-ramp to off-ramp. Beta features include city street auto-navigation, traffic light and stop sign control and suggested lane changes.

Drivyn Training

Currently, prospective buyers have the choice of Beginning, Advanced and Full Self-Driving courses. For those who would like to try one out before they buy, Drivyn offers the Tesla Experience course. Soon, Drivyn will be offering the ability for owners to contact advisors with any question that may arise.

“It’s not intuitive, for some drivers, to go from a two-pedal internal combustion engine car to an electric Tesla, designed to be uniquely driven with one pedal or even none,” Everett says. “Nor is it easy to give up control to an almost-autonomous vehicle. It can be amazing, but it can also be scary! Some Tesla features require retraining our instincts. It’s why we created Drivyn. Nothing can match having an expert Advisor there in person guiding you.”

The Need For Specialized Training

In 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that Tesla Model 3 vehicles, “ranks as the safest car” recorded by the organization — a sentiment that over 90 percent of Tesla 3 drivers agree with. Wired also found that when driving is partially automated, people drive more. However, it’s a common misconception that automated driving means drivers can lapse their concentration. “Autopilot is great for early adopters or thrill-seekers, but many people find this daunting,” says Drivyn co-founder Sam Rabinowitz. “Trusting the vehicle to maneuver itself into oncoming traffic, or to make a steering correction at a curve while heading directly into a wall, is contrary to anyone’s instincts.”

The technology, Rabinowitz says, is being touted as something that is as easy to learn as using a smartphone. “In many ways, that’s true, but your life, and the lives of your loved ones, don’t depend on it if you make a mistake using a smartphone. Like a smartphone, its simplicity is complex, and to truly master Autopilot’s safe-handling requires expert instruction. Only then can most people feel the real benefit and serenity of autonomous driving.” As Tesla notes on their website, Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features requires “…driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

Practicality, Not Pride

“Adult drivers do not generally think they need driving lessons and are often embarrassed, even subconsciously,  to admit needing classes,” Everett adds. “But we don’t teach how to drive; we teach how to get the most out of the vehicle.”

Where Autopilot and Full-Self Driving can be daunting at first, the Drivyn team emphasizes that it requires a different kind of mindset and driving instincts. “When people attempt learning by trial and error, they can panic and develop PTSD, which we call PTTD (Post Traumatic Tesla Disorder),” Everett says. “But our goal is that every Tesla driver and owner understand why taking a course is essential. We believe that for most people, taking a course should not be considered only as a want, but rather as a need.”

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