When I moved out to Palm Springs a year ago, I was shocked to discover there are no shared ride services connecting the desert city to LA. No vans, no shuttles, no LAX airport shuttles, nothing. The only options were Uber (about $200) or Greyhound ($35 and sometimes taking 5 hours due to stops). Fortunately, there’s another option and it’s quite amazing. Tesloop is a rideshare service that uses Tesla Model X‘s to run between Los Angeles and Palm Springs (and Los Angeles and San Diego, LA and OC and OC and San Diego). Not only is it the only option, it’s a comfortable option and one that is environmentally friendly as well.
It’s all quite easy, book online and meet at the pickup point about 15 minutes before your scheduled departure. The point-to-point service has almost 100 pickup points across the Tesloop service areas. I said I went from Palm Springs to LA, I actually went from a Panera in Palm Desert (five minutes from my house) to a Starbucks in Gardenia (about ten minutes from the Lexus corporate HQ in Torrance where I had a meeting).
Like an airline ticket, the cost depends on demand and the time and date traveling. Seats on Palm Springs to LA route start at $29 and go up to $89 during peak times. Keep in mind it costs about $15 in gas just to drive between Los Angeles and Palm Springs (about 120 miles).
Inside, it’s a very comfortable experience. The Tesla Model X is a beautiful vehicle, with white faux leather seats and a windshield that continues seamlessly up over the driver and front passenger to also serve as a sunroof. The Tesloop Teslas come with free in-car Wi-Fi and a little picnic basket of complimentary snacks and water. The company even has curated music playlists used for the ride. The ride starts with a Facetime briefing done by the Tesloop concierge, the customer service contact who coordinates your ride after you’ve reserved it online. The experience was flawless and the ride was nice. We traveled during rush hour and it didn’t take too long as the Tesloop cars can use the carpool lanes and also have Fastrack transponders.
Something I also got to experience on the Tesloop trip was the Tesla Model X’s Autopilot feature. As we cruised on the freeway, I noticed the pilot (Tesloop drivers are “pilots”) wasn’t holding the steering wheel. About every minute or so, he would touch it, then would take his hands off again. I had heard about this auto-pilot feature but never seen it in action. Using a myriad of cameras and sensors, the Model X uses cruise control to not only maintain speed but also steer the car. The Model X is an amazing vehicle, I had seen them before but this was first experience riding in one. They cost over $100K and will go almost 300 miles on a charge. They also have incredible torque that propel this little SUV from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds. Yes, 2.9 seconds.