How does a fresh-off-the-line R1T compete with our eclectic mix of off-roaders both on and off the road? The answer likely won't surprise you Oppo.
For better or worse I decided to post the details of our shenanigans over at the Oppo Drivetribe. If anyone wants to share it to the offroad tribes you'd be doing me a solid for sure. Right now I'm sitting at a frankly pitiful number of view and I don't know if that is because I posted to the Oppo tribe or because it is early yet.
All that said, as a treat to Oppo and to encourage you to click through, how about some Oppo exclusive content that didn't make it into the main article?
Some details on R1T problems
Still going to be a little vague because these are all issues I expect will be fixed soon, if they haven't already. Basically Andrew had a number of software issues. For us, the two big ones were his speedo reading incorrectly and his fugging brake lights.
The former we suspect was his car not doing the math right to calculate speed. Basically felt like he'd been fitted with larger wheels and tires (which I think is true for the offroad package?) and the speedo was off. He checked the settings and it was indeed programmed with the right tires, so something was off in the code. This was mostly annoying because we spent a lot of the trip with him in the lead and as a result going 5 under the speed limit on the highway.
Speaking of annoying things with the Rivian in the lead, the adaptive cruise suffers from the same problem as many of the other systems I've used: the following distance is laughable. The Rivian's system, in a lot of ways, is better than most. I recall being in a rental Camry and having it routinely come up behind someone on the highway only to slam on the brakes right before I started to change lanes to pass. The Rivian at least is very gradual in its slowing down, but for those of us following that means Andrew would lose 5-7 MPH before he started to pass. For him, no big deal, for me in my old Rover regaining that speed while going 60+ MPH is a process. (The Rover is great and almost peppy at the low end but suffers on the highway.) Unclear if this is just how these systems work or if this is something they're going to fix in the future. For my part I've encouraged Andrew to have them look into it. But (again) in my experiance this isn't abnormal and at least a lot smoother than most systems. Just not great for a convoy or a semi-inattentive driver. (I suspect Andrew drives a lot slower when we're not around...)
The last and most silly problem was with the brake lights. No, they work great... sort of, but when in cruise (or possibly all the time? I wasn't clear) the brake lights activate when the car goes into regen. Basically this is the equivalent of an ICE car turning on its brake lights every time you let fully off the gas and begin engine braking. While yes, an electric car can do a whole bunch of engine braking and any amount of hard regen should activate the brake lights, this was any amount of regen, the net result being his brake lights would turn on all the time and we learned to ignore them. Andrew very much knows this is a problem and I expect they'll tweak it soon.
Nice things about the Rivian
The last bit was that Rivian as a company was very chill and supportive through the process. Admittedly Andrew very much has an "in" with them, but like... when shown the write ups about this trip their response was "nice photos!" Additionally I know Andrew received at least one patch early in the trip to fix some issues he was having.
In a lot of ways it was really cool to be part of... ugh I never know what to say here. The car isn't in beta and it isn't a prerelease but like... clearly Rivian was getting a ton of data from this trip and it was cool to be a part of that early feedback process. My impression is up until now yes they've had a ton of people driving and road testing, but this one of the longer trips they had no control over. I mean... if nothing else it was an over 4,000 mile trip (for him) with a healthy mix of terrains, speeds, and temperatures AND he had three car nuts tagging along. I believe he briefly had the highest mileage customer delivered car too. Anyway, all that is to say it was super cool to be part of that process and be able to give feedback on what I actually believe is a really really cool EV.
Anyway, I am super looking forward to seeing Rivian succeed and put out more killer products in the future.
Uhh so I took this photo but didn't have the hear to make the required dad joke about breaking down/ checking the oil:
Our hotel in Death Valley was also crazy expensive but very pretty:
I did get in a "fight" with an employee which was "fun". We rolled in after a looooooong day and could not for the life of us figure out where the front desk was. Finally we ventured up a tiny narrow driveway to discover this was (probably) check-in! Neat. But there was nowhere to pull over or park. Not neat. So I just... parked... only to have an employee that was lounging in a golf cart near by come and start barking at me. Like dude... I get it.... I bet people do this all the time and cause huge problems. But also I suspect it is literally your job to prevent me from doing what I just did. I was clearly confused and sort of looking around... maybe like... come over and help? Direct me where to park? Or like PUT UP A FUCKING SIGN THAT SAYS WHERE TO CHECK IN AND WHERE TO PARK TO CHECK IN?
But I'm totally over it.... :ahem:
Anyway... here are some other random photos that I like but didn't make the cut: (cc: @Photography )
Anyway... main article is here on Drivetribe! Hopefully this was enough of a bribe to get you to click through!