Tesla gives Uber a Model S boost at SXSW, so come on and take a free ride video

The number of cabs per capita in Austin is probably quite reasonable for a city of under a million, but during SXSW, taxis can be difficult to come by, plagued by ridiculous traffic and a surge of carless visitors. So, to make our way from last night’s Engadget+gdgt event to our hotel — a roughly 15-mile drive north of the city center — we turned to Uber’s Android app. Selecting the UberX option, we were told, would net us a free ride, but we were expecting a clunky cab to pull up; instead, we got a brand new Tesla Model S, with a tie-clad chauffeur to match. The driver, we learned, was on loan from Dallas, while the gorgeous all-electric car was likely to quietly roll its way to distant roads following this week’s Central Texas geek fest. But we weren’t leaving Austin without our ride.

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