Category Archives: Tesla Motors

Elon Musk said Tesla cars will likely drive without human assistance by the end of 2019

Tesla Roadster

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday that he expects Tesla vehicles to be able to safely drive themselves without human assistance by the end of 2019.

“When will we think it’s safe for full self-driving? It’s probably towards the end of this year, and then it’s up to regulators to decide when they want to approve that,” he said during the automaker’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

Read more: Elon Musk said he expects Tesla to deliver around 50% more cars than last year, even if there’s a global recession

Musk has missed projections about autonomous driving technology on multiple occasions. In 2015, Musk said Tesla would have fully-autonomous driving technology ready in about two years, and Tesla has passed multiple deadlines set by Musk to send a self-driving vehicle across the US.

During Wednesday’s call, Musk also characterized Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot driver assistance system as having full self-driving capability on the highway.

“We already have full self-driving capability on highways. So from highway on-ramp to highway exit, including passing cars and going from one highway interchange to another, full self-driving capability is there,” he said.

Musk’s description of Autopilot’s capabilities contrasts with the owner’s manual for Tesla’s Model 3 sedan, which instructs owners to remain in control of their vehicle when using Autopilot.

“Never depend on these components to keep you safe,” the manual says of Autopilot’s features. “It is the driver’s responsibility to stay alert, drive safely and be in control of the vehicle at all times.”

Tesla has received criticism for how it has promoted Autopilot, and fatal accidents involving the feature have raised questions about whether drivers place too much trust in it and fail to pay attention to the road. Tesla says Autopilot is meant to be used with an attentive driver whose hands are on the wheel, but the most visible accidents involving Autopilot have involved reports of distracted drivers.

In October, Consumer Reports released its rankings of four semi-autonomous driver-assistance systems. Autopilot ranked second, behind Cadillac’s Super Cruise, with the highest rating among the four for capability and performance and ease of use, but the lowest for keeping drivers engaged.

Tesla on Wednesday announced its earnings from the fourth quarter of 2018. The automaker posted adjusted earnings of $1.93 per share on revenue of $7.23 billion. Wall Street analysts had expected adjusted earnings of $2.10 per share on revenue of $7.1 billion.

Truckers of the World: Electric Is Coming!

Most of the focus on commercial electric vehicles has focused on cars over the past few years, but there have been huge developments in trucking, too. And if you are a truck owner or – more importantly – drive one for a living, you might be watching on with baited breath.

The dawn of electric-fueled trucks is almost upon us, according to recent reports. And it could have an enormous impact in a broad array of areas. Let’s take a look at everything we know so far, and what we might expect in the future.

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Tesla

Back in November of 2017, Elon Musk revealed his plans for Tesla to release a fully electric Semi truck. It can travel 500 miles with haulage of 80,000 pounds on a single charge and is semi-autonomous. It comes equipped with Enhanced Autopilot, which means the truck can effectively brake, keep lane, and automatically signal for lane departures.

Thor Trucks

However, Tesla might be beaten to the market by Thor Trucks. Their ET-One is an incredible looking vehicle that has been cobbled together with parts from lots of other tractor-trailers and has a 300-mile range carrying 80,0000 pounds of weight. And most importantly, the tech behind it proves that fossil-fuel burning trucks can be converted into electrically powered vehicles and that Thor Trucks reckon it will be ready to sell far quicker than Tesla’s version.

Truck drivers today

Is this bad news for the truck drivers of today? Possibly – and it might happen sooner than most people think. Trucking is a big opportunity for anyone with a barrier to entry to traditional jobs, and given the gig doesn’t require an education, it’s heavily unionized and, in effect, relatively well paid. If electric trucks come to the market – and are automated, as expected – where will these people look for work? And given the huge industry around trucking – from diesel truck mechanics through to logistics experts – it could have a deep impact. While truck driving isn’t the greatest job in the world, it is in demand, so what will happen wants it isn’t?

The truck drivers of tomorrow

Ultimately, the world is quite ready for full automation in cars – let alone gargantuan sized vehicles like trucks. But as soon as automation comes in, the reality is that people will get used to it fairly quickly, as long as there aren’t too many major incidents. But even so, truck drivers will lose their jobs. Take what Peloton Technology are doing as the perfect example. Their idea is to create platoons of trucks that travel in convoy, with only the first truck having a driver – all the others are controlled from one cockpit. And the effect could be huge – Goldman Sachs has estimated that automation could see 300,000 jobs going every year around the world.

Conclusion

That’s a lot of jobs disappearing – and a lot of people out of work. And the most surprising thing is that the technologists and policymakers behind all this work don’t seem to be considering the damage they might leave behind. Most people are all about embracing the future, of course, but truckers? They might not be so happy.

Common Tesla Model S Questions Answered

Tesla Model S electric car at Berkeley, San Francisco Bay Area

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Since its release, the Tesla Model S has caused a lot of buzzes and even more debate than some of the most popular cars of the past century! No doubt this is due to its innovation, which makes it a whole different kettle of fish to the average car, which means that few of us really know too much about it.

Hopefully, we can change that by answering some of the most common Tesla Model S questions…

How Is It an Evo Car?

Many people are skeptical that the Model S could be described as an evo car, but anyone who’s driven the Model S P85+ will be able to tell you that this electric car can go from 0-60 mph in less than four seconds, which means it performs as fast as the average super saloon. It turns out you don’t need petrol or diesel for prompt torque delivery!

How Does She Handle?

Many people are curious what it feels like to drive a totally electric car – well in the case of the Tesla Model S, it feels pretty much like driving any over vehicle. If anything, it is perhaps a little smoother, and of course, it’s a lot quieter than your average vehicle.

How Often Does It Need Charging?

On average, you can expect to get 31 miles of travel from each hour of charging; So, if you’re planning to go on a long journey, you’re going to have to park up and charge for quite a while. This is perhaps the biggest downside of owning the vehicle, especially right now when places to charge are still few and far between. Once that issue is solved, the Tesla Model S will surely be one of the best vehicles out on the road.

Should I Book a Service?

Should I book a service? This is something that most car owners, not just those with a brand new electric car often ponder, but with the Tesla S, you don’t need to guess. The company say that you should have the vehicle serviced after every 12,5000 miles use or annually – it’s up to you which. Obviously, if you’re experiencing any issues sooner than that, you will need to have it checked out. It might be an amazing car, but it still needs to be looked after!

Will My Mechanic Know What to Do with It?

Another issue with the Tesla is that there are still far too few mechanics who know how to deal with what is basically a leap in the evolution of car technology. Unless your regular mechanic has been trained and certified as a Tesla mechanic, then chances are he won’t be able to help you if something goes wrong and you’ll have to look for someone who is certified, which might not be too easy depending on where you’re located.

I hope this helps you understand a little more about the pros and cons of owning a Tesla. If you’re interested though, it is probably a good idea to check out their official website for a more comprehensive guide to ownership, too.

The Complexes Of Putting Your Trust In A.I.

It’s widely agreed that the future belongs to electricity. There is going to be a time when fossil fuels either run out, or become too ineffective for companies around the world who want to make a profit. However, no one is arguing that electric cars will be the future, it’s the technology that will be inside them that is the current talk of the town. Autonomous cars sound like a brilliant idea because they’re supposed to take out the human error or chance of one and make the roads safer. But there have been mishaps and even bad accidents when these types of cars are being tested. Indeed this technology is in its infancy, but these cars are still being developed. Other cars with a combustion engine, are in fact using radar systems to stop, start and drive the car for the driver. But putting your trust in the A.I. to drive for you leaves open some questions.

Image by TTTNIS

Cruise radar

Cars like the BMW i3 are one of the main leaders in adaptive radar cruising. Put simply the car will essentially drive itself while on the motorway. Using complex computer systems that communicate with each other hundreds of times a second, the car will evaluate how fast and how far from the car in front, you should be going. However, it’s advisable for drivers to not use this system when the weather is not very good. Fog is the number one factor that can decide to block the sensors making it difficult for the A.I. to judge the distance of the car in front. However, even so, the ability to cruise at a calm and orderly pace, ever consistent, is seen far more efficient than any human being could achieve.

Credit John Voo

Known accidents

As recently as 2016 and 2017 Tesla Model X cars have been having major accidents while in their ‘autopilot’ mode. For some reason, the technology used in them doesn’t seem to recognise abnormal shapes even in clear weather. A truck was driven into by a Model X, and the only thing that saved the driver was the sturdiness of the design. This is just one of the tales that adaptive cruise control users can tell you. One would think now, the car accident lawyer contacting has gone up because of this. This is relevant to people who have been driven into by an electric car. You’re entitled to file a lawsuit with a big chance of winning if you have been injured, need money to fix or even replace your car, lost wages due to staying home to recuperate and payment for medical bills. Suddenly this futuristic technology looks like it’s more hassle than it’s worth, in its current stage of development.

Trusting A.I. is something that we’d all like to do, not just because it’s cool and it excites us to see machines being accurate and working well but also because human error is taken out of the equation. However, those who want to buy an electric car may find that they should stick to driving it themselves and not rely on cruise control software just yet.

Keeping Your Electric Car As Safe As Possible

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Owning an electric car is very different to owning a standard diesel vehicle. Obviously, you know this and that’s why you bought the car. You know that the impact it has on the environment is far lesser, for example. The differences between electric cars and traditional cars are many. Nonetheless, when it comes to the ways in which you should be looking after your electric-powered vehicle, there are some similarities and some differences when compared to a standard car. Here’s how to keep your electric car as safe as possible.

Maintenance.

As with any car, maintenance is the key to keeping your car safe and roadworthy. And, as with any car, you need to become acquainted with the machinery at work within your vehicle so as to take care of it yourself. Even though regular check-ups are important, going to a repair shop every time there’s a problem is costly and time-consuming. Not to mention, it’s much safer and responsible to maintain your vehicle by yourself.

You need to understand the sophisticated electronics that run your car. Learn about the battery control module and how it discharges and charges the battery bank. You also need to learn about the heating and cooling systems because it’s important that these are well-maintained in order to keep your vehicle safe. Take a look at the hoses, clamps, and pipes to check the cooling system is working as it should be. As a piece of advice to make sure your battery doesn’t run into any problems, you should avoid a full charge; pushing your battery to its maximum capacity and then draining it is damaging.

Responsible driving.

If you want to keep your electric car as safe as possible then you need to be a responsible driver and that all depends on road awareness. You already have a license, so you’re qualified to drive a vehicle, but you might not necessarily be the most observant driver possible. Passing your driving test is one thing but you need to maintain that focus and concentration every time you get behind the wheel of a car. You might want to look into a mirror reversing camera kit because it’s so important to have complete vision of the road as a driver. And, sometimes, your rear view mirrors won’t suffice; blind spots are bad enough but other vehicles and things in the road can obscure your vision too. It’s a good idea to have as many backup options in place as possible and a camera can certainly help.

Continuing on from the point above, you need to be aware of the road in order to be a responsible driver but you also need to react to the road appropriately. Defensive driving is the best way to avoid accidents on the road. If you see a reckless driver then reacting aggressively to the situation and losing concentration could make you a danger to the road too. Additionally, driving defensively and cautiously means that you shouldn’t speed or brake hard; put your electric car under too much strain and it’ll wear out more quickly. You need to look after your vehicle in the way you would with any car.

Tesla Reveals a Super Semi, 0-60 in Under 5 Seconds!

At an event in Los Angeles on November 16th, 2017, Tesla unveiled its new Semi electric truck, which is capable of traveling 800 kilometers (500 miles) on a single charge with a loaded trailer.

Powered by four independent Model 3 motors, the vehicle can go from 0-60 mph in just five seconds; it’ll take 20 seconds while paired with an 80,000 pound load. The idea with the Semi is to create a shipping solution that’s not only more environmentally friendly than a diesel truck, but also more economical to own and operate.

The interior features a central cockpit for greater visibility and two large displays for navigation and other controls on either side of the cabin. The shatter-proof windshield uses Tesla Armor Glass that the company says is far more durable than standard glass; that’s a big deal because a cracked windshield takes time to replace, and it’s illegal to drive with a damaged one in the US, which means downtime and money down the drain for trucking companies.

In addition, the Semi beams data to a mobile app that presents vital information about the vehicle, along with remote diagnostics, preventative maintenance, and fleet management information.

With the Semi, the big draw for logistics companies will likely be the lower cost of ownership. Tesla says that a diesel truck is 20 percent more expensive to run per mile, and that running an Autopilot-powered convoy of Semis is even more economical than transporting cargo by rail, while also being 10 times safer than having the vehicles manned by human drivers.

It’ll be interesting to see if that’s enough to convince shipping companies to make the switch to Tesla’s electric offering. The Semi will begin production in 2019, and you can reserve them now by wiring across $5,000 apiece.

SOURCE: TheNextWeb