The 17” center touchscreen featured in new Tesla models integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data into one intuitive interface. Many functions are mirrored on the instrument panel and are voice-activated to focus the driver’s attention on the road. But many Tesla owners are finding it makes an even better digital finger-painting canvas.
Tesla drivers and their kids are also using the central display unit to make portraits, send messages, and celebrate holidays. @tesla_sketchpad features some of this console art from imaginative Tesla owners. I’m not sure if Tesla originally intended the touchscreen to be a digital arts and crafts center, but it certainly demonstrates how Tesla is pushing boundaries of what an automobile is capable of.
When the Tesla Model S was new, it seemed like nobody would dare tarnish such an prestigious and technologically advanced automobile. Like you wouldn’t put a spoiler on a Ferrari or a body kit on a Lamborghini, right? But nowadays, it’s possible to find a used Tesla Model S for under $30,000, so younger and younger people are starting to get their hands on it. More and more owners are tinkering with rims, tinted windows, body kits, and body wraps. Some rental companies are using modded out Teslas to promote their business as well. Particularly in the middle east, well endowed people in the oil rich nations are getting really creative with their Teslas. Below are some of the more notable, wild, and/or insane Tesla modifications I’ve seen on Instagram.
Doug DeMuro has some interesting opinions on the Tesla Model X. A few things he demonstrates about his rented Model X: how the “pigeon” wing doors operate under low ceilings, Tesla autopilot, utilizing interior space, and the electric SUV’s 257 mile range.
On Vox Borders this week, I couldn’t help but think of a quote from Scarface,”Don’t get high on your own supply.”
Journalist Johnny Harris described Norway as “full of Teslas”. While he doesn’t know much about the popular electric plug in, “0-60 in like… 5 seconds”, he does bring up an interesting observation about environmental and economic policies working together to affect change. In 2014, Tesla broke a record for number of cars sold in a month for a single model, of any kind of car, not just electric cars. In America, we’ve all seen the occasional electric vehicle, but in Norway, other Scandinavian countries, and Iceland, electric vehicles are becoming omnipresent on all city streets. This is partly due to forward thinking politicians, and their fortunate access to renewable resources to generate electricity, like geothermal generation. This renewable electricity makes electric vehicles much more beneficial over internal combustion cars, so it makes more sense to go all-in on a plug-in transportation future.
In 2016 in the United States of all the new cars that were purchased about 1% were electric, more like 0.9%. In Norway it was 29% and that trend is only speeding up: in January this year the share was like 37% or something of all the cars purchased being electric.
Many countries are adopting policies that make it cheaper for someone to buy a Tesla or any other electric car than to buy one in the United States. In Norway, you get free parking if you drive an electric car, you get access to the HOV Lane, which has way less traffic, you don’t have to pay registration fees, you get tax deductions on your income tax, and perhaps the biggest incentive of all is on the business side: companies like Tesla don’t have to pay sales tax for selling in Norway.
Furthermore, you don’t have to pay for gas to drive an electric car in Norway, and you don’t even have to pay for electricity because that is on the house. It’s all payed for by the sovereign wealth fund, which is comprised almost entirely of oil and gas money. Norway’s a huge producer of fossil fuels and they sell that to other countries.
While some might disparage Norway for funding their sustainable, clean future with dirty money, when you look at the situation objectively, they are still reducing their carbon footprint and fueling their own economic good compared to a business as usual approach. Using profits from older fossil fuel resources to improve the environment and wellbeing of their citizens is possibly the most beneficial way to spend tax dollars in the long and short term.
An most Norwegians are simply unapologetic for this caveat of their economy. And why should they be? If somebody else will pay their oil and natural gas, the Norwegian economy is much obliged to take their dollars, bitcoins, or yen and invest it in their transportation projects. If it worked for Tony Montana, it works for Norway (I don’t remember the full plot to Scarface).
All Tesla vehicles, including the future Model 3, have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver. As you can see in the video, all these drivers have to do is angrily lay on the horn after the fact. This is an awesome demonstration of where transportation technology is headed, and how countless lives can be saved.
Teslas have eight surround cameras provide 360 degrees of visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength that is able to see through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead. The car calculates changing velocities of surrounding vehicles to predict whether you are in danger of an accident beyond your possible comprehension. I can’t wait to see more videos showing how innovative technology is changing what we think is possible on the road.
Tesla has added another innovative smart feature to it’s on board software. The new function is called Cabin Overheat Protection” and will protect children, dogs, cats, and other macroscopic organisms you happen to serendipitously leave in your Tesla while you are on your daily frappachino run.
Other updates in the newest software include a new user interface and improved autopilot. What will they think of next at Tesla?