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Tesla Working on New AI Chip that Elon Musk Says Will Be the Best in the World

Tesla Working on New AI Chip that Elon Musk Says Will Be the Best in the World

It’s not the first time that Musk has been bullish about his company’s pursuits

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is so bullish about the prospect of Tesla using custom hardware for artificial intelligence that he doubled down on his position at a recent company party for industry and academic researchers. Speaking to a crowd of smart industry heads, Musk even predicted that the specialized AI hardware the company is developing under the stewardship of Jim Keller will be the “best in the world.”

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Shocker! Elon Musk May Delay Tesla Model 3 Production

Shocker! Elon Musk May Delay Tesla Model 3 Production

It may be a great company and all, but Tesla is NEVER on time

Elon Musk is, undeniably, a very busy and ambitious man. But, it comes at a cost. In this case, that cost is the reliability of his word when it comes to timetables. It almost seems as if every time we turn around Tesla is missing one of its targets, and now, that’s about to happen again. Not only did Elon Musk tweet that its semi-truck unveiling would be pushed back, but that the Model 3 was “deep in production hell.” You know what that means? It means you’re probably not going to get your Model 3 when the company said you would. When a customer asked Musk if he would get his Model 3 this year, Musk’s reply was a little sketchy: “December will be a big month, so probably, but it is impossible to be certain right now.”

The truth is, Tesla is in some hot water as far as Model 3 production goes. Musk had originally projected that Tesla would produce 1,500 examples of the Model 3 in the third quarter but fell far short, with official numbers stopping at 260. To add to that, of those 260, only 220 of them were actually delivered. Apparently, there is a huge bottleneck happening, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that some parts for the Model 3 were being made by hand back in September. Of course, this isn’t the only thing holding the company back, as Musk now has a deal with Puerto Rico to help bring power back to the island after it was ravaged by mother nature . As such, some sources have also been diverted to increasing Tesla battery production.

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First Tesla Model 3's Handed Over In Live Streaming Party

First Tesla Model 3’s Handed Over In Live Streaming Party

Two trim levels revealed, up to 310 miles per charge and 60 mph in 5.1 seconds

We’ve been waiting and waiting for Tesla to finally begin deliveries of the new Model 3, and now, the wait is over. The first 30 Model 3’s destined for private owners just got handed over to their beaming owners in a live stream broadcast on Tesla’s website. Attending the event were swarms of the automaker’s designers and engineers, with quick back and forth tosses that provided a look inside the Tesla assembly line in Fremont, CA, as well as the newly erected “Gigafactory” in Nevada. The event also provided some hard specs on the new 3, plus a look at the final exterior design and the interior.

The Model 3 is a hugely important vehicle, both for Tesla and EV fans in general. Framed as the California-based automaker’s first entry-level, mass-market, affordable vehicle, the 3 promises sexy styling, long range, peppy performance, and zero local emissions, all for around $35,000 before incentives. We’ve got the lowdown on everything that was revealed during the stream, plus lots of new pics to sort through, so read on.

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Tesla Model 3 Handover Party Kicks Off at 8:45 PM PST Tonight!

Tesla Model 3 Handover Party Kicks Off at 8:45 PM PST Tonight!

This should be quite the party!

The Tesla Model 3 is hands-down the most anticipated model of the year, promising to bring an affordable EV to the masses. It’s been a long time coming, but today is the day that the handover party kicks off and Tesla will hand over the keys to the first 30 models to roll off of the line. It’s obviously a very small first step, considering the hundreds of thousands of reservations, but it’s only a matter of time before Tesla really ramps up production. The party kicks off at 8:45 PM PST tonight and will be live streamed right on Tesla’s homepage.

The Model 3, which will finally be completely revealed later tonight, is basically a smaller, more basic version of the Model S, and has a set starting price of $35,000. As far as the exterior goes, it’s rather bland, just like the interior which is about as spartan as they come. It will be void of an instrument cluster, speedometer, or a conventional dashboard. Initial customers of the new baby EV will also be limited as far as options go, with the only choices to make being exterior color and wheel choice. As far as tonight’s event goes, there’s no word as to who the first 30 customers are, but we know the first model is going Elon Musk himself, as Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis gifted his place in the queue to the big guy. As far as the other 29 models, they will go to Tesla employees or current owners of other Tesla EVs. We’ll be sure to embed the live steam to this video as soon as we have it, but until then, keep reading to learn a little more about the Model 3.

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Tesla Will Build “2 or 3” New Gigafactories In The U.S.

Tesla Will Build “2 or 3” New Gigafactories In The U.S.

Go big or go home

Out in the Nevada desert, near the city of Sparks, Tesla is busy building something called Gigafactory 1. Occupying some 24 million square feet and soaking up roughly $5 billion in investments, this mammoth facility is destined to create the lithium-ion power cells used to motivate Tesla’s various EV models. It is, without a doubt, a truly massive undertaking, tasked with mass-producing the components needed to transform the way the world consumes its energy. But Tesla isn’t one to rest on its laurels, and the latest news is that there are now a few more Gigafactories coming down the pipeline.

Tesla CEO and possible inter-dimensional renegade, Elon Musk, confirmed as much recently at the National Governors Association, according to a recent report from our friends over at elektrek. Details on the exact where and when these factories will be built are still forthcoming, but you can rest assured the states will be clamoring to get those Tesla manufacturing jobs within their borders. Further gigafactory construction is expected overseas, including in Europe and Asia. In addition to churning out batteries, the new factories are also expected to have a hand in creating the Tesla powertrains and final vehicle construction.

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Tesla Says It's New Semi Trucks Will Perform Like What?

Tesla Says It’s New Semi Trucks Will Perform Like What?

From the company that has provided us no shortage of ambitious promises comes another one

Very few details have been revealed of Tesla’s planned electric semi truck, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk sure isn’t wasting any time dropping some intriguing bits and pieces about the vehicle. Musk’s latest revelation, or at least the closest thing to one, came recently during an appearance in Vancouver where he was promoting his new "The Boring Company." While his time there was mostly spent describing his plans for building underground transportation, Musk also took some time to shed a few slivers of light about the Tesla electric semi truck, revealing, among other things, the truck’s ability to be driven like a sports car.

It does seem like the man behind the Model S and Model X has yet to lose his ability to throw out a few hyperboles. Other details about the semi truck that he revealed, including the promise of the truck “out torquing any diesel semi,” were no less significant, maybe even a little more important in shaping the performance and handling characteristics of the truck. But for the said EV semi to “drive around like a sports car?” Now that’s something that’s worth keeping an eye on considering what Musk’s comments have been worth all these years. Hopefully, more details about the EV semi truck are revealed beyond vague promises and teaser photos, but we’ll need more information before validating if it can, in fact, drive around like a sports car.

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Tesla's Semi to Debut in September, but Will it Live Up to the Hype?

Tesla’s Semi to Debut in September, but Will it Live Up to the Hype?

The hypetrain is about to roll out of the tracks

Leave it to Elon Musk to drop a bombshell just as we’re all getting ready for the weekend. The always provocative Tesla CEO took to Twitter last Friday, April 14, to announce plans to introduce the automaker’s first venture into the world of semi-trucks this coming September. The news itself isn’t groundbreaking since Musk already laid out what the company’s intentions were back in July 2016 as part of its “Master Plan, Part Deux” mission. But, until late last week, those plans were of the vague persuasion, devoid of any specific timetable.

Well, the timetable has arrived…and it’s literally five months from now.
Not one to be caught saying too much in the way of juicy details, Musk kept the announcement short and sweet, opting only to say that the “team has done an amazing job,” presumably in the development of the semi-truck and that the vehicle itself is “seriously next level.” Those statements aren’t much to go by at this point, but the mere hint that we’re closer to seeing the actual vehicle - even if it’s a prototype - so soon after its announcement is pretty indicative of the company’s intentions in staking its name into the electric semi truck arena.

At this point, the waiting game now begins on more details surrounding the semi-truck. If Musk’s past comments about the development are anything to go by, expect the Tesla Semi - or whatever name it ends up getting - to “deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate."

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Self-Driving Tesla to Travel from L.A. to New York Without Human Input

Self-Driving Tesla to Travel from L.A. to New York Without Human Input

If successful, Tesla will once again establish itself as the leader in autonomous tech

Following up on an announcement that all future Tesla models will come equipped with advanced self-driving capabilities, CEO Elon Musk has declared the technology will get a public demonstration by the end of next year. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the California-based automaker will send one of its models from Los Angeles to New York without any human assistance whatsoever.

The proposed cross-country tour was revealed last Wednesday following a blog post on Tesla’s website. In the blog post, the all-electric car producer said each of its models would come with the equipment needed for fully autonomous driving, including cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radar, enabling “full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.” The stated end goal is transportation that’s safer, more affordable, and more accessible.

The fully autonomous features will be activated using an over-the-air software update issued at an unspecified point in the future. Prior to the feature’s activation, Tesla says it needs to clock “millions of miles of real-world driving” to help calibrate the system.

However, all Tesla cars currently being produced will include the necessary hardware, including the up-and-coming Model 3. This is similar to the strategy Tesla employed with its current Autopilot system.

New cars equipped with the fully autonomous hardware will not immediately offer the same Autopilot features as older models, including automatic emergency braking and active cruise control, among others. However, these features will be activated via updates currently planned for release every couple of months.

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Now that Future Tesla Models can Achieve Level 5 Autonomy, Tesla Thinks it can Tell You What to Do

Now that Future Tesla Models can Achieve Level 5 Autonomy, Tesla Thinks it can Tell You What to Do

Will Tesla Disable your vehicle if you don’t comply? Maybe....

Tesla recently announced that all new models built going forward would have all of the hardware necessary to sustain level 5 autonomy – effectively make the Model S, Model X, and upcoming Model 3 true, self-driving vehicles. This is a huge step forward for the innovative company, and all of the hardware should be fully functional (after several OTA updates) by 2018. This is great and all, but Tesla has been known to have some pretty quirky clauses built into their sales contracts, and level-five capable vehicles are no different. So what funky clause am I talking about this time? How about the fact that you can’t use your new Tesla for car sharing or ride-hailing?

Yes, you read that correctly. On Tesla’s AutoPilot page where the system is described fairly well, but there is a very interesting clause toward the bottom of the page: “It is not possible to know exactly when each element of the functionality described above will be available, as this is highly dependent on local regulatory approval. Please note also that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride-hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year.”

Did you catch that? Tesla is quietly announcing its own ride-sharing network that will be available in 2017. That’s great and all, but right in the middle is that clause that says you can’t use your Tesla for ride-hailing or car sharing outside of its own network. So, in other words, you can’t make money off of your self-driving Tesla, unless Tesla is making money at the same time.

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The German Government Doesn't Like Tesla's AutoPilot System

The German Government Doesn’t Like Tesla’s AutoPilot System

Is the world fighting change or is everyone being too critical of Tesla’s innovations?

Tesla’s AutoPilot system, which is promoted as the best semi-autonomous system in the world, has been under fire ever since that fatal accident back in July of 2016. Since then, it seems like it’s been nothing but trouble for Tesla. German safety regulators were already criticizing the system after Musk described it as being in the “Beta” phase, and now, the German Transport Ministry has called Tesla’s AutoPilot system a “considerable traffic hazard” in a recent report obtained by German Magazine Der Spiegel.

Things that have raised the interest of the German Transport Ministry include the system not alerting drivers when there is a situation the software can’t handle or fully recognize, as well as issues with the automatic emergency braking. The Transport Ministry later reported to Reuters that the results are part of a much larger evaluation of the system, and the full report has yet to be finished as there are other tests that are being conducted.

The results so far aren’t really that surprising, as the system has been under increasing scrutiny following a number of accidents. Just recently, Tesla quit using the term “AutoPilot” on its Chinese website, as it insinuated to users that the car was “self-driving” and gave them a false sense of the system’s capabilities. California has also recently announced its interest in banning the term for the same reason. Just recently the system received a major update that included more safety features, one of which would disable the autopilot system if the driver ignored alerts to keep his hands on the wheel.

The next big move for Tesla is to integrate “AutoPilot 2.0,” which is said to bring even more Autonomous capabilities to Tesla vehicles. The system will include more radar units and three new forward-facing cameras. So far, no time frame has been announced, but newly produced Model S and Model X vehicles already have the hardware mounting locations for the new technology, indicating that a retrofit to previously purchased models will be possible. Tesla has just announced that a new “unexpected” announcement will take place on October 17.

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The First AutoPilot Related Death Possibly Happened Back in January

The First AutoPilot Related Death Possibly Happened Back in January

Nobody can deny that things have been a little rough for Tesla lately. After than fatal accident back in May, the company has found itself constantly under the microscope by every media outlet on the planet. But, as it turns out, that accident may not have actually been the first fatal accident involving the company’s AutoPilot system. Reports have begun to surface of another fatal accident that occurring in China back in January of 2016.

In this specific accident, there is actually dash cam footage that shows a Model S plowing into the back of a street sweeper on the highway. It’s pretty clear that the Tesla didn’t even try to brake before the accident, but what isn’t clear is whether or not AutoPilot was engaged at the time of the accident. The last accident that occurred in China involving AutoPilot didn’t result in any injuries, but did result in Tesla changing its wording on its Chinese site to remove to words “self-driving.”

As for this accident just coming into the light nine months after it happened, Tesla is currently investigating the situation. Tesla has already released a statement claiming that it couldn’t retrieve log information from the car due to the extensive damage and the driver’s family has yet to supply any information:

“We were saddened to learn of the death of our customer’s son. We take any incident with our vehicles very seriously and immediately reached out to our customer when we learned of the crash. Because of the damage caused by the collision, the car was physically incapable of transmitting log data to our servers, and we, therefore, have no way of knowing whether or not Autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash. We have tried repeatedly to work with our customer to investigate the cause of the crash, but he has not provided us with any additional information that would allow us to do so.”

For now, that is all we know about the incident aside from the fact that the driver’s family has, in fact, filed a lawsuit against Tesla. And, while that may be the case, it may not work out in their favor. The owner’s manual of every Tesla clearly states that the Traffic-Aware Cruise control cannot detect all objections and may not brake for stationary objects when the vehicle is driving at higher speed.

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Updates To Autopilot System Adds New Safety Restrictions

Updates To Autopilot System Adds New Safety Restrictions

Tesla is responding to the spat of accidents being blamed on the autonomous driving technology

Tesla’s Autopilot system has been a lightning rod for the electric car maker, so much so that the recent spat of reported accidents being attributed to the system has put Tesla on the defensive. Now, the company is fighting back with a new restriction for the upcoming v8.0 software update that effectively puts the responsibility back in the driver’s hands.

According to Electrek, the new safety restriction blocks the driver from re-engaging the Autosteer feature of the Autopilot system in the event the system is disengaged because its audio and visual alerts are repeatedly ignored. The feature will only be reactivated if the car is stopped and put in “Park.” The same report indicates that the Autopilot’s other main feature, Traffic Aware Cruise Control (TACC), will still be available for the duration of the drive.

Considering how specific the restrictions are, it’s easy to see that the updates were made in large part to avoid a repeat of the spat of accidents that have been blamed on the Autopilot system. Now, Tesla owners are being given more responsibility to respond to the visual alerts or risk seeing the feature get disengaged in the middle of their drives. In addition to the new restrictions, the new update is also expected to receive improvements in efficiency and the ability to handle ramp-to-ramp highway driving with the obvious caveat of requiring owners to always remain vigilant to road.

Tesla has not made an announcement on when the new v8.0 software update will arrive, but expect it to arrive sooner than later, especially after Elon Musk was quoted recently as saying that the update is in the final review phase.

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Tesla Charging more for Autopilot Feature

Tesla Charging more for Autopilot Feature

It’s not as bad as it sounds, but the timing is a little questionable

You have to give Tesla some credit. In the face of all the scrutiny surrounding its Autopilot feature, the EV car manufacturer still understands that it’s in the business game and that game is all about making money. So while the company’s announcement of a new 100 kWh battery pack for the Model S and Model X P100D variants understandably grabbed the headlines, Tesla managed to also increase the price of the Autopilot feature from right under our noses.

Whereas the price for the Autopilot system amounted to $2,500 before or $3,000 to be enabled after delivery of the car, Tesla has increased the number to $3,000 and $3,500, respectively. Apparently, the price increase isn’t because of the new sensors that Tesla is reportedly adding for the second-gen version of the system. According to Electrek, a Tesla spokesperson referred to the price increase as nothing more than a “better reflection” of the system’s actual value.

Whether that is the case or not, the timing of the increase is curious given the rash of negative publicity that has been attributed to the Autopilot system. One would think that Tesla would try to keep a low profile on the feature until it sorts out the quirks, thus having a better justification for a price increase. But the company opted to do it now. Similar features aren’t exactly popping up everywhere these days so while the field is still relatively barren compared to what it’s going to be in a few years, a $500 increase isn’t that big of a deal for customers who have spent or are willing to spend north of $60,000 on either a Model S or a Model X.

Skeptics can criticize all they want; at the end of the day, Tesla is still in the money-making business and this 20-percent increase in the price of the Autopilot feature should be a good source of extra revenues for Elon Musk and company. Now about making the system safer for its drivers...

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Tesla Drops "Self-Driving" Phrase On Chinese Website After Reported Autopilot Crash

Tesla Drops "Self-Driving" Phrase On Chinese Website After Reported Autopilot Crash

China 1, Tesla 0

The Chinese auto market is the biggest in the world and it just might also be the most influential. Tesla found that out the hard way when it was forced to acknowledge a mistake it made on its Chinese website describing its Autopilot system as a “self-driving” feature. The terminology has since been scrubbed from the website and replaced with a phrase that more closely translates to “self-assisted driving.”

The brouhaha started when Luo Zhen, a Chinese owner of a Tesla Model S, sideswiped a stopped car along the side of a road when his Model S’s Autopilot system engaged. Luo spoke with Reuters in the aftermath of the incident, calling Tesla and its local sales staff out for misrepresenting the technology’s capabilities by touting its functions using a phrase that translated to “self-driving.” Luo’s claims of misrepresentation were corroborated by other owners of Tesla models in the country, with some, including Luo, even saying that demonstrators took their hands off the steering wheel and then took their feet off the pedals to showcase the system’s capabilities.

Tesla admitted that the crash took place but the normally stubborn automaker was also forced to take the unusual step of acknowledging the mistake it made on its website. A Tesla spokesperson spoke with Reuters after the changes in the website to deny that Luo’s crash and the publicity it generated were the reasons behind the edits. According to the spokesperson, the change was simply part of Tesla’s “ongoing work in improving translations.”

Unfortunately, a spin like that is as obvious as it is blatant. That or the timing of the edits in the wake of the crash’s publicity can be chalked up to a happy coincidence. In any case, Reuters also learned that the electric car maker has reached out to its staff in the country retraining them to inform future customers that the Autopilot system is a “self-assisted technology” and that drivers must always have their hands on the wheel when engaging the system.

It’s unclear if Tesla if going to make a similar move in rephrasing the system’s capabilities in other markets, but the fact that it had to do it in China goes to show how important that market is for the company and any attempts at pissing it off would be bad for business.

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Elon Musk Details Tesla's Semi-Truck, Minibus Plans

Elon Musk Details Tesla’s Semi-Truck, Minibus Plans

Automaker looks to expand its EV and autonomous vehicle network into other modes of transportation

Tesla has just released its second quarter earnings and while there were plenty of relevant details to go radon from CEO Elon Musk’s investor call, one of the more significant pieces of information to come from the call involved Tesla’s plans for an electric semi truck and minibus, including an estimated timetable to have both vehicles unveiled in the “early to mid 2017.”

Musk himself admitted that Tesla’s ideas for these two vehicles are still the equivalent of broad strokes, which means that it still doesn’t have a fleshed-out plan as far as production of the two models are concerned. A lot of the questions that even Tesla is asking itself will likely be answered when prototype versions of the truck and the minibus are unveiled. To the company’s credit, it’s taking these projects very seriously. With the semi-truck, Tesla has tapped former Model S program director, Jerome Guilen to lead the project. In addition to his familiarity with Tesla’s engineering and development methods, Guillen also has a background in developing trucks, having done so in the past as an engineer at Daimler’s truck division and as the man at the helm in the development of the Freightliner Cascadia truck.

As for the minibus plans, Musk addressed those separately when he responded to a rendering of a Volkswagen-inspired minibus that was pieced together by Jalopnik. Turns out, Tesla isn’t necessarily planning to build a public transport in the traditional sense, but a modern electric version of Volkswagen’s Type II Microbus.

Tesla’s goal, it seems, is to have these options available in the event that electric or autonomous technologies become more widely accepted throughout the industry. The truck industry, in particular, is reportedly been considering a shift to EV models for the future. Having fleshed out plans that includes production timetables for both models would give Tesla the advantage of offering something that no other automaker has at this point. It’s an ambitious goal to have considering that these plans were only made public when Musk announced the company’s updated Master Plan last month. Then again, it would be unbecoming of Tesla if its goals aren’t ambitious to begin with.

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Is Tesla Involved in a Cover-Up over the Model X Crash?

Is Tesla Involved in a Cover-Up over the Model X Crash?

Montana driver who crashed his Model X is accusing Tesla of not getting his side of the story

The driver of the Tesla Model X that crashed in Montana while its Autopilot system was engaged has now published an open letter, accusing Tesla of covering up the problems that have plagued the Autopilot system.

According to Electrek, the driver identifies himself as Mr. Pang and claims that he was never able to explain himself to Tesla before the automaker issued its own conclusion that Pang was to blame for the accident that saw the Model X crash into 12 barrier posts after plowing through a safety barrier post. The driver added some pretty harsh words for the company, saying that Tesla was trying to “cover up the lack of dependability of the autopilot system.”

For its part, Tesla has maintained that the accident was all Pang’s fault because data logs showed that the driver’s hands were not on the steering wheel even after multiple warnings. The automaker added Pang was in violation of the terms of agreement between the driver and the automaker on the proper use of the Autopilot system. Apparently, Tesla is requiring everybody who uses the Autopilot system to have at least a small amount of force on the steering wheel so that the system can detect the presence of a driver sitting behind the wheel. Tesla argued that Pang not only had his attention elsewhere when the car’s autopilot system was engaged, but more importantly, his hands were not on the wheel, hence the slow reaction time when the car ended up crashing into the barriers.

While Pang admitted that his hands were not on the wheel, he’s still convinced that the Model X’s Autopilot system crashed by itself, adding fire to the increasing number of cases of Tesla vehicles crashing because of their autonomous driving technology. It’s unclear how this issue will be resolved, but from the look of things, Pang is hoping to to get Tesla on the table to discuss the supposed issues plaguing the company’s Autopilot system. The automaker has yet to issue a new statement addressing Pang’s allegations, but given the serious nature of the driver’s accusations, don’t be surprised to hear Tesla release a new statement addressing the allegations.

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Autonomous All The Things – Tesla's Master Plan For Driverless Vehicles

Autonomous All The Things – Tesla’s Master Plan For Driverless Vehicles

From freight to public buses, ride sharing to commuting, Tesla’s vision for the future is big and bold

In a recent blog post entitled “Master Plan, Part Deux,” Tesla CEO and possible mad scientist comic book character Elon Musk outlined how his upstart electric car company would completely revamp the world of transportation and energy consumption. The 1,500-word post hits on a lot of issues, which isn’t all that surprising considering the scope, but one of the most prominent recurring themes is the advent of autonomous driving technology. In short, Tesla wants to take human drivers out of the equation across the board, with the ultimate goal being greater convenience, more safety, and higher efficiency. But the question is this – is the Master Plan a workable solution, or just a sci-fi pipe dream?

The post comes at a delicate time for Tesla, as the public’s perception of driverless vehicles is still mired by controversy. That said, the California-based automaker has never shied away from stating its objectives, no matter the circumstances, and despite widespread reticence, Musk says he want to expand the tech’s applications, all with the reassurance that it’s for the greater good.

Read on for a breakdown of Tesla’s Master Plan for autonomous driving technology, plus our take on whether or not it’s even possible.

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Tesla has Big Plans and One of Them Could Make you Money

Tesla has Big Plans and One of Them Could Make you Money

Elon Musk wants to take over the automotive world

Elon Musk recently announced the second installment of his “master plan” and it talks about increasing the safety and usability of autonomy in Tesla vehicles, expanding production to include most of the consumer market (including heavy-duty trucks and public transportation), and to integrate solar energy and better energy storage capabilities into Tesla vehicles. There’s another part of the plan, however, that could mean you can drive or ride in a Tesla without actually owning one.

To put it simply, Musk wants to integrate ride sharing across Tesla’s entire range of vehicles. This is a long-term goal, so don’t expect it anytime soon. In fact, it probably won’t be implemented in a wide-scale form until some time after fully-autonomous capabilities are safe, legal, and well established. However, once that happens, there are two major things that we could see happen.

First, if you own a Tesla vehicle, you’ll be able to opt into a ride-sharing program that will allow someone else to request your vehicle from a smartphone app. The vehicle will then deliver itself to whoever requested it and take them wherever they wish to go. Your vehicle will return to you at a predetermined time for your ride home from work, to the store, or anywhere else you might want to go. By opting into the program, you’ll be able to make some extra scratch too, as those requesting to use the car will pay a certain fee for their ride. This will generate extra income for you, and as Musk points out, it will “dramatically lower the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla.”

That’s only one part of Musk’s future philosophy. In areas where there are very few Tesla owners, Tesla will operate its own fleet of self-driving, ride-sharing vehicles. The process will work the same way – you can summon a vehicle from your home or work for a quick ride – and any fees paid will go directly to Tesla instead of an individual owner. This will allow for widespread growth of the ride-sharing program and should come at a fairly reasonable price once the system is established.

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Growing Pains – The Tesla Autopilot Crashes And Our Autonomous Future

Growing Pains – The Tesla Autopilot Crashes And Our Autonomous Future

Unfortunate, tragic… but not unexpected

The past few weeks have not been kind to Tesla’s Autopilot feature. Three separate high-profile crashes involving the autonomous driving system have been reported since June 30th, including one fatality, raising serious questions about self-driving cars and their implementation on public roads. Are autonomous cars safe? Are regulators doing enough to protect the public? How will advances in self-driving technology be affected?

Well, I’m here to tell you the hard truth – what we’re witnessing now are the growing pains of our inevitable autonomous future.

Perhaps it’s crass to label a deadly car accident as part of the “growing pains” of technological progression, but the reality is any tech has the potential to be dangerous. Add in a few tons of metal traveling at highway speeds, and you raise the stakes. Of course, the fear mongers will be quick to point fingers and assign blame, but when considered logically, each of these three incidents are the unavoidable result of humanity’s perpetual experiment for a better tomorrow.

Basically, it’s like this – it was bound to happen, it’ll happen again, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

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 Will The NHTSA Consider Banning The Use Of Tesla's Autopilot System?

Will The NHTSA Consider Banning The Use Of Tesla’s Autopilot System?

NHTSA is investigating the most recent crash in which Autopilot is being blamed.

Just yesterday we brought you the news about that Tesla Model X that went rogue and crashed on a highway in Pennsylvania. Fortunately, nobody was injured, but the driver found it appropriate to blame Telsa, claiming that the Autopilot function was engaged at the time of the crash. When that news went live yesterday, there had been very little development since the crash, but now things are starting to come together quicker than expected.

The first fatal incident involving Tesla’s Autopilot is already under investigation, but now that this new accident, which also had the potential to be fatal, is being investigated by the NHTSA too – Apparently the NHTSA didn’t want to waste any time on this one. For now, we know that the driver is claiming the Autopilot system was engaged, but Tesla takes a very different stance on the situation.

According to AutoblogGreen, a Tesla spokesperson gave the media outlet the following statement regarding the crash: “Tesla received a message from the car on July 1st indicating a crash event, but logs were never transmitted. We have no data at this point to indicate that Autopilot was engaged or not engaged. This is consistent with the nature of the damage reported in the press, which can cause the antenna to fail. As we do with all crash events, we immediately reached out to the customer to confirm they were ok and offer support, but were unable to reach him. We have since attempted to contact the customer three times by phone without success. It is not possible to learn more without access to the vehicle’s onboard logs.”

That statement could be considered Tesla’s first step in defense, but I think the most important point of interest here is that the NHTSA has already started an investigation into a crash that yielded no injury to anyone involved. So, what does that mean for Tesla and its Autopilot system?

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Is Tesla's Autopilot Responsible For Yet Another Accident?

Is Tesla’s Autopilot Responsible For Yet Another Accident?

Are we too trusting of new technology?

It seems like Tesla has been taking blow after blow lately. It hasn’t even been a week since reports started surfacing of the fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S, and now it looks like another serious crash has occurred while Autopilot was engaged on a Tesla Model X. According to the Detroit Free Press Albert Scaglione – an art dealer out of Southfield, MI – and his son-in-law, Tim Yanke, were cruising down a Pennsylvania highway with Autopilot engaged when the Model X hit a guardrail, bounced off of a concrete median, rolled onto its roof, and came to a stop on the opposite side of the highway.

Fortunately, the accident wasn’t fatal, and both passengers of the Model X walked away from the accident unharmed. There was reportedly some damage to a 2013 Infiniti G37 from the scattering of debris during the accident, but all passengers in that vehicle were unharmed as well. According to the report, neither passenger of the totaled Model X were available for comment, but Dale Vukovich of the Pennsylvania State Police reported that Scaglione claims to have activated the Autopilot feature of the Model X prior to the accident.

Apparently, there isn’t enough evidence to indicate that the Autopilot malfunctioned, but Tesla has yet to weigh in on this specific incident, and more details could come to light if Tesla takes the time to investigate the accident. According to the Detroit Free Press, the driver of the Model X will likely be cited once investigation of the accident is complete. So, what’s the deal with Tesla’s Autopilot these days?

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Is Tesla At Fault For The First Fatal Crash Of A Model S With Autopilot Engaged?

Is Tesla At Fault For The First Fatal Crash Of A Model S With Autopilot Engaged?

The accident occurred on US 27A in Williston, Florida last May

It seems that, lately, Tesla just can’t catch a break. People are crawling out of the woodwork with frivolous lawsuits, which are piled on top of all the other negativity like the faults with the Model X. Now, it looks like a Tesla Model S has been involved in a fatal accident, and people all over the internet are debating about whether the fault lies with the driver or the autopilot system of the Model S.

According to the Levy County Journal, the 2015 Tesla Model S was driving east on U.S. 27A near Williston, Florida when a tractor-trailer that was traveling west turned left and passed in front of the car. The Model S struck the trailer, shearing off its roof before it crashed through a couple of fences, struck a light pole, and stopped 100 feet off of the highway. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to a press release issued by Tesla, the company contacted the NHTSA immediately and was alerted on June 29 that the NHTSA was investigating the incident. According to Tesla, the car had autopilot engaged at the time of the accident and “neither the autopilot or the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied” This is the first known fatal crash that has occurred with autopilot engaged and, according to Tesla, it’s the first in over “130 million miles where autopilot was activated.”

Be that as it may, the general public is divided on where to place fault for the accident. Keep reading to learn more about that.

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