Video Released of Tesla Autopilot Avoiding a Collision!

It’s true that some drivers are still having a hard time placing their safety in the hands of an autopilot system, but judging from what we’ve seen in a recent video, it looks like Tesla’s autopilot is definitely capable of keeping a Model S and its driver safe. Model S driver Joshua Brown has recently posted a YouTube video that clearly shows how his car’s autopilot system managed to save him from a nasty collision with a large truck.

“I was driving down the interstate and you can see the boom lift truck in question on the left side of the screen on a joining interstate road. Once the roads merged, the truck tried to get to the exit ramp on the right and never saw my Tesla. I actually wasn’t watching that direction and Tessy (the name of my car) was on duty with autopilot engaged. I became aware of the danger when Tessy alerted me with the immediately take over warning chime and the car swerving to the right to avoid the side collision.”

Upon seeing the video, Elon Musk has decided to upload it to Twitter so more people can see exactly what the Model S is capable of. Tesla wants to implement similar autopilot features in the Model 3, which already enjoys more than 400,000 pre-orders. You can see the hero autopilot in action in the video below.

Tesla to Release Upgraded and Redesigned Model S

Tesla is committed to continually updating their cars and while this usually takes the form of small tweaks and over-the-air software updates. Now, as had been rumoured, Tesla plan to release a newly redesigned and upgraded version of the Model S saloon, which has been on the market for 4 years. This new version of the Model S advances its stylings both in and out in order to bring the popular sporty electric car into line with their newer Model X and Model 3 vehicles.

The starkest change to the Model S is the nose, which has been reshaped to look more like the blunt-nosed Model X as well as including new LED headlights. The interior of the vehicle was also subject to a number of changes, again mostly in the vein of the Model X. Firstly, Tesla’s HEPA-rated air filter that is used on the Model X now makes its appearance on the Model S, complete with the “bioweapon defense mode”. Also included is a new centre console unit as well as two new décor choices, Figured Ash Wood décor and Dark Ash Wood décor both of which are popular choices for the Model X and certainly look good on the Model S too.

Faster charging has also been enabled on the new Model S, the standard charging unit seeing an upgrade to 48 amps from the previous 40 amp charger. There is even an option to upgrade to a 72A “high amperage” charger, compared to the previous offerings of a 40A standard and 80A dual charger.

The price increase for this version of the Model S is surprisingly modest too, with the price looking to be as little as $6000 at the 90D tier. When you consider the upgrades that are rolled into this price that would previously cost more, such as the improved charger and improved centre console, the new Model S may, in fact, cost less than the old one equipped with some of the optional extras that are now standard.

It is great to see Tesla are capable of putting together such a feature-packed new version of the Model S while also working on development and production of their other vehicles. It also gives the older Model S a stronger place in the new Tesla lineup and may tempt some people who were unwilling to buy a car with a 4-year-old design into a purchase. These new vehicles will be going into production at Tesla’s Fremont factory from Tuesday, so if you want one, you may not have to wait long.

Tesla Autopilot Now Lets You Drive on Rainbow Road

Yesterday, Tesla CEO tweeted some unusual instructions for owners of Tesla vehicles that are equipped with the autopilot feature.

While this may be an effort to distract users from the recent issues found in a number of their Model X vehicles, the result of Musk’s instructions is certainly amusing.

Normally, when you put a Tesla Model S or Model X into autopilot mode, the instrument display switches over to show a car travelling down a road, which is used to indicate where the car believes it is on the current road or lane it is in as well as any cars it detects nearby. Typically, this road is just like any other, normal and gray, but after the latest software update activating Autopilot four times sequentially changes this into the far more exciting Rainbow Road of Mario Kart fame.

It’s not just Rainbow Road either, also included is the cowbell audio from the famous Saturday Night Live sketch that plays over the stereo. Thanks to Brian Stucki for sharing a clip of this feature in action.

https://vine.co/v/iTpji7QVpp5

Exactly what this “more cowbell” that Musk refers to is currently unknown, but Tesla’s car software containing easter eggs is nothing new. Afterall, the Model S has a James Bond Mode, which turns the representation of the car in on the in-car display into the submersible Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me.

Upgraded Tesla Model S Expected Next Week

It is the Model 3 that has been getting all the attention towards Tesla lately with its remarkable preorder figures continuing to balloon. It isn’t the only car that the California-based EV firm have been working on lately, with rumours beginning to show that they have also been looking to upgrade their existing sporty saloon, the Model S.

Tim Stevens of CNET has reported that an updated version of the Model S could be making its debut as soon as next week according to sources at Tesla. The changes made to the Model S are said to include a number of new features to make it more “luxury” in order to compete with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. The changes will also bring the Model S up to date with some of the features included in the Model X and Model 3, including new seats, ventilation and adjustments to the nose both aesthetically and functionally with the headlights employing LEDs. Of course, with all of these positive changes, the price is set to reflect the higher quality of the car, but the sources were unable to state exactly how much the price would be raised for this new Model S.

Tesla themselves have remained tight-lipped about the revision, issuing the following statement regarding it:

We don’t comment on rumor or speculation about future releases. Tesla is constantly innovating and adding new features to our vehicles to perpetually improve Tesla vehicles for our existing and future customers. We price our vehicles consistently throughout the world which requires us to adjust pricing to foreign currency exchange rates. We have let customers know that some price changes will take effect in early April. We always encourage those interested in purchasing Model S to place their order so they can start enjoying the many benefits of Model S today.

More news regarding this updated Model S will be covered as it becomes available.

Apple Watch Summons Tesla Model S

Automated cars are all good and fancy, like the Google car, but there are some times when you just want to grab the wheel and drive. So why not enjoy the best of both worlds? If you are lucky enough to own a Tesla Model S you can, and now thanks to an app developer you can even do it from an apple watch.

Allen Wong created the app for the apple watch allowing you to see information about your Tesla car. With charging speed, position and temperature amongst the things you could see, keeping track of your car wasn’t difficult, but with its latest update (released Wednesday) you even have access to the new “summon” feature.

The summon feature enables Tesla owners to do just that to their car, ordering it to come to you. In the video below, you can see Mark Schey use the feature to start the car while simultaneously open the garage door. After the door is fully opened the car reverses out before closing the garage door, leaving your car in your driveway as you step out the front door.

With the ability to help save precious minutes on a busy morning the summon feature can be seen as both practical and a gimmick, transferring that from a keyfob to a different piece of technology like an Apple Watch raises questions about if it’s needed and if it could be misused by other people.

Tesla Supercharger Catches Fire

Tesla cars are well-known sites all around the world now with the Model S being known as a rather amazing piece of technology. The electric sports car contains a ludicrous mode which can accelerate 0-60 in less than 3 seconds, a rather impressive sight. The S model, however, is getting some bad attention in Norway when it went to top up.

Tesla’s electric cars are known for being the first step into reliable and everyday usable cars, however, a particular owner got a surprise during a routine action in Norway. After pulling up the a supercharger station, and inserting its plug for the lithium-ion battery pack, the vehicle caught fire. The owner was not at the car when the incident happens so no one was harmed, but as you can see from the image above, the car was not so lucky.

While people are quick to argue and debate over what could have caused this user one Reddit user, bjornnyland, was quick to point out that this was a temporary station which actually delivered 13kW more than a standard station, which typically deliver 105 kW. After stating that he had used the charging point several times and that it had stopped on more than one occasion, he was quick to state that it may or may not have had something to do with the fire.

Tesla Superfan Given First Model X to Drive and Review

While us plebs have to wait until next year to get our hands on the new Tesla Model X electric sedan, Tesla superfan and former Citrix CEO Mark Templeton has had one for the past two months, and his review suggests that he might be a little bit in love with the vehicle. Templeton’s evaluation of the car, published by Canadian electric vehicle enthusiast site EVandMORE.com, suggests that the Model X has even surpassed the lauded Model S as Tesla’s premier vehicle.

“I have to admit that I like it better than my Model S,” Templeton writes. “In the fossil fuel world, I like the Porsche zCayenne over the Panamera for the same reason –  it’s a sports car, a sedan, and an SUV. The multi-purpose aspect of the X is stunning. The storage space is amazing. In fact, the deep trunk allows two of the 34-inch rolling luggage pieces to stand side-by-side! Add the folding third row, it far exceeds SUVs of similar size. The underseat space is great – more comfortable for passengers and added space for storage. The seats are by far the best of any vehicle I’ve owned – design, comfort and function. And, I love how the middle row sets tilt and slide.”

The Tesla Model X sedan is set to hit the market during the second quarter of 2016, priced between $132,000 and $142,000.

Tesla Model S Does Record-Breaking 452.8 Miles On One Charge

Tesla’s premium electric sedan, the Model S P85D, has managed a world-record 452.8 (728.7 km) mile journey on a single battery charge. The feat was achieved in Denmark by Bjørn Nyland, a programmer with the University of Oslo, who affectionately nicknamed his Tesla Model S the “Millennium Falcon”.

Nyland, who is not affiliated with Tesla, decided to push his Model S as far as it would go. After charging the vehicle at a charging station in Rødekro, Denmark, he and his friend took turns driving the car at 25mph, avoiding any elevation, before returning to the charging station. The journey took the two men 18 hours and 40 minutes, with a total of 1 hours’ worth of stops.

Nyland posted video highlights (to be generous) of the journey, which ends with him and his friend looking rather delighted with their feat:

A self-confessed Tesla nut, Nylund has a number of Tesla test drive videos on his YouTube channel, including one of him driving 125mph for 39 miles down a German Autobahn.

The previous world record, according to Tesla, was 423.5 miles on one charge, achieved by David Metcalf and his son Adam in a Tesla Model S back in 2012.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Car and Driver.

Tesla Model S to Get ‘Ludicrous Speed’ Upgrade

Think being environmentally friendly means you tear up the roads? Think again. Elon Musk, CEO of electric car pioneer Tesla, has announced that its flagship P85D Model S sedan is to get a ‘Ludicrous Speed’ upgrade. By “ludicrous”, Musk means that the car can reach 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, can travel a quarter-mile in 20.9 seconds, and can hit a top speed of 155 miles per hour.

It won’t come cheap, though: the upgrade alone will cost $10,000, while the Model S is already priced at a hefty $105,000.

Musk was effusive during the announcement of the upgrade, saying:

“While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, which means you aren’t exactly sure when it will or won’t melt or if it will arc when it does, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty.

That was combined with upgrading the main pack contractor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current.

The net result is that we can safely increase max amp throughout from 1300 to 1500 Amps. If you don’t know much about Amps, trust me this is a silly big number of Amps to be going through something the size of your little fingernail.

What this results in is a 10% improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time to 2.8 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.9 secs. Time to 155 mph is improved even more, resulting in a 20% reduction.

This option will cost $10k to new buyers.”

“It’s faster than falling”, Musk added. “It’s like having your own private roller coaster.”

See people testing the insane launch mode upgrade to get a taster of what is to come.

Thank you TIME and Forbes for providing us with this information.

New Entry-Level Four-Wheel Drive Tesla Sedan Ups Range to 240 Miles

Tesla’s new entry-level sedan, the Model S 70D, brings four-wheel drive, twin motors, and an increased range, but for an extra $5,000. The 70D offers a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the 60D, which was rear-wheel drive and had a single motor.

The more powerful 70D has a combined 514 horsepower, a top speed of 140mph, and goes from 0-60 in 5.2 seconds. The two battery motors, one a massive 70kWh pack, can drive the car to an impressive EPA-rated 240 mile range. The 70D also has access to Tesla’s Supercharger network, which can recharge a cars battery within a matter of minutes.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that the 70D marks a “slight price increase, but [a] huge value increase,” adding that, “Customers wanted something that had more range and they really wanted all-wheel drive.”

The Model S 70D goes on sale today – available in ocean blue, obsidian black, and warm silver – with shipments due at the end of May.

Source: The Verge

Tesla’s Model S Sets New Sales Record, New Product to be Revealed at the end of April

Tesla Motors has just announced that it had sold 10,030 cars during the first quarter of this year, a figure that actually shows cars that end up in customers’ hands. The figure has helped the company achieve a new quarterly record, having it be a 55% increase compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Besides the sales record, Tesla’s Elon Musk has also announced that the company will reveal a new product at the end of April, but it won’t be a new car. Given that Tesla has recently released the home battery kit “that can harness solar energy, power the house, and even send energy back to the grid”, the new product might be something in the same range of appliances.

Tesla has been keeping itself busy lately, displaying a true passion and devotion for its products. This in turn seems to have led to an increase of fans and a rise in customers, but it looks like this is just the beginning for the company. What do you think Tesla will be revealing at the end of the month?

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information

This Is What a Tesla Model S Battery Pack Looks Like

Are you a Tesla Motors fan? Even wanted to know what the inside of the vehicle looks like, particularly the battery pack? Well, you’re in luck! A Tesla Motors Club fan by the name if “wk057” wanted to know the same thing and went even further than us apparently by finding one and taking some nice screenshots of it.

So without further ado, here are the magnificent photographs:

Also, wk057 has more posted on this Tesla Motors Club forum thread here, along with some neat discussions and explanation of all the little pits and pieces you saw in the images above.

Thank you InsideEVs for providing us with this information

TESLA Model S P85D at NVIDIA GTC 2015

GTC 2015: As part of our ongoing GTC 2015 coverage, we were instantly hooked when we saw the epic Model S P85D from Tesla. As someone who has driven the P85 and P85+ and even contemplated buying one for several months, I thought that I finally got it out of my system.

I was wrong. After seeing the P85D in person, it brought back all of those wonderful emotions to me again, and knowing that it now has an INSANE mode, made me want one even more.

Sadly, we didn’t get to drive it, but I am in talks with NVIDIA to try and get back into the drivers seat and show you not only the TESLA power, but what NVIDIA have done to this car to make it so awesome aswell.

Limited Automated Driving Features Coming To Tesla Model S?

With what Tesla have accomplished, and the recent announcement of an update that will help keep batteries charged, they haven’t stopped there. In that same announcement, they said the Model S will be updated to enable limited automated driving, as reported by The Verge.

Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, said the update will allow the car to drive itself for a while. The one caveat at this time is the system will only work on highways and private properties.

“We can basically go between San Francisco and Seattle without the driver doing anything.”

Continuing on the update, he said:

“It is technically capable of going from parking lot to parking lot, But we won’t be enabling that for users with this hardware suite, because we don’t think it’s likely to be safe in suburban neighborhoods.”

The system might not be able to fully adapt to suburban streets, known to have less speed signs, and the danger it would present to kids playing in the street.  The more common uses would be summoning the Model S to your location or telling it to park itself, these features won’t be seen in the U.S. as they are not yet legal. In addition, Tesla reiterated the importance of paying attention even when the car is doing these things. Speaking specifically on this Musk said:

“There’s certainly an expectation that when autopilot on the Model S is enabled, that you’re paying attention. But it should also take care of you if you have moments of distraction.”

Tesla isn’t alone in producing a self-driving car, they have competition coming from Google, and Apple now joining the mix. And it won’t be long till regular car makers are part of the movement.

Source: BGR

Tesla Model S Update Makes it ‘Basically Impossible’ to Run out of Charge

No this doesn’t mean a conventional fuel burning engine, solar panels, or even a support car with additional batteries. This is basically a hardware monitor and GPS update. The new update will more accurately monitor how much charge you have left, how far that will get you and if there are any available spots at charging stations within range.

The new update features the following:

“Automatic Emergency Braking

This new Collision Avoidance Assist feature automatically engages the brakes to reduce the impact of an unavoidable frontal collision. Automatic Emergency Braking will stop applying the brakes when the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the brake pedal, or sharply turns the steering wheel. 

Blind Spot Warning 

Blind Spot Warning assists the driver to change lanes safely. When Model S is travelling between 20 mph (30 km/h) and 85 mph (140 km/h) and detects a vehicle in the driver’s blind spot, a white arc will appear on the instrument panel near the bottom of the speedometer. If a collision with the vehicle becomes likely, two red arcs will appear, the steering wheel will vibrate, and the driver will hear a chime.”

So this is a preventative measure. So correct me if I’m wrong, but this is like a human looking at their fuel range and tapping it into their phone/ Sat Nav to work out where the nearest station is? Well now, Tesla does all that for you.

Thanks to TweakTown for this information

Security Firm Offering up $10,000 If You Can Hack A Tesla

Think you’ve got what it takes to break the security on the Tesla Model S? Then why not give it a go, because if you can do it, there is a $10,000 prize up for grabs next week. Anyone who registers for SyScan conference in Beijing from 16-17th of July can enter the competition and the event organizers will have the Tesla Model S and computers on site to get the ball rolling.

The security experts who are running the competition are obviously hoping that no one can hack it, but even if they do it’ll only help them tighten up the cars security even further. They want to see if anyone can control features of the car remotely, take over the in-dash browser and more.

Tesla have a full vulnerability disclosure program on their cars, meaning they’ll report any flaw with their cars in a bid to improve awareness and safety for their owners. Tesla aren’t even involved in the hacking project, but they are hoping that anyone who hacks the vehicle will pass on their findings to their developers.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information.

 

A Gigawatt of Electricity a Month Passing Through Tesla’s Chargers

Tesla are really making a big impact on the world of motoring and now there are so many Tesla Model S cards on the road, that use many of their Tesla electric car chargers to churn through a staggering 1GW of electricity last month.

1GW is a huge amount of power, in fact it is enough to power around 700,000 average American homes, or even more insane is that the massive Hoover Dam power station is “only” capable of generating around 2GW of electricity. So all Tesla cars are eating through 50% the capacity of a huge hydroelectric power station, wow!

Tesla plans to ships around 35,000 Model S cars by the end of 2014, a steady increase on the 22,477 they shipped last year. The amazing thing about Tesla is that their charging stations are free to use for Tesla owners, as the charging fees come included when you buy the car. Sure there are other companies out there offering recharge services, but they require a subscription or one-off payment to use them.

With Tesla investing heavily in solar power and other reusable energy sources for their charging stations, they’re making a huge effort to offset their power-hungry recharging efforts and so far, it appears to be working incredibly well.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gigaom.

Tesla Completes World Record Attempt Coast To Coast Drive

Tesla look their latest Model S electric cars from Los Angeles to New York City in 76 hours in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for cross-country energy efficiency. However, it is not yet clear if the attempt was successful as Guinness World Records are still to issue their verdict on whether that record was broken or not after officials monitored the event.

Setting a new world record would obviously be great news for Tesla, who are clearly more interested in using this as a marketing campaign for their new coast-to-coast Supercharger Network. A series of rapid charge stations that Elon Musk revealed is now 80% complete. It was this charging network that allowed the cars to complete the journey.

The team was hoping to do it in three days or less, but it look them three days and four hours. Fortunately their record was not about speed, but about efficiency and having the advantage of being able to rapid recharge their vehicles will have certainly helped them do it a lot quicker. Once the network is complete Tesla owners will be able to make the same journey and Tesla promises to serve around 98% of the US population with its Supercharger Network by the end of next year.

Electric cars still have a way to go before they’re on par with the convenience of petrol / diesel and similar fuels, but this latest network is certainly a big step in the right direction and it puts Tesla was out in the lead when it comes to making long-range electric vehicles possible for the average consumer.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of The Verge.