Elon Musk keeps warning us that artificial intelligence is a real threat, but he’s also contributing to the evolution of machines. Sure, he might not be doing the real coding, but the smart Tesla cars that will be able to drive themselves around town in the following years will have to be programmed to handle a particular type of emergency: hitting a pedestrian or saving the lives of the passengers inside the vehicle.
Through a combination of great marketing and rushing out ‘Autopilot’ while it’s still in beta, Tesla has managed to become the big name in semi-autonomous driving (though there have been a couple of bumps in the road so far). But as you’d imagine, other automakers are working on programs of their own.
USA Today recently got behind the wheel of a Mercedes E-Class equipped with all the autonomous driving tech that will be coming to Mercedes’s cars in the next year. It all sounds quite similar to Tesla, but you won’t be able to sleep behind the wheel.
Apple’s WWDC 2016 was one of the most exciting in recent memory. Packed full of non-stop updates to all four major platforms, Jonathan and Zach give first thoughts on some of the new software out of Cupertino, what Android does that could be better than Apple’s approach to the OS, and of course, some talk on Tesla’s future.
Special thanks to Casper for sponsoring this week’s show! Made in the USA, it is an incredible product that starts at just $50.
You can get $50 off your order by visting casper.com/bgr and using the discount code BGR at checkout.
The full episode is embedded below, or you can download it on iTunes. More →
Tesla has been on the vanguard of the EV revolution and has demonstrated no hesitation to completely deviate from practices that have governed the auto industry for decades. And as tends to be the case with any company so willing to shake up the status quo, the company has no shortage of detractors, even from car companies who themselves see the wisdom in developing and releasing electric cars.
Most recently, a Porsche product manager went to town on the Tesla Model S, effectively calling the company’s ballyhooed Ludicrous Mode nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
Over the past several years, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has become infamous for saying ridiculous things in public forums, but even if you don’t think we’re all living in a computer simulation, you can’t dismiss everything he says.
For example, over the weekend, he tweeted that the Model S “floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time,” and even shared video footage of a Model S “swimming” in a flooded tunnel in Kazakhstan to back up the claim.
Look, street racing of any kind is a dumb thing to do. But when you’re a Tesla owner showing a crotch rocket rider who’s boss, I’ll give you a pass.
Even Tesla detractors would have to concede that the company isn’t afraid to be painfully honest about its mistakes, no matter how bad the resulting PR might be. Whether it’s Elon Musk admitting that the Model X design was too ambitious or the company issuing a voluntary recall for the Model S this past November, Tesla has always been upfront and honest about its missteps.
That said, a strange story about Tesla began to gain traction in the mainstream press late this week. According to a report from Reuters, the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently began probing reports about worrisome suspension issues on the Tesla Model S that could result in drivers losing control while driving. What’s more, the report claims that Tesla may have gone so far as to force a Tesla owner with suspension problems to sign an NDA in exchange for repairs. In other words, Tesla was allegedly willing to fix the problem so long as the owner agreed not to contact the government of the NHTSA about it.
Tesla’s Model X SUV has a sweeping front windshield that extends up much further than on regular cars. It looks amazing, but as it turns out, regular cars have regular-sized windshields for a very good reason.
As Model X owners have been discovering, the overly-large windshield can mean blinding sun coming directly into the car all day long. The sunshades, which are attached to the side pillar, only have limited coverage.
There’s probably no objective way to quantify the value of tweets, but when the social network is used by execs to express official business-related opinions, tweets can be incredibly valuable. Take Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who recently clarified via Twitter that Tesla is working exclusively with Panasonic for Model 3 batteries. That single tweet is valued at either $580 million or $800 million, depending on whom you ask. More →
No one would argue that Tesla’s Model S and Model X are short on innovative and forward-thinking features. From gargantuan 17-inch displays on the dash to futuristic Autopilot software, Tesla has firmly established itself as a company willing to push the technological envelope and completely re-imagine the way we interact with cars.
But at the core, Tesla is and remains a battery company. Indeed, it’s hardly an exaggeration to state that the company’s advanced battery technology is what truly separates them from a growing field of competitors.
A new Tesla accident made the news over the weekend, with a driver’s newly bought Model X car allegedly having driven itself right into a building – at least according to the owner. But it looks like the car’s autonomous features aren’t to blame for the incident. Instead, it’s the driver who seemingly accelerated into the side of the building, as shown by Tesla’s incredibly detailed logs.
Autonomous driving is arguably poised to be the next big technological leap that will fundamentally impact the way we live our lives. As a result, it’s not at all surprising to see companies like Apple, Uber, Microsoft and a number of auto manufacturers show an increased interest in self-driving car technologies.
Of course, the company that stands at the forefront of the autonomous driving revolution is Tesla. Since releasing its Autopilot software in late 2015, it quickly became clear that a world where cars would be able to drive themselves to and fro was an achievable reality and not simply something relegated to the pages of a sci-fi novel. Tesla’s Autopilot software isn’t without its flaws — the recent Model X crash being a prime example — but Tesla is continuously working hard behind the scenes to ensure that its Autopilot software continues to improve with time.