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Elon Musk shakes up Tesla Autopilot team after growing frustrated with the group’s progress

Electric cars BGR

While the Autopilot capability of Tesla vehicles has improved markedly over time, the Autopilot team responsible for delivering said capabilities has long seemed to be plagued by dysfunction. Going back to 2017, there were credible reports that the
'While the Autopilot capability of Tesla vehicles has improved markedly over time, the Autopilot team responsible for delivering said capabilities has long seemed to be plagued by dysfunction. Going back to 2017, there were credible reports that the team was losing top engineers at a rapid clip. Even at the top, Tesla seemed unable to keep an Autopilot chief around for a meaningful period of time. As a prime example, you may recall that former Apple engineer Chris Lattner left Apple to head up Tesla's Autopilot team, only to leave the position a few months later. Indeed, it wasn't all that long ago that Tesla's Autopilot team saw a total of three different leaders in under two years. Suffice it to say, job stability doesn't appear to be something one would associate with Tesla's Autopilot team. Continue reading.. BGR Top Deals: Best Sunscreen to Beat the Heat Nokia just launched a cutting-edge mesh Wi-Fi system, and it’s on Amazon starting at $130 Trending Right Now: Galaxy Note 10’s signature feature prevents it from being a much better phone, insider claims Apple may launch three 5G iPhones in 2020, as well as a cheap iPhone 8 replacement There’s something very odd about this story of a fire at a SpaceX facility in Florida Elon Musk shakes up Tesla Autopilot team after growing frustrated with the group’s progress originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 9 Jul 2019 at 21:03:46 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.'

The Tesla Model S Is Not Getting Any Major Updates, Says Elon Musk

Electric cars Car and Driver

Tesla's largest all-electric hatchback was rumored to get a big design and mechanical update, but Musk says the 'refreshed' model is not a thing.
'The Tesla Model S was rumored to receive a significantly refreshed interior and a longer-range battery, according to a report by CNBC , but Elon Musk says that there's no major update coming. Instead, Musk said that minor updates will be introduced on a rolling basis. The Model S may still offer up to 400 miles of driving range in the near future, exceeding the current model's maximum range by 30 miles. UPDATE 7/9/19: Elon Musk tweeted that the Model S hatchback and Model X crossover are not slated to get a major update anytime soon, as was previously reported. Instead, he said that these models will get minor changes periodically, as has been the case over the past few years. There is no “refreshed” Model X or Model S coming, only a series of minor ongoing changes. Most significant change in past few years was to use high efficiency Model 3 rear drive unit as S/X front drive unit. That went into production 3 months ago. - Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2019 The Tesla Model S could see a slew of significant updates that include an extended driving range, streamlined interior design, and new drive motors. Much of this fresh content could be cribbed from the more contemporary Model 3 according to speculation in a report by CNBC . The last time Tesla overhauled the Model S was back in 2016 when it received a more expressionless face and improved range . Apparently, this re-refreshed version will retain the existing sheetmetal but adopt a simpler dashboard design similar to the simplistic aesthetics found on the Model 3. Inside, the smaller Tesla relies on a large 15.0-inch touchscreen that is horizontally mounted in the center of the dash and controls most of the car's functions. The current Model S boasts a more complex dashboard with a fully digital gauge cluster and a vertical touchscreen that measures 17.0 inches. The refreshed Model S could also add the same seats found on the fanciest Model 3. However, it's unclear whether these new chairs would be limited to the front seat or spread to the three-person bench in the back of the S. Although switching to the 3's streamlined setup as seen below could be considered less luxurious, it would likely help cut down on production costs. Perhaps most important, the updated Model S is said to offer an even longer driving range than the rangiest Long Range model, which currently has an EPA-estimated driving range of up to 370 miles. According to reports, the latest Model S will feature a battery capable of driving 400 miles on a single charge. The largest Tesla could also get new drive units courtesy of the Model 3. While the CNBC report cites \'several current and and former employees,\' Tesla hasn't confirmed these reports, so this information remains mostly speculative. Likewise, the polarizing startup company is reportedly retooling its factory in Fremont, California, in preparation to begin building the upcoming Tesla Model Y crossover as well as the refreshed Model S. Again, nothing has been officially announced by Tesla or its embattled CEO, Elon Musk. This story was originally published on May 29, 2019.'

Got a Tesla? Elon Musk hints it could soon drive itself

Electric cars Silicon Valley

Is a real, honest-to-goodness, self-driving Tesla on the way? Well…Maybe. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has suggested that the electric carmaker will soon take a step that could lead to the company’s cars being capable of driving themselves. Late
'Is a real, honest-to-goodness, self-driving Tesla on the way? Well…Maybe. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has suggested that the electric carmaker will soon take a step that could lead to the company’s cars being capable of driving themselves. Late Sunday, Musk, in response to an inquiry about Tesla’s hardware systems, said the company could offer its new Fully Self Driving chip–or, FSD, for short–as an upgrade to more than 500,000 older model Teslas by the end of this year. End of Q4, most likely — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 8, 2019 “End of Q4, most likely,” was how Musk replied to a question about when the company would start retrofitting cars that currently include Hardware 2 (HW2), a set of sensors, radar, and cameras that Tesla rolled out almost three years ago with the implication that such cars would eventually have full, autonomous driving capabilities. Tesla owners who prevously paid $6,000 for an additional package of of what the company calls a “full self-driving” technologies, will be able to receive a free upgrade of the FSD chip when it becomes available. Tesla currently offers its drivers packages of semi-autonomous driving features for their vehicles. The most-common of these is Autopilot, which is standard in new Teslas and has features such as lane recognition and steering. Tesla’s other package, FSD, includes an active guidance system that can direct a car from freeway off-and-on ramps, and make lane changes. However, no Tesla, nor any other car in the U.S., is yet capable of, or legally permitted for fully autonomous driving on the nation’s highways. The FSD chip is a matter of pride as much as technical innovation for Tesla. It’s the first such chip designed completely in-house at Tesla, and Musk has said it has 21 times the performance of the Nvidia chips it will replace. When Tesla unveiled the FSD chip in April, the company said it would include it in its new Model 3, Model S and Model X vehicles going forward.'

Tesla shows off next-gen automated emergency breaking stopping for pedestrians and cyclists

Electric cars TechCrunch

Back in 2017, Tesla introduced an automated emergency breaking (AEB) system for all its vehicles that’s powered by its Autopilot technology, which is available even for vehicles with haven’t purchased the actual Autopilot cruise-assist upgrade. Now,
'Back in 2017, Tesla introduced an automated emergency breaking (AEB) system for all its vehicles that’s powered by its Autopilot technology, which is available even for vehicles with haven’t purchased the actual Autopilot cruise-assist upgrade. Now, the automaker is showing off some of the more advanced features coming in its next-generation AEB update. These include automatically engaging the brakes on a vehicle when the Autopilot-based system detects a pedestrian crossing the car’s path, and doing the same for a cyclist. Below, you can see those features reportedly working in real-life situations, according to Tesls’a official Twitter account. Or a cyclist: pic.twitter.com/CGH44L9Vbo — Tesla (@Tesla) July 4, 2019 These kinds of features aren’t new, and in fact have been present in some form since inclusion in a version of Volvo’s automated braking system in 2009. Safety organizations and regulators like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have been testing and advocating for these systems for years, as well. Not all AEB and driver-assist features are built equally, however, and in theory the versions of these systems based on vehicles with more advanced sensors and on-board computation should be more effective at actually avoiding or preventing collisions in practice. Tesla has made bold claims about the capabilities of its own system, especially when paired with its  in-house AI processor technology , which will serve as the ‘brain’ on its future autonomous driving technology in Tesla cars.'

Tesla provides update on the Model S that burst into flames for no apparent reason

Electric cars BGR

This past April, a parked Model S in Shanghai caught fire for seemingly no reason at all. The harrowing incident, which was captured on video, occurred in a parking garage and generated a lot of unanswered questions about the safety of Tesla
'This past April, a parked Model S in Shanghai caught fire for seemingly no reason at all. The harrowing incident, which was captured on video, occurred in a parking garage and generated a lot of unanswered questions about the safety of Tesla vehicles. Indeed, we've seen a handful of stories involving Tesla vehicles spontaneously catching fire in the past and, more often than not, we get nothing from Tesla aside from a quick blurb that a given incident represented an \'extraordinarily unusual occurrence.\' The Shanghai incident, to Tesla's credit, played out a little bit differently. Earlier today, Tesla released a statement about the cause of the fire and revealed that it resulted from a defective battery module. Notably, experts consulted on the matter do not believe the fire can be traced back to any type of defect in the overall design of the car. Continue reading.. BGR Top Deals: This $16 clip-on lens kit fits the iPhone or any Android phone, and it’s awesome Amazon deal offers a 7-inch Android tablet for under $43 Tesla provides update on the Model S that burst into flames for no apparent reason originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 28 Jun 2019 at 16:38:16 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.'

Tesla’s in-dash sketchpad software is getting better in the next system update

Electric cars TechCrunch

Tesla owners will be better able to express themselves artistically using their in-vehicle infotainment touchscreen with the next update of their vehicle’s in-car software. Tesla revealed via Twitter today that the forthcoming software update will
'Tesla owners will be better able to express themselves artistically using their in-vehicle infotainment touchscreen with the next update of their vehicle’s in-car software. Tesla revealed via Twitter today that the forthcoming software update will bring improved Sketchpad features, providing essential upgrades to an Easter Egg it first debuted over two years ago that lets Tesla owners doodle in their cars . In response to a request from a fan asking for Tesla’s in-car drawing software (this is a weird phrase to be writing) to add a color picker, saturation controls and an undo history, Tesla noted that new features are coming in the next big update planned for Tesla vehicle software. It sounds like all of those could be on the menu, based on this tweet, and that might not be the end of the improvements in store. Wish granted . New Sketchpad features are rolling out in our next software update. What will you draw? https://t.co/eXUm4k24qH — Tesla (@Tesla) June 28, 2019 In May, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to another Twitter fan who was requesting animation support. Musk replied just a simple ‘Ok’ but given his general meme love, I would not at all be surprised if the next version of Sketchpad supports GIF output. Musk also noted at around the same time that “Every Tesla should have good art & music creation software” which does not actually seem like an essential accoutrement for a vehicle at all, but then again Musk is a billionaire and I am not.'

Bye-bye Panasonic? Tesla is working on making its own batteries

Electric cars Quartz

Tesla is shaking up its six-year partnership with Panasonic.
'It’s getting obvious Tesla wants to move deeply into the battery business. The California carmaker is now developing its own battery cells at a “secret lab,” CNBC reported yesterday (June 26). Employees working out of an existing facility near its Fremont manufacturing plant are developing battery cell prototypes, and new manufacturing processes to mass produce cells. The company has recently posted a number of jobs related to battery cell design, the report said. Moving into battery cells could help Tesla better control the cost of its EVs—if it can manufacture battery cells more efficiently than its supplier, Japanese electronics firm Panasonic. In April, Tesla founder Elon Musk blamed Panasonic cell lines at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory—a joint venture between the two—for holding back production of its most affordable model , the Model 3. Incorrect. Pana cell lines at Giga are only at ~24GWh/yr & have been a constraint on Model 3 output since July. No choice but to use other suppliers for Powerwall/Powerpack cells. Tesla won’t spend money on more capacity until existing lines get closer to 35GWh theoretical. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2019 Battery cells are the units of a battery module. Multiple modules are put together to make the battery pack that powers the car. It’s not uncommon for EV makers to source cells from battery manufacturers and then make modules compatible for their car models—as Tesla does with Panasonic cells. The two produce around 60% of the global electric vehicle battery output, according to a tweet from Musk in November. But Tesla is shaking up its six-year partnership with Panasonic. In April, as Panasonic froze plans to invest in the expansion of the Nevada Gigafactory 1, Musk tweeted that Tesla had “no choice but to use other suppliers for Powerwall/Powerpack cells.” In China, Tesla’s reportedly been talking to Chinese EV battery makers . This month, Tesla acquired battery maker Maxwell Technologies , and Musk said in the firm’s annual shareholder meeting that Tesla could move into the mining business to go further down the lithium-ion battery supply chain. Tesla’s battery strategy increasingly looks like that of BYD, the world’s largest EV maker (Quartz membership) and China’s second-biggest battery supplier, which makes the cells for its own EVs. It sold some 100,000 electric vehicles in 2018. Tesla and Panasonic didn’t immediately respond to questions. Since the battery makes up of 40% of an EV’s price, controlling production can help reduce exposure to price increases from battery manufacturers, and perhaps make it easier to scale production. Globally, other carmakers are entering battery manufacturing too. Volkswagen is investing in a battery cell factory in its home base Germany. Toyota is working with Panasonic to build a battery joint-venture next year , hoping to sell batteries to other EV brands. Still, while Tesla’s talking with other battery makers for the Shanghai Gigafactory , it may well settle on Panasonic batteries for its made-in-China models, CNBC reported . China on Monday signaled foreign battery makers might be more welcome than they used to be, by dropping a five-year-old policy that steered car makers toward Chinese battery firms. Looking for more in-depth coverage? Sign up to become a member and r ead more in-depth coverage of China’s electric-car boom in our field guide'