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Archive for the ‘Tesla Model S’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Driver Damages His Own Model S To Save Stranger's Life

Sometimes, heroism comes in the strangest of circumstances, and people who don’t consider themselves built in the mold of a Superman find themselves acting like one. Case in point: the 41-year old driver of a Tesla Model S who is hailed as a hero for intentionally causing damage to his pricey electric sedan, all in the name of saving the life of a total stranger.

According to German news outlet Muncher Merkur, the driver, named Manfred Kick, was on the German Autobahn when he chanced upon a Volkswagen Passat that was being driven erratically by its driver. The Passat even slammed into the guardrail a number of times. Curious to see what was going on, Kick pulled up alongside the Volkswagen only to notice that its driver was unconsciousness. From there, Kick sprung to action, accelerating his Model S and pulling in front of the Passat before slowly braking his car, making sure that the Passat could rest up against the rear bumper of his Model S until both cars came to a stop.

From there, Kick rushed to the Passat, climbed through the passenger door, and proceeded to give him first aid. It was then that another party hurried to the scene and called for emergency help. Once the fire department arrived on the scene, it determined that the unnamed driver of the Passat could have suffered a stroke while driving the car, rendering him unconscious.

But thanks to Kick’s quick thinking, the 47-year old Passat owner was taken to the hospital where, according to Muncher Merkur, he is now in stable condition.

Ironically enough, the police informed Kick that a preliminary investigation was opened against him as part of “procedure.” That said, it is unlikely that the Model S owner would be prosecuted as the local police department is considering giving him an award for his actions that ended with him saving a stranger’s life.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Driver Learns The Hard Way About The Importance Of Key Fobs

A Tesla Model S owner got stranded in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas after intentionally leaving his car’s key fob at home, all because he wanted to try out Tesla’s new control app. Turns out, the smartphone feature that allows drivers to remotely monitor and control their Teslas without their keys only works as far as the smartphone has a signal. Ryan Negri found that out the hard way when he and his wife went for a drive without the key fob to test out the feature. Chalk this one up to an experiment gone bad.

As Negri himself told the tale in an Instagram post, he and his wife, Amy, tested the new feature by going on a quick drive to “take some photos of the freshly fallen mountain snow.” The whole experiment was running smoothly until Negri had to adjust “Mozy & Millie’s car bed” (most likely their dogs). Negri then went out of the car to do just that, but just as he was about to get back in, he found himself locked out of the car, unable to not only get back in, but just as important, to restart the car.

Apparently, Tesla’s keyless smartphone feature has one pretty important requirement for it to function properly: cellular signal. Since they were in the middle of the dessert, six miles away from home as Negri recounted, cell phone signal was about as scarce in the area he was in as a golden goose laying golden eggs. Fortunately, Negri’s wife Amy (the heroine of the story) took it upon herself to run two miles to get cellphone signal before calling a friend to hitch a ride back home to get the Tesla’s key fob.

Not surprisingly, Negri directed some of his ire towards Tesla for not having contingency plans in place to prevent incidents like the one he and his wife found themselves in. More importantly, though, he also promised to have the key fob with him every time he drives the Model S, as he should have in the first place.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Stubborn Tesla Finally Meets Its Match in Norway

Tesla may be leading the way in advancing electrification and autonomous driving technology, but as braggadocios as the company has gotten in the eyes of a lot of people, it’s not immune to getting a dose of humble pie every once in a awhile. That’s what happened after the electric carmaker reached an out-of-court settlement with 126 Norwegian customers who filed a lawsuit against the company over misleading power outputs attributed to the Tesla Model S.

For those who don’t remember, 126 owners of the Model S in Norway took issue with Tesla’s claims that the Model S P85D delivers a total of 691 horsepower, 467 horses of which is delivered from its rear motor and another 224 ponies coming from its front motor, bringing the total to a “combined” 691 horsepower. Apparently, those Norwegian owners took Tesla up to task for what they asserted as false claims of the total power of the car as they were led to believe that the combined output to 691 ponies could be delivered by the Model S when the truth is it can’t deliver on the promise.

In any event, the case was due to start in court yesterday, until lawyers from both sides told the Oslo District Court in a joint letter that they had decided to withdraw the case after striking a settlement deal. The case, according to Reuters, has since been resolved after Tesla agreed to pay each car owner of the Model S P85D 65,000 Norwegian crowns, or around $7,700 based on current exchange rates.

The settled amount is around half of what each Model S P85D owner was seeking, but it’s still a little more than the $6,000 that the country’s Consumer Disputes Commission asked Tesla to pay to the aggravated owners back in July 2016.

With the case now settled, both sides are likely hoping that the worst is over and Norway can return to being one of the biggest European markets of Tesla. The country has always been one of the world’s top markets for electric cars, but data culled by lobby group Road Traffic Information Council (OFV) indicated that registration of new Tesla cars in Norway dropped by 24 percent in the first 11 months of 2016 compared to the same time period a year ago.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon RemetzCar Builds World's First Tesla Model S Hearse

One of the funny things about popular cars is that they often get turned into something completely new. Hand something stock to the right set of hands, and the first step is usually a convertible – just chop off the top, add some water-resistant fabric in case it rains, and call it day. The next step is usually a limo – cut it in half, add some extra sheet metal, and voila, you’re free to roam in an expanded rear seat. After that, you start getting into the weird stuff. Enter the Tesla Model S Hearse.

Just in time for Halloween, RemetzCar has unveiled what’s believed to be the first-ever Tesla-based Hearse.

According to RemetzCar’s website, the Netherlands-based automaker first started by removing the all-electric vehicle’s battery pack, which runs the length of the floor. Then, the lightweight body was cut in half, and an extra 80 cm (approximately 31.5 inches) was added in between. After piecing it all together and reinstalling the battery in the floor, the whole thing measures out at 227 inches (nearly 19 feet).

In addition to the increase in length, RemetzCar also added a high roof area in the stern, with glass siding that actually follows the angle of the stock Model S roofline. That’s sure to keep it somewhat aerodynamic – no point in wasting precious electricity on the way to the graveyard.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Model S Crashes Into Florida Gym

Another day, another crash involving a Tesla Model S. This latest episode took place in late August in Lighthouse Point, Florida where a Model S abruptly accelerated as it was parking, causing it smash through a front window of a local gym. Fortunately, the nobody was injured from the crash, which the driver blames on the car accelerating by itself. Tesla has since reviewed the vehicle’s logs remotely and to no one’s surprise, it placed the blame on the driver accidentally pressing the gas pedal.

The accident is similar to a previous incident that occurred in California back. In that case, the driver also claimed that his Model X accelerated by itself, causing it to crash into a building. Tesla also blamed that crash to driver error after also reviewing the Model X’s vehicle logs.

The incident in Florida is the latest in a string of high profile crashes involving Tesla vehicles. A surveillance video from inside the gym captured the horrific accident. Halfway through the two-minute the video, the Model S appears in the video where it’s about to reverse into an available parking slot. Then in an instant, it accelerates straight into the front glass window of the gym, resulting in heavy damages to both the car and the property.

What’s worth noting is that had the accident occurred 40 seconds earlier, it could have taken a woman who looked to either be an employee of the gym or its actual owner. That’s about the only silver lining that happened in this crash and it’s going to be interesting how this incident is resolved.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Charging more for Autopilot Feature

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…

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Model S Gets Upgraded Battery Pack; Now as Fast as LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder

When Tesla launched the Model S P90D a couple of years ago, it set some incredible records for electric cars, proving that EVs can accelerate from 0 to 60 in less than three seconds and return a range of over 200 miles at the same time. Come 2016 and Tesla is taking things even farther into ludicrous territory by dropping a 100-kWh battery in both the Model S sedan and Model X SUV, thus creating a new range-topping model, the P100D.

The new version also sets a couple of important benchmarks. For starters, the Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode will become the quickest accelerating production car, needing only 2.5 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. That’s as quick as the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 supercars. There’s no word on horsepower, but the P100D will definitely have more than the 762 horses that come with the P90D Ludicrous model. Range will also be better with the new battery, going up from 270 to 315 miles. Tihs makes the Model S the first EV to run for more than 300 miles on a single charge.

Moving over to the Model X, the P100D upgrade will give customers a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 2.9 seconds and a range of 289 miles. Compared to the P90D model, it’s 0.3 seconds quicker and returns 32 extra miles. For reference, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S hits 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Pretty slow, huh?

Pricing-wise, the Model S P100D will start at $134,500 and the Model X 100D will retail from $135,500. Model S and Model X P90D owners can upgrade their battery packs for $20,000, while customers that have already ordered a P90D but havn’t taken delivery, can get the extra power and range for an additional $10,000.

As spectacular as it sounds, creating the P100D wasn’t all fun and games, though. According to Elon Musk, going from 90 to 100 kWh was like a “50-percent increase in difficulty” and the battery’s complexity will make the P100D a low-volume model for now.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Two Teslas Stolen in Germany Have Yet To Be Located

As if Tesla’s issues with its Autopilot system aren’t bad enough, the American electric car maker may have another crisis on its hands after multiple reports from Germany indicate that a pair of Tesla Model S P90Ds have been stolen and have seemingly disappeared without a trace. Such an occurrence may be considered normal for some cars, but not for Tesla models. These cars come with a GPS tracking software that’s supposedly on 24/7, and yet, the thieves behind the two stolen Model S P90Ds thefts appear to have been able to disable the GPS systems of both cars, making it more complicated to trace their whereabouts.

The first incident reportedly took place in Dusseldorf, Germany on June 11, 2016 while the second incident occurring 22 miles away in Essen on August 2, 2016. There have been no indications on whether the two thefts are connected to each other, but the method by which both models were pilfered came with some striking similarities.

According to reports, both Model S P90Ds were stolen without the use of any key, leading to speculation that the thieves may have hacked into the Tesla accounts of their owner to unlock the cars and drive them away through a smartphone application.

Such tactics would’ve been easy to get a hold off had the GPS systems of both cars not gone AWOL. But neither of the cars have been tracked since they were reported stolen, which points to the alarming possibility that the GPS systems of both units were disabled. In the event that the thieves were able to hack into the cars and disable the GPS system, Tesla’s going to have another security issue to deal with.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Offering Two-Year Lease for Model S and Model X

Tesla recently fell under criticism for overstating figures for the first and second quarters of 2016. Now, Tesla has announced that for a limited time, you can get a Tesla Model S or Model X under a two-year lease program. And, by limited time, I mean you have to do it by September 12, or you’re out of luck. This obviously drops the cost of owning a Tesla a little bit, but how much?

Well, we looked into it. A Model S under a two-year lease requires a $6,000 down payment, but the $2,500 deposit that is due on ordering is included as part of the down payment. Add in the $695 acquisition fee and the first month’s lease payment of $593 for a total of $4,788 due at signing. This gets you a 24-month term and 10,000 miles per year. This is, of course, for the Model S 60 with rear wheel drive – the least expensive model available. Going with the Model X is a little more expensive. It will set you back $4,925 due at signing with a monthly lease payment of $730.

On top of the initial money spent and the monthly lease payment, you’ll also be required to pay a $395 disposition fee when returning the vehicle. It is also important to know that the vehicle can be returned within the first 90 days of the contract for any reason, and Tesla will waive the remaining lease obligation.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Tesla's Autopilot is About to get a Serious Hardware Update

Tesla and its AutoPilot system have fallen under a lot of scrutiny lately with all of the AutoPilot-related accidents and subsequent investigations. To be blunt, the company has seen a lot of negative headlines lately. It even broke down and changed some wording on its Chinese website after a recent accident in China. But, despite all the negativity, neither Elon Musk or Tesla as a whole is backing down from pushing the AutoPilot system. That brings us to our topic of discussion today: AutoPilot 2.0.

Apparently, the system is already well into development, despite the fact that Tesla and MobileEye have gone their separate ways. According to the guys over at Electrek, the upgraded AutoPilot system will feature new radar sensors on each corner of the vehicle as well as a new front-facing, triple camera system. Of the three cameras, one will be a wide-angle camera used to scan all lanes ahead, another will be used to scan directly in front of the vehicle, and the third is a backup that can be used by the system in a pinch should there be an unexpected failure.

The new hardware will help push the AutoPilot system into the next stage, and will enable what Tesla is calling “level 3 autonomous driving.” For now, no production vehicles have been fitted with the new hardware, but some sources are reporting that new models already have the proper mounts and wiring, which means the option of retrofitting is a possibility in the future. Even when the new sensors and cameras are installed on production models, it isn’t likely that they’ll go into use right away. Tesla will wait until software is perfected, then roll out over-the-air updates to activate the hardware. With this new hardware, it could be possible for full autonomy to be activated with a future OTA update, but something tells me we still have a while to wait on that one.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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

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.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Model S and Model X Could Get a Battery Update in the Near Future

News about Tesla has been more bad than good lately, but today I’m here to talk about something other than car crashes and Autopilot. Today, I’m here to talk about batteries and what could be coming for the Model S and Model X. It wasn’t that long ago that Tesla almost silently discontinued its 85-kWh battery, taking at versions of the 85-kWh Model S off the market. Very quickly rumors began to surface about a new, more powerful battery, and one hacker even found a “P100D” hidden within the source code for his Model S after an OTA update.

Tesla has remained largely silent on the subject. But, a Dutch forum, Kenteken, did some investigating and found something very interesting. Over in Europe, manufacturers can choose which company approves their vehicles to be sold and used on the road. Tesla uses a company known as RDW, which happens to have a part of its collective database published as “open data.” Kenteken decided to do some searching of this open database and discovered that there are, in fact, references to approval for a “100D” and a “100x.” It also discovered that there was a range of 613 KM (about 380 miles) associated with the model variant “100D.”

Here at TopSpeed, we took the time to do some searching of CARB’s database and couldn’t find anything related to a 100-kWh battery or any reference to a P100D or 100X. Then again, Tesla is still silent on the matter too, but with this new battery pack already being approved for European sales and use, it’s only a matter of time before Musk spills the beans and we start getting official word on the matter.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Model S Owner In China Gets Into Autopilot-Related Road Accident

As if all the reported crashes involving Tesla’s Autopilot system in the U.S. aren’t bad enough, the American electric car brand has admitted that one of its cars in China has gotten into an accident while in Autopilot mode, adding another layer of scrutiny to the controversial driving assist feature.

The owner of the car, 33-year old programmer Luo Zhen, spoke with Reuters about the incident, which happened when the Model S he was driving sideswiped a stopped car along the side of the road. According to Luo, Tesla’s sales staff was at fault for the incident because they overplayed the system’s functions by describing it with a Chinese phrase that translates to “self-driving.” On top of that, Luo added that when he was being demonstrated the system’s functions, the demonstrator took his hands off the steering wheel and then took his feet off the accelerator.

Reuters also reached out to four other owners of Tesla vehicles in other parts of China, and the owners corroborated Liu’s story that Tesla’s front-line sales staff described the the function in Chinese as “self-driving” and that demonstrators also took their hands off the wheel of the car while demonstrating the function. The news agency added that the term “zidong jiashi,” which literally translates to “self-driving” can be seen several times on Tesla’s Chinese portal.

Not surprisingly, a Tesla spokesperson disputed those claims, saying that the company has “never described Autopilot as an autonomous technology or a ’self-driving car,’ and any third-party descriptions to this effect are not accurate.” The automaker also put the blame on Liu for not following the guidelines laid out by the system despite Liu’s claims of being misinformed by the company’s sales staff.

Fortunately, the accident resulted in no injuries for all the parties involved. That said, don’t expect this issue to die down anytime soon, especially in a tightly controlled market like China that’s in the process of drafting its own policy regarding the technology.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Did Someone Hack the Tesla Model S to Play Pokemon Go on the Go?

A few days ago, a site called Pink Java claimed that one of its editors, Jeff Chiarelli, managed to get his Pokemon Go game to run on his Tesla Model S, claiming that he got it to work by using his laptop and an Ethernet cable. Upon seeing the GIF, I alerted one of our editors, Robert Moore, about the absurdity of the whole thing. I thought it was ridiculous to get Pokemon Go to run in a Model S and use the car for the purposes of catching those damned pokemons. For his part, Robert took it a step further. He examined the GIF himself and immediately called hoax on the whole thing. “If you look at the GIF on pink java it looks like the camera moves when he’s playing the game,” he said.

Turns out, he was right on the money. A few days after publishing the story, the editorial team of Pink Java admitted that the whole thing was hogwash and was nothing more than satire described as an “experiment to start a discussion about a story’s validity.”

While I am prepared to give Pink Java the slip because of its reason, I don’t know if the site would have admitted to it if like-minded Internet sleuths like Robert didn’t debunk the story’s claims. A reader from Electrek, according to CNET’s Andrew Krok, pointed out something similar to Robert’s observation, explaining that the screen vibrates when Chiarelli tries to capture the Pokemon.

Even Krok himself got into the case, enlisting his Carfection colleague Drew Stearne to carefully examine the GIF. According to Krok, Stearne broke the whole GIF down by frame, and found one moment where part of Chiarelli’s finger disappears entirely from the screen.

In the end, Pink Java raised up its hands and copped on the social experiment of sorts. It was a good try, and who knows what the intent of the story really was. But for those who are thinking of jacking up their Model S units to make it possible to play Pokemon Go in it, don’t even bother trying. It’s not going to happen, or at least it hasn’t happened yet.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Comes up with Another Excuse for the Fatal Model S Accident

The blows to Tesla just keep on coming after the Model S accident that resulted in the first Autopilot-related death. Under pretty heavy scrutinizing, the company is under investigation by the NTSB to determine if the Autopilot system in that Model S is at fault, while the NHTSA is currently investigating whether or not the system poses an unreasonable risk to driver safety. As part of the ongoing investigations, Tesla has now reportedly told the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee that it has two theories of why the Model S in that fatal accident crashed, but somehow still manages to deny that the Autopilot system is at fault.

That’s the news reported by Reuters, which is citing a source that is “familiar” with the meeting. Tesla is apparently looking at two potential reasons for the crash. The first is that the radar and camera input for the emergency braking system failed to detect the truck and trailer. The other potential reason is that the system may have falsely discounted the input received indicating the trailer as an obstacle. According to Tesla, the system is designed to “tune out” structures like bridges or overhead signs to avoid braking under false pretenses.

So far Tesla has remained largely silent on the issue and the meeting, with the exception of suggesting that the camera and radar systems weren’t at fault. Tesla has confirmed to Reuters that the meeting has occurred, but has yet to disclose the major topics of conversation that occurred during the meeting. According to Reuters’s source, Tesla views the emergency braking system as a separate entity from the Autopilot system. For the record, it has been announced by the NTSB that the Model S involved in the fatal accident was doing nine mph over the posted 65 mph speed limit when the accident occurred.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Autopilot Could be at Fault for Fatal Crash After All

Tesla’s launched it’s brand-new Autopilot system with much fanfare, but the advanced system is causing the American company a great deal of trouble. Elon Musk’s firm is not only dealing with three crashes in only a couple of months, but also a fatality that occured in May after a Model S collided with an 18-wheeler semi. The case has been under investigation for quite some time and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued its preliminary report into the crash. The agency claims that the car was speeding while using the Autopilot function.

According to system data downloaded from the Model S, the sedan was going 74 mph in a 65 mph zone while on Autopilot. This is interesting to say the least, as the system is supposed to prevent the car from speeding. On the other hand, the NTSB’s preliminary report didn’t provide any information on why the collision occurred or why the automatic emergency braking didn’t apply the car’s brakes to avoid the collision.

Granted, this is a preliminary report and a final verdict is far from being released, but the fact that the vehicle was speeding while in Autopilot pilot contradicts Tesla’s initial claims that it was the driver’s fault. Aside from the fact that the company openly admitted that the autonomous system didn’t “see” the truck.

As a brief reminder, the accident occurred when a semi truck drove across the highway perpendicular to the oncoming Model S, which struck and passed underneath the trailer. The sedan collided with a utility pole after coasting for some 300 feet before coming to a complete stop. A team of five investigators conducted the on-scene investigation and is still collecting data from the vehicle to further analyze the crash.

Continue readying for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Russian Man gets Public Charging Station all to Himself

One of the benefits of owning a Tesla is access to its public supercharging network, but what happens if you’re a lone Tesla owner in an area outside the supercharging network? Well, for most people, it means that you have to just suck it up and deal with it. But, that isn’t the case for one Russian man who’s commute – which is ridiculously long – falls just outside of his Tesla’s maximum range.

The man of the hour goes by the name Alexander Shavrin, and he lives in Perm – a city that is about 20 hours east of Moscow by car and about five and a half hours or 225 miles northwest of Shavrin’s employer in Yekaterinburg. With a daily commute like that, owning an all-electric Tesla is a no-brainer except for one thing – there are absolutely no EV chargers in the entire region. That’s clearly a problem when you run out of juice just 15 to 20 miles before you get to work or home, so Shavrin decided to reach out to the regional energy company – IDGC of Urals – and asked them for some help.

Surprisingly, the company – after what had to be an intriguing conversation – was happy to oblige. The plan is to add the first EV charger in the region in a small village along E22 that is known as Achit. Not only is it exactly what Shavrin needed, but it’s pretty close to the half-way point of his journey in each direction. Talk about a win-win, right?

PostHeaderIcon Growing Pains – The Tesla Autopilot Crashes And Our Autonomous Future

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.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Is Mercedes Trying to Put an End to Tesla's Reign at the Top of the EV Food Chain?

Back before the Tesla Model X had even made its debut, when we had nothing more than word of mouth about what the electric SUV was going to look like, Mercedes came right out and said that it didn’t consider Tesla a competitor. As it stood at the time, Mercedes clearly had no plans of going all-electric and competing with the pioneer of long-range EVs. Shortly after that, word started to spread Mercedes was working on an all-electric lineup, but details were scant at the time. Finally, in June of this year, word came down from Autocar that Mercedes was working on a Model X competitor (quoting an MB official with knowledge of the new vehicle.) Now, there is a new development and Mercedes has officially eaten its own words.

According to the Australian website Motoring, an interview with David McCarthy – the communications manager of Mercedes’ Australian division – has revealed that Mercedes does, in fact, have Tesla in its sights. As the story goes, the brand is working on a Model S competitor that will ride on the same underpinnings as at least four other all-electric vehicles. Furthermore, it will be a direct shot at the American EV manufacturer, as it will have a similar pricing strategy.

In the interview, McCarthy said, “It’ll be in a price bracket similar to the Tesla Model S, have a similar cruising range, but it’ll be a Mercedes, so I think Tesla probably have good reason to be concerned about it.”

As you can see from that quote, Mercedes isn’t only loading the gun; it’s already firing warning shots as well. This could get interesting.

Note: Image shown above is a spy shot of the upcoming Mercedes S-Class Sedan.

Keep reading for the full story

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Driver Pranks Motorists WIth Driverless Car: Video

At some point in the future, a car that drives by itself without a driver present may turn into a normal occurrence. But that time isn’t happening anytime soon, which is why other motorists were losing their minds when they chanced upon a Tesla Model S that appeared to have no driver in it. Fortunately, YouTube magician Rahat was actually on board the Model S, albeit hidden behind a prop back rest that was designed to make it look like nobody was sitting in the driver’s seat.

Naturally, the people who passed by the Model S had some pretty incredible reactions upon seeing the Model S. There was shock, amusement, and a general feeling of what-the-heck-is-going-on. At one point, one person even lamented, in his bewildered state, that a literal driverless car driving on the interstate is the future cometh today. All in all, it’s a hilarious prank that only got funnier when Rahat quickly got back into the front seat, much to the confusion of the people in the other cars.

Maybe one day the industry will really have driverless cars. For one, Uber is already looking into it so that future could arrive sooner than later. But it’s not happening today just yet and as the people proved with their reactions, seeing a car without a driver going about its own business is going to take a lot of getting used to.

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