This is it - the "mass market" electric car that Tesla has been promising and teasing since Elon Musk & Co. decided to shake up the auto industry. Undercutting the current Tesla line-up by tens of thousands, and opening the door to EV ownership with that coveted badge - and the promise of the rapidly-evolving technology behind it - to a whole new cohort of drivers, to say the Model 3 is anticipated is to understate it considerably.
Offer people free power for their electric cars and they'll undoubtedly plug in and take you up on that offer, and that leaves Tesla in a potentially tough spot. One of the electric car maker's perks for drivers of its Model S and Model X EVs is access to the Supercharger network, a growing number of high-speed charging stations at which not only do the vehicles get juiced-up fast, it doesn't cost a thing.
On March 21, Tesla Motors said consumers would be able to reserve a Model 3 unit starting today at 8:30PM PT, the same time it will be unveiling the model at its event. That time has changed, Elon Musk announced in a tweet this afternoon, saying online ordering will start at 7:30PM PT instead to “ensure no server overload.” He also said in a tweet that each customer will be limited to two units.
This week at Microsoft BUILD 2016, BMW presented their vision for the future of smart, connected cars. Their vision has been built on Azure. This is the future of BMW Connected, and it's made to create a smart car experience that integrates seamlessly with your smartphone, your contacts, your calendar, and every other part of your cloud-connected life. "The car will become the ultimate device, perfectly integrated into your digital lifestyle."
If Tesla is the Apple of the auto industry, then today's big reveal of the Model 3 is the equivalent of the iPhone 7 keynote. Elon Musk & Co.'s plans for an affordable electric car more suited to the needs - and bank balance - of the mass market have been ticking away in the background for some time now, but it's only today, at an event at its facility in Los Angeles, CA, that we'll get the first clear sight of the fruits of those efforts.
Alexa, the personification of Amazon's still odd Echo canister, isn't exactly a household name compared to the likes of Siri or even Cortana, but it's slowly getting there. Amazon is slowly but surely not only expanding support for its voice-controlled assistant, it has even expanded the devices that bear it. Then, there are the numerous hobbyist hacks and experiments that make Echo a tad more interesting. Like this almost convoluted a certain Jryanishere used to, in the end, get Alexa to start up his GM car at his (verbal) command.
With autonomous cars, becoming more and more prevalent as the years go by it's no surprise that someone wants to see these driverless cars race. A racing series called Roborace will do just that when it debuts late in 2016 or early next year. The cars used in the series are electric, custom made, and very cool looking. They have four wheels and are covered with sensors and antennas.
In a world where full-size trucks are increasingly plush palaces of rolling excess loaded for bear with luxuries that rival traditional premium sedans, the mid-size pickup segment has fallen out of step. For more than a decade these somewhat smaller options - like the class-leading Toyota Tacoma - have focused more on utility than 'wow' factor, a symptom of the less significant market that exists for trucks outside the full-size spectrum and the fact that there was so much profit to be made with their bigger brothers.
If you have a Ford Escape with MyFord Touch interface, you've probably noticed that there's an option for navigation. Unfortunately, if your SUV didn't come with that feature, it'll cost a fair bit to enable it. The price is somewhere around $900, which is a lot to add simple navigation to a device. But one person has found a clever way of getting around that.
Volkswagen's dieselgate fall-out woes continue, with the news today that yet another US government agency is suing the automaker over its diesel adverts. VW has admitted to fitting a "defeat device" to hundreds of thousands of cars, artificially reducing emissions when the car spotted it was being tested but then pushing out exponentially more nitrogen oxide than regulations permit under normal use.
Toyota plans to beat the NHTSA deadline to automatic braking by a whopping four years, announcing it will make the safety tech standard on nearly all of its cars by the end of next year. The technology, automatic emergency braking (AEB), is currently offered as an option on several Toyota and Lexus models, along with features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure guidance.