Turns out, claiming that you can best Tesla's Autopilot with a DIY system you built in your garage isn't the best way to win praise from the Silicon Valley automaker. Notorious iPhone and PlayStation hacker George Hotz made headlines earlier this week when he revealed the self-driving Acura he created in a month, saying it was rising to the challenge set by Tesla's Elon Musk that motivated his efforts to build a low-cost homebrew alternative.
Wait, what? You might be asking yourself what inspired a hacker by the name of George Hotz to build his own self-driving car. That's what we wanted to know, too. It would seem that Hotz decided to kick out a self-driving car using a 2016 Acura ILX in "about a month." He's using Ubuntu Linux as his operating system and has an absurdly massive 21.5-inch display sitting in the middle. A flight navigator joystick rests between the front two seats which, when triggered, engages a fully operational self-driving vehicle system.
It seems like everyone wants to get into the iPhone case market this holiday season. First it was rival Android smartphone makers OnePlus, with their unique "Sandstone" texture iPhone case, and now it's popular electric car maker Tesla. The company has just updated its online store, which features items like wallets, key fobs, and driving gloves, and now it offers two styles of leather cases for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (presumably they'll work with the new 6s models as well).
Google hires Robert Rose, a veteran of HP, Tesla, and SpaceX, just after the engineer left Tesla - just after Tesla's Autopilot program was released to the public. Word is that Rose left Tesla just shortly after this October's release of Autopilot for Tesla vehicles, and joined Google several weeks later. At this time it is not clear exactly what Google will be doing with Rose or what his role is within the company.
It seems that Tesla's first fully electric SUV is ready to hit the high gear in the production lines. The company has started informing pre-order customers that they can no go to the Tesla website to customize their Model X to their hearts content. And along with that is information on how much that will all cost you. The Tesla Model X all-wheel 70D model, while the "cheapest" of the brood, will set you back a good $80,000. From there, one can only guess how much the 90D and P90D models will cost.
Tesla decides to recall every single Model S vehicle due to a single, isolated incident regarding a seatbelt. One single customer, apparently, turned around to speak with a person in the back seat of their Tesla Model S vehicle, and a seatbelt bolt came undone. No-one was hurt, and the bolt was the sort that tightens the seatbelt in the event of an accident. Shaming recall calculators of other, larger companies, Tesla has decided to do a full recall of the vehicle.
Tesla's upcoming Model 3 isn't just expected to be surprisingly affordable, it's also set to be astonishingly slippery, if new leaks are anything to go by. The entry-level EV in Tesla's range is set to go on sale in two years time, but with the final design not set to be revealed until March next year, speculation is rife about what it could look like.
A new FCC filing for a Tesla key fob has been discovered, offering hints of an updated model with new features. While the existing version uses a 315MHz signal, the new one was detailed to support Bluetooth Low Energy, something that may offer connections to smartphones or be used for data exchange. Fortunately the fob still comes in a cool shape, looking like a mini Model S.
Autopilot features are being implemented not just for the sake of hi-tech fanciness but for safety reasons. In theory, taking humans and their error-prone judgment out of the equation would lead to safer roads and less accidents. As if proving how poor humans are at applying common sense, some videos have surfaced on the Internet using the Tesla Model S' new Autopilot features in ways it wasn't intended to handle just yet. As a consequence, CEO Elon Musk announced that they will be putting some restrictions to the feature soon.
Owners of the Model S in countries outside the US need not feel jealous anymore. Tesla promised long ago that its autopilot features will also roll out to other countries once it has gained regulatory approval. Well, it just gained regulatory approval. Over at Twitter, CEO Elon Musk victoriously shared that the self-driving features can now be enjoyed in all other countries. Well, almost all other countries. In addition, he also announced a minor update already in the works for models receiving the autopilot features.
This is not yet that fabled full autonomous driving, a technology that Musk says is still three years or so in the making. Instead, the Autopilot feature is more focused on things like emergency automatic steering, automatic lane changing, and automatic lane parking. The feature set is meant more to assist rather than replace human drivers.
Tesla rolled out the features in the firmware 7 update last Thursday. That launch was mostly for US models of the Model S with a promise for an international roll out soon. That day has come for almost all country with the lone exception of Japan, where autopilot is still under review. Unlike many car makers, the firmware update can be downloaded directly via Wi-Fi or even cellular data, without the need to go through dealers.
Musk also announced version 1.01 of the Autopilot feature. It won't yet include the promised self-parking feature but is instead a laundry list of fixes for features including curve speed adaptation and controller smoothness. Most notable is the improved fleet learning. With the Autopilot feature, Model S cars are able to learn from each other, so eventually even poorly marked roads will be no problem for the cars. No timeline yet, however, on when the said update will roll out.
After breaking ground and breaking Consumer Reports' scoring system, the Tesla Model S is now breaking its heart. Despite praise for being the best performing car the consumer-centric publication has ever tested, it cannot with a clear conscience give it its "Recommended" mark of approval. That is because, based on a survey of 1,400 owners of the electric vehicle, Consumer Reports determined that while the current Model S tops performance, it flunks in reliability, in some parts even faring worse than the 2013 and 2014 models.