If you’re reading this article, you know Tesla. You may even be reading this from inside your Model 3 as it’s docked at a Supercharger. As we desperately scramble away from the ceaseless test of will that was 2020, we look toward to the new year with newfound hope and optimism. 2021 is a big year for everyone and everything, including electric vehicles. To help keep you in the know for the future, here are several of the best Tesla alternatives and where they currently lie on their journey up the EV ladder.Expand Expanding Close
2020.48.26: What’s new in the latest Tesla software update?
After much teasing from CEO Elon Musk, Tesla has released its long promised “holiday update.” It is now available over the air to Tesla’s entire EV fleet. The release notes of the Tesla software update 2020.48.26 have a lot of new features to offer Tesla owners.
This post will focus on one of the more robust updates released by Tesla in recent months, version 2020.48.26. Here’s a breakdown of the release notes and what new improvements Tesla drivers can expect from this update.Expand Expanding Close
Tesla Autopilot and Full Self-Driving claims are judged ‘misleading’ by German court
Tesla lost a case in a German court today over how the company advertises its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, which the court judged “misleading.” Expand
Tesla update forks features for Model 3s built pre/post April 2019
Last week we reported that the latest over-the-air Tesla software update improves driving visualization to detect and render traffic cones. Then on Thursday we also shared a video of a Tesla navigating its way through traffic cones, courtesy of Tesla hacker @greentheonly. Now @greentheonly is reporting that the traffic cone feature is only being delivered to Tesla owners with the “Hardware 3” chip (HW3). This is significant, as it’s the first time that software features (in this case, Auto Lane Change and Navigate-on-Autopilot) will be forked for Tesla drivers depending on when their Tesla was built.
Tesla updates Autopilot safety numbers; almost 9x safer than average driving
For more than a year now, Tesla has been releasing Autopilot safety numbers to show that autopilot is safer than a human driver in average driving conditions. In today’s Tesla Q3 update, the company updated those numbers to show that autopilot is nearly 9x times safer than average driving.
There are caveats, of course. Autopilot is primarily used on highways, which have fewer accidents than surface streets because driving conditions are much simpler. And Teslas are generally newer cars, which are also less likely to be involved in accidents than the overall vehicle fleet, which includes old cars without modern active and passive safety features.
Elon Musk: Tesla will stop selling cars [Update: at consumer pricing] once full self-driving is solved
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been talking a lot about Tesla Network lately, part of Tesla’s “Master Plan, Part Deux” which will enable Tesla cars with full self-driving hardware to operate as autonomous robotaxis to generate revenue for owners and for Tesla itself.
This is all still a ways off, but that hasn’t stopped Musk and others from theorizing about what might happen when the technological problems behind self-driving are solved. Recently, Musk stated that any Tesla bought today is an “appreciating asset” due to its potential to be used to generate revenue in the future. But an asset wouldn’t really appreciate unless a new, similar asset couldn’t be bought at the same price. So now, Musk has committed to making that happen, stating that once robotaxis become possible, Tesla will likely stop selling cars to consumers, at least at anywhere near the same price.
Self-driving cross-country trip possible for everyone with a Tesla this year, says Musk
Tesla has been making bold claims about future autonomous driving plans lately, most recently holding an “autonomy investor event” where the company laid out plans for its future full self-driving technology. At that event, Tesla stated that they would be ready to roll out a fully autonomous robotaxi fleet as early as next year, depending on regulations.
Today, CEO Elon Musk pushed that timeline forward a bit, and stated that Tesla’s long-planned autonomous cross-country roadtrip would actually occur later this year. Tesla has made claims in the past about enabling cross-country Autopilot travel, but the news today is that not only will it be possible for Tesla to do this on their own to demonstrate their technology, but that any Tesla owner (*with FSD software) will be able to do the same.
Tesla’s autopilot bait-and-switch does a disservice to early buyers who took them at their word
Along with several other changes in the last few days, one thing Tesla has done is completely reworked how “Enhanced Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving” are differentiated. Features for both of the systems have been shifted around, and FSD, which for a few months wasn’t even available on the cars, is back and available for purchase.
But one of the changes is that Tesla is offering Model 3 owners who already bought the car, but who didn’t previously purchase Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-driving, a discount to purchase the software unlock for either of those systems.
The problem with this is that these systems were originally billed as increasing in price if ordered after delivery, rather than decreasing. Now, early buyers who took Tesla at their word, and paid full price for these systems, are being left out of the price drops, and will end up having paid more than people who buy it now.
Tesla publishes first quarterly Vehicle Safety Report, responding to media coverage of Tesla crashes
Tesla has long complained that media coverage of crashes in Tesla vehicles is overblown. In response to this, the company announced that it would start reporting safety numbers each quarter, detailing the frequency of Tesla crashes, and today Tesla delivered their first report of this kind.
Jaguar delivers its first all-electric I-Pace in the US, Waymo gets them for testing
It sounds like ordering 20,000 vehicles from an automaker gets you on top of the list for deliveries.
Jaguar has now delivered its first production all-electric I-Pace in the US and Waymo got several for testing its autonomous driving technology. Expand
Cadillac Super Cruise expanding to entire lineup/GM vehicles in 2020, here’s our review [video]
Cadillac announced today that its Super Cruise level 2/3 autonomous driving system will be expanding into its other vehicles and to the wider GM lineup of vehicles in 2020. Cadillac calls it the only truly “hands free” autonomous system though other makers might argue semantics.
Cadillac’s Super Cruise is a Tesla (or Mercedes Drive Pilot, Nissan Propilot, etc) Autopilot-like level 2 software that GM puts in its top end CT-6 only for now. GM gave us a demo CT-6 which we did a quick review of, below.
How-to: Update your Chevy Bolt firmware via USB so Android Auto and Google Assistant work beautifully
Google this week announced that it was putting Google Assistant on Android Auto which basically means that your Android phone is now a Google Home/Amazon Echo type of device in your car that you can talk to. This, as opposed to having to push the button on the steering wheel, is great for passengers who want to ruin my music vibe.
Unfortunately, my Chevy Bolt was on an older version of the firmware which apparently isn’t OTA upgradable and cut out Android Auto on my Google Pixel every few minutes. To properly test and use Google Assistant, I was going to need to get a firmware update. Off to the Chevy dealer, right?
EGEB: Climate change rap, Oxford PV gets $15M for perovskite factory, more
Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news. Featured Image Source.
Oxford PV granted financing for perovskite serial production – Oxford PV received an EU bank financing of €15m, to support the transfer of its disruptive perovskite on silicon tandem solar cell technology from lab scale to commercialisation. Plus “The company has demonstrated the necessary parameters in efficiency and stability on its perovskite photovoltaic technology, to engage commercially with major industry players and play a key role in enhancing solar energy supply in the future.” Two items – 1. Perovskite is moving from a lab to a commercial facility. That’s pretty cool. 2. From the quote – ‘necessary parameters in efficiency and stability’ – most perovskite push back has been due to it quickly degrading in sunlight and water. If stability is meeting requirements – then perovskite is getting real.
Thor unveils electric semi prototype, tries to beat Tesla to market and convert other trucks to electric propulsion
Los Angeles-based startup, Thor Trucks, unveiled its new electric semi prototype, the Thor ET-One, on social media and in the press this week.
They are trying to bring the heavy-duty electric vehicle to market before the Tesla Semi hits in 2019 and they also have plans to convert other trucks to electric propulsion. Expand
Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard’s new EV startup is acquired by SF Motors
Earlier this year, we published an exclusive report about Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard’s comeback in the EV space with a new startup. It is an interesting story.
Fast forward to today where we’ve learned that China’s SF Motors, which recently launched in the US, has acquired Eberhard’s startup. Expand
Tesla Autopilot crash caught on dashcam shows how not to use the system
Earlier this week, a Tesla Model S hit a barrier on the highway near Dallas, Texas. The driver, who fortunately wasn’t injured, first blamed Tesla’s Autopilot for the crash.
We now have footage of the accident and it actually shows a situation that the Autopilot probably shouldn’t be expected to be able to handle, at least not yet. Ultimately, it serves as a reminder not to trust the system without paying attention. Expand
Fossil fuel industry is pushing for new electric vehicle fees in several states, says report
Concrete efforts to slow down electric vehicle adoption are taking form. Last week, we reported on the oil and biofuel industries forming an alliance to lobby against electric vehicle incentives and now the same industries are being linked to other efforts to undermine EVs.
A new report links the fossil fuel industry to a series of new legislations being introduced in several states in order to impose fees on electric vehicles. Expand
This week’s top stories: Tesla 2nd-gen Autopilot to reduce crash rate 90%, Model S 100D, upcoming EVs from Hyundai, Audi, & VW, & more
In this week’s top stories: Tesla 2nd-gen Autopilot could reduce crash rate by 90%, Model S 100D update, hints at upcoming EVs from Hyundai, Audi, and VW, and much more.
Intel acquires 15% of HERE to collaborate on mapping tech for autonomous vehicles
Intel has announced it will acquire 15% of mapping company HERE in an effort that will see the two companies collaborate on autonomous vehicle tech, machine learning, and more.
A press release from Intel notes the partnership will focus on development of autonomous vehicle technology it describes as “a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high-definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving.” It also said the two companies will collaborate on opportunities in IoT and machine learning related technology.
This week’s top stories: Tesla Autopilot predicts an accident, Musk teases Supercharger V3, Solar power at 1¢/kWh by 2025, & much more
In this week’s top stories: Tesla’s Autopilot predicts an accident, Solar power at 1¢/kWh by 2025, Elon Musk teases new ‘Tesla Supercharger V3’, and much more.
This week’s top stories: Tesla self-driving hardware w/ ‘Model 3 part 2’, SolarCity + Panasonic, solar news & more
In this week’s top stories: Tesla’s ‘Model 3 part 2’ announcement brings fully self-driving hardware to all its production cars, Tesla/SolarCity announces new Gigafactory-like deals with Panasonic, and we tell you about the largest solar power plant in the world being proposed in Nevada. Expand
Tesla’s new self-driving car can only make you money on the ride-sharing ‘Tesla Network’, not Uber or Lyft
Earlier this summer, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed rumors that Tesla is working on a fully-autonomous ride-sharing/taxi service to compete with Uber and Lyft. He described the concept in his ‘Master Plan Part Deux’:
“You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost.”
With today’s introduction of “enhanced autopilot” features and fully self-driving hardware in all cars, Tesla released more information about the service which it is apparently calling ‘Tesla Network’. Expand
Tesla announces all production cars now have fully self-driving hardware
Once again our readers guessed it right (well 40% of you). You said that today’s announcement would be about Autopilot 2.0/Tesla Vision and you were right. Though Tesla seems to be moving away from the name ‘Autopilot’ since it’s going full autonomous.
The company announced tonight its second generation autonomous driving hardware and confirmed that it is in all vehicle off the assembly line right now. CEO Elon Musk said that will enable full level 5 autonomy.
It’s available in the Model S and X now going forward, and every Model 3 will be equipped with the new hardware suite – hence why Musk referred to the announcement as the ‘Model 3 part 2’, but that’s the extent of the information released today about the upcoming $35,000 all-electric vehicle.
Though there’s plenty to learn about Tesla’s new autonomous hardware suite.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announces unexpected product unveiling Oct. 17th & Tesla SolarCity event Oct. 28
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter this afternoon to announce an unexpected product launch event on October 17th, just a week away. He further noted that the expected Tesla/SolarCity announcement, which he previously hoped to hold at the end of the month, would indeed be on October 28th… Expand