The Tesla Model 3 reminds me of all the times the electronics failed in my first car

Sometimes, mechanical simplicity is better

Tesla recently unveiled its car for the masses, the Model 3. Priced at $35,000, it’s an impressive vehicle that looks to update the automotive experience by turning the car into a gadget. But there was something in there that makes me pause. My colleague Lauren Goode noted that Elon Musk took minimalism seriously and in addition to the single display screen and missing vents, fixtures like the interior handles have been replaced with buttons. This worries me, because I’m reminded of all the times something went wrong with the electronics in my first car.

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Watch Tesla’s Autopilot Brake for a Crash Before It Even Happens

Since Tesla released Version 8.0 of its Autopilot system this summer, CEO Elon Musk has touted its lifesaving potential. Today, dashcam footage from the Netherlands showed just how powerful the new safety feature can be.

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In the video, the Tesla can be heard warning of a potential collision due an (unseen) braking vehicle one car ahead. The Autopilot then hits the brakes—while the middle vehicle zooms forward and causes a wreck.

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Tesla’s Autopilot will now stick to the speed limit

And the promised Enhanced Autopilot update is still awaiting validation.

Autopilot-enabled Teslas are about to become slightly more conservative drivers. The company’s latest software update will match the top speed to the posted speed limit when the vehicle’s Autosteer function is engaged, TechCrunch reports today. In the previous version, Autopilot was allowed to speed by about five mph on undivided highways, but the new cap won’t apply on freeways where the system is limited to 90 mph.

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Tesla cars will get even quicker through a software update

Both the Model S and Model X will deliver added bragging rights.

Tesla isn’t done wringing every last drop of performance out of its electric cars, apparently. Elon Musk has revealed that a December software update will improve the off-the-line acceleration of both the Model S and Model X in their ultimate P100D trim levels when using their “Easter egg” (read: Ludicrous) modes. In both cases, it should shave a tenth of a second off both their 0-60MPH and quarter mile times. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a big deal for EVs that are already competitive with the quickest cars on the planet. The 2.4-second 0-60 time for the Model S could make Bugatti Chiron drivers nervous, and a 2.8-second launch for the Model X would put the Bentley Bentayga to shame.

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Tesla to unveil “unexpected” new product October 17

Tesla will unveil something on Monday October 17, according CEO and founder Elon Musk. It’ll be a new product, he said in a Tweet on Sunday, which will be “unexpected by most,” and which will be separate from a Tesla/SolarCity product unveiling on the 28th.

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Tesla preps an extra long-range battery for its electric cars

You could see 100D versions of the Model S and Model X in the near future.

Tesla has dropped hints that it’s ready to extend the range of its electric cars (there was an allusion to a “P100D” hidden in firmware), but it now looks like that long-distance technology is getting closer to fruition. Dutch regulators have approved 100D and P100D versions of both the Model S and Model X, hinting that a 100kWh power pack might soon hit the streets. If the listings are accurate, the Model S would get a whopping 380 miles on a charge — no mean feat when the 90D can ‘only’ manage 294 miles. The Model X would likely have a shorter range given that the existing SUV officially tops out at 257 miles, but it’s reasonable to say that you’d get over 300 miles on a charge.

There’s no official word on when you’d see 100D variants on the street, let alone how much they’ll cost. They’ll likely make the 60D seem like a bargain. Whatever price they’ll carry, they’ll bring Tesla one step closer to its dreams of cars that can drive cross-country (eventually, by themselves). And if history is any indication, the higher battery capacity will come along with a performance boost — add Ludicrous Mode and both EVs could put even the better supercars to shame in terms of short-distance acceleration.

 

Forget ‘Tesla Semi,’ Mercedes already has world’s first all-electric truck

Mercedes-Benz Trucks' Urban eTruck

When Elon Musk revealed that Tesla is planning to produce an all-electric commercial vehicle platform called “Tesla Semi,” it came as quite a surprise to a lot of people. That’s because it seemed virtually no one else was thinking about electric semi trucks.

Turns out, though, Mercedes-Benz has been hotly engineering a semi truck EV for some time. To underscore that fact, it unveiled its Urban eTruck concept.

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Elon Musk reveals Tesla’s master plan

Elon Musk plans to steer Tesla towards fully autonomous driving, car sharing, and cargo transport, according to the long awaited blog post on the company’s website. A fully solar power ecosystem driven in-part by SolarCity will help Musk and Co. get there.

Musk has been teasing the master plan part II for days. What would be in it? Would Tesla cars fly? Would they go to space? What does Lana Del Rey have to do with it? Why is Elon Musk talking about crack on Twitter?

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