Tesla driver in fatal 2018 crash had reported 'Autopilot' problems before, NTSB finds

A Tesla driver in California died in a March 2018 crash while using the Autopilot driver-assistance system.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) disclosed in documents made public Tuesday that Walter Huang, the 38-year-old Apple software engineer killed by his Tesla, previously reported that on prior trips his car steered away from the highway by itself. Read the rest

Watch the Tesla Cybertruck go... Back to the Future!

Don't miss the license plate. (Elon McFly) Read the rest

Man buys used Tesla with autopilot. Tesla remotely disables autopilot: "not a feature that you had paid for"

A fellow identified as Alec in this Verge story bought a Tesla at an auction, which was advertised as having “Enhanced Autopilot” and “Full Self Driving Mode.” Soon after Alec started driving the car, these features were deactivated without warning. Alec contacted Tesla and received the following explanation:

Tesla has recent identified instances of customers being incorrectly configured for Autopilot versions that they did not pay for. Since, there was an audit done to correct these instances. Your vehicle is one of the vehicles that was incorrectly configured for Autopilot. We looked back at your purchase history and unfortunately Full-Self Driving was not a feature that you had paid for. We apologize for the confusion. If you are still interested in having those additional features we can begin the process to purchase the upgrade.

If Alec wants to get these software features reactivated he'll have to pay Telsa $8,000 to get them to press a keyboard button.

From The Verge:

With a normal car’s built-in features, even ones that may depend on software, it’s reasonable to think a technician or mechanic would need to physically access the car to remove it. Even with a technology product like a laptop or smartphone, updates generally can’t be forcibly rolled back without the consent of the owner — unless the device has special IT software installed. In those cases, the company generally owns the device or has the owner sign a legal agreement anyhow.

Tesla’s over-the-air updates have caused anxiety before. This kind of control by a carmaker wasn’t possible until recently, and Alec’s situation raises questions about what used car owners can expect in the future.

Read the rest

Coronavirus outbreak to delay Tesla deliveries, says electric car VP on Weibo

Shares of Tesla Motors were down 19% on Wednesday after a senior executive with the electric vehicle company warned of delivery delays for Model 3 cars made at its Shanghai plant, because of the ever-worsening coronavirus outbreak in China. Read the rest

Here's what full self driving autopilot "sees"

From The Tesla Show Twitter feed: "What unreleased FSD Autopilot sees. Straight from Tesla Autopilot recruiting website."

From the job description:

Apply cutting-edge research to train deep neural networks on problems ranging from perception to control. Our per-camera networks analyze raw images to perform semantic segmentation, object detection and monocular depth estimation. Our birds-eye-view networks take video from all cameras to output the road layout, static infrastructure and 3D objects directly in the top-down view. Our networks learn from the most complicated and diverse scenarios in the world, iteratively sourced from our fleet of nearly 1M vehicles in real time. A full build of Autopilot neural networks involves 48 networks that take 70,000 GPU hours to train ?. Together, they output 1,000 distinct tensors (predictions) at each timestep.

Image: Twitter screengrab Read the rest

Elon Musk's Tesla denies claims of unintended acceleration in vehicles

Petition demands recall of 500,000+ cars over alleged defect

Electric car maker Tesla said on Monday there was no unintended acceleration in its vehicles, as petition signature-gatherers demanding a federal safety investigation have claimed. Read the rest

Tesla driver who failed to close gullwing door makes a costly mistake

It seems like Tesla should have some kind of warning system that forces you to press an override icon if you really want to drive with the door open.

Model X oopsie from r/IdiotsInCars

Image: Reddit video screenshot Read the rest

Tesla must face lawsuit alleging racism, 'n-word' use at Elon Musk's California factory

Some news you may have missed on New Year's Eve -- a federal judge has rejected efforts by Elon Musk's Tesla to dismiss claims brought by two former California employees that the car factory where they worked was a racist environment. The judge's decision clears the way for a trial, which is scheduled for May 11, 2020. Read the rest

Tesla Cybertruck in LEGO

BrickinNick created this LEGO model of the new Tesla Cybertruck. BrickinNick posted it to the LEGO Ideas site. If enough people like the design, it could become an actual LEGO product. From the LEGO Ideas specs:

While its design may not be for everyone, many different elements and functions of the Cybertruck lend themselves well to an electrifying LEGO build. At this time, only the frunk (front trunk) and tailgate function. Opening passenger doors, a full interior, fold or slide out ramp, opening charging ports, steering, suspension, the Tesla ATV, and more could all be integrated (and are being worked on for future project updates) making for an incredibly fun building experience. LEGO motorization could even turn this into a truly all-electric vehicle in brick form!

Dimensions: 35.6 cm L x 15.2 cm W x 12.7 cm H (14" L x 6" W x 5" H)

Read the rest

Tesla Cybertruck fixed with vaporwave

At r/VaporwaveAesthetics, gdj11 adds a dixie cup to Elon Musk's shatterproof Homer truck and gives the world a better vision of the aesthetic. [via Scalzi] Read the rest

Watch: Tesla's Cybertruck "Armor Glass" fail

While unveiling his new Cybertruck, Elon Musk asked one of his colleagues to demonstrate the toughness of its "Armor Glass" windows by throwing a metal ball at them. Read the rest

Tesla just announced a... DeLorean Monster Truck?

The Tesla truck is here. Its stainless steel hide can withstand sledgehammer blows, but its windows are not quite so impervious to enemy action. It's not clear how long it takes to go from 0-88 MPH, but I'm certain we'll find out. Jalopnik:

Tesla chose to unveil this here and now because Musk loves Blade Runner. And to date, he’s made some wild claims about what it can do: out-truck a Ford F-150, outperform a Porsche 911, be “literally bulletproof” and ideally start under $50,000. It’s also “the official truck of Mars.”

The man’s a lot of things, but modest isn’t one of them. ...

a 14,000-pound tow claim, a 3,500-pound payload claim, three ranges (200 miles, 300 miles and 500 miles), adaptive air suspension and a base price of $39,900 for the rear-wheel drive single-motor version. The max range version, with all-wheel drive and three electric motors, is said to be $69,900.

Production is said to be coming in late 2021, and the tri-motor version is happening in 2022, Musk said.

This is absolutely a survivalist fantasy vehicle. Magical. Read the rest

Watch how a Tesla in autopilot mode avoids plowing into a group of ducks crossing the road

This seems like some impressive trolley problem decision-making.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

The world's first Tesla pickup truck

Master maker Simone Giertz and her friends transformed her Tesla Model 3 into an electric pickup truck. Their fake TV commercial is above; build video below. TRUCKLA: Available nowhere. Now.

Read the rest

Tesla car captures the gentlemen vandalizing it

Tesla cars have a "sentry mode" feature that amounts to dashcams pointed hither and yon: useful for video-recording accidents, road ragers, and vandals.

Entire right side of car keyed and dented. Merica

The vandals' self-satisfied grinning really makes it. According to Reddit's crack team of investigators, it was at this location in old Town Sacramento and they were driving a Silver or Grey Dodge Ram pickup. Read the rest

Researchers find mountains of sensitive data on totalled Teslas in junkyards

Teslas are incredibly data-hungry, storing massive troves of data about their owners, including videos of crashes, location history, contacts and calendar entries from paired phones, photos of the driver and passengers taken with interior cameras, and other data; this data is stored without encryption, and it is not always clear when Teslas are gathering data, and the only way to comprehensively switch off data-gathering also de-activates over-the-air software updates for the cars, which have historically shipped with limited or buggy features that needed the over-the-air updates to fix them. Read the rest

Tesla sued for death of 18-year-old in car accident, defective battery blamed

In Illinois today, a law firm announced they are filing a lawsuit against Tesla to hold the electric car maker accountable for a teen who died in an accident involving a car they say had a defective battery pack. Read the rest

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