Tesla

Tesla Model 3- Its Here

As Tesla delivered the first few Model 3 production units today, I had the chance to drive one around the Fremont factory.

This is one part of a series of posts from the Model 3 unveiling. You can read the other parts here:

Here’s a quick report on my short time with the highly anticipated electric car.

The first few vehicles produced by Tesla are being delivered to executives and employees and a few of them were nice enough to allow reporters to drive them around the Fremont factory earlier today. Unfortunately, we were not allow to take pictures or film the test drive.

Nonetheless, I got to drive a brand new Midnight Silver Model 3 with 19″ ‘Sport’ wheels (the non-aero ones).

The first thing that comes to mind when seeing the vehicle in person is that it is indeed a Tesla. It might be half the price of the Model S, but it does look and feel like a ~20% smaller Model S with a design refresh. Of course, that’s just how it looks, but it also features several updated systems, including a new architecture.

A walk around shows nothing new that we haven’t seen in the countless recent sightings, but the glass roof is definitely a standout feature – it looks great in person, especially from the back:

Now you have to actually get in the car. Tesla is parting ways with its concept of using a key fob that looks like the car and instead, it will rely primarily on the owner’s phone.

Tesla’s app will take an increasingly more important role and the Model 3 will be Bluetooth connected to your phone in order to automatically unlock the doors as you approach.

If your phone is dead or you don’t have it on you for whatever reason, Tesla provides a keycard with a NFC chip. You just have to swipe on the B pillar and it will unlock the doors:

The Inside

 

Now once you are inside, you can admire the minimalist interior of the Model 3.

While the center 15″ touchscreen almost jumps in your face, the long straight dash almost steals the show:

I didn’t have a lot of time to play with the user interface of the screen, but it almost looks exactly like each of Tesla’s current apps but in different formats to fit on the horizontal display:

The left side is definitely more animated when in drive. The renders of the Model 3 and surrounding vehicles appear on the screen like they do on the instrument cluster of current Model S and Model X vehicles with Autopilot.

The area which shows charging information above changes when the car is in drive to display gears and speed of the car. There’s also a very small animation of the power consumption.

I wasn’t comfortable with looking at it too much while driving, but I have to assume that drivers could get used to it after an extended period.

The car was so new that it was still calibrating its Autopilot sensors when I drove it, which means that I couldn’t activate Autopilot.

Tesla Model 3 Dashboard

But I was assured that it was the latest version currently available in the new Model S and Model X vehicles. The biggest difference is the way the driver activates it since it is now on the gear selector, as we recently reported.

You need to tap down twice in order to activate the features where it is available.

As for the driving experience itself, it felt a lot like a Model S 60 with a 0-60 acceleration of 5.1 seconds.

Despite being about 1,000 pounds lighter than the Model S, it felt very solid with sharp handling, especially in “sport” steering mode. It benefits from the same architecture as its predecessors with the battery pack laying flat close to the ground between the axles.

I honestly didn’t have enough time with the car to form a valuable opinion on the driving experience, but my first impression is that it feels solid for a vehicle of its size and again, very comparable to the base Model S in term of driving.

I did notice that the regenerative braking is significantly weaker than I anticipated, but I am now used to the regen of my Model S P85, which is quite strong.  It is possible that regen strength could get stronger on future dual-motor versions of the Model 3, or a performance version if it ever comes.

This one part of a series of posts from the Model 3 unveiling. You can read the other parts here:

Source: https://electrek.co/2017/07/29/tesla-model-3-first-drive-experience/

 

Tesla Solar Roof- Powerwall 2

Tesla Just unveiled a game changer in the Solar world. Tesla Solar Roof is an integrated Solar panel into a roofing material. This product is both functional and beautiful

Musk said the secret to the Tesla solar roof appearance is a special coating that becomes more or less see-through depending on your viewing angle. He described it as a series of micro louvers that work like a privacy screen on a laptop, and said the company is working with 3M on the tech. The effect is dramatic in person. From shallow angles, the tiles appear nontransparent. But as your viewing angle approaches 90 degrees, the underlying solar cell becomes more and more visible. The result is a tile that permits the passage of sunlight from overhead, but still looks opaque to anyone at ground level.

For those concerned about the strength of the Tesla solar roof made of glass tiles, Musk showed the audience footage of a drop test to demonstrate that the glass was tougher than materials like clay and slate. “It’s never going to wear out, it’s made of quartz, it has a quasi-infinite lifetime,” Musk said.

“We need to make solar panels as appealing as electric cars have become,” Musk said. He wants to make every roof solar, by making it irresistible. “It needs to be beautiful, affordable, and seamlessly integrated. If all of those things are true, why would you go any other direction?” Why, indeed. Musk makes a strong case, but it’s one he only partially supported this evening; Tesla’s panels certainly look good, but Musk provided no details on pricing, availability, or the installation process.

A Better Battery

The solar roofs are designed to be used with the Tesla Powerwall. Version 2.0, which Musk also unveiled today, is a bright white rectangle, and flatter than the first version, which Tesla released in April 2015. It will cost $5,500 for 14kWh of storage and 7kWh peak power draw. That’s enough to power a four bedroom house for a day.

The new roof and battery are both part of Musk’s master plan to save the world through sustainable energy. Yes, you could go out and buy a solar system now, but the large, purple-black sheets of glass don’t exactly blend in on a period house—or most other properties, for that matter. Beyond a certain grudging respect for your green credentials (and lower utility bills), they don’t make the neighbors jealous in the way a Tesla Model S in the driveway does.

Tesla Releases Full Self Driving Hardware in All Cars

Tesla has released Tesla Full Sell Driving Hardware into all of its cars, including the model 3.

Self-driving vehicles will play a crucial role in improving transportation safety and accelerating the world’s transition to a sustainable future. Full autonomy will enable a Tesla to be substantially safer than a human driver, lower the financial cost of transportation for those who own a car and provide low-cost on-demand mobility for those who do not.

We are excited to announce that, as of today, all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory – including Model 3 – will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver. Eight surround cameras provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.

To make sense of all of this data, a new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation runs the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software. Together, this system provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.

Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience. While this is occurring, Teslas with new hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available on Teslas with first-generation Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control. As these features are robustly validated we will enable them over the air, together with a rapidly expanding set of entirely new features. As always, our over-the-air software updates will keep customers at the forefront of technology and continue to make every Tesla, including those equipped with first-generation Autopilot and earlier cars, more capable over time.

 

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