Displaying items by tag: Tesla

Tesla to increase prices and keep several stores open

Written on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 07:59

Tesla is planning to increase prices by 3% on all cars except for the new mid-market Model 3.

Recently, Tesla said it would close down several stores in order to pay for a cut in the price of the Model 3 in the US to USD $35,000. The amount of stores to be closed down were not previously specified but Tesla has said that it now plans to close down “about half as many” stores as it makes half the cost savings.

The car manufacturer stated that if more stores were to be kept open, then the prices of their vehicles would have to increase by an average of about 3% worldwide.

Tesla has 378 stores and service locations worldwide but did not identify which ones would be closed.

A company spokesperson stated: “Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months.”

Tesla is planning to conduct online purchases which they claimed would take just a few minutes. The company said that buyers in store will be shown how to buy a Tesla online through their smartphones. They previously stated that if online sales were to increase, it would cause prices to decrease by an average of 6%.

In an attempt to convince customers to purchase their cars online, they said that it had a “generous returns policy” whereby the customer will be able to return a car after 1,000 miles or within seven days. This has been done to significantly decrease the need for test drivers.

Tesla has also said that some of its recently closed stores that used to be in “high visibility locations” will be reopened but with smaller amounts of staff and less cars.

The previous year has been “the most challenging” year in Tesla’s history as a business. The company has been attempting to cut costs as much as possible. In January, they announced a 7% job cut, equating to 3,000 job cuts.

Back in January, company founder Elon Musk stated that the company’s cars were still “too expensive for most people”.

He has been subject to a great deal of controversy over his tweet. Last month, he was held in contempt of court upon the request of the US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, for violating a settlement month which was aimed at limiting his usage of social media.

This issue is due to his previous tweets about the company’s financial situation and some tweets from august last year in which he claimed he secured funds to make the company private.

Mr Musk has until today to officially respond.

Published in Finance

US electrical car maker Tesla has launched its services in the UAE - following an official announcement by Tesla CEO, Elon Musk at the World Government Summit. Tesla has initiated operations in Dubai, and also disclosed plans to open a shop and service station in Abu Dhabi next year.

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk revealed that he planned to invest millions in the UAE on infrastructure including recharging stations - predicting that in the next twelve months consumers will be able to drive anywhere with an electric vehicle. Musk said, "We expect to invest tens of millions of dollars in the UAE for charging, service, and support infrastructure. By next year, you'll be able to travel anywhere in the GCC with an electric vehicle."

Musk believes the biggest challenge facing Tesla is trying to persuade car buyers to switch from petrol to electric, but is excited about expanding operations in the UAE. That said - orders have already started for Tesla's Model S sedan and Model X SUV, which are expected to be delivered this summer. Prices start from Dh275,000 for the Model S and Dh344,000 for the X.

A pop-up shop will be launched in Dubai Mall, a Tesla Ranger support center and service center will be erected near Interchange 2 of Sheikh Zayed Road, which is due to be open in July.

Chairman of the World Government Summit, Mohammad Abdulla Algerawi, then conducted an interview with Tesla's CEO on stage at the World Government Summit - in what was a captivating, thought provoking and ultimately fascinating experience for the large audience assembled to hear the thoughts of the tech visionary.

Musk outlined his vision for his organizations Tesla and SpaceX - and claimed that mass adoption of autonomous vehicles by car manufacturers was going to happen much quicker than people expect.

Musk said: "My guess is that in probably about ten years it will be very unusual for cars to be built that aren't fully autonomous. Almost all cars that will be produced will be capable of full autonomy in about ten years. Tesla cars that are made today have the sensor system necessary for full autonomy and we think probably enough compute power to be safer than a person."

The Chairman of the World Government Summit recalled the time when he first met with Musk at his office in SpaceX in July, 2015, and queried if he had plans to have a presence in the UAE, at that time Musk responded by saying, 'I'm busy in China, so not in the near future'. But in eighteen months he has made the decision to expand to the UAE - so why did the Tesla CEO make the move?

Musk said, "Well things are going reasonably well in China, we had some initial challenges figuring our charging and service infrastructure and various other things, but now it's going very well - so the timing appeared to be good to really make a significant debut in this region starting in Dubai."

When asked what's next in technology, Musk said the most near term impact from a technology standpoint is autonomous cars. Musk said: "It's going to happen much faster than people realize and it's going to be a great convenience to have an autonomous car, but there are many people whose job is to drive - in fact it might be the single largest employer of people is driving in various forms. So we need to figure out new roles for what do those people, but it will be very disruptive and quick."

Musk also added later in the conversation that he fully believes that in the future there will be a Universal Basic Income - simply because he feels there will be very few jobs we can do that can't be done better by a robot.

Published in Government

An American start-up technology company have unveiled its highly anticipated first production vehicle at CES 2017 – and made the bold proclamation that the vehicle would represent a ‘new species’ for personal transportation.

Faraday Future, which has its headquarters in Los Angeles, has held no secret regarding its ambitions in becoming a market leader in developing intelligent electric vehicles. Management for the tech firm previously outlined their desire to overtake Tesla.

Faraday Future have been backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting (YT Jia) – and many analysts feel they are now well placed to seriously mount a challenge to overtake Tesla. The company announced at CES 2017 in Las Vegas that it would begin taking reservations for deliveries in 2018 with a $5,000 deposit for its FF91 model.

However, the electrical car start-up declined to disclose how much the vehicle would cost when it does become commercially available – but it did reveal it was building a factory outside Las Vegas. Industry analysts say it’s clear it’s taking Tesla head on – and revealed that its new vehicle outperformed Tesla on a number of key benchmarks including, battery range, power and acceleration.

One of the key benchmarks show that Faraday offers an estimated 378 miles (604km) of range before needing to be recharged. In contrast Tesla, based on US testing standards, can only offer consumers 315 miles before needing to be recharged.

Vice president of engineering Nick Sampson said it was the beginning of a new era of mobility and the emergence of a new species of vehicle. He said: “This is day one of a new era of mobility. This is the first of a new species. Because Faraday started from scratch, we don't have to follow outdated practices or retrofit existing equipment. We have to flip the auto industry on its head."

The vehicle is packed with technology: It has a semi-autonomous mode which allows for self-parking and multiple modems to connect to the internet. It personalizes settings for each driver and occupant. “Everyone in the car will have their own seat configured for them,” added Sampson.

Peter Savagian, vice president of propulsion for Faraday Future said it’s the fastest electric EV in the entire world – and revealed that the vehicle out-clocked its key rivals in relation to speed. He said: "This is the fastest production electric EV in the world. Our tests show our vehicle accelerates from zero to 60 mph (100 kph) in an eye-popping 2.39 seconds, which out-clocks all of our key rivals.”

Faraday refused to comment on speculation the company was enduring some financial difficulties – with some reports suggesting that they missed a number of payments to suppliers – and were ultimately forced to cut costs.

Those reports come amid news of a cash crunch at Jia's Chinese-based technology group LeEco, which has been rapidly expanding its products and moving into the US market.

Jia appeared at the Las Vegas event, telling the audience in halting English that ‘this car is very, very cool’. The Chinese entrepreneur said he hopes the project will help usher in a new era of mobility which is more environmentally friendly. "Once you have this you can get rid of the other cars in the garage," he said."

Published in Internet of Things

German police said an electric Tesla vehicle crashed into a tourist bus on a motorway on September 28, with the driver claiming he had activated the car’s autopilot mode. It follows an incident in May this year when a Tesla vehicle’s sensor system reportedly failed to distinguish a large white 18-wheel truck and trailer crossing the highway before it in Florida, resulting in a devastating crash.

The driver of the Tesla car in Germany was slightly injured, while the 29 people on board the Danish bus were unhurt in the incident on Wednesday, police in Ratzeburg in Schleswig-Holstein state said. The 50-year-old driver's car hit the bus as it changed lanes outside the northern town of Gudow. The driver told police that he had not removed his hands from the wheel while the autopilot was activated, German press agency DPA reported.

"We will now have to look into why the autopilot didn't work" to prevent the crash, police said in a statement, according to AFP. Available for Tesla's Model S electric cars since October 2015, the driverless autopilot system has come under global scrutiny following fatal crashes in northern China in January and the crash in Florida in May.

The Florida case attracted the attention of a U.S. Senate Committee, which demanded a briefing on the autopilot's role in the accident. Consumer activists have called on the company, founded by PayPal billionaire Elon Musk, to disable the autopilot feature until it is updated to detect whether the driver's hands are on the steering wheel during operation, as the company says they ought to be.

The incident raised serious concerns about the safety of autonomous vehicles. Tesla attempted to avoid blame for the man’s death, claiming that it was Tesla’s first known autopilot death in some 130 million vehicles driven by its customers.

“Among all vehicles in the U.S., there is a fatality every 94 million miles,” the company noted in a statement, which continued to highlight that the car’s autonomous software is designed for users to keep their hands on the wheels to ensure they’re paying attention. “Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still required the driver to remain alert,” said Tesla.

Published in Internet of Things

Apple is reportedly easing its self-driving car project as it plans to map a new route. The New York Times recently reported that the company has closed parts of the project, which it never publicly confirmed, and laid off dozens of employees as part of a “reboot” plan.

The report says the team at what Apple called project Titan had grown to over a thousand, but the project ran into problems, such as trying to stand out from other similar self-driving car projects, by the likes of Google and Uber among others. Apple fueled speculation about the project earlier this year, when it invested in Chinese ride-sharing service Didi Chuxing.

According to the Times report, Apple has moved away from pumping resources into its Titan project after two years. The company is up against market rivals Google, Uber and Tesla which have been making major investments in autonomous vehicles. Uber plans to deploy autonomous vehicles for its ride-sharing services in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It also announced moves to further solidify itself as a trailblazer in driverless cars.

Uber also established a $300 million venture with Chinese-owned, Sweden-based Volvo Cars to develop self-driving cars to be ready for sale by 2021. What’s more, the thriving company is purchasing Otto, a San Francisco startup developing self-driving trucks, to add to its fleet. Uber has been working with Volvo, as two of the founding members of a coalition to push for a unified U.S. legal code for autonomous vehicles. Google, Ford and Lyft are also part of the group.

 

Published in Telecom Vendors

Tesla and Google both agree that autonomous vehicles will make streets safer. The two tech giants are racing towards a driverless future. The benefits of Tesla’s autopilot feature were proven recently when a Tesla Model X vehicle navigated 20 miles of highway on autopilot, saving its passengers’ life. 37-year-old Joshua Neally was driving home in Springfield, Missouri, when he suffered a blockage of his lung arteries which could have killed him if not for his vehicles’ autonomous technology. But the story’s a stark contrast from an incident in May when a man was killed using Tesla’s autopilot mode.

A recent post on Slate.com reveals Joshua Neally’s frightening story of survival and how his Tesla’s incredible technology saved his life. When he was driving home, Neally says he suddenly felt something like “a steel pole through my chest.” He was surrounded by mounting traffic on the highway when the pain started to hit him hard. He knew he needed help as soon as possible. In that moment, Neally told Slate, he calculated that he could more likely reach the hospital by using his car’s autopilot capability as opposed to pulling over and calling for an ambulance.

Neally instructed his Tesla Model X to drive autonomously along the highway to the nearest hospital. The vehicle drove for more than 20 miles before reaching an off-ramp near a hospital in Branson. Having made it that far, Neally took the wheel for the final stretch, and then made his way to the emergency room. Luckily for Neally, he was treated and walked away unharmed. He had suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blockage of lung arteries that reportedly kills 50,000 people a year.

Neally’s story is a milestone in autonomous vehicle history. Autonomous vehicles have received no small amount of criticism in the past year – particularly Tesla – a company at the forefront of the technology along with Google. Tesla suffered a big blow to its reputation after the sustainable automaker announced the first known death caused by a self-driving Tesla model.

The incident occurred on May 7 in Williston, Florida, after driver Joshua Brown, 40, put his Tesla Model S into Tesla’s autopilot mode, which is capable of driving the car on highways. The vehicle’s sensor system reportedly failed to distinguish a large white 18-wheel truck and trailer crossing the highway before it. Tesla says the car attempted to drive full speed under the trailer, “with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S.” It was a horrific incident, with a police report in the Levy County Journal saying the top of the vehicle “was torn off by the force of the collision.”

The incident raised serious concerns about the safety of autonomous vehicles. Tesla attempted to avoid blame for the man’s death, claiming that it was Tesla’s first known autopilot death in some 130 million vehicles driven by its customers. “Among all vehicles in the U.S., there is a fatality every 94 million miles,” the company noted in a statement, which continued to highlight that the car’s autonomous software is designed for users to keep their hands on the wheels to ensure they’re paying attention. “Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still required the driver to remain alert,” said Tesla.

America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the accident. The company said: “Preliminary reports indicate the vehicle crash occurred when a tractor-trailer made a left turn in front of the Tesla at an intersection on a non-controlled access highway. The driver of the Tesla died due to injuries sustained in the crash.”

Another unfortunate incident in July once again thrust Tesla into the spotlight regarding its autonomous technology. According to reports, an art dealer called Albert Scaglione claimed that Tesla’s autonomous feature was responsible for a crash that rolled his Model X on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on July 1. Police said the car crashed into a guard rail and hit the median before landing on its roof. Thankfully Scaglione survived.

This time, however, the blame wasn’t immediately directed at Tesla. Police said the driver was likely to blame seeing as there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest that the vehicles’ autopilot was at fault. In a statement Tesla completely rejected any blame, saying that it had “no reason to believe” that the car’s autopilot was activated at the time of the crash.

"We received an automated alert from this vehicle on July 1 indicating airbag deployment, but logs containing detailed information on the state of the vehicle controls at the time of the collision were never received,” said Tesla in a statement. “This is consistent with damage of the severity reported in the press, which can cause the antenna to fail. As we do with all crash events, we immediately reached out to the customer to confirm they were ok and offer support, but were unable to reach him. We have since attempted to contact the customer three times by phone without success. Based on the information we have now, we have no reason to believe that Autopilot had anything to do with this accident."

It’s not all negative feedback for Tesla’s autonomous mode. A report by The Guardian suggests that Tesla has generated massive fanfare with its autopilot mode and has inspired its consumers, regardless of the risk, to discover what they can do while letting the car drive autonomously. For example, a popular video posted online depicts a man taking a nap while his car navigates busy traffic. But another user claimed that his Tesla was unable to see lines on the road before it during bright sunlight in the morning or at dusk.

At the end of the day, Tesla’s autonomous technology is a game-changer, and could revolutionize driving as we currently know it. The major issue many reports have highlighted regarding autonomous technology in cars is people being too trusting. It can be tempting for a driver to use autopilot as a scapegoat to relax and completely ignore the road, when in reality, companies like Tesla strictly advise drivers using autonomous mode to concentrate on the road ahead. It also presents an opportunity for drivers to shift the blame of their actions on the technology in the vehicle, which puts companies like Tesla in a difficult position where it has to defend itself against tough questions about its responsibility in collisions.

When Google tested its self-driving car prototype a few years ago on its employees, the testers noticed that once behind the wheel of the modified Lexus SUV, the drivers quickly got distracted with rummaging through their bags or playing on their phones and taking their hands off the steering wheel – all while travelling on a freeway at 60mp/h.

“Within about five minutes, everybody thought the car worked well, and after that, they just trusted it to work,” said Chris Urmon, head of Google’s self-driving car program. “It got to the point where people were doing ridiculous things in the car.” After witnessing these incidents, Google opted to work on its algorithms until they are completely human proof before allowing people to use its autonomous technology in public.

The important thing to remember, in reference to the recent incident with Mr. Neally, is that his Tesla’s autonomous mode increased his chances of survival by taking away the burden of having to drive the vehicle the whole way to the hospital himself, but he still had to drive at the end. In its current form, autopilot mode is only able to be used for navigating highways. Even companies as advanced as Tesla are still far from producing a completely autonomous vehicle that needs no assistance at all.

 

Published in Reports