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How Tesla's Autopilot and Google's Car Are Entirely Different Animals ( 142

Hallie Siegel writes: Developers and futurologists have long talked of two paths to autonomous cars: the incremental path (where autonomous features such as adaptive cruise control, autonomous parking etc are slowly added to make the car increasingly autonomous) and the revolutionary path that abandons the human driver altogether — the Google car approach. Robocar expert Brad Templeton compares Tesla's latest autopilot technology to the approach Google is taking, explaining why some people think autonomous cars are still decades away, while others believe they are just around the corner.

Orange County Developer To Install Tesla Batteries In Two Dozen Buildings ( 89

Lucas123 writes: The Irvine Company, a Newport Beach-based real estate developer that is a dominant landlord in Orange County, plans to install Tesla commercial batteries in two dozen of its buildings around Irvine Spectrum and John Wayne Airport. The project is the first of its kind of that size. The batteries will charge during non-peak hours and distribute power to the buildings during peak hours, a process that's expected to save the developer up to 10% of its energy costs or about $1 million a year.

Tesla Model S Has Been Hacked 262

cartechboy writes: First, it was Chrysler last month with its Uconnect system being hacked while being driven down the road. Now, it's Tesla's turn. That's right, the Silicon Valley automaker's very own Model S electric car has been hacked by two white-hat hackers. The duo were able to manipulate the speedometer, lock and unlock the car, and at speeds of less than 5 mph they were able to make all the electronics go blank and shut down the car while engaging the emergency parking brake dragging the car to a stop. Tesla's already issued a software update that owners can download to path the security flaw. Welcome to the new world where cars can be hacked thanks to all their electronics.

Tesla Presses Its Case On Fuel Standards 291

An anonymous reader writes: Tesla is preparing their case to leave federal mileage and emissions regulations intact, or make them even more strict. In addition, the company is fighting other car makers from loosening more stringent regulations in California. The WSJ reports: "Tougher regulations could benefit Tesla, while challenging other auto makers that make bigger profits on higher-margin trucks and sport-utility vehicles. Tesla's vice president of development, Dairmuid O'Connell, plans to argue to auto executives and other industry experts attending a conference on the northern tip of Michigan that car companies can meet regulations as currently written. 'We are about to hear a lot of rhetoric that Americans don't want to buy electric vehicles,' Mr. O'Connell said in an interview ahead of a Tuesday presentation in Traverse City, Mich. 'From an empirical standpoint, the [regulations] are very weak, eminently achievable and the only thing missing is the will to put compelling products on the road.'"

Tesla Rewards Hackers With Bug Bounty 33

An anonymous reader writes: Tesla Motors is offering up to $1,000 to anyone who uncovers security issues on its website. Forbes reports that the program is not yet available for its vehicles however. Using a security crowdsourcing company called Bugcrowd, researchers have found 22 bugs for Tesla so far. A statement on the Tesla Bugcrowd page reads in part: "We are committed to working with this community to verify, reproduce, and respond to legitimate reported vulnerabilities. We encourage the community to participate in our responsible reporting process."

Elon Musk Bailed Out of $6bn Google Takeover To Save Tesla From 2013 Bankruptcy 118

An anonymous reader sends word that Elon Musk almost sold Tesla to Google in 2013 when the company was close to bankruptcy. "Elon Musk had a deal to sell his electric car company Tesla, to Google for $6bn (£4bn) when it was heading for bankruptcy with just two weeks' worth of cash left in the bank. During the first week of March 2013, Musk spoke to his friend Larry Page, chief executive of Google, about the search giant buying his car company, which at the time was suffering from falling sales amid technical problems with the few Model S luxury sedan cars it had delivered. Ashlee Vance, author of upcoming book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, claims in an extra for Bloomberg two people 'with direct knowledge of the deal' said Musk and Page agreed to the buyout and shook on a price of around $6bn. This was plus promises from Google to invest $5bn for factory expansion and to not break Tesla up or close it down."

Tesla Factory Racing To Retool For New Models 257

An anonymous reader notes this story about what Tesla will have to do in order to double production every year for the next several years as Elon Musk intends. "Having just reported a $107.6-million fourth-quarter loss that sent its stock tumbling, Tesla Motors Inc. intends to double vehicle production in the next year as it finally introduces its Model X sport utility vehicle — after about two years of delays. Meanwhile, Tesla is racing to finish the design of its Model 3, the "affordable" Tesla, expected to sell in the $30,000 range after government subsidies. Musk's company is chasing General Motors Co., which plans a 2017 release of its all-electric Bolt, with a similar price and 200-mile driving range between charges."

Tesla Wants Texas Auto Sales Regulations Loosened 137

An anonymous reader writes Tesla decided not to build its new $5 billion battery factory in Texas, but the company still wants to sell its electric cars directly over the Internet there. The automaker hopes that the possibility of future investment in the state will be enough to overcome the Texas Automobile Dealers Association lobby and change dealership laws. From the article: "Diarmuid O'Connell, Tesla's vice president for business development admits that getting the law changed won't be easy. 'Does the fact that we didn't site the factory there complicate things? Absolutely,' O'Connell said. 'But we're going to be doing a number of big battery factories in the coming years and we're going to need new vehicle factories as well, and there's a certain logic to doing those in Texas.' He didn't elaborate, but added that the state may not be so attractive if current sales regulations stand. 'If we're banned in Texas, why are we investing billions of dollars here?,' O'Connell asked."

Multiple Manufacturers Push Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars, But Can They Catch Tesla? 293

MojoKid writes After years of working on prototype vehicles, multiple car companies have announced a major push for hydrogen fuel cell automobiles. At the LA Auto Show last week, Toyota showed off its Mirai, a four-door passenger sedan with a $57,500 base sticker price and a hydrogen-only fuel system. Honda recently delayed its hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle until 2016, while Hyundai is planning to build 1000 fuel-cell powered Tucson's by the end of the year. Currently, most proposed hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are actually combined hydrogen-electric designs. Hydrogen gas, under enormous pressure, is used to drive a generator, which then charges a lithium-ion battery. Toyota plans to sell up to 3,000 Mirai a year by 2017, which would put it well below Tesla's own sales projections for its Model S — but at a lower overall price point. The pressurized fuel tanks in the Mirai can hold a total of 122 liters of hydrogen for an estimated range of 300 miles. A standard gasoline-powered car with a 122L capacity at 30mpg would be capable of traveling 960 miles. Proponents of hydrogen point to the vastly improved fueling time (roughly equal that of gasoline) as opposed to the 20-60 minutes required to recharge a vehicle like Tesla's Model S.

Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales 256

An anonymous reader writes As many expected, Michigan Governor Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that bans Tesla Motors from selling cars directly to buyers online in the state. When asked what Tesla's next step will be, Diarmuid O'Connell, vice president of business development, said it was unclear if the company would file a lawsuit. "We do take at their word the representations from the governor that he supports a robust debate in the upcoming session," O'Connell said. "We've entered an era where you can buy products and services with much greater value than a car by going online."

Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales 294

cartechboy writes It's a story we've come to see quite often: a state trying to ban Tesla's direct sales model. It seems something sneaky just happened in Michigan where Tesla sales are about to be banned. Bill HB 5606 originally intended to offer added protection to franchised dealers and consumers from price gouging by carmakers, and was passed by the Michigan House in September without any anti-Tesla language. However, once it hit the Senate wording was changed that might imply the legality of a manufacturer-owned dealership was removed. The modified bill was passed unanimously by the Senate on October 2, and then sent back to the House that day where it passed with only a single dissenting vote. The bill was modified without any opportunity for public comment. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has less than a week to sign the bill into law. Of course, Tesla's already fighting this legislation.

Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand" 267

cartechboy writes There's been plenty of skepticism when it comes to Tesla. The Silicon Valley startup unveiled an all-electric car that stunned the world and had many other automakers rolling their eyes. Fast forward to 2014 and Tesla's preparing to launch its third model, the Model X. Production of the Model S sedan is humming along, and this new automaker continues to make headlines multiple times a week. Industry veteran Bob Lutz was the champion behind the Chevrolet Volt, and has been quite vocal about Tesla from the beginning. So what's his view on the company now? He said Tesla will remain a "fringe brand" until it launches its next generation of vehicles and the smaller, less expensive Model 3. Speaking Wednesday on CNBC's "Squawk Alley" finance show he said that Tesla's stock price was "kinda high" at the moment.

Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State 156

cartechboy writes Unless you've been in a coma for a while you're aware that many dealer associations have been causing headaches for Tesla in multiple states. The reason? They are scared. Tesla's new, different, and shaking up the ridiculously old way of doing things. But the thing is, Tesla keeps winning. Now Ward's commenter Jim Ziegler, president of Ziegler Supersystems in Atlanta, wrote an opinion piece that basically says Tesla's going to prevail in every state against dealer lawsuits. He says Tesla's basically busy defending what are nuisance suits. This leads to the question of whether there will be some sort of sweeping federal action in Tesla's favor.

Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000? 393

cartechboy writes How low can battery costs go, and how fast? That's the question automakers are dealing with when it comes to the future of electric cars. Tesla is betting big on electric and has already proven many skeptics wrong with its Model S sedan. The company is making even bolder claims with its upcoming Model 3 stating it'll have about 200 miles of range and a base price of $35,000. That's a nice goal, but is it possible. Battery skeptic Menahem Anderman wrote a new report suggesting that the pace of cost reduction for electric car batteries won't be as swift as Tesla's CEO Elon Musk suggests. This leads Anderman to predict the actual price of the upcoming Model 3 will be in the range of $50,000-$80,000.

Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone 260

AmiMoJo writes In his press conference, Elon Musk stated that the factory will produce all of its own energy using a combination of solar, wind, and geothermal. looks at the feasibility of the plans. Spoiler alert: it looks possible, though some storage will be required. Fortunately, if there is one thing the Gigafactory won't be short of it's batteries. From the article: "The numbers don’t lie. The site could realistically produce more than 2900 MWh of renewable electricity each day ... 20% more than it needs. These are conservative estimates on production and worst-case estimates on consumption, and it’s clear that there’s enough renewable energy to run the plant with some to spare."

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