The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that it’s opening an investigation into Tesla Autopilot over its possible involvement in 11 crashes with emergency and first responder vehicles.
Autopilot Stories August 16
Autopilot Stories July 20
Tesla has dropped the price of their FSD Computer/Hardware 3.0 upgrade to $1,000, from the previous price point of $1,500. This applies to vehicles that still have Hardware 2.0/2.5 computers and want to try the new Tesla FSD subscription service rolled out this weekend.
Autopilot Stories July 18
This weekend, Tesla started offering their long-awaited Full Self-Driving subscription package for $199/month. Along with the package, Tesla is offering a $1,500 hardware upgrade for early owners who have old hardware that is not capable of full self-driving tasks.
The problem is, Tesla previously told those same owners that their cars were capable of full self-driving tasks and isn’t allowing those owners to take advantage of the new subscription scheme without paying again for a hardware upgrade that they already paid for.
Update: Tesla has reduced the price of the upgrade to $1,000. Which is still $1,000 more than the appropriate price for something that customers already paid for.
Autopilot Stories January 10
If you’re reading this article, you know Tesla. You may even be reading this from inside your Model 3 as it’s docked at a Supercharger. As we desperately scramble away from the ceaseless test of will that was 2020, we look toward to the new year with newfound hope and optimism. 2021 is a big year for everyone and everything, including electric vehicles. To help keep you in the know for the future, here are several of the best Tesla alternatives and where they currently lie on their journey up the EV ladder.
Autopilot Stories January 5
After much teasing from CEO Elon Musk, Tesla has released its long promised “holiday update.” It is now available over the air to Tesla’s entire EV fleet. The release notes of the Tesla software update 2020.48.26 have a lot of new features to offer Tesla owners.
This post will focus on one of the more robust updates released by Tesla in recent months, version 2020.48.26. Here’s a breakdown of the release notes and what new improvements Tesla drivers can expect from this update.
Autopilot Stories July 14, 2020
Tesla lost a case in a German court today over how the company advertises its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, which the court judged “misleading.” expand full story
Autopilot Stories November 10, 2019
Last week we reported that the latest over-the-air Tesla software update improves driving visualization to detect and render traffic cones. Then on Thursday we also shared a video of a Tesla navigating its way through traffic cones, courtesy of Tesla hacker @greentheonly. Now @greentheonly is reporting that the traffic cone feature is only being delivered to Tesla owners with the “Hardware 3” chip (HW3). This is significant, as it’s the first time that software features (in this case, Auto Lane Change and Navigate-on-Autopilot) will be forked for Tesla drivers depending on when their Tesla was built.
Autopilot Stories October 23, 2019
For more than a year now, Tesla has been releasing Autopilot safety numbers to show that autopilot is safer than a human driver in average driving conditions. In today’s Tesla Q3 update, the company updated those numbers to show that autopilot is nearly 9x times safer than average driving.
There are caveats, of course. Autopilot is primarily used on highways, which have fewer accidents than surface streets because driving conditions are much simpler. And Teslas are generally newer cars, which are also less likely to be involved in accidents than the overall vehicle fleet, which includes old cars without modern active and passive safety features.
Autopilot Stories July 8, 2019
Elon Musk: Tesla will stop selling cars [Update: at consumer pricing] once full self-driving is solved
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been talking a lot about Tesla Network lately, part of Tesla’s “Master Plan, Part Deux” which will enable Tesla cars with full self-driving hardware to operate as autonomous robotaxis to generate revenue for owners and for Tesla itself.
This is all still a ways off, but that hasn’t stopped Musk and others from theorizing about what might happen when the technological problems behind self-driving are solved. Recently, Musk stated that any Tesla bought today is an “appreciating asset” due to its potential to be used to generate revenue in the future. But an asset wouldn’t really appreciate unless a new, similar asset couldn’t be bought at the same price. So now, Musk has committed to making that happen, stating that once robotaxis become possible, Tesla will likely stop selling cars to consumers, at least at anywhere near the same price.
Autopilot Stories May 9, 2019
Tesla has been making bold claims about future autonomous driving plans lately, most recently holding an “autonomy investor event” where the company laid out plans for its future full self-driving technology. At that event, Tesla stated that they would be ready to roll out a fully autonomous robotaxi fleet as early as next year, depending on regulations.
Today, CEO Elon Musk pushed that timeline forward a bit, and stated that Tesla’s long-planned autonomous cross-country roadtrip would actually occur later this year. Tesla has made claims in the past about enabling cross-country Autopilot travel, but the news today is that not only will it be possible for Tesla to do this on their own to demonstrate their technology, but that any Tesla owner (*with FSD software) will be able to do the same.
Autopilot Stories March 4, 2019
Along with several other changes in the last few days, one thing Tesla has done is completely reworked how “Enhanced Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving” are differentiated. Features for both of the systems have been shifted around, and FSD, which for a few months wasn’t even available on the cars, is back and available for purchase.
But one of the changes is that Tesla is offering Model 3 owners who already bought the car, but who didn’t previously purchase Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-driving, a discount to purchase the software unlock for either of those systems.
The problem with this is that these systems were originally billed as increasing in price if ordered after delivery, rather than decreasing. Now, early buyers who took Tesla at their word, and paid full price for these systems, are being left out of the price drops, and will end up having paid more than people who buy it now.
Autopilot Stories October 4, 2018
Tesla has long complained that media coverage of crashes in Tesla vehicles is overblown. In response to this, the company announced that it would start reporting safety numbers each quarter, detailing the frequency of Tesla crashes, and today Tesla delivered their first report of this kind.
Autopilot Stories July 12, 2018
Autopilot Stories June 6, 2018
Cadillac announced today that its Super Cruise level 2/3 autonomous driving system will be expanding into its other vehicles and to the wider GM lineup of vehicles in 2020. Cadillac calls it the only truly “hands free” autonomous system though other makers might argue semantics.
Cadillac’s Super Cruise is a Tesla (or Mercedes Drive Pilot, Nissan Propilot, etc) Autopilot-like level 2 software that GM puts in its top end CT-6 only for now. GM gave us a demo CT-6 which we did a quick review of, below.
Autopilot Stories January 12, 2018
Google this week announced that it was putting Google Assistant on Android Auto which basically means that your Android phone is now a Google Home/Amazon Echo type of device in your car that you can talk to. This, as opposed to having to push the button on the steering wheel, is great for passengers who want to ruin my music vibe.
Unfortunately, my Chevy Bolt was on an older version of the firmware which apparently isn’t OTA upgradable and cut out Android Auto on my Google Pixel every few minutes. To properly test and use Google Assistant, I was going to need to get a firmware update. Off to the Chevy dealer, right?
Autopilot Stories December 28, 2017
Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news. Featured Image Source.
Oxford PV granted financing for perovskite serial production – Oxford PV received an EU bank financing of €15m, to support the transfer of its disruptive perovskite on silicon tandem solar cell technology from lab scale to commercialisation. Plus “The company has demonstrated the necessary parameters in efficiency and stability on its perovskite photovoltaic technology, to engage commercially with major industry players and play a key role in enhancing solar energy supply in the future.” Two items – 1. Perovskite is moving from a lab to a commercial facility. That’s pretty cool. 2. From the quote – ‘necessary parameters in efficiency and stability’ – most perovskite push back has been due to it quickly degrading in sunlight and water. If stability is meeting requirements – then perovskite is getting real.
Autopilot Stories December 13, 2017
Los Angeles-based startup, Thor Trucks, unveiled its new electric semi prototype, the Thor ET-One, on social media and in the press this week.
They are trying to bring the heavy-duty electric vehicle to market before the Tesla Semi hits in 2019 and they also have plans to convert other trucks to electric propulsion. expand full story
Autopilot Stories October 19, 2017
Earlier this year, we published an exclusive report about Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard’s comeback in the EV space with a new startup. It is an interesting story.
Fast forward to today where we’ve learned that China’s SF Motors, which recently launched in the US, has acquired Eberhard’s startup. expand full story
Autopilot Stories March 2, 2017
Earlier this week, a Tesla Model S hit a barrier on the highway near Dallas, Texas. The driver, who fortunately wasn’t injured, first blamed Tesla’s Autopilot for the crash.
We now have footage of the accident and it actually shows a situation that the Autopilot probably shouldn’t be expected to be able to handle, at least not yet. Ultimately, it serves as a reminder not to trust the system without paying attention. expand full story
Autopilot Stories February 27, 2017
Concrete efforts to slow down electric vehicle adoption are taking form. Last week, we reported on the oil and biofuel industries forming an alliance to lobby against electric vehicle incentives and now the same industries are being linked to other efforts to undermine EVs.
A new report links the fossil fuel industry to a series of new legislations being introduced in several states in order to impose fees on electric vehicles. expand full story
Autopilot Stories January 21, 2017
In this week’s top stories: Tesla 2nd-gen Autopilot could reduce crash rate by 90%, Model S 100D update, hints at upcoming EVs from Hyundai, Audi, and VW, and much more.
Autopilot Stories January 3, 2017
Intel has announced it will acquire 15% of mapping company HERE in an effort that will see the two companies collaborate on autonomous vehicle tech, machine learning, and more.
A press release from Intel notes the partnership will focus on development of autonomous vehicle technology it describes as “a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high-definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving.” It also said the two companies will collaborate on opportunities in IoT and machine learning related technology.
Autopilot Stories December 31, 2016
Autopilot Stories October 22, 2016
In this week’s top stories: Tesla’s ‘Model 3 part 2’ announcement brings fully self-driving hardware to all its production cars, Tesla/SolarCity announces new Gigafactory-like deals with Panasonic, and we tell you about the largest solar power plant in the world being proposed in Nevada. expand full story
Autopilot Stories October 19, 2016
Earlier this summer, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed rumors that Tesla is working on a fully-autonomous ride-sharing/taxi service to compete with Uber and Lyft. He described the concept in his ‘Master Plan Part Deux’:
“You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost.”
With today’s introduction of “enhanced autopilot” features and fully self-driving hardware in all cars, Tesla released more information about the service which it is apparently calling ‘Tesla Network’. expand full story
Once again our readers guessed it right (well 40% of you). You said that today’s announcement would be about Autopilot 2.0/Tesla Vision and you were right. Though Tesla seems to be moving away from the name ‘Autopilot’ since it’s going full autonomous.
The company announced tonight its second generation autonomous driving hardware and confirmed that it is in all vehicle off the assembly line right now. CEO Elon Musk said that will enable full level 5 autonomy.
It’s available in the Model S and X now going forward, and every Model 3 will be equipped with the new hardware suite – hence why Musk referred to the announcement as the ‘Model 3 part 2’, but that’s the extent of the information released today about the upcoming $35,000 all-electric vehicle.
Though there’s plenty to learn about Tesla’s new autonomous hardware suite. expand full story
Autopilot Stories October 9, 2016
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter this afternoon to announce an unexpected product launch event on October 17th, just a week away. He further noted that the expected Tesla/SolarCity announcement, which he previously hoped to hold at the end of the month, would indeed be on October 28th… expand full story
Autopilot Stories July 18, 2016
New Tesla Model X owners are reporting receiving their vehicles with a dual front-facing camera housing instead of one for only a single camera. The same housing has been spotted in the Model X before, but what is particularly interesting here is that it could be the first time that it was delivered with the second side exposed. expand full story
Autopilot Stories July 15, 2016
The limits of the Autopilot under its current suite of sensors have been debated for a while, especially since Tesla has been discussing an upcoming second-generation hardware for the program to allow fully autonomous driving.
But last night, Elon Musk announced that “certainly moderate and maybe big advances” are possible with Tesla’s current sensors. expand full story
Autopilot Stories July 14, 2016
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a statement last week confirming that it will investigate the recent Tesla Model X rollover accident in Pennsylvania after the driver claimed that the Autopilot was activated during the crash.
Last week, Tesla said that they couldn’t access the data logs remotely because of the damage on the vehicle, but a spokesperson also said that they “have no reason to believe that Autopilot had anything to do with this accident”. expand full story
Earlier this week, Germany’s Federal Office for Motor Vehicles (KBA) made Tesla owners nervous in Europe after it said that it wouldn’t approve a feature on the roads if it is described as ‘Beta’ following the debate over the use of the word to describe Tesla’s Autopilot features.
But Tesla gained European approval for the Autopilot system in the Netherlands, not in Germany, and the authority in the country is now saying that “no safety concerns” were found in the system, but they will be following the NHTSA evaluation in the US. expand full story
In the now all too familiar and tragic event that occurred on May 7th, 2016, involving one of Ohio’s biggest ‘Teslavangelist’, we now have the official letter (via Reddit) sent to Tesla last Friday, the 8th, from the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). You can read it in full below. expand full story
After the Consumer Watchdog calling for the Tesla to disable the Autopilot following the recent fatal Model S crash while the system was activated, now the respected Consumer Reports magazine is weighing in and also asking Tesla to walk back some of the Autopilot features.
Tesla already responded to the publication saying that they are taking decisions based on “real-world data, not speculation by media”. expand full story
Tesla is reportedly being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over a potential securities law breach regarding the disclosure of the fatal Model S crash in Florida while the driver was using the Autopilot. The investigation is believed to be aiming to determine if the news of the fatal crash was a material information during the $2.3 billion secondary offering announced on May 18, just a week after Tesla learned of the crash.
The company confirmed the accident on June 30, when the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it will probe the Autopilot system over the accident.
Former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt commented on the situation earlier this week and gave some insights into what the SEC could be looking to investigate and what could be the consequences for Tesla. expand full story
Autopilot Stories July 13, 2016
Sterling Anderson, Tesla’s Director of Autopilot Programs, made a rare comment on the recent and evolving situation around his project at the automaker. He said that it’s been “a dark couple of months” for his team after the death of Joshua Brown, the Model S owner involved in an accident in Florida while driving on Autopilot, and the subsequent media coverage of the tragic event. expand full story
Autopilot Stories July 12, 2016
Earlier this week, we reported on an accident involving a Tesla Model X on Autopilot over the weekend. The vehicle reportedly veered off road and hit a guardrail made of large wooden posts. The impact destroyed the passenger side of the Model X and detached the front wheel, but fortunately, both occupants were not injured.
Following the accident, the driver claimed that the Autopilot veered off road on its own, but Tesla has now issued a statement regarding the accident and claims that the data log shows that the driver didn’t respond to an alert to hold the steering wheel, which they say led to the accident. expand full story
Following the news of the fatal crash in a Model S in May, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) implied that Tesla could be planning to disable the Autopilot when drivers are not using it properly, but now Elon Musk gave a quick interview to the publication (Paywall) and says that the company has no plan to disable the Autopilot. expand full story
Autopilot Stories July 11, 2016
The Wall Street Journal reported today after market close that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in the early stage of investigating Tesla (TSLA) over a potential securities law breach regarding the disclosure of the fatal Model S crash in Florida while the driver was using the Autopilot. expand full story
Over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk clarified the automaker’s use of the word ‘Beta’ in reference to the Autopilot system after Germany’s Federal Office for Motor Vehicles (KBA) said that it wouldn’t approve a feature on German roads if it is described as ‘Beta’. The agency said that the ‘beta-phase’ could mean ‘an incomplete status of the software’.
Elon Musk claimed that the word “beta” is not used in the “standard sense” of the word, but to make sure drivers “don’t get comfortable” with the system. expand full story
Ever since the very publicized fatal Florida accident in a Model S while the Autopilot was activated, Tesla’s semi-autonomous driver assist system has been getting its reputation tarnished in the media. Autopilot took blame for a few subsequent incidents, despite nothing currently pointing to the system being the cause of any of the accidents – though NHTSA is now probing the Autopilot over two of them.
Now we learn of yet another crash where the Autopilot was reportedly at play. A Tesla Model X crashed in Montana Saturday night resulting in the SUV driving through a guardrail and going off the road. The driver blames the Autopilot but Tesla has yet to chime in… expand full story
Autopilot Stories July 7, 2016
The timing of the release of these tests with the recent publicized fatal accident on Tesla Autopilot is only coincidental, says Motor Trend. The popular car publications released an interesting report with in-depth comparisons between driver assist and semi-autonomous systems available in vehicles from Tesla, Mercedes, Hyundai and Cadillac.
While Motor Trends doesn’t out right declare a winner, the results of the most important tests clearly points toward Tesla’s Autopilot has the most convenient system, but the publication appears to have edited the piece in reaction to the recent fatal accident in a Model S on Autopilot. expand full story
There’s a new small detail but important development in the investigation of the fatal Tesla Model S crash while the Autopilot system was activated. We now learn that the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed that both a laptop and DVD player were found in the car, but that neither were running when found at the scene. expand full story
A Tesla Model S with a LIDAR sensor mounted on the roof has been spotted around the automaker’s headquarters in Palo Alto last week. Tesla is set to soon release its next generation sensor suite for the Autopilot program, but so far, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made it clear that a lidar sensor is not in the company’s plans.
Maybe things have changed, but it’s unlikely. expand full story
Autopilot Stories July 6, 2016
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a statement confirming that it will investigate the recent Tesla Model X rollover accident in PA “to determine whether automated functions were in use at the time of the crash.”
Tesla also updated an earlier statement to clarify its review of the accident citing very little information about the event due to a lack of contact with the driver. expand full story
Yesterday, we reported on a strange article in which Fortune Magazine tried to make the case that Tesla should have disclosed the fatal Model S accident on Autopilot before raising capital through a secondary offering a few weeks after the fact. The publication claims that the accident was material to Tesla’s stock and therefore, it should have been announced when the company learned of the event and not when NHTSA decided it would launch a preliminary evaluation on June 30.
Elon Musk argued against it being material to Tesla’s valuation in an email to Fortune, but now the publication is somehow trying to use a boilerplate statement from Tesla to prove that Musk and the company previously considered the accident a material event, which is not necessarily the case. expand full story
Yesterday we reported on an accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike where a Tesla Model X hit a guard rail, the concrete median and then rollover. The two occupants came out alive and after the fact, the police said that the driver claimed that the Autopilot was activated when the vehicle crashed.
has now reviewed the logs and says that there’s “no data to suggest that Autopilot was engaged at the time of the incident.” expand full story
Autopilot Stories July 5, 2016
Just a few days after the first fatality in a Model S accident while the Tesla Autopilot was activated came to light, we now learn of another severe Tesla crash while the vehicle was allegedly on Autopilot, but this time with a Model X and fortunately everyone survived.
The crashed happened last Friday (July 1) on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the Bedford exit, about 107 miles east of Pittsburgh. The Model X hit a guard rail and then the concrete median before rolling over and coming to a rest in the middle lane. The driver, Albert Scaglione, told the police that the Autopilot was activated at the time of the accident. expand full story
Following the news of the fatal accident in a Tesla Model S on Autopilot, which happened in May but only came to light last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims that about half of the approximately one million people who died in auto accidents last year would have been saved if the Tesla Autopilot was universally available.
He made the comment in a somewhat strange email conversation with a retired journalist. expand full story