It feels like Google/Alphabet’s self-driving car project has been at a bit of a yellow light lately, with the recent departure of its technical lead & director Chris Urmson and other key members being the biggest sign of trouble. Now, Reuters reports that the Mountain View company has hired ex-Airbnb executive Shaun Stewart as “a director of the self-driving car project” (albeit not a replacement for Urmson), and that his role will be “to help commercialize Google’s self-driving technology.”
Cars Stories August 27, 2016
Cars Stories August 4, 2016
Nissan today in Rio unveiled its BladeGlider “working prototype” which combines electric powertrain with a futuristic design and moderate 268 horsepower split between two rear 130kW electric motors. Max speed is quoted as nearly 200km/h (125 miles/hour), with 0-100km/h (0-62) taking less than five seconds. No information was given on the battery pack size but as this is a two model exhibition car, it is likely to differ in a big way from any possible related production car.
The system features torque vectoring, controlling the torque delivered to the driven wheels, improving the handling even further. With torque vectoring, if the car starts to understeer, it automatically sends more torque to the outside wheel to restore the handling balance. Designed to add to the driving experience rather than govern it, the torque vectoring system has three settings: off, agile and drift mode. Power is supplied by a high performance, five module lithium-ion 220kW battery. Bespoke cooling systems have been developed for both the battery and the motors.
Cars Stories July 19, 2016
Electric vehicle enthusiasts and some automakers have been calling for more homogeneity in charging standards. Some progress has been made, but ultimately, it looks like we will have to wait to see which standards will prevail and which will become obsolete.
In the meantime, we are starting to see some interesting charging stations using several different standards at the same location. Tesla has even been participating in a few of these stations around the world, but its latest, which happens to be its first Supercharger in the Czech Republic, is particularly impressive. expand full story
Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research, also known as CU-ICAR, is home to the university’s renowned Automotive Engineering program. Clemson has been producing top automotive engineers for years and more recently, the architect behind the traction control system of Tesla’s Dual Motor powertrain, PhD Justin Sill.
Now Electrek has learned that instead of hiring Clemson students, Tesla is going directly to the source and hired CU-ICAR Professor Paul Venhovens. expand full story
Cars Stories July 18, 2016
Earlier today, we reported on Tesla quickly renewing the referral program for the fifth round with again a $1,000 discount on both the Model S and X, but at the time, Tesla had yet to reveal the prizes for the referrers.
Now the company released the list and there’s no big surprise. The small prizes are similar, the automaker will still raffle a Model X P90D with Ludicrous mode, but most interestingly, the company refers to an upcoming ‘Tesla unveiling event’ without specifying for what product. expand full story
As we discussed when Tesla announced its last round of the referral program, the automaker is still tuning the program since the first round over a year ago now. Tesla went through 4 rounds with the latest ending last Friday and each round had different rules, rewards and discounts.
On occasions, Tesla waited a few weeks before launching a new round, but now we learn that the company quickly renewed the referral program for the fifth round with again a $1,000 discount on both the Model S and X. expand full story
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a little late to publish his ‘Part 2’ of the ‘Tesla Secret Master Plan’, which he hoped to reveal last week, but it looks like it was pushed to today. He was a little busy overseeing the successful Falcon 9 launch and landing in Cape Canaveral last night, and the ongoing Dragon mission.
The plan is expected to outline Tesla’s future product lineup as the company transitions from a transportation company to an energy company. In line with the transition, Tesla finally moved its main domain ‘teslamotors.com’ to its recently acquired ‘tesla.com’ over the weekend. expand full story
Tesla recently made a key hire in digital retail and user experience. Electrek has learned that the automaker hired Chester Chipperfield, former Burberry Vice President of Digital and Interactive Design, earlier this month. Chipperfield, who more recently worked at Apple, confirmed the move on his LinkedIn profile.
He is taking over the role of ‘Global Creative Director’ at Tesla after leaving ‘Special Projects’, which is where Apple’s Titan car project (and other ventures) lives, at the Cupertino company earlier this month. expand full story
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
Tesla’s reliability improvements have been helping capacity needs at its service centers, but the recent increase in Model X deliveries added a strain on the workload. A lot of early units need some tuning, which in turn require to free up service hours at Tesla service centers in order to fulfill regular service appointments to perform repairs.
Some Tesla owners are complaining about weeks or sometimes even months of wait time. Jon McNeil, Tesla President, said that he is aware of the issue, which he referred to as a “challenge”, and that Tesla introduced ‘fast lanes’ at service centers to “address minor issues in an expedited way.” expand full story