Tag Archives: Tesla

317 – Digital Transportation

In last week’s blog post, I discussed how Amazon is impacting markets through digital transformation. Their easy online services and innovative technologies, including Amazon Go, make it difficult for large department and grocery stores to compete. However, there is one market Amazon has left untouched, and that is the transportation market.

Over the past few decades, transportation has become much more advanced. New technology has brought new ideas to the market, and companies implementing these new ideas are the ones coming out ahead. One of the major new players to make a splash in the automotive market is Tesla, and their development of high-performing autonomous vehicles is one ought to pay attention to.

Tesla is America’s top Electric Car company creating disruption in the automotive market. In recent years, car companies have adopted Tesla’s innovative ideas to create green and autonomous vehicles. The shift from gas to electric is basic, but developing brand new technologies for cars is more complex and challenging to work with. Therefore, car companies are forced to make a leap of death in order to compete: either roll out autonomous vehicles or go bankrupt trying. However, this technology will not come without controversy.

There are many reasons why autonomous driving is disruptive, minus the fact that it will take over millions of driving jobs. Overlooked problems of autonomous driving are the accidents that take place on the road. What if two autonomous vehicles get into an accident? Who is liable when neither person had control of the car? These are issues that need to be addressed legally.

Another problem with autonomous driving is that many people are going to want to take a nap when they hit the road, and that just cannot happen. Tesla has technology that can detect whether the driver is asleep behind the wheel or not, so no one can drive with both eyes closed. I do not see this feature going away anytime soon, and I hope legislation does not change that.

Finally, the last problem I see with the brand new vehicles coming out is the WiFi feature. I really do not think it is smart to put a ton of wireless access points in cars when it is really easy to hack into them. I saw this video below some time ago, how a few hackers were able to control a person’s vehicle while in use through WiFi connection.

This must be prevented from becoming a common occurrence.

There is missing legislation in regards to autonomous vehicles, and many hiccups will come with drafting this legislation. Will it be ethical for there to be autonomous taxis in a world where you cannot fall asleep behind one (an autonomous vehicle)? Should steps be taken to limit the power of autonomous vehicles? Questions like these will all have to be answered in time, but should be answered sooner rather than later. Before we eliminate manuals and automatics, we need to understand autonomous first.

Tesla Self-Driving Car Follow Up

http://dtl315.shannonweb.net/tesla-self-driving-cars/  <- First Post

 

Tesla’s Autonomous driving mode update for its Model S has been out for some time now.  During this time many consumers have downloaded and used the update.  What they found was definitely the beta version.  People have posted videos showing the autonomous mode driving into oncoming traffic and swerving when white lines were not on both sides of the car.  Other have reported the car speeding and getting pulled over by police.  As Musk said when he introduced it, “We’re being especially cautious at this early stage, so we’re advising drivers to keep their hands on the wheel just in case. The software is very new.”  So of course there are going to be some problems with it, but overall people are pleased with the results so far.  It will be interesting to see how this new feature will progress over the coming months and years.

Recently however Musk did answer one of the liability claims that has swirled around this new update, who is responsible when things go wrong?  Tesla said, “Tesla is very clear about the fact that the driver is responsible for the car at all times and should be actively in control, despite the AutoPilot system: it will be the driver’s fault, not Tesla’s if the car ends up in a road traffic collision.”  But I don’t know if this is the correct answer and I wonder if it could be proved wrong in court?  Guess we are just going to have to wait and find out.

Here are some videos posted by owners of the rogue autonomous mode mishaps:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/oct/21/tesla-autopilot-goes-wrong-videos

http://ecowatch.com/2015/10/21/tesla-autopilot-fail-videos/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3281562/Tesla-autopilot-fail-videos-emerge-Terrifying-footage-shows-happens-autonomous-driving-goes-wrong.html

 

 

Tesla’s Hyperloop Train

We all know the company Tesla and it’s owner Elon Musk.  However, we might not all know that he is planning another huge innovation in consumer transportation, and it’s way bigger than the all electric car.  He is planning to build a train system that will get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 min, which is about a 400 mile trip that takes between 6 and 8 hours to drive.  Musk plans to build this train by using magnets and a airless tube.  The train will be put inside a tube with no air in it (a vacuum) and this will enable the train to not be affected by air resistance.  Along the tube there will be a series of magnets that will provide lift and propel the train down the tube.  It will be powered by solar panels that will sit on top of the tube. I’ve attached a video and an article to this post with more information about it.  It is an extremely interesting concept and if it works will forever change the way we travel.

Tesla Self-Driving Cars

Tesla announced today that they would be rolling out an update for all their cars sold in the U.S.  This update will give the cars the option to go into “autopilot” or “autonomous” mode.  This will enable Tesla’s to drive themselves, or at least kind of for the moment.  I say kind of because it is still required (legally) for you to have your hands at least touching the wheel in some way.  Tesla advises that you rest your hand on your knee and keep your pinky finger in contact with the wheel, if you don’t it will prompt you to put your hand or finger back on the wheel (for now at least).  This is to ensure safety (this is only the beta version of the software) and to meet all legal requirements of liability.  Elon Musk cautions that, “It works almost to the point where you can take your hands off, but we won’t say that. Almost.” However, Musk goes on to say that he is confident in the future that they will be able to make a completely autonomous driving car that does not need a human to “co-pilot”.  This is a huge innovation in transportation that will be very interesting to follow in the coming months and years.  I’ve attached a video of one of the Tesla’s driving itself, it’s pretty cool but begs the question what happen when things go wrong? Who is responsible?

More information on the update is available here.