TESLA Full Self Driving BETA!!!!!

interior of model 3
Photo by Austin Ramsey on Unsplash

Tesla Full self-driving Beta!!!, It has been once again been an amazing week for tesla. They have outlined a fantastic quarter for Q3 with record profits of 8.7 Billion dollars with an end of the quarter cash position of 14.5 billion dollars  This combined with the current construction of Giga factory, Berlin, and Shanghai and Tera Factory Austin underway helps to solidify the positive outlook for the future of the company. 

FSD Beta

On top of this amazing quarter the Full Self Driving (FSD), Beta release was sent out into the wild. 

Kudos have to go out to John from “Tesla Owners Silicon Valley” and Raj from “TeslaRaj“ who had the most amazing video showing their first reactions to driving in John’s Model X.

credit to Tesla Owners Silicon Valley Twitter

The video was done late at night after the update. The camera angle showed both John and Raj as the car started to drive and navigate itself on the road. 

Both were totally blown away with the quality of the BETA and its ability to see around the vehicle and display that on the screen whilst also bringing the real world into view for the cars’ computer vision. 

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Raj also released another video with more detail the following day during day light house. 

Elon’s comments

Elon recently explained that the release of the FSD Beta is unique in that it did not need the car to be connected to the internet for the FSD to work. Due to the use of the Cameras and sensors around the car once the car had the software it should have the capability to drive itself using the FSD functionality. 

This is a very different approach to other full self-driving technology which focuses on high-density mapping, GPS, and other technologies. Tesla has prided itself on using a vision system to manage the complexity of the Full Self Driving development with their camera first approach. 

The change

This approach combined with the rewrite that has been designed to use video rather than still images has made an exponential leap forward with the quality and accuracy of the beta that is currently being tested. 

John (Tesla Owners Silicon Valley) and Raj (Tesla RAJ) released several videos over the last couple of days showing different cases where the FSD performed exceptionally well. 

One particular area of interest for Australians include roundabouts. They demonstrated that the system was able to negotiate the roundabout extremely well. 

Since they posted their original video several other Youtube videos have surfaced. Tesla understands the best testers of their systems are the people who drive their cars every day. This use of Beta testing will assist with narrowing down the unusual edge cases that exist to make the system even that more refined. 

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Challenge Status Quo

I am a little old school when it comes to driving and I enjoy the driving experience. Ownership of a Tesla currently alludes me however I have aspirations to own one someday. I understand why many will find this type of technology confronting as it is challenging the status quo. I for one would enjoy testing this so it becomes the norm into the future. 

TESLA Full Self Driving BETA!!!!! Technology is proving that it can do many things with greater efficiency and quality, however, there is always a human element that technology has yet to conquer. 

Dave 

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Australian Tesla Prices Drop

Model 3 Tesla
Image courtesy of Tesla.com

Australian Tesla Prices Drop, however there is still a long way to go. 

This week has been a busy week for Tesla. It has also been a fun time for those in the EV community who follow Tesla closely. 

A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog talking about “Out of Balance”, in this blog I talked about how I had caught up with a  friend who had limited knowledge of the benefits and differences between Internal Combustion Engine(ICE) and Electric Vehicles(EV).  We spoke about the vehicles and I gave a balanced view of the EV’s including Tesla’s.

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Planted a seed

What I hadn’t realized is that I had planted a seed that had grown over the last couple of weeks. This week I received a surprise that has made me smile. I received a call from my friend Andrew the Optometrist, he said to me “I did something a little crazy this week. “I bought a Model 3.”

To say I was super excited for him and his family is an understatement. I am passionate about Tesla and the EV community and another person to join the fold is just great news. To have someone who you know and have helped to see the electric vehicle in a different light just makes me warm to the soul. 

He was very excited about the purchase. He and his family had, since we spoke, looked around at both ICE Vehicles and Electric Vehicles. The decided to take the Model 3 for a Test drive. He said that was the clincher. His wife and kids were sold, and they all fell in love with the Model 3. 

Of course, as anybody in the EV community knows, the Test drive cannot be explained it has to be experienced. 

Model 3 standard range old
Image courtesy of Tesla.com

If you are buying a Tesla Use a referral code, Andrew the optometrist referral link – https://ts.la/andrew53106

They ordered the Black Standard Range Model 3 not long after the Test drive. He explained they liked the black because they have had black cars for years and liked the look. His kids were super excited and they love the idea of putting their bags in the frunk. 

It was an incredible feeling to know before this he had not considered an electric vehicle as being an option and after our conversation, he seriously considered it. 

Of course, that is not where the week ended. 

Rumours

Rumours had started to float around over the last couple of weeks that a refresh of the Model 3 was upon us. Images of the cars missing chrome trim and a new console had started to surface thanks to Whole Mars Blog, however there had been no official word from Tesla. 

Well on Friday afternoon Australian time we understood why they had not said anything. Unannounced, the Tesla website changed. 

What a dramatic change it was, not only did it introduce the new console, but it also changed prices in some impressive ways. 

Surprise

Elon announced earlier in the week that the cost of the Model S would be reduced to USD $69420. These numbers seem random but trust me if you have been a tesla fanboy for a while, they make perfect sense. 

Any way it was in response to Lucid air releasing their price for the latest vehicle. 

This again was a surprise and many people jumped onto this price as it was a good many thousands of dollars savings. 

But Elon and tesla were not done there. On Friday afternoon, Australian time, we understood why they had not said anything about the Model 3 changes, Australian Tesla prices drop. Unannounced, the Tesla website changed. 

What a dramatic change it was, not only did it introduce the new console that had been rumored it also changed prices in some impressive ways. 

On entering the Website, you are presented with the new look Tesla Model 3 Performance with the Uber Turbine Wheels. 

Model 3 Tesla .com
Image courtesy of Tesla.com

Once you then go to the Order page for the Model 3 there are differences across the whole product line. 

Standard Range 

The Standard Range Aero wheels have been updated which gives the Model 3 a new and sportier look. Included with this refresh is the power trunk, increased range and of course the decrease in price of almost $8000 dollars depending on which state you order from in Australia. With the change to the price the standard range no longer incurs the Luxury Car Tax (LCT) that Australia imposes on imported luxury Vehicles.

Model 3 Tesla .com standard range
Courtesy of Tesla.com

Long Range 

The long-range again has a new set of Wheels with an update to the 19” sport wheels. They are very similar to the original Wheels however they have a subtle change that whether functional or not may be polarizing. The changes again included the Power trunk, Increased range, and the price difference of $6000, again depending on the state in Australia.  LCT will be incurred. 

Insert Image – highlighting changes 

Model 3 long range tesla.com
Image courtesy of Tesla.com

Performance Model 3

The performance Model 3 introduced the Uber turbine wheels when the model 3 was first introduced to the world it is wonderful to see them back again and introduced to customers. As with the standard range and Long-range Model 3 the performance also includes the power trunk, increased range and a spectacular drop in price of almost $20000 depending again which state you are buying from in Australia. 

Insert Image with changes. 

Model 3 Performance tesla .com
Image courtesy of Tesla.com

Once again Tesla has not disappointed. The new changes to the Model 3 line up were not just restricted to Australia. The range increase is particularly interesting and possibly indicates that the introduction of a heat pump may have occurred for the Model 3 as it did for the Model Y. 

It has been and continues to be a wonderful and exciting experience following Tesla as they continue to lead the EV market with innovation, passion, and a mission that inspires many. 

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Andrew the Optometrist

When I heard the news of the price drop I instantly messaged Andrew the optometrist. His response made me smile” Woooooooooo Hooooooooo”

It turns out he had ordered at the right time. He and his family saved over $8000 dollars in one night thanks to Tesla. The Model 3 they are to get will be better than it was when they ordered.

Australian Tesla Prices Drop and I am glad to help bring electric vehicle knowledge into more people’s lives. It is truly special when that information is used to make informed decisions. I hope Andrew and his family find great joy in the purchase.

Dave

DAVE’S Blog posts

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Phantom braking can it be solved?

tesla model x brake light
Photo by Szymon Kita on Unsplash

Phantom Braking can it be solved? It seems that in recent years the introduction of the intelligent vehicle has been seen as a victory for the motor vehicle industry.

Sensors

The introduction provides increased safety and awareness for and around the vehicle. Using sensors, cameras and in some cases Radar or LIDAR to map the world around it the car is able to perform with greater accuracy and capability. 

The introduction of sensors to vehicles has been reserved for the higher end of the market, up till now. Due to the prices of these components coming down and technology advancing at an exponential rate the sensors are starting to be more present in less expensive models.  

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Tesla autopilot

self driving

Tesla introduced its first iteration of “Autopilot” several years ago. Since its inception and introduction to the family of Tesla vehicles, Autopilot has been applauded for its ability to manage highway driving with little intervention. Many have reported their fondness of the capability and how it makes long road trips more enjoyable. 

As a result of the new capabilities, Tesla has been proud to show that its vehicles with the use of Autopilot have increased the distance collectively between accidents.  This fact highlights the increased safety aspects which have been introduced. 

However, since the introduction of the self-driving capabilities the issue of Phantom Braking has in parallel been increasing. 

Phantom Braking

bridge underpass
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Phantom braking occurs when a vehicle being managed by Artificial Intelligence, or autopilot in Tesla’s case, suddenly and abruptly decelerates. This sudden loss in acceleration is unexplained and inconsistent in most cases. 

As you probably have determined this puts the driver and passengers in danger including the vehicles around it. The vehicles travelling behind suddenly have to contend with an unexpected slowing of the vehicle in front. These usually occur when the vehicle is travelling at speed. This increases the chances of accidents and injury. 

Online there are numerous on social media that state the cause of accidents seems to be attributed to the phantom braking phenomenon.  

In the case of Tesla, and if Phantom braking can it be solved, it would seem this is an active problem they are attempting to solve. This week there has been a discussion on twitter regarding this very thing. Elon tweeted regarding the introduction of the new build Full Self Driving (FSD). He was responding to a tweet discussing the WAYMO approach. He mentioned that it would be beta released in a number of weeks. 

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As part of responses, I asked Elon Musk “Is the issue of phantom braking fixed in this release? Has been a number of people talking about this recently.” https://twitter.com/EVHQ2/status/1314287584105779200

Elon was kind enough to respond to me on twitter at EV-HQ.com by stating “It should be” he then followed up with some clarification

It is encouraging to see that Tesla is actively working to resolve issues like Phantom braking. What’s important is they are not just waiting for big releases like FSD. It makes sense considering not every driver has FSD as it is an opt-in function.

 It would also seem that Elon understands the issues of his company and is actively working to resolve them. His engagement with twitter followers shows he is kind enough to respond to people asking about the latest information.  

This twitter response gained momentum over the next couple of days which just highlights the importance this issue has for people.

Software updates

Phantom braking can it be solved? It would seem that the release of the upcoming software updates that drop regularly has bug fixes to address the phantom braking. The latest release may have some of those fixes but there are still reports that it is occurring. 

Let’s hope that phantom braking will become a thing of the past. Let’s hope that the use of “First Principles” can assist to find a solution to the immediate and long-term problem. 

Safety has always been at the heart of the Tesla Vehicles. Elon Musk has been very clear on this point. It is up to the manufacturers to make sure that the occupants of their vehicles remain safe and sound for their journey. 

It is refreshing to see that Tesla is working to find solutions. Tesla is actively trying to find solutions to issues that have been created by the introduction of information technology devices. 

The best advice you can hear if you love your tesla but feel unsure about the use of the autopilot system is to drive the car yourself. enjoy the experience without the use of autopilot or FSD. The cars are incredible to experience and fun to drive. 

Dave 

DAVE’S Blog posts

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Tesla week in review

Image by Kathysg from Pixabay 

Tesla week in review post the highs of battery day, Tesla delivered a number of interesting additions to the Tesla almanac.  History may judge this to be another step towards Tesla’s ultimate goal of transition to sustainable energy and transport. 

A word on Tesla and the future of the Company. 

Last week saw one of the most significant steps forward for Tesla and the development of their battery technology. The new and innovative thinking demonstrated by Tesla and their team regarding the use of first principles to rethink the functions of the battery, truly set up Tesla to move into a confident position.  

Sandy Munro from Munro & Associates Inc., by his own admission seen thousands of vehicles over his life time and because of this has a unique perspective on the construction, manufacturing and innovation of vehicles. 

Munro’s perspective on the battery day and his support for Tesla, is one out of respect for  innovative products and support for the companies Goals. His perspective on the Tesla innovations highlighted the fact that Tesla is heading in a direction well ahead of any competition. He is able to provide insights to the technical aspects of the innovations. 

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The market for Tesla shares after the battery day presentation went down. Analyst thought that Tesla would announce a cheaper vehicle that would be available in the short term. Tesla did in fact announce a new cheaper vehicle which would not be available for several years. 

What it does suggest is that analysts don’t have a full understanding of the technology and how to classify tesla as a company. They believe that because Tesla have not produced an affordable vehicle with the battery technology available to use now that the value of the company does not meet their predictions. 

Tesla has always highlighted the fact that they are not just a car company or an energy company but a tech company. This difference has been a challenge for analysts as they still continue to place Tesla in the car company field. 

China Model 3

blue yellow and green lighted pagoda tower
Photo by Ruiyang Zhang on Pexels.com

This Tesla week in review also saw the introduction to the Made-In-China (MIC) Model 3 LFP or lithium ion battery technology provided by CATL. 

“Tesla’s new powertrains are expected to include a cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery made by Ningde, Fujian-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd.,” Bloomberg News. 1 October 2020, 11:46 am AEST Updated on 1 October 2020, 5:24 pm AEST

tesla tail light model 3
Photo by Damo T. on Unsplash

This innovation has been met with great excitement by the Chinese. There has been an increase in orders. In conjunction with the new battery technology there has been a price reduction and a significant range increase. The price reduction may have been expected but the range increase was something no one had expected.

The Model 3 range went from 455km to 468kms. With any electric car, range is important and an increase is always welcome. This is helping to drive sales and improve customer experience. 

Here in Australia we still have to contend with significantly high prices. 

These include:

  • Taxes on imports
  • Luxury car tax
  • Exchange rate
  • Lack of manufacturing competition

These have significant impacts on price and ability for the average Australian to enter the electric car market. 

Opportunity

With the introduction of the new Model 3 to the Chinese market, there is an opportunity for Australians and those in the southern hemisphere, to have greater access to a more affordable Tesla. 

Recently there was a rumor that deliveries from Giga Shanghai to countries like Australia would provide a more affordable Model 3. As shown this week with the introduction of the new Model 3 to the Chinese market this rumour may have some foundation. 

A recent article from Tesmanian outlined the increase in shifts within the Giga Shanghai factory. This might indicate a lift in production numbers and possibly an opportunity to export model 3’s to other countries like Australia. 

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The Model 3 range of 468kms is comparable to current petrol cars of the same size and dimensions that are sold in Australia. With the added benefit of no petrol and reduced rates for electricity, this would make the vehicle quite competitive and compelling. 

Currently in Australia the cost of the Model 3 averages approx. $74000 dollars . As this starting price it does not incur Luxury car tax LCT. However, with the introduction of the new MIC model 3 the price when convereted to Australian dollars is $61000. This would be quite a significant price reduction which could make quite an impact on the electric vehicle market.  https://thedriven.io/2020/10/01/model-3-with-cheaper-battery-on-sale-soon-price-drop-leak-4000/

India 

taj mahal india digital wallpaper
Photo by Rahul on Pexels.com

Tesla week in Review, Elon Musk is known for his use of the social media platform Twitter.  This week he responded to TCIN when asked if Tesla was going to come to India. 

Elon responded with, “sometime next year.” This is significant as it would open another country to the benefits of electric vehicles. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1311931936261263360

This week has been a significant week for Tesla. They innovate, create, and produce some of the greatest technology we have seen for years. 

Dave 

DAVE’S Blog posts

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