Tesla has collected 1.3 billion miles of Autopilot data

Tesla Pilot has collected a whopping 1.3 billion miles of data that will be used to carefully enhance self driving vehicles. Currently Tesla announced Autopilot 2.0 and is making a transition into its third Tesla model that will come equipped for full autonomy.

Elon Musk disclosed that it has accumulated 780 million miles on hardware equipped cars and 100 million with Autopilot active back in May 2016.

Tesla’s Director of Autopilot Programs, Sterling Anderson, said that ““We first install (Autopilot) in a logging fashion across 70,000 vehicles. We watch over 10’s of millions of miles with the new (Autopilot) features not turned on. We only turn it on when we know it is empirically safer.”

There are more than 100,000 vehicles with Autopilot and hundreds of thousands more are being produced.

Other companies are also testing their own self driving systems such as Uber with Otto. It doesn’t seem too far fetched to say that self driving cars may become fully functioning in the next 5 years.

Meet Teslas Powerwall 2.0

The Tesla Powerwall 2 is not just an updated home battery, its part of a new ecosystem by Tesla Energy.

Elon Musk introduced the Powerwall 2 after introducing Tesla’s new Solar Roof tiles. The Powerwall 2.0 has more than twice the energy storage capacity with 14 kWh capacity. Musk said the Powerwall 2 has enough power to charge lights, sockets, and a refrigerator for a 4 bedroom family home for an entire day.

The Powerwall 2.0 is similar to the previous version. It’s a large, rectangular, box thats usually depicted being mount in the garage, next to a Tesla Model S, and now Tesla Solar Roof tiles. The design is now flatter and more angular looking, but essentially the same.

The Powerwall 2.0 will be available for $5,500 per unit.

Teslas New Solar Roof Tiles

On October 28, Tesla unveiled its latest product, solar roof tiles. The tiles are actual functioning solar panels that are designed to look like roof tiles, with several different looks. This may be one of the biggest advantages when buying solar panels, the fact that they won’t change the way consumers homes look.

Elon Musk took the stage to show the houses and the technology at Hollywood. He started with climate change, keep in mind people were expecting solar panels not roof tiles, then dropped the bombshell “The interesting thing is that the houses you see around you are all solar houses,” Musk said. “Did you notice?” Not a lot of people noticed.

The tiles are very aesthetic and Tesla has generally been very high end when it comes to designing their products. The tiles are made of textured glass and allow light to pass through the tiles to a flat solar cell. They come in four different models: Textured Glass, Slate Glass, Tuscan Glass, and Smooth Glass.

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Currently the plan is to have Tesla provide the glass tiles and Panasonic to provide the solar cells. Tesla says the tempered glass is “tough as steel” and Musk says “It’s never going to wear out, it’s made of quartz. It has a quasi-infinite lifetime.”

The current versions of the tiles have a two percent efficiency loss from traditional solar panels, according to Elon Musk. The company is working with 3M to improve coatings to increase efficiency. Musk also went on to say that Tesla’s roofs cost less than traditional roofs. The tiles will essentially, in time, bring back money to owners, and with the new powerwall battery, homeowners can store energy for later use.

Tesla plans to start selling with one or two of the four tiles and installations should begin by summer of next year.

 

Teslas Autopilot 2.0 now available on all Models

Tesla said last Wednesday that all of its vehicles that are being produced will be equipped with hardware needed for full self-driving capability and as stated by Tesla at a “safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.”

Autopilot 2.0 is the second generation autonomous driving hardware that will offer full level 5 autonomy, according to CEO Elon Musk. It’s available in future Models S and X and every Model 3.

Autopilot 2.0 will equip the vehicles with 360 camera coverage up to 250 meters range for level 5 autonomy. It will have 8 cameras, 3 front facing, 12 ultrasonic sensors, a forward facing radar, and 40x more powerful on-board computers, using the Nvidia GPU Titan supercomputer.

Musk noted that at first the new hardware will not offer Autopilot 1.0 capabilities, though it will after a few software improvements over the coming months. By early next year, it should outperform Autopilot 1.0. Level 3 autonomy will be coming in a few months while levels 4 and ultimately level 5 will be coming in 2018.

Autopilot 2.0 will come at a price much like the Autopilot which costs $3,000, Tesla Vision will of course be more expensive at around $8,000. Some new capabilities that will come with are automatic emergency breaking, collision warning, lane holding, and active cruise control, and all of these will be enabled using the over-the-air updates.

Tesla wins bid to power Southern California Edison

Tesla recently won a contract to provide power to Southern California Edison to combat future power shortages. Tesla will supply 20 megawatts of energy storage using its Powerpacks technology that is capable of powering 2,500 homes for a day.

Tesla announced its stationary storage battery system in may. There are 2 different storage systems. The Powerwall batteries for homes and the Powerpack batteries for commercial and industrial use. The batteries are in production currently at Tesla’s Gigafactory, in Reno, Nevada.

The contract is a response to the recent Aliso Canyon leak. On October 23, 2015 one of the underground storage wells began to leak methane. This leaked methane began to have side effects for the residents of he nearby Port Ranch community. Residents complained of headaches and nosebleeds, which led to their relocation. Southern California Gas Company, owned by Sempra Utilities, took months to fix the situation, having to dig 8,500 ft down to the gas reservoir, pumping it with slurry, and sealing it with cement. This became the second largest methane leak in the history of the the US. Without the largest natural gas storage facility, the state started a bidding to look for alternative solutions.

Tesla reported that it will deliver and install the 80MWh Powerpack battery system at Southern California Edison’s Mira Loma substation before the end of 2016. This is one of the most important parts as previously its taken years to implement power solutions. “The storage is being procured in a record time frame,” months instead of years, said Yayoi Sekine, a battery analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “It highlights the maturity of advanced technologies like energy storage to be contracted as a reliable resource in an emergency situation.”

“Upon completion, this system will be the largest lithium ion battery storage project in the world,” Tesla posted on its website. “When fully charged, this system will hold enough energy to power more than 2,500 households for a day or charge 1,000 Tesla vehicles.”

Musk went on to say that “In order to achieve a sustainable energy future, one which has high penetration of solar and electric vehicles, the world needs a two-way, flexible electric grid. The electric power industry is the last great industry which has not seen the revolutionary effects of storage. Working in close collaboration with Southern California Edison, the Tesla Powerpack system will be a landmark project that truly heralds the new age of storage on the electric grid.”

Autopilot update 8.0 moving forward

Elon Musk tweeted this morning saying that he is “hoping to start the rollout of 8.0 on Wednesday if no last minute issues discovered.”

The biggest change in Autopilot is an increased reliance radar. “After careful consideration, we now believe [radar] can be used as a primary control sensor without requiring the camera to confirm visual image recognition,” wrote Musk in a blog post on Sunday. The sensor was first installed to Tesla vehicles in 2014 and this update may be because of the fatal car crash of a Tesla Model S in which the driver was killed while using the Autopilot service in May.

Also included in the update will be a “geocoded whitelist” of objects such as signs and other obstacles that result in the misidentification of objects and the vehicle making unnecessary braking or dangerous maneuvering. The fatal accident in May was caused when Autopilot did not recognize a truck that was turning towards the car and instead identified it as an overhead sign.

To those with Autopilot always drive safely. The update will be delivered over the air to eligible vehicles.

 

Tesla Model S Drives Through Flooded Tunnel

Elon Musk recently tweeted about the Model S, though it wasn’t your regular tweet about Tesla’s electric vehicle. Musk tweeted that the Model S floats in water after a Model S user drove the car through a flooded tunnel.

The video taken in Kazakhstan shows the driver pushing through the flooding. At first it seems as if the car is unable to move after the first jolt, though slowly we can see water being pushed out in the back via the display and the car begins to move.

Musk later stated that the drive unit and battery on the Model S are all “sealed” in order to keep water or other liquids out. Musk is notorious for complicated and lets call them creative projects. One such project would be the bond car, which he was planning to create. The Bond car, for those of you who don’t know, is a hybrid sports sub car that can drive on land and in water. In 2013 Musk bought James Bond’s submarine car, a Lotus Esprit.

Hyperloop One successfully tested its electromagnetic transport system and it looks promising.

The company, Hyperloop One, is one of a few companies developing the Hyperloop technology, conceived by Elon Musk. This new transportation technology would use pods that are propelled through a tube system using magnetic and air levitation propulsion systems. Originally worked on by engineers from Tesla and SpaceX it was released as an open source technology. Hyperloop, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, and Transpod, a Toronto-based company, are all working on a full-scale Hyperloop transportation system.

Hyperloop One tested their system on  a 200 feet test track on May 11th, 2016 in Nevada and reached 187kph, their goal is 1,080kph. Though its not completely functional nor completely safe. The company hopes to have a fully functional system by 2020. This fifth mode of transportation, as its being called, would be revolutionary. It would allow for faster travel between cities without having to take the plane and its proposed as being green, cheap, and fast. Though it’ll have to pass all sorts of safety tests and the company(s) will face massive amounts of financial costs to build a network of tubes.