Tesla will build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery for Australia
The 100-megawatt (129-megawatt hour) battery will operate around the clock in South Australia in an attempt to stave off future blackouts that have plagued the country, reports the BBC. If the power grid in South Australia becomes overloaded, the battery should kick in to keep homes and infrastructure juiced up. To put Tesla's massive battery in perspective, the world's next largest battery is only 30 megawatts. MG
Elon Musk’s long-awaited Tesla Model 3 finally has a release date
The Tesla founder tweeted some exciting news about the much-hyped Model 3 on Monday, when he announced that the first vehicle will be completed on Friday.
Model 3 passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule. Expecting to complete SN1 on Friday— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2017
And if you're one of the first 30 lucky customers, you'll have your Model 3 by the end of the month.
Handover party for first 30 customer Model 3's on the 28th! Production grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1500.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2017
After that, Musk says production will continue to ramp up, with 20,000 cars produced a month in December. It's a major step for Musk and his vision of getting the world interested in the (up until this year) cost-prohibitive, niche electric vehicles. The Tesla Model 3 comes in at $35,000. CD
Tesla’s autopilot chief, Chris Lattner, exits the company
Just six months ago, Tesla hired the creator of Apple's Swift programming language, Chris Lattner, to lead the carmaker's autopilot software program. Now Lattner is leaving the company.
Turns out that Tesla isn't a good fit for me after all. I'm interested to hear about interesting roles for a seasoned engineering leader!— Chris Lattner (@clattner_llvm) June 21, 2017
Earlier in the day, reports surfaced that Tesla hired a new director of autopilot and AI, Andrej Karpathy. He was previously a deep learning computer vision research scientist at the nonprofit OpenAI research organization, which Elon Musk helped found. NR
Tesla driver killed in Autopilot crash ignored several warnings
The man killed last August when his Tesla crashed into a truck while on Autopilot ignored numerous warnings from the system that he should take control of the Model S, reports Reuters. The news comes from a 500-page National Transportation Safety Board report into the crash. It found that the driver only had his hands on the wheel of his car for a total of 25 seconds when the Autopilot software required him to take control of it for a total of 37 minutes.
The system gave the driver seven visual warnings and six audio warnings to take control of the vehicle, most of which were ignored. In the end, the report found, the driver should have seen the truck he ended up smashing into clearly for at least seven seconds before impact, but he "took no braking, steering, or other actions to avoid the collision." MG
It’s more dangerous to work in a Tesla factory than other automotive factories
That's according to a new report that analyzes data from three years of federal records, reports the Verge. According to the report, the Fremont, California-based Tesla factory:
• had injury rates 31% higher than the industry average in 2015.
• 8.8 workers were injured per 100 workers. That's compared to 6.7 injuries per 100 workers across the industry. The Fremont factory has 10,000 workers.
• For 2016, Tesla's injury rates were 8.1 per 100 workers. MG
Now you can control your Tesla via a chatbot named Elon
Sahas Katta, the CEO of a startup called Smartcar, has been thinking about inventive ways to control Tesla's cars for a while. A few years ago, he created a Tesla app for Google's ill-fated Google Glass. And now he's back with Teslabot, which lets people lucky enough to own a Tesla S or X talk to their car via Facebook Messenger.
Teslabot lets you do anything from unlock the doors to vent the sunroof to monitor charging. And Katta gave his bot a human name that—though uncommon among actual humans—is ideal for this particular product: "Elon."
A Waymo spin-off could compete with Tesla, say analysts
Waymo may be primed to become a stand-alone company, say analysts at Morgan Stanley, noting that it could be worth more than $70 billion if it can grow to approximately 1% of global miles driven. That's assuming the Google unit can put 3 million cars on the road, each driving 65,000 miles a year and earning roughly $1.25 on each mile.
The Lyft partnership could help it get there, they add. Waymo could reach operating profitability by 2022 with its operating margin hitting 8% by 2030, say analysts. Currently, Morgan Stanley's Brian Nowak doesn't believe this opportunity is reflected in Google's share price. But that's not necessarily a bad thing: It gives Google room to test its technology before possibly spinning out Waymo. RR
Tesla’s Elon Musk says new autopilot software is coming in June
On Sunday evening, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to discuss Tesla's new autopilot software, set to be released next month. According to Musk, the control algorithm in the new release is safer, but also feels "smooth as silk." June's update will also "hopefully" add perpendicular parking and rain sensors, according to his tweets.
Excited about the Tesla Autopilot software release rolling out next month. New control algorithm feels as smooth as silk.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 22, 2017
@harropj Hopefully June for those too— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 22, 2017
Elon Musk on Tesla factory working conditions: We lose money
In a long read from the Guardian about workers collapsing from overwork at Tesla's Fremont factory, CEO Elon Musk let himself and his company off the hook:
"We're a money-losing company," Musk added. "This is not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing. It's just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?"
The sentiment here is that because Tesla starting a car company from scratch, that putting workers through the ringer is to be expected. But that is a dangerous narrative to feed into, one that other founders have evoked to explain their way out of having a human resources department or underpaying employees. It becomes especially harmful in a circumstance where people's physical health (read: ability to earn wages long term) is put at risk. RR
Elon Musk’s cousin and former SolarCity CEO is leaving Tesla
Lyndon Rive will leave Tesla in June in favor of starting another company of his own. He told Bloomberg:
"My skill set and what I love doing is starting and running companies. I can hand off the baton to somebody else and give myself the opportunity to do something else that could also have another impact."
You can preorder Tesla’s solar roof tiles today
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted the impeding commencement of preorders, though only two of the four types of models of the solar tiles will be available at launch—the Black Glass Smooth and Textured tiles will be available first with the Tuscan and French Slate tiles being available "in about six months."
Tesla solar glass roof orders open this afternoon. I think it will be great. More in about 10 hours …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 10, 2017