The Tesla Model 3, the car that is going to bring Tesla technology to the masses, is finally here. It is not here as in “in press fleets across America,” but it is sitting in the driveways of real customers who don’t work for Tesla, and that, my friends, is what counts for progress in the Willy Wonka world of Elon Musk.So, not knowing when a real, regular loaner Model 3 would actually become available, I, uh, “borrowed” one. Where’d I get it? As they say in New Jersey, “Don’ worry ‘bout it.”The point is that for a couple of hours yesterday I drove a fully loaded Model 3 in city and suburban traffic, around freeway onramps as fast as I dared go with the owner riding shotgun, and I fiddled with that 15-inch touch screen that controls everything in the car.And? Yes? Well? Was it what you would call a “good” car? Yes. More than good? In many, if not most ways, yes.There are advances available in the Model 3 that it … [Read more...] about Tesla Model 3 first drive: Yes, it’s a real car, and a pretty good one too
It’s the autonomy, stupid.That was the message from the automotive industry at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Well, not just autonomy: connectivity and electrification are converging with self-driving cars to cause a profound shift in the car world.Of course, that won’t be a surprise to anyone who follows the industry: it’s been a talking point at every major motor show for the last few years. But the impact extends far beyond how cars are powered or controlled. And what a trawl round CES, the world’s leading tech show held annually in Las Vegas, highlighted is that the car firms have realised they can’t tackle this change alone.The impact of autonomous, connected and electrified cars is going to be profound. More than one person at CES claimed it would be the biggest change since Henry Ford pioneered industrial mass production with the Model T.Autonomous, connected cars require systems, software and technology that car firms have no … [Read more...] about CES 2018 report: how technology is disrupting the automotive world
The latest autonomous driver-assist systems now navigate busy city streets, responding to traffic lights, pedestrians, unexpected road closures and erratic driving by other cars. The Level 4 prototypes of today can make U-turns, steer themselves along with other cars on road surfaces with no lane markings, respond to hard-to-see traffic lights and make decisions when there are no traffic lights at all.Indeed, there is a tremendous gap between the Level 2 cars of yesteryear -- Tesla's Autopilot driver-assist system is technically a Level 2 -- and the decision-making requirements of Level 4 cars in a dense urban setting with the complexities of stop-and-go traffic, convoluted and contradictory traffic signs, and bicyclists and pedestrians sharing the road space. The computing power alone required to process it all and make decisions on the fly isn't something many industry observers predicted being operational in 2018 -- even in prototype form. The 6 levels of autonomous … [Read more...] about Here’s how the latest autonomous driving systems handle real-world scenarios
It’s the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. For the car world, it’s an increasingly important show, particularly when it comes to alternative powertrains and autonomous driving tech. The first big reveal from CES is this, the Byton Crossover Concept. Yep, if you’re going to make an impact with a concept at the moment, it seemingly has to be SUV-ish. It’s electrically powered and comes from a Chinese start-up company. It may be a little generic to look at on the outside, but it’s very artfully crafted inside. Beyond its very intricate door handles and some neat stitching, it’s absolutely dominated by a 49-inch screen, which the production car will keep. Tesla Model X’s – there are additional screens on the steering wheel and ahead of the rear passengers. Spec wise, there will be two options: a rear-wheel-drive entry model with 268bhp, 295lb ft and the ability to travel 250 miles on a charge, and a … [Read more...] about Meet the Byton, a Tesla Model X-rivaling crossover
The McLaren 720S may be becoming the new darling of the YouTube drag race world, but there’s still plenty of straight-line fun to be had with the former ‘king’: the Tesla Model S P100D. As a perfect case in point, here’s Tesla’s most potent Model S taking on the new Honda/Acura NSX. The latter may source most of its power from a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6, but that mid-mounted six-banger is augmented by a trio of electric motors: one for each front wheel, and one attached to the flywheel on torque-fill duties. As a result, it’s brutally quick off the line, and even though its total power figure of 573bhp falls well short of the P100D’s, the car is a lot lighter. Let the battle commence… … [Read more...] about Can An Acura NSX Beat A Tesla Model S P100D On The ‘Strip?