Tesla's Gigafactory is looking pretty amazing, as new drone footage shows. The footage was taken by Duncan Sinfield and posted to YouTube.
It looks like Tesla is busy finishing what is going to be world's largest building by physical area once done.
Tesla expects that the Gigafactory 1 will reduce the production cost for their electric vehicle battery and Powerwall and Powerpack battery packs by 30%. Its projected capacity for 2018 is 50 GWh/yr of battery packs and its final capacity upon completion of the entire factory is 150 GWh/yr. This would enable Tesla to produce 1,500,000 cars per year.
Henrik Fisker wants to forget all about its past failures and start a new page. He launched a new company, Fisker Inc. earlier this year, previously known as Fisker Automotive.
Fisker Automotive is related to what some call the biggest failure in the history of electric cars. In 2011 they announced the Fisker Karma, a $108,000 electric car, that turned out to have a pretty bad karma... The car was recalled multiple times due to many issues and the entire fiasco ended with the company filing for bankruptcy.
Given the history, Fisker's decision to come back to the electric car market is brave. But, he is back with a new car - EMotion.
Uber is working on something that could be the next big thing, a service called Uber Elevate, which is teased as an "on demand aviation" service.
The company teased that it has a future vision of flying vehicles that would take passengers to the skies, freeing up the roads, with the Uber app being used to secure a flying car to take you to that business meeting, dinner, or the airport.
Uber expects the first of its flying cars to arrive in 2026, with the flying vehicles capable of hitting around 150 miles an hour and taking multiple passengers. The proposed flying vehicles would take off and land on repurposed parking garages and existing helipads, and as The Wall Street Journal points out, it will "enable carbon-spewing autos to be taken off the roads, reducing traffic for earthbound commuters and making Uber's core service more efficient. In some design renderings by Uber and others, the vehicles look like small airplanes with a set of pivoting propellers for flying horizontally or vertically".
After yesterday's press conference, where Elon Musk unveiled that all Tesla cars ordered from this point will have a fully self-driving hardware, Tesla's CEO promised to share soon a video showing Tesla's capabilities with the new system.
The video, according to Musk, is the reason why the announcement was delayed from Sunday to Wednesday. But, as promised, Musk shared the video shortly after the announcement in which you can see a Tesla navigating a complex urban environment.
The video shows a Tesla car on a home-to-work route without any assistance from a driver, who is still required to sit in the driver's seat by law. You can see the car driving smoothly on the roads, stopping at red lights and letting people cross the road. In the end, the driver exits the car, which then goes to find an empty parking place and eventually park itself.
Tesla is giving all its new cars the hardware for full self-driving capability, including Model 3. The cars will come with eight surround cameras that provide 360 degrees visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range, twelve updated ultrasonic sensors allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system and a forward-facing radar with enhanced processing that provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.
A new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation, which is basically a super-computer in a car, will run the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software. This system will provide a view of the cars surrounding that the driver alone cannot see.
Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience. While this is occurring, Teslas with new hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available on Teslas with first-generation Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control. As these features are robustly validated we will enable them over the air, together with a rapidly expanding set of entirely new features.
While everyone is expecting Elon Musk's 'unexpected announcement' on Wednesday, Tesla Motors confirmed to Electrek they will host an event at Tesla Gigafactory on January 4th, 2017.
The event will be the first one held at Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada after its grand-opening on July 29th. It is expected that many investors will show up and see where their money is going, and it will certainly be interesting to see how the factory changed in the past few months.
Since July, the company started the construction on four additional sections so the factory, which is huge as it is, could be almost twice bigger. It will be the world's second-largest building by usable space, smaller than only the Boeing Everett Factory, and the world's largest building by physical area.
During the past two weeks, I ran two polls about self-driving cars. In the first one, I asked whether you would you put your trust in a self-driving car and 69% of the voters said yes. The second poll was a bit trickier and contained one of the biggest issues and moral dilemmas related to the self-driving cars - if an accident is inevitable, who should the self-driving car 'sacrifice' - the passengers or pedestrians? 53% of the voters think the pedestrians should be sacrificed to save the passengers, which is much lower percentage than the recent study showed. In that study, the participants got the same question, and 75% of the voters decided to sacrifice pedestrians for the well-being of the passengers.
There is also a question of who would spend money on a self-driving car which isn't designed to protect its driver and passengers.
If you ask Mercedes-Benz, they don't have that dilemma. Their self-driving car will be programmed to save the driver and the passengers, and not the pedestrians. That's the decision they are going to stick with and implement in they upcoming Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous cars. Instead of worrying about ethics, Mercedes will program its cars to save the driver and its passengers at all costs and in every situation.
Remember last week when we said Tesla Motors will unveil something unexpected on October 17th? Yeah, about that...
The revelation of something unexpected has been unexpectedly moved to Wednesday, October 19th. Elon Musk informed the public on his Twitter that they need a "few more days of refinement." The Tesla Motors CEO gave no indication of what they might reveal, but there are many ideas floating around - from a finished Model 3 design to improved Autopilot software.
Moving the Tesla announcement to Wednesday. Needs a few more days of refinement.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 16, 2016
BMW's new Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept motorcycle is straight out of a sci-fi movie.
With its new Motorrad concept futurebike, BMW has envisioned a helmet-less future for motorcyclists. While the bike isn't fully autonomous, it will balance itself at all times--whether at high speeds or stopped--and leverages a unique AI system called the "Digital Companion" that interacts with the operator.
Drivers also get a nifty AR visor that offers a full field of view with a heads-up display that scans and shows vital data like road conditions, weather, and incoming hazards. The bike also monitor's driver's eye movements and makes small adjustments while in transit to ensure a safer, smoother ride.
After the demonstration of power against the Tesla P90D and LaFerrari, Mate Rimac's Concept One, an all-electric hypercar, sparked the appetite of enthusiasts and the motoring press for more.
While the LaFerrari is an extremely impressive car, many called for a race against the Porsche 918 which is the most hybridized and only four-wheel driven member of the so-called Holy Trinity. It is also considered the fastest accelerating production car ever made.
The first to challenge the Concept One against the 918 was Alejandro Salomondrin on the Milan Raceway in Michigan. The Porsche 918 is a car that regularly dominates against McLaren P1 and LaFerrari, the other two members of the Holy Trinity.