Items tagged with Elon Musk

Elon Musk and the crew over at SpaceX have announced that the company will be shedding about 10% of its workforce, which currently totals over 6,000 employees. SpaceX said that it was going to "part ways" with some workers noting that it had "extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead." The cuts came despite a successful 2018 for the company. A SpaceX spokesman said in an email Reuters obtained, "To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company. Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations." SpaceX was granted FCC approval last... Read more...
Tesla has been making some changes to its pricing strategy over the past week, and the biggest change in quite some time comes today with the premium-market Model S and Model X. CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that the 75 kWh battery pack for both electric vehicles will be discontinued and that customers only have until Sunday night to place orders for vehicles with that battery option. For those that don't keep up with all things Tesla, the Model S 75D with the 75 kWh battery has a base price of $76,000 and can travel up to 259 miles with a full charge. The heavier $82,000 Model X 75D with the 75 kWh battery can travel up to 237 miles per charge. Starting on Monday, Tesla will no longer... Read more...
When Elon Musk first announced the mainstream Model 3 electric vehicle from Tesla in mid-2016, he proclaimed that the vehicle would have a base price of $35,000. However, as is often the case with Tesla product launches, the company has instead pushed pricier trim levels and has yet to actually release its promised $35,000 car. As a result, up until this point, the cheapest Model 3 that you could purchase featured a base price of $46,000. Tesla announced today that it is now dropping the price of that particular Model 3 by $2,000, bringing it to $44,000. This move is in response to the fact that Tesla customers can no longer claim the full $7,500 federal tax credit on a new EV... Read more...
Tesla is ready to begin testing the next generation self-driving platform, which is called Autopilot Hardware 3.0. While Tesla's current-generation Autopilot 2.0 platform makes uses of NVIDIA hardware, Autopilot Hardware 3.0 will be using custom Tesla-developed AI neural net hardware with vastly superior processing capabilities. According to an internal email obtained by Electrek, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has put out a call to employees to help test Autopilot Hardware 3.0. Musk is looking for "a few hundred" internal participants to basically serve as beta testers for the hardware/software platform. Employees who own a Tesla vehicle, are accepted into the test program, and... Read more...
We all know that Tesla is working on a burly pickup truck to add to its electric vehicle family, but it isn't the only company that is looking to take on the titans in the industry. Rivian, a U.S.-based automotive startup, is hoping to turn a few heads with its new R1T. This is a mid-sized pickup that would compare favorably in size and capacity against the likes of the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and the upcoming Ford Ranger. What's most mind-boggling about the R1T is its alleged specs. Being that this is an electric vehicle, it will come from the factory with standard all-wheel drive thanks to there being a drive motor attached to each wheel.... Read more...
We're still not quite there when it comes to full Level 5 autonomous vehicles that you can purchase from dealer lots (or with the a few mouse strokes as you can with a Tesla), but we're getting closer. Tesla just announced the launch of Navigate on Autopilot, which is a further expansion of self-driving capabilities incorporated into its electric vehicles. Navigate on Autopilot is a new active guidance feature within Software Version 9.0, and is part of the Enhanced Autopilot self-driving suite. With Navigate on Autopilot, Tesla says that drivers will be able to travel on a highway from "on-ramp to off-ramp" with the vehicle taking full control of primary vehicle functions.  For... Read more...
Elon Musk and SpaceX have been doing some very cool things over the past decade with rockets. While the rockets SpaceX has been sending into space aren’t the sort capable of flying to the moon or Mars, they are capable of ferrying cargo safely to the ISS in Earth orbit and mostly returning to Earth in one piece. The big news this week was the unveiling of the SpaceX BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) spacecraft that can fly to the moon and beyond. During the unveiling of the rocket, Musk said that the BFR already has its first passenger booked, but during the event, no names were offered. When Musk was asked if he was going to be the first passenger to fly around the moon, he simply tweeted a Japanese... Read more...
One lucky person is about to “boldly go where no [private passenger] has gone before”. SpaceX recently announced that they have booked the world’s first private flight to the moon. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk promised in early 2017 that two tourists would take to the stars by the end of of 2018. Musk hinted that the potential passengers had already paid significant deposits and would begin training for their flights later that year. The passengers were originally supposed to be aboard the Falcon Heavy carrying a Dragon capsule and take off from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral. It now appears that the promised passenger will fly in SpaceX’s to-be-revealed... Read more...
A funny thing happened earlier this week. SpaceX founder Elon Musk went on Joe Rogan's podcast, drank a little whisky and puffed on a blunt rolled with weed and tobacco, and the Internet went bananas. Shares of Tesla, the electric vehicle company Musk co-founded and currently serves as CEO, fell afterwards. Musk smoking weed made plenty of headlines, but that wasn't the most interesting part of the podcast. What grabbed our attention was when Musk teased an imminent Neuralink announcement, along with his thoughts on fusing human brains with a "high-bandwidth" interface, effectively merging us with artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, that's really the purpose of Neuralink, yet another company... Read more...
When it comes to electric vehicles, the Tesla Model 3 is arguably the most talked about product on the market. After the success of the Model S and the Model X, Tesla aimed down-market with the smaller Model 3 sedan. While the promise of a true $35,000 (before $7,500 federal tax credit) version has yet to be achieved, that isn't stopping Tesla from expanding the Model 3 family at the high-end, as witnessed by the recently introduced dual-motor variant. The Model 3 (for now) starts at $49,000 for a rear-wheel-drive car, and jumps to $54,000 for dual-motors (all-wheel-drive). However, selecting the "Performance" dual-motor variant bumps that price to $64,000, which is a far cry from $35,000. However,... Read more...
Artificial intelligence is all the rage these days, as it's being used in everything from our smartphones to our digital assistants to even the vehicles we drive (or rather, are driven for us). However, as AI becomes even more powerful, there are those that say that the technology should have limits on where it can be applied. Most often, those limits are envisioned for robots that would be placed on the battlefield and would have the ability to target and potentially kill without human oversight. A group of researchers and companies that has expertise in the AI field have come together with a pledge to not develop or participate in the development of machines... Read more...
Tesla has been fighting the media over the past few months as it has struggled to reach production milestones with the Model 3 mainstream electric sedan. Along the way, it has battled bad press surrounding Autopilot failures, and CEO Elon Musk has even questioned the journalistic integrity of some publications in what he sees as an "conspiracy" against Tesla. Now, a new result from the Luxembourg Testing and standardization authority (ILNAS) has Tesla screaming bloody murder about biased testing procedures. The testing and standards body put a 2015 model year Model S, which is equipped with Tesla's first-generation Autopilot system, up against a brand-new Volvo S90 with... Read more...
In an excited email to employees, Tesla founder and chief executive officer Elon Musk wrote, "We did it!!," making sure to add an extra exclamation point for emphasis. What Tesla did, according to Musk's email, is finally achieve the automaker's goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 electric vehicles in a single week, hitting the goal in the last week of the quarter. But that's not all. "Not only did we factory gate over 5000 Model 3’s, but we also achieved the S & X production target for a combined 7000 vehicle week!," Musk added. 7000 cars, 7 days ♥️ Tesla Team ♥️ — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 1, 2018 While it took some time for Tesla to reach its goal of producing 5,000... Read more...
We haven't heard much about the Tesla Semi in recent months, but development of the revolutionary electric vehicle (EV) is still ongoing and new interest in the vehicle sparked this week in a tweet. Despite the "production hell" that Tesla is currently experiencing with the Model 3 -- along with accusations of internal sabotage -- Elon Musk has given an update via Twitter on one peculiar feature that is under development for Autopilot: a Mad Max mode. Fully autonomous vehicles tend to take a more cautious approach when it comes to lane changes, leaving a few car lengths in between vehicles to have a margin for error at highway speeds. However, we all know that humans can tend to be... Read more...
It's not quite the Skynet that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has warned us about, but researchers from the Musk-based OpenAI initiative have made a breakthrough in AI algorithms using Dota 2 as a testbed. OpenAI's achievement is remarkable due in part to its scope. Most AI versus human matches -- be it go or a computer game -- involves a single computer against a single human (as was the case with OpenAI’s victory last year). But OpenAI has managed to train its AI to master competing against humans on a five-player team. The team of five neural networks that was developed is collectively known as the OpenAI Five and is capable of playing [at an accelerated rate] 180 years with... Read more...
Ever since the original Model S launched back in 2012, one of the bedrocks of Tesla's forward-looking mission was the inclusion of integrated (and free) in-car internet. This cellular internet connection powers everything from vehicle navigation enhancements, to music streaming, to over-the-air updates that continually provide new functionality to the Tesla EV family. However, it looks as though Tesla has grown tired of giving away its full-fledged internet service to customers and will begin making some changes starting July 1st. We should come right out and clarify that the new policy that takes goes into effect on July 1st doesn't affect current Model S, Model X or Model 3 owners. These... Read more...
There has been a massive cloud of negativity swirling around Tesla over the past few months as it ramps up production of the Model 3 mainstream EV. Over the weekend, CEO Elon Musk revealed that a [now former] employee admitted to "extensive and damaging sabotage" to the company.  Today, Tesla has filed formal action against the former employee, Martin Tripp, in a lawsuit. The lawsuit, which was filed in a Nevada district court, alleges that Tripp wrote software to hack into the Tesla's proprietary manufacturing operating system (MOS) at its Nevada Gigafactory facility. This software then transferred "several gigabytes of Tesla data" to third-parties not associated with... Read more...
Tesla is going through a critical phase in its existence at the moment. You can count that quarters that the company has reported a profit in its decade of existence on one hand; it has come under attack for Autopilot crashes (including some that resulted in death); and recently, a spontaneously combusting Model S made headlines. We have to keep in mind that all of this is going on as Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would be laying off 9 percent of its workforce right in the middle of Model 3 "production hell". That sure is a lot of negative news for one company, but Musk seemingly has a partial explanation: sabotage. In an internal email sent to employees on... Read more...
Tesla recently welcomed a number of new faces to its executive team. The latest crop of executives have been drawn from corporations such as Apple, Amazon, and Snap. The new hires are part of Tesla’s major company reorganization to ensure increased production of the critical Model 3. The company recently hired Stuart Bowers as the Vice President of Engineering. He will oversee a number of facets of Tesla’s software and hardware engineering. Bowers was the Vice President of Monetization of Snap, where he focused on machine learning and advertisement infrastructure. Bowers has also worked as an engineer for Facebook and Microsoft and has filed a couple of patents with other engineers.... Read more...
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is famous for sharing details of coming vehicles on Twitter, and he has been doing just that this weekend with some bean-spilling on the company's forthcoming dual motor AWD Model 3 EV. Musk said that Tesla is hard at work on the Model 3 dual motor all-wheel drive and performance versions of the vehicle. He claims that the car's "driving feel is amazing" and offered up some release info and configuration details. Musk did directly answer one poster who wanted more details on specifics of the front and rear motors, Musk wrote, "AC induction front & switched reluctance, partial permanent magnet rear. Silicon Carbide inverters in both. Performance drive units are lot sorted... Read more...
We've reported over the past week on the "production hell" that has engulfed the Tesla Model 3. Yesterday, it was reported that Tesla will shut down Model 3 production this week in order to prepare the assembly line for a big ramp in output. Now, an email that CEO Elon Musk sent out to employees gives some greater insight into what changes the company has in store and outlined a new, lofty production target for the Model 3. For starters, Model 3 production (before the shutdown) stood at around 2,000 units per week earlier this month. Now, Musk is saying that the company will ramp production to 3,000 to 4,000 cars per week in May. How exactly is Tesla going to (at most)... Read more...
It's getting a bit hard to decipher what's going on over at Tesla these days. Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that "production hell" is in full effect as it attempts to ramp Model 3production numbers. Musk blamed the slow buildup of production on "excess automation". He went on to add that the miscalculation on a proliferation of robots on the assembly line was his mistake and that "humans are underrated".  Now we're learning that Model 3 production is once again going to come to complete stop (the last production halt occurred in late February). According to BuzzFeed News, the production freeze will last between four to five days, and workers are expected to either take... Read more...
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