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Tesla Model S Gets Titanium Underbody Shield, Aluminum Deflector Plates

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the responding-to-a-challenge dept.

Transportation 314

An anonymous reader writes "Tesla Motors made headlines several times last year for a few Model S car fires. Elon Musk criticized all the attention at the time, pointing out that it was disproportionate to the 200,000 fires in gas-powered cars over the same period. Musk didn't stop there, though. He's announced that the Model S will now have a titanium underbody shield along with an aluminum bar and extrusion. He says this will prevent debris struck on the road from breaching the battery area. Musk offered this amusing example: 'We believe these changes will also help prevent a fire resulting from an extremely high speed impact that tears the wheels off the car, like the other Model S impact fire, which occurred last year in Mexico. This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries and a fire, again limited to the front section of the vehicle, started several minutes later. The underbody shields will help prevent a fire even in such a scenario.' Included with the article are several animated pictures of testing done with the new underbody, which survives running over a trailer hitch, a concrete block, and an alternator."

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"extrusion"? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602745)

What happened to the 3D printing revolution?

Re:"extrusion"? (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 7 months ago | (#46603095)

What happened to the 3D printing revolution?

It's more of an evolution than a revolution. Give it time. But it still won't be the right tool for every job.

Re:"extrusion"? (5, Informative)

KDN (3283) | about 7 months ago | (#46603431)

Cost and strength. You can extrude something for a fraction of the cost of 3D printing or milling. You can even extrude titanium if you have a big enough press. (google "heavy press program" if you want to see some MONSTER presses.) Both extrusion and milling still have strength advantages over 3D printing. Where 3D printing shines is prototyping, small run, or fancy designs that are too difficult to extrude or cast or mill. But give it a few more years. The other methods have been around far longer, so we know how to do things well.

Re:"extrusion"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603503)

Wow, 30 minutes ago that comment was modded +1 funny. Looks like someone at Slash has a 3D dildo up his ass and won't tolerate any dissent.

Re:"extrusion"? (5, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 7 months ago | (#46603529)

I don't understand why people see every new bit of technology like it's some magical panacea, ready for mass consumption the instant they learn of its existence.

You wouldn't try to print 100,000 books on an ink jet printer. While you might do mockups on that ink jet, you'd have the actual run output on a printing press. 3D printing is the same exact thing. Great for prototyping, but too slow, inefficient and expensive for mass production. That may change some day, but currently were a ways away from that being feasible.

Human guided missile? (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#46602751)

Is he saying they've upgraded safety to piloted weapon system levels?

Sounds like (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#46602761)

This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries

Sounds like a scene from "the A team", where I would have been saying "that's so unrealistic"!

Re:Sounds like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602969)

Drunk drivers often walk away from car crashes without real injuries. They also often flee the scene like this Tesla driver.

Re:Sounds like (2)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 7 months ago | (#46603315)

Totally off the point, but you do get credit for injecting something to elicit knee-jerk reactions in lieu of rational thought.

Re:Sounds like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603497)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=drunk+dri... [lmgtfy.com]

5.5 million results.

Re:Sounds like (5, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 7 months ago | (#46602991)

But seriously makes me want to buy one.

"Guess what my car can do? Here, hold my beer..."
Two minutes later, walk back and finish beer. "It didn't even get warm!"

Re:Sounds like (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603165)

This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries

Sounds like a scene from "the A team", where I would have been saying "that's so unrealistic"!

The Tesla Model S sounds like a tank. I needs a tank to traverse these pot-hole-riddled roadways. Where's the ammunition stored?

Re:Sounds like (5, Funny)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46603581)

In the battery compartment.

indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603197)

Indeed it does; it makes me wonder why they don't make the Tesla S look more like a badass car and less like a family sedan.Wouldn't take much revision to have, say, a Tesla Se, that's got minor revisions ala body panels.

Personally, I'm waiting for the Tesla minitruck (think 1980s Toyota). Maybe by then they'll have the "cold weather energy cell" issue fixed and the vehicle would be of some use to most people.

Re:indeed (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | about 7 months ago | (#46603379)

The "cold weather energy cell" has been shown to be some bad 12V batteries in some cars (Tesla have the large li-ion battery pack and a more traditional 12V battery). AFAIK, those have been replace, problem solved. Elon tweeted about this about 3-4 months ago. Somebody will correct me in 1,2,3,4,5,...

Re:indeed (1)

KDN (3283) | about 7 months ago | (#46603475)

Indeed it does; it makes me wonder why they don't make the Tesla S look more like a badass car and less like a family sedan.Wouldn't take much revision to have, say, a Tesla Se, that's got minor revisions ala body panels.

I have to wonder if they are going to do a "Mad Max" version of the Tesla :-) Driving through massive potholes, smashing concrete blocks in the street, deflecting steel rods. Perfect for driving in NYC :-).

Re:indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603539)

Modern cars are designed based on aerodynamics. "looking cool" would reduce the vehicle' energy efficiency by increasing its drag coefficient.

Titanium? (2)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 7 months ago | (#46602765)

Isn't titanium pyrophoric, sort of like those golf clubs [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Titanium? (1)

jgotts (2785) | about 7 months ago | (#46602829)

I thought the same thing, but it might depend upon the specific alloy.

Re:Titanium? (4, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 7 months ago | (#46602847)

Only as a powder or thin shavings. As a solid block, it'd make an effective barrier.

In the event of a crash where there is grinding across the titanium shield, there would be a lot of sparks on the outside, but no damage to the batteries.

Re:Titanium? (-1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 7 months ago | (#46603035)

Only as a powder or thin shavings. As a solid block, it'd make an effective barrier.

Well except for the powder or thin shavings resulting from the scrape/impact to the barrier.

Re:Titanium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603129)

... yes, and like he said, they would be on the outside sparking, but no damage to the batteries.

Try and keep up, here.

Re:Titanium? (2)

CurryCamel (2265886) | about 7 months ago | (#46603527)

The car was going 110mph. The flux capacitator must have been broken.

Re:Titanium? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 7 months ago | (#46603265)

Tesla Model S Crashes, now 10 times more AWESOME!

Re:Titanium? (1)

westlake (615356) | about 7 months ago | (#46603547)

In the event of a crash where there is grinding across the titanium shield, there would be a lot of sparks on the outside, but no damage to the batteries

and this is a good thing?

what else could be ignited?

Re:Titanium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603773)

maybe if you crash into an oil refinery.
Metal sparks may be hot enough to ignite fuels like kerosin.

Re:Titanium? (4, Funny)

MiniMike (234881) | about 7 months ago | (#46603057)

So when you're driving your Tesla on the golf course, try to keep on the fairway and out of the rough. Especially avoid running over rocks and golfers carrying titanium clubs.

Re:Titanium? (5, Funny)

operagost (62405) | about 7 months ago | (#46603507)

Golf carts have batteries.

Teslas have batteries.

Coincidence?

Re:Titanium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603077)

Sure, but there is no gasoline in a Tesla. It's only the other cars that will explode.

Re:Titanium? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 7 months ago | (#46603099)

Yes, but the batteries can survive being sprinkled with sparks just fine. It's being impaled that makes them ignite.

Very amusing but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602823)

Clearly Elon is underplaying this a bit. Yes maybe there isn't a large risk but if they went to the trouble of making an engineering change that adds significant expense and weight to the vehicle then obviously they themselves believe there is a risk.

Re:Very amusing but... (5, Insightful)

peon_a-z,A-Z,0-9$_+! (2743031) | about 7 months ago | (#46602851)

We're here dealing in the realm of engineering + political risk = decisions.

There is a risk, but you can't say it was an engineering risk and just a political one.

Re:Very amusing but... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46602979)

We're here dealing in the realm of engineering + political risk = decisions.

There is a risk, but you can't say it was an engineering risk and just a political one.

Welcome to the world of automotive manufacturing.

Re:Very amusing but... (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 7 months ago | (#46603371)

We're here dealing in the realm of engineering + political risk = decisions.

There is a risk, but you can't say it was an engineering risk and just a political one.

I wouldn't even say it was political. This is merely dealing with stupid. It's Tesla's fault that there was a fire after the incident described in Mexico? Puh-lease! The trailer hitch thing in Tennessee was even a fluke accident that could have easily ruptured a fuel line under the car and caused a fire if it was a gas powered vehicle. That kind of thing is just plain rare no matter what. My concern at this point is how much range was lost because of safety features added to the vehicle because of these incidents. I would imagine a few tens of miles. At least the vehicle is getting even safer and further outpacing its fossil fuel brethren for safety. Consumer Reports may have to go to 11 for this car with the added safety features.

Re:Very amusing but... (5, Informative)

InsaneMosquito (1067380) | about 7 months ago | (#46603687)

From the article:

The protective qualities of the underbody shields are substantial, but their effect on the overall structure of the vehicle is minimal. In total, the shields only have a 0.1 percent impact on range and donâ(TM)t affect ride or handling. Wind tunnel testing shows no discernible change in drag or lift on the car.

Re:Very amusing but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602881)

Yes, the risk of more hysterical press reactions.

Re:Very amusing but... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602887)

No they don't, they are just sick and tired that some people suck up everything that is thrown at them without even informing themselves, that's why some people believe that Tesla S is insecure and that could catch on fire at any moment, which is completely false, but people don't mind to find out if it's true, they just read it on the newspaper, so it MUST be true

Re:Very amusing but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603007)

Tesla designed a weak bottom so that they could do battery swaps, even though battery swap is a dumb idea. At least they're coming to their senses now that battery swap isn't needed for PR (it fulfilled it's purpose in blunting the real range issue is people's minds).

Re:Very amusing but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603111)

FTFA:

"In total, the shields only have a 0.1 percent impact on range and don’t affect ride or handling."

So it's certainly an engineering effort but not a significant weight etc.

Re:Very amusing but... (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46603257)

That is small. I suspect that means that either the weight of the impact shield is negligible compared to that of the car, or that the improvement in aerodynamic efficiency negates the losses to increased mass.

Now that I think about it it seems kind of odd that most cars *don't* have an undercarriage shield, even if only plastic - think of how much engineering effort is spent on improving the aerodynamics of the body, which accounts for less than 3/4 of the surface area. Meanwhile the undercarriage is left completely unoptimized, despite having to deal with not only normal aerodynamics, but ground-effects as well.

Re:Very amusing but... (2)

bmajik (96670) | about 7 months ago | (#46603395)

Most German cars (which is who Tesla competes with) have undercarriage engineering for reasons of sound and high-speed aero concerns. They are expected to sustain 200kmh, and the relevance of drag rises exponentially with speed, but also, controlling airflow is important so that the car doesn't have too much high speed lift. What you do NOT want is a vehicle that loses significant grip as speed rises, yet most cars are shaped like (poor) airfoils so this is a concern.

You may recall that the first gen Audi TT did not have a rear deck spoiler, but real world driving showed that there were many high speed loss-of-control accidents with the vehicle, so a rear spoiler was fitted later.

Re:Very amusing but... (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 7 months ago | (#46603175)

It's marketing. And it's excellent marketing. Plausible risk has little to do with it, but it makes me want to invest in the company.

Re:Very amusing but... (1)

KDN (3283) | about 7 months ago | (#46603535)

It's marketing. And it's excellent marketing. Plausible risk has little to do with it, but it makes me want to invest in the company.

Its very good marketing, I can almost hear him saying "oh yeah, take that".

On the negative side, I bet there is some teenage brat "suffering" from Affluzenza who is going to drive this car off a cliff, and when he skins his knee he is going to get his daddy to sue the company for a billion or so dollars.

Re:Very amusing but... (1)

Quila (201335) | about 7 months ago | (#46603785)

Everything is risk mitigation. Tesla could try to mitigate the risk of Zeus throwing a thunderbolt from the heavens at a Model S, but the risk is so low, and nobody cares about it, so they're not doing it.

As we have seen, there is far less fire risk in a Tesla than in all gasoline-powered cars on the road, so mitigation of that risk shouldn't be a priority either. However, the media has played up the "Electric cars catch fire, duh!" meme so much that this is basically a forced PR move.

How does this impact price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602825)

So it impacts range by ".01%" but how about cost?

Re:How does this impact price? (4, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | about 7 months ago | (#46603059)

If you have to ask, you weren't going to buy one anyways.

Re: How does this impact price? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603283)

Every taxpayer is expected to (contribute toward) buy (ing) one.

Re: How does this impact price? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603463)

As the GP notes, if you "need" the gov't subsidy, you aren't buying a Tesla in the first place. Removing the subsidy might reduce the waiting time by a couple of weeks, but wouldn't put a dent in sales.

[taiwanjohn: posting as A/C to preserve mod points]

Titanium causes fires??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602835)

I thought it was just announced that Titanium golf clubs were responsible for fires, now they covered the bottom of the car in it? CRAZY!!!!

That *is* funny! (1)

TraumaHound (30184) | about 7 months ago | (#46602841)

Musk offered this amusing example: '... This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree.

Hilarious!

Re:That *is* funny! (5, Insightful)

MattGWU (86623) | about 7 months ago | (#46602939)

I thought it was pretty funny as an absurdist thing. "Yes, our car caught fire after crashing through a wall at 110 MPH, an unfortunate weakness in our battery-powered vehicle which any other car would have obviously brushed aside - the driver was fine, by the way." / "Yes, our cars catch fire after merely crashing through a wall, another wall, and a tree, after which the driver walked away...we suck :( "

Re:That *is* funny! (1)

Bomarc (306716) | about 7 months ago | (#46603219)

And just how many times do *you* crash into two walls and a tree at 110 mph (while drunk)? The risk of this happening is so SMALL, why would this a factor with a decision to not buy?
-- If my gas powered car would let me walk away after this type of incident -- I would buy that car again. Oh, wait...

Re:That *is* funny! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602975)

You should be a reporter because your selective quoting is at a master level. It was amusing because the story was Tesla catches on fire, ignoring the series of events that caused the fire and the fact that the operator was uninjured after a devastating series of events.

Re:That *is* funny! (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 7 months ago | (#46603401)

Musk offered this amusing example: '... This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree.

Hilarious!

And amazing the idiot survived. Should have been a Darwin award winner for sure. Testament to how tough that Model S really is, even before the added stuff.

Fitted because they were needed! (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 7 months ago | (#46602857)

This is what the rest of the automotive industry will say, then: "This shows what we have said all along, these things are unsafe.". These (misleading) headlines will be quoted all over - "case proven, Tesla is not safe".

It would be amusing to see them held to the same standards - which the regulator could, nay - should, do.

Re:Fitted because they were needed! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 7 months ago | (#46603143)

None of them would say that. That's like a CPU manufacturer saying multicore CPUs are unreliable. They're pretty much all selling them and they all know it's the future.

Re:Fitted because they were needed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603377)

Or like somebody from Qualcomm dismissing 64 bit processors in a phone as a marketing ploy, just before they announced their own. That would never happen.

Re:Fitted because they were needed! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 7 months ago | (#46603161)

Haven't they already broken the safety tests by being beyond the test limitations?

Not sure what else the *regulators* should do.

Re:Fitted because they were needed! (5, Informative)

Firethorn (177587) | about 7 months ago | (#46603471)

Haven't they already broken the safety tests by being beyond the test limitations?

Let's see, they had to come up with extraordinary measures in order to flip the Tesla for that safety test, they broke the crush machine at somewhere around the equivalent of 4 teslas stacked on top of the roof.

Thus far the Tesla has taken full advantage of it's electric design to make a vehicle that sneers at standard impact tests.

sky should be the limit... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 7 months ago | (#46602871)

for a $90k car...why not carbon fiber too?

Re:sky should be the limit... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603023)

It's not the magical material people think it is. It's just rigid for its weight, but not particularly tough.

Re:sky should be the limit... (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 7 months ago | (#46603163)

LOLWUT?

Race car crash structures - structures specifically made to absorb crash impact - are made of CF. It's very tough. It's why an F1 driver can walk away from plowing into a concrete wall at 300kph with just a hollow spike of material a few feet long between himself and the wall.

Re:sky should be the limit... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603221)

Um, I think you need to get some materials science 101 into you, buddy. I've read a lot of your posts and you sound like a misinformed, excited teenager. The fact that carbon fiber ISN'T tough is the reason your F1 driver can walk away. You want to see TOUGH? In the 1960s they built race cars like airplanes. Light AND tough, every accident turned the driver into jelly and the cars survived.

Re:sky should be the limit... (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 7 months ago | (#46603391)

Is "tough" a technical term? If you're going to get pedantic I think we should use technical terms.

It's "tough" as in a strong enough material to make a good crash structure, we agree on that. It's not "tough" like diamond. If you read my earlier post in this thread about crappy motorcycle helmets, you'd see that I don't think harder = better crash structure.

Re:sky should be the limit... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603647)

Race cars are designed to ablate shedding energy, saving the driver at the cost of structural integrity.

The car is specifically designed not to survive the high speed crash (it sacrifices itself to protect the driver). That's not "tough" by any definition of which I am aware.

In the more general case carbon fiber is used where the primary design feature is being lightweight, and you only need just enough strength to prevent structural collapse. Cases where you want the structure to survive significant stress tend to prefer aluminum, titanium, or steel alloys.

Re:sky should be the limit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603665)

Yes, toughness is a term used in materials science. It behooves YOU to look into things before making incredible statements about a subject you clearly know little to nothing about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

That'll get you started. And I didn't call you an excited teenager to refer to your youth, but your naive, hysterical rants about things you know nothing about. I also called you misinformed...

And since this story is about the underbody of an electric car, not its cabin, I really have no idea why the OP brought up CF anyways. You WANT something tough under the car, not carbon fiber!!!

Remember how in the late '90s early 2000s, carbon fiber rims for high-end bikes were all the rage?? Try finding some now. Bike stores now carry 99.9% aluminum rims with carbon fiber non-structural sheets to give the wheel a racing profile...

Why? What happened? Isn't carbon fiber the magical Space Elevator material of the glorious 3D printed future? Oops, turns out that carbon fiber has very low toughness, it doesn't deal very well with cracks under stress.

So back to bikes: people simply treated their magical wheels like any old wheel and didn't read the effing manual. Any gouge or scratch and the wheel is fatally flawed. Lots of these wheels simply flew apart under stress, like riding fast into a corner. Crack gets bigger, wheel explodes. There's your lack of toughness. Competitive cyclists don't care since they don't pay for their bike, or even do their own maintenance. Sure, CF is light and rigid enough, but that's IT. Nothing else.

And this isn't even new knowledge. Carbon fiber was used the 19 SIXTIES to try to build fan blades for a jet engine... Yeah, guess how that turned out?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R... [wikipedia.org]

"The situation deteriorated further when in May 1970 the new Hyfil (a Carbon (fiber) composite) fan stage, after passing every other test, shattered into pieces when a chicken was fired into it at high speed."

Oops. No toughness. We know that. Since half a century. But it keeps popping up into popular imagination as some sort of magical material. It ain't.

hi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603673)

You're an idiot, please get a fucking education so you can stop sounding like a worthless shitbag.

Re:sky should be the limit... (1, Offtopic)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 7 months ago | (#46603403)

BTW, thanks for calling me an "excited teenager" though. Makes me feel young!

Re:sky should be the limit... (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#46603239)

They achieve that with an elaborate multi-layer hand laid structure that would be too expensive to employ in volume production.

Re:sky should be the limit... (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 months ago | (#46603345)

Carbon fiber has a failure mode that you could describe as "explosive". It absorbs a lot of energy, which is what the race car driver wants, but it doesn't necessarily prevent a sharp object from penetrating the area, which is what Tesla wants.Titanium has incredible toughness given its weight, which makes it a good candidate here. It's expensive, but in a $100,000 car, so what?

Anyway, there's a reason that the A-10 pilot sits in a titanium "bathtub".

Re:sky should be the limit... (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 7 months ago | (#46603443)

It's why an F1 driver can walk away from plowing into a concrete wall at 300kph with just a hollow spike of material a few feet long between himself and the wall.

And if the cars were carrying lithium-ion batteries they would catch fire, which is the point here, irrespective of any LOLWUTs.

Re:sky should be the limit... (2)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 7 months ago | (#46603179)

Agreed... carbon fiber has a brittleness, and while more sturdy than porcelain, exhibits some of the same behavior of cracking rather than absorbing any impact.

Re:sky should be the limit... (0)

hAckz0r (989977) | about 7 months ago | (#46603169)

This decision is for the laymen that don't know enough to see the solution for what little benefit it provides. To them carbon is bad. Think Coal (flammable) and C02 (poisoning our atmosphere, and why we buy a Tesla in the first place). Never mind that graphite is non-flamable and diamond is the hardest structure known, as they don't get in the news.

Maybe spider silk? Spiderman is cool. Yup, make it out of spider silk and that would sell a lot of cars.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:sky should be the limit... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46603383)

Actually laymen tend to think carbon fibre is very cool. It actually gets used in a lot of gift products that have little or no justification for it's combination of lightness and strength. E.g. Carbon fibre lighters, pens, smartphone cases.

Re:sky should be the limit... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46603641)

The same is true of titanium.

Titanium sporks are popular for camping.

Re:sky should be the limit... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 7 months ago | (#46603749)

Actually laymen tend to think carbon fibre is very cool. It actually gets used in a lot of gift products that have little or no justification for it's combination of lightness and strength. E.g. Carbon fibre lighters, pens, smartphone cases.

And most of that is probably faux carbon fiber too - just a fancy design printed on the plastic material they're using. Do it via hydro-dipping and it conforms to the surface in ways the real thing would, too.

It's far too pricey for cheap ass geegaws - if it was really carbon fiber, it would be way way up there in price.

Now, carbon fiber is great at absorbing energy - shattering consumes an immense amount of it. Unfortunately, I'm fairly certain you don't want shrapnel going everywhere in a crash lest it impale passers-by. They get away with it in F1 because the spectators tend to be well set back from the track for that reason.

when way too much is never enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46602957)

crown royal WMD peddlers wwworld wide shutting down social media, gassing the populations etc... etc.... crying foulish mistreatment by ungrateful unchosen subjects

Who the hell was driving that car? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46602971)

This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries and a fire, again limited to the front section of the vehicle, started several minutes later.

This sounds like something yon might see if you're watching Road Runner [wikipedia.org]

Re:Who the hell was driving that car? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46603555)

Meep.

Re:Who the hell was driving that car? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46603625)

That's 'Meep Meep!'

Never get a monkey to do a bird's job.

Wow (3)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 7 months ago | (#46603021)

the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries

I can't be the only one who finds this amazing. People survive these kinds of crashes, but to be able to get yourself out for the vehicle and walk away on your own is impressive.

Re:Wow (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 7 months ago | (#46603177)

VERY impressive for a production vehicle.

Check out some Volvo ads (1)

swb (14022) | about 7 months ago | (#46603193)

You should see some of the cars people survived accidents from. You'd think there's no way they could have even lived.

Re:Check out some Volvo ads (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 months ago | (#46603423)

This. One of the unsung heros of the late 20th Century and beyond are the automobile engineers. Modern cars can take an enormous amount of impact energy and distribute it away from the passengers. It's actually unusual to see serious injuries in major car crashes - it certainly happens but not to the frequency it did previous to energy absorbing frames, airbags, active tensioners and the like.

No kaboom.. No earth shattering kaboom. But you can't have everything.

Re:Check out some Volvo ads (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 7 months ago | (#46603593)

It's actually unusual to see serious injuries in major car crashes

You mean except for the 1.24 million deaths [who.int] annually on roads? Or the 20-40,000 people who die each year in car crashes in the US alone? Interesting definition of unusual you have there.

Re:Check out some Volvo ads (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 7 months ago | (#46603761)

You should see some of the cars people survived accidents from. You'd think there's no way they could have even lived.

110 MPH through two concrete walls in not your typical accident.

That's nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603027)

Slow news day eh?

PR smackdown (5, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 7 months ago | (#46603069)

You know, I usually detest any sort of PR speak. That sort of bullshit where they desperately try to spin negative news to their advantage. It's just something I've come to expect from corporations and politicians.

But this?

We believe these changes will also help prevent a fire resulting from an extremely high speed impact that tears the wheels off the car, like the other Model S impact fire, which occurred last year in Mexico. This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries and a fire, again limited to the front section of the vehicle, started several minutes later. The underbody shields will help prevent a fire even in such a scenario.

That is some mighty fine PR smackdown.
Sure, there were other fires, but this one they got covered.

Can we please move to the post-bullshit era where authenticity is expected?

Re:PR smackdown (4, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 7 months ago | (#46603359)

The other fire involved tripping over a 50 pound metal spike at 70mph, causing it to upend violently and drive itself through the underside of the car with the force of a cannon.

This one's easy to spin: "Tesla hits piece of metal on the road, catches fire." Problem was it hit a piece of metal on the road while going incredibly fast--fast enough for a piece of mild steel to puncture a 1/4 inch aluminum plate. Go find a 6mm thick piece of aluminum and try putting a nail through it. In theory, if the metal flipped upwards, it would skid off the bottom of the plate; if the ground end caught so it rotated, it would still skid across the aluminum plate. In reality, if you hit it hard enough, it'll either create a dimple or (more likely) it'll hit with enough force to wedge itself, creating enough friction that it tilts upward rather than skids--and if you're moving fast enough, that's enough energy to drive the fucking thing through the underside of the battery.

The other fires--fires caused by faulty wiring or wall chargers, who knows--were caused at the wall.

So the plate was replaced by a plate that can withstand retarded morons who should not be driving. That's basically what it amounts to. If you see a rusty trailer hitch [greenoptimistic.com] in the road, try not to hit it so hard that it lifts your car up into the air. You should also try not to crash into a concrete barrier wall at 110mph, then through a reinforced buttressed concrete wall, then headlong into a tree. These are things they recommend against doing in driver's ed.

Trailer hitch accident (2)

Firethorn (177587) | about 7 months ago | (#46603617)

I think I know the accident you speak of - it wasn't so much a 'metal spike' as a caltrop in the form of a trailer hitch on the road - One of those 3-ball types from some reports. I don't think it really weighed 50 pounds as I think it was a hitch like this one [etrailer.com] , putting it closer to 40 pounds(or less), given the shipping weight of 44 pounds.

As for mild steel - not unless it was bought from some shady chinese store.

That's basically what it amounts to. If you see a rusty trailer hitch in the road, try not to hit it so hard that it lifts your car up into the air.

I'd tend to say 'try not to drive over stuff, especially big bits of metal'.

Re:Trailer hitch accident (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 7 months ago | (#46603767)

Washington state is the worst I've ever been in for crap on the roads.

Re:PR smackdown (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 7 months ago | (#46603435)

You know, I usually detest any sort of PR speak. That sort of bullshit where they desperately try to spin negative news to their advantage. It's just something I've come to expect from corporations and politicians.

But this?

Can we please move to the post-bullshit era where authenticity is expected?

Is Fox News gone yet? No? Keep waiting.

Travel in Vietnam by Tesla Motors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603185)

I wish You can travel in Vietnam, Indochina by Tesla and Bike in this year. We can do it.

Thank Tesla from http://bcfamilytour.com

yeah, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603483)

will it survive atmospheric reentry?

But seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603599)

I know this will be modded flamebait, but seriously, how many gasoline power cars catch fire after hitting road debris? Compare this number to the number of gasoline powered cars on the road that hit debris but don't catch fire. Then do this same calculation for the Tesla. That's the number I am interested in. It shows the probability that your car/Tesla will burn to the ground after hitting something in the road.

One Down (0)

Useless (11387) | about 7 months ago | (#46603603)

So here's the daily Tesla slashvertisment. Now all we need is the daily Facebook, Bitcoin, and Snowden posts. And since it's Friday, need the weekly "Women in Tech" clickbait post.

With a few more titanium parts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603639)

....maybe he can make it cost $150,000 just to make sure it's completely out of reach by the proles!

WAY TO CHANGE THE WORLD* ELON.

*for the 1%

Transparent Aluminum Deflector Plates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46603649)

eh?

Thse tests are all the same car (5, Insightful)

kamakazi (74641) | about 7 months ago | (#46603675)

Did anyone else notice those seem to be successive tests on the same car? In the alternator test you see a fastener toward the back of the belly plate gets loosened, in the trailer hitch test you see the fastener actually come out, then in the concrete block test you see the belly plate actually flap under impact, and you can see what appears to be the hole that fastener came from.

I am fairly impressed that, not only did they do real world tests (which do fall short of shearing off wheels and battering through concrete walls) but they apparently did not put the car on a lift and return it to perfect condition between successive tests.

That makes the test a bit more real world like, cars get driven and accumulate wear and tear, so they are not necessarily going to be in factory mint condition when they hit something.

You get the feeling, regardless of what you think of Musk or the car, that he is very proud of that car, and it appears justifiably so. Yes, he is defensive when the press screams disaster and trumpets doom and gloom about the car, but he doesn't ever try to hide from the press or try to spin the reports, instead he makes a change to improve the car, then does his spin on his own terms.

Obviously titanium might be a bit pricey for the "cheap" Tesla when it arrives, but I bet the anti-penetration armor design will be there, even if it ends up being constructed of less expensive materials.

In this way the response to the overhyped Tesla accidents and fires will help us all in the long run, just like the German automakers pioneered crash simulation in the 80s and 90s, and now all cars have crumple zones.

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