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Tesla Makes Improvements To Model S

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the better-and-better dept.

Transportation 136

An anonymous reader writes "In a lull between product launches Tesla intends to keep making improvements to the Model S according to Elon Musk. Tesla will automatically push software to the Model S fleet that will help the car learn the driver's habits and the navigation system will offer directions to avoid traffic jams. 'This year, Tesla is offering only the single model, the Model S that is EPA rated at up to 265 miles on a single charge, the most of any electric car. The company's next model won't come until next year, when the delayed Model X crossover goes on sale. Musk says the holdup has centered on making sure its signature design element, gullwing doors to make it easier to get in the rear, works properly and is leak-proof. "Getting the door right is extremely difficult," he says.'"

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News at 11 (2)

nadaou (535365) | about 5 months ago | (#47192887)

In other news, Linus makes a point release!

Re:News at 11 (1, Redundant)

Cryacin (657549) | about 5 months ago | (#47192891)

Improvements? No one could possibly want to have a range of more than 640k.

Re: Speaking of improvements! Less loose! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192913)

Musk says the holdup has centered on making sure its signature design element, gullwing doors to make it easier to get in the rear

It's easy enough to get in your mom's rear!

Re:News at 11 (1)

neokushan (932374) | about 5 months ago | (#47193715)

640KM range probably would be enough for anyone.

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193861)

With 5 minute recharging?

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194037)

Not for trans-Atlantic flights.

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47195429)

Even with the Gullwing doors, I suspect the Tesla is poor for flights anyway.

Musk should license some technology from Matt Tracker. He had it in the 1980s.

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193841)

True. Adding an SSD to improve startup time is the way to go.

Re:News at 11 (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 5 months ago | (#47193629)

Yep and it's a fair comparison too. Every other car company does this to. No sirree there's nothing unique about a car company releasing point updates to improve customer's vehicles after they bought them right?

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193761)

Really, Because I know for a fact that Honda does not just "push" software updates to my car. I have to take it into the dealer and then sit in a crappy waiting room for 2 hours while they dink around.

Re:News at 11 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193807)

Your sarcasm detector appears to be faulty, maybe you should take it into your dealer and see if they have a software update for it :p

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193785)

Yep and it's a fair comparison too. Every other car company does this to. No sirree there's nothing unique about a car company releasing point updates to improve customer's vehicles after they bought them right?

Care to mention examples of other car companies that push major software updates out to their cars that significantly improves the car for free vs what you bought?

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194053)

Care to mention why you were born with a complete inability to detect sarcasm? The tongue in cheek use of "No sirree" should have given it away.

Tesla S is a piece of shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192903)

I used to own one of these and there isn't much that couldn't be improved. Brought it home and it never started again. I called Elon and yelled at him until he sent another and got that piece of shit out of my garage. The radio never worked right and the heater only blew cold air, and that wasn't even the beginning of my problems with that fucking lemon. Sure enough, that one busted too, only that time I was doing 85mph on the interstate when it locked up all the brakes and the battery caught fire. The engineers said that I should have put gasoline in it because it was electric and refused to return my money. How the fuck was I supposed to know that? $80,000 right down the fucking drain. Fuck Telsa and fuck Elon Musk. I saw his stupid, pretentious, elitist TED presentation and could barely withhold my disgust. Send him back to Africa.

Re:Tesla S is a piece of shit (2)

_merlin (160982) | about 5 months ago | (#47192907)

The engineers said that I should have put gasoline in it because it was electric and refused to return my money.

And here's the giveaway...

Re:Tesla S is a piece of shit (2)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#47193013)

I'm sorry - who are you again?

It's not that I actually believe your story - but you tell it well.

Re:Tesla S is a piece of shit (2)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about 5 months ago | (#47193499)

Maybe it's some 13 y.o. Ukrainian boy [slashdot.org] ?

Learning Nav system? (1)

MrLogic17 (233498) | about 5 months ago | (#47192921)

Please tell me it's Waze. Best Nav system in the world - it's saved me from more than one ticket...

Re:Learning Nav system? (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 5 months ago | (#47193025)

Waze is owned by Google now, but it still uses some strange 3rd party text to speech library instead of Google's superior one. Google needs to start busting some heads and get them using the built functionality that Android has. Other than that minor gripe, I completely agree with you.

Re:Learning Nav system? (1)

MrLogic17 (233498) | about 5 months ago | (#47193783)

Google only purchased this company this past year. Give it some time... I'm rather happy google hasn't swooped in and hanged a bunch of stuff right away.

Re:Learning Nav system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193823)

Google has already incorporated data from their Waze users in to Google Maps' navigation. I'm sure they have owned it long enough to fix this issue if they cared enough, but they will most likely incorporate all the stuff they want from Waze into Google Maps and kill Waze off when done, so why improve it.

Re:Learning Nav system? (5, Informative)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#47193095)

I was going to try it out, but they wanted me to grant "irrevocable, perpetual, sublicensable" permission to any location data gather by the app, which is all associated with a unique identifier.

Re:Learning Nav system? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193311)

Welcome my son,

Welcome to the machine.

Where have you been?

It's alright we know where you've been.

Re: Learning Nav system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193339)

Only 1 word: OsmAnd. And the data is yours and remains yours. May not be as slick as the commerecial apps. But I use it exclusively on my business trips around Europe. And it works exceptionally well, considering it's open source.

Re: Learning Nav system? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47194003)

Only 1 word: OsmAnd. And the data is yours and remains yours. May not be as slick as the commerecial apps. But I use it exclusively on my business trips around Europe. And it works exceptionally well, considering it's open source.

The maps are completely useless where I live and fairly horribly inaccurate in places around where I live. Totally useless. $100 will get you a refurb or last-year's-model garmin with lifetime traffic and maps.

gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192933)

OK if the doors are leak proof, but will they drip water/snow/dust inside when you open them after driving in rain/snow/dusty weather?

Re:gullwing doors (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47192961)

The gullwing doors are going to be his white whale.

If they wanted to do something cool with the doors, they should have gone with electric sliding doors for all four doors. Front doors slide forward, back doors slide backwards. No worries about clearance above the car, or even next to the car, they seal correctly, they don't stop you from putting a roof-rack on it and because mini-vans have been using electric sliding doors for decades all the bugs have been engineered out years ago.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193003)

Seems like sliding is more of a step forward, ya.

Re:gullwing doors (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193009)

and because mini-vans have been using electric sliding doors for decades

And that right there is the problem. Nobody drives a minivan to look cool. People drive Teslas to look cool. A Tesla that looks like a minivan would not look cool.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#47193763)

Yes they do. Chevy Tahoe owners drive that oversized minivan hoping they look "cool"

Yes Modern SUV's are all minivans. none of them are capable of real of road anymore.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

JonBoy47 (2813759) | about 5 months ago | (#47194713)

.Yes, but (this is crucial) SUV's and crossovers do not have sliding doors. The lack of sliding doors was a conscious, functional decision, where the function in question is "Get people to actually buy it."

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193773)

It will look especially cool when you try to open the door in a garage.

Re:gullwing doors (5, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 5 months ago | (#47193041)

No worries about clearance above the car

Because this is a concern for a sports car, when most parking places are designed for vans.

or even next to the car

Gull-wing doors require less side clearance than standard doors.

they seal correctly

So do gull-wing doors, if closed with a proper path. This is the hard part, because the door system can't interfere with other systems, like the roof's roll supports. It's not an intractable problem, but it makes the overall engineering more difficult.

they don't stop you from putting a roof-rack on it

Also a big problem for sports cars, I'm sure.

mini-vans have been using electric sliding doors for decades

...And gull-wing doors have been around for half a century.

Re:gullwing doors (2)

erice (13380) | about 5 months ago | (#47193071)

No worries about clearance above the car

Because this is a concern for a sports car, when most parking places are designed for vans.

they don't stop you from putting a roof-rack on it

Also a big problem for sports cars, I'm sure.

Crossover SUV != sports car. They are bigger, taller and commonly used to carry bicycles, skis, and other sporting equipment on their roofs. Crossover SUV's are highly utilitarian which is very unlike sports cars.

Re:gullwing doors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193103)

> Gull-wing doors require less side clearance than standard doors.

This SUV still has standard doors on the front. Clearance improvements for the back doors don't make a bit of difference when the driver still can't open his own door. Sliding doors would fix it for every door on the car.

Frankly your misrepresentation of the model-X as a sports car and all the other intellectually dishonest comparisons scream fanboi. I'm no tesla hater, so back the fuck down already. He doesn't even know you exist, you don't have to lie and misrepresent to please him.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193447)

Frankly your misrepresentation of the model-X as a sports car and all the other intellectually dishonest comparisons scream fanboi.

Either that or he has enough experience with electric vehicles to know that they will beat the crap out of any combustion engine when it comes to acceleration.

Re: gullwing doors (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about 5 months ago | (#47193665)

It's quick but not quicker than "any combustion engine". I don't think it's even in the top ten.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193877)

Seeing my $6800 motorcycle has wasted several tesla roadsters, my experience seems to disagree with yours. True, they beat me to 40, but after that it was so long tesla. And the roadster is a hell of a lot quicker than the model S and presumably the model X. And yes, I've also put shame to the model S on my bike.

And though normally I'd agree that it's an unfair comparison, you did say *any* combustion engine. Also, remember there are also the top fuel dragsters, which will achieve 300+ mph in roughly 4 seconds.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 5 months ago | (#47194069)

Surprisingly, Tesla appears to be somewhat conservative with their 0-60 times. They claim 4.4s for the P85+ but Motor Trend tested it at 3.9s.
The Roadster is still slightly quicker but it won't leave the P85+ in the dust and that's an impressive time for a 5,000 lb sport sedan

Re:gullwing doors (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about 5 months ago | (#47194779)

Manufacturers are often (usually?) conservative with their performance claims. Still, the " will beat the crap out of any combustion engine" is ignorant and easily shown to be false, even when narrowing "combustion engines" to production automobiles.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194799)

Top Fuel dragsters do 0-60 in something like their own length...

Re:gullwing doors (1)

PIBM (588930) | about 5 months ago | (#47195043)

That`s a rocket engine not a combustion engine.. still he should have used most 4 wheeled combustion engine vehicules rather than a simple `combustion engine` shortcut while referring to those.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#47195289)

That`s a rocket engine not a combustion engine.. still he should have used most 4 wheeled combustion engine vehicules rather than a simple `combustion engine` shortcut while referring to those.

Top Fuel dragsters are internal combustion, not rocket engines, though they do burn "rocket fuel" (nitromethane).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Fuel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VF0JwxQqcA

Re:gullwing doors (1)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#47195329)

Oh, one more cool Top Fuel video. This shows the fuel pump for a single cylinder. The pumps can flow ~100 gallons per minute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGTbQuhhluY

Crazy stuff.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47195307)

A rocket engine mixes fuel and oxidizer together instead of fuel and air. A top fuel dragster is an air breather, and you can tell by the huge air intakes on top of the engine (with the pretty butterfly valves), and the superchargers they attach to. They wouldn't bother to expend 500hp blowing air into the engine if they didn't need to!

dom

Re:gullwing doors (1)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#47195255)

Comparing motorcyles and dragsters to heavy four-door sedans seems a bit disingenuous. There are electric motorcycles and dragsters. On the motorcycle front, how would your machine compare to the Mission RS (0-60 in less than 3 seconds)? Granted that the Mission costs a wee bit more than $6800.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47195295)

This SUV still has standard doors on the front.

so do minivans. what's your point?

Re:gullwing doors (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about 5 months ago | (#47193113)

Are you saying no one will be able to copy him?

Re:gullwing doors (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | about 5 months ago | (#47193307)

If he wants to be cool *and* revolutionary, he needs something more like this: http://www.disappearing-car-door.com [disappeari...r-door.com] .
Granted, these look like they'd be a nightmare in a blizzard or freezing rain, but I'm sure there's some way to engineer a fix. Or, alternatively, they could just make the doors slide vertically. That would have a similar 'cool factor' to a gullwing, except with the advantage of no clearance space needed, and would avoid the potential issues found with the disappearing door. Only issue would be that they would block the contents of a roof rack while open, but is that really a problem? How many people need the car doors open while retrieving their roof-mounted bicycle?

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193309)

mini-vans have been using electric sliding doors for decades all the bugs have been engineered out years ago

Tell my Honda Odyssey that. It's spent almost twelve weeks at the dealer since I bought it two years ago with problems with the sliding doors. Like most Hondas, it has some serious electrical problems. The difference is that in one of their cars, you don't have a huge door open for no reason. I have three kids so this Honda problem scares the hell out of me and my wife. The zone manager for Honda says it isn't a safety issue because our state has seatbelt laws. I disagree. Honda should instead start trying to make sliding doors that are safe.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193367)

Like most Hondas, it has some serious electrical problems.

Hyperbole much?

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194159)

Like most Hondas, it has some serious electrical problems.

Hyperbole much?

You must be a Honda fanboi.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194299)

Like most Hondas, it has some serious electrical problems.

Hyperbole much?

You must be a Honda fanboi.

Or someone like myself who has driven nothing but Hondas for 17 years and has never experienced any sort of electrical problems whatsoever with them.

OTOH I hear about plenty of electrical problems in vehicles of all kinds from people that abuse the shit out of their cars.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

PIBM (588930) | about 5 months ago | (#47195059)

I remember hitting the rear window defrost and have the hatch open on a less than 5 years old car.. And yes that was reproductible (and fixable..) but still showed a very bad design.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47194033)

If they wanted to do something cool with the doors, they should have gone with electric sliding doors for all four doors.

I would like to see doors go sliding, but so far that means a dramatic weight increase. Not worth it. Normal doors aren't that bad.

Re:gullwing doors (2, Funny)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47193005)

OK if the doors are leak proof, but will they drip water/snow/dust inside when you open them after driving in rain/snow/dusty weather?

Because regular doors don't ever do that?

Congratulations, your post is the silliest anti-Tesla whine ever.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 5 months ago | (#47193027)

Regular doors don't do that because they open outwards away from the car's interior, and none of the roof moves away. It could definitely happen on the Toyota Sera.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 5 months ago | (#47193051)

I don't think it'd be that much of a problem. When you're rolling no snow accumulates on top. Opening doors in a driving rain or snow will cause problems regardless of type of door although it'll be worse with a gull wing. The whole point of gull wing is coolness over practicality anyway. If people want to be practical they can get a mini-van.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193223)

OP here... I posted actually because someone bought a luxury-branded car a while ago that had regular swing-out doors, but the styling lacked the ridges on the roof to channel the rain away so when the doors opened the occupant would get drenched.

Just wondering how they would be able to make gullwing doors practical for this situation.....

Re:gullwing doors (5, Insightful)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47193061)

Regular doors don't do that because they open outwards away from the car's interior, and none of the roof moves away. It could definitely happen on the Toyota Sera.

Where on earth do you live? I'm in the lower Northeast, and rain and especially snow and dust indeed does get in the car when you open the doors - except the rear hatch - ironically the door most resembling the gullwing door. I mean, if only gullwing doors had this issue, we wouldn't need any other type of doors at all. Only the gullwings would allow anything outside the car, inside the car.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193243)

OP here... I posted actually because someone bought a luxury-branded car a while ago that had regular swing-out doors, but the styling lacked the ridges on the roof to channel the rain away so when the doors opened the occupant would get drenched.

Just wondering how gullwing doors would be practical in this situation.....

Re:gullwing doors (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 5 months ago | (#47193265)

I guess you don't live in a snowy place? Opening regular doors does indeed drop snow from the roof into the car. Sometimes I remember to sweep the door seal off with a forearm, sometimes I don't. If I don't I need to remember to brush the seat off.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#47194517)

I guess you don't live in a snowy place? Opening regular doors does indeed drop snow from the roof into the car. Sometimes I remember to sweep the door seal off with a forearm, sometimes I don't. If I don't I need to remember to brush the seat off.

As long as it has regular front doors it's not that big a deal, open it the traditional way, grab snow brush/ice scrape, wipe off rest of car and then open the gull wings. If it was all gull wing, it'd be different as you could get a lot of snow blowing into the opening as it falls off the opening door or from the rest of the roof. It's not a good winter feature, but it's not a killer problem either assuming they can keep the seals closed and the doors don't freeze in the winter.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194323)

Regular doors don't do that because they open outwards away from the car's interior,

The trunk of almost every sedan ever made would like to have a word with you.

There are water channels built into the trunk door frames so that water/snow/etc. all drain around the trunk and onto the ground instead of creating a small pool in the trunk well.

Re:gullwing doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47195221)

Regular doors don't do that...

So why is it that whenever I open my car door when there's snow on the roof of the car, I get snow on the seat? Even when it's not actively snowing out.

Re:gullwing doors (2)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 5 months ago | (#47193621)

That doesn't happen in a Delorean. In fact if there's no wind you can sit with the doors open and they act as a shelter that prevents rain coming inside. The one thing that does drip is if there's lots of condensation on the inside of the door /window it drips onto the seat when you open the door.

Re:gullwing doors (4, Informative)

Jupix (916634) | about 5 months ago | (#47193625)

Have a look at how a properly designed gullwing door [arabamoto.com] is designed.

When the door is open there is a huge drain to direct water etc. from the roof to the ground (around the actual doorway).

Also when the door is open, the far end of the door is hovering outside the range where water etc. could drip inside the car.

In addition (unlike traditional car doors) when the door is open, it's hovering above the gap, acting as a roof, so that the actual rain doesn't get inside the car either.

Re:gullwing doors (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47194043)

In addition (unlike traditional car doors)

...they had to mount the doors on that SLS AMG on explosive bolts so that you could still get out of the car if you managed to invert it.

Hard problems are hard? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193047)

And that's somehow news?

Well, at least we got it straight from the horse's mouth.

But it's not like gullwing doors are new or anything.

Some Tesla fanboi will probably mod this -1 for saying something negative about Tesla. Go ahead, you won't hurt my anonymous coward feelings.

Smart! That was one of the key... (3, Interesting)

stox (131684) | about 5 months ago | (#47193187)

mistakes in the Delorean. Really bad in northern climes where the seals would freeze, locking you in the car. Notice I said "one of", the Delorean had a lot of other issues, too.

Re:Smart! That was one of the key... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193249)

Those were mostly solved by the third movie, though...

Re:Smart! That was one of the key... (2)

peragrin (659227) | about 5 months ago | (#47193735)

true they replaced the motor with a steam engine.

Re:Smart! That was one of the key... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193363)

It had a hard time getting to 88MPH, yet when hit by lightning while stationary it would timeshift to a random era?

Re:Smart! That was one of the key... (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 5 months ago | (#47193613)

All car doors have seals. Wouldn't this be a problem on any car?

Re:Smart! That was one of the key... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47193991)

All car doors have seals. Wouldn't this be a problem on any car?

It should only be this much of a problem on vehicles with complex hinges that open all at once, instead of from one end to the other like normal doors.

Re:Smart! That was one of the key... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194111)

"normal" car doors open all at once too. Not quite at the same rate, and the seal is much shorter, but the problem is still the same.

Re:Smart! That was one of the key... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47194169)

"normal" car doors open all at once too. Not quite at the same rate, and the seal is much shorter, but the problem is still the same.

SOME of them do that. Most of them clearly do not. Look at the hinge to determine which your vehicle is, but most of them have just one pivot point. And so, in fact, the force being exerted to break the seal is extremely uneven.

Re:Smart! That was one of the key... (1)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#47194743)

Is the problem more of leverage and gravity? A normal door is basically balanced with respect to gravity and most of the opening force is away from the hinge. A gullwing door has to fight gravity and the opening force is closer to the hinge. I'm sure the gullwing has struts but the door would have to be open at least a little for them to work.

If my wife had let me buy that SLS Mercedes instead of a house I'd have more first hand experience.

Re:Smart! That was one of the key... (1)

clifffton (912293) | about 5 months ago | (#47194077)

Not that it would have made the car great, but it was designed with a different motor. GM had a Wankel in development and DeLorean (and AMC in the Pacer) was going to use that. Sadly it never got out of development and JD went with the PRV V6 (not know for much of anything other than being in a lot of Volvos) DeLorean went with the "cocaine rebate" instead. If nothing else you have to admit John had some grande cojones trying to pull that one off.

Gull-wing doors on an SUV? (4, Interesting)

Lohrno (670867) | about 5 months ago | (#47193199)

Is it me or is this a really stupid idea? Just making the doors gull wing prevents you from putting: luggage on top, ski racks, bike racks on roof, etc. You know, the kind of things people would do with an SUV or crossover...

Re:Gull-wing doors on an SUV? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193439)

I bet 90% of SUVs are driven around town only and never have those things on their roofs.

Re:Gull-wing doors on an SUV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193887)

you're probably right that they never do put those things on their roof, but 90% of them have the racks *just in case*.

Re:Gull-wing doors on an SUV? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47193503)

Is it me or is this a really stupid idea? Just making the doors gull wing prevents you from putting: luggage on top, ski racks, bike racks on roof, etc. You know, the kind of things people would do with an SUV or crossover...

All those things would reduce the mileage on the vehicle. Maybe the gullwing doors are a clever plot to prevent people from ruining the aerodynamics, and thus the mileage, of the vehicle. Being electric this is a very important factor.

Re:Gull-wing doors on an SUV? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#47193917)

Their target market is the school run and people who like to be higher up while driving, not people who actually use an SUV for it's original purpose. There are lots of luxury SUVs like that on the market, which focus more on comfort and luxury than the utility aspect. The only time those people go off road is when they get a wheel on the pavement while trying to park.

Re:Gull-wing doors on an SUV? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#47193927)

Those are called minivans. I dont care how they want to twist it... It's a minivan without sliding doors.

Re:Gull-wing doors on an SUV? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47194023)

Skis go inside (my A8 has a bag which can be made to protrude into the rear seat area and hold skis) and bikes go on the back, where the air is already turbulent and they will cause less drag.

design constraints (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194311)

Is it me or is this a really stupid idea? Just making the doors gull wing prevents you from putting: luggage on top, ski racks, bike racks on roof, etc. You know, the kind of things people would do with an SUV or crossover...

Presumably they're trying to design them so as to not prevent these thigs, and that's one of the challenges they're facing.

Automatic software updates (1, Interesting)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 5 months ago | (#47193371)

"automatically push software to the Model S fleet" So, either my car does a software update while I'm doing 50mph or the home office needs to know at any given moment whether I'm driving or not. For a car I own, I'd prefer the option to do manual updates.

Re:Automatic software updates (5, Informative)

dlgeek (1065796) | about 5 months ago | (#47193405)

Or the car gets pushed an update file while you're doing 50mph, stores it for later, and installs it at some point when it's stopped and charging.

(Other options also include a polling mechanism where the car phones home for updated periodically when stopped, or a combination of the two where they push an "update is availible" flag, which signals the car to phone home and download/install it once it's stopped/charging).

Re:Automatic software updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193511)

> For a car I own, I'd prefer the option to do manual updates.

It's easier for everyone if you get all of the updates when Tesla needs you to get them. There would be no worse outcome than for you to have not applied an update that later turns out to be a key factor in preventing a serious failure. Moreover, I'm not certain, but I *strongly* suspect that their software development process is very carefully controlled.

I mean, you are aware that Musk's *other* hobby is building cargo-rated (and soon, man-rated) reusable space launch vehicles, right?

Re:Automatic software updates (1)

zwede (1478355) | about 5 months ago | (#47193957)

The Tesla SW update works like this:

The updates are batched by Tesla so not all cars are updated at once. In case there's a problem with the new SW, that limits the number of affected vehicles.

Once the VIN has been tagged for update, the car downloads the new SW (over 3G or WIFI if available) and stores it locally. A prompt is shown on the main screen that new SW is available. Options are "install now" or "schedule install" (midnight is pre-selected), or "do not install now".

All the improvements could want except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193513)

....making any of it affordable. I don't understand why we keep following elon around like lost puppies when he really doesn't do anything for the average person. The only people who benefit from what he does are the rich.

Re:All the improvements could want except... (3, Interesting)

itsdapead (734413) | about 5 months ago | (#47194211)

I don't understand why we keep following elon around like lost puppies when he really doesn't do anything for the average person.

Well, he's making a lot of advances in electric car technology and is dropping strong hints [bbc.co.uk] that he plans to share those with the rest of the industry on a fairly generous basis. Selling premium-priced cars to the rich is a good way to bankroll that - in 5-10 years time the rest of us may well be benefitting from this work. I can respect that.

What he hasn't done yet is created a compelling alternative to the gas-powered car. The Tesla has a very clear niche where it might be practical if cash were no object: private garages and long, regular commutes of 50-100 miles: long enough to make you want to travel in a luxurious car, short enough to fall comfortably within the Tesla's range, home-based so you can recharge overnight.

I'd be OK with that if the Tesla website didn't try and push things like economy (no, you're not going to save money unless you conveniently ignore the extra cost of the car - but if you have that sort of money why would you care?) and how easy it was to make a road trip (...just start driving, then have lunch at a supercharger! On the newly-localised British site this advice is followed by a map that shows no superchargers in the UK)

I think they're on the verge of getting there: make that mileage '250 miles minimum)' rather than 'up to 265 miles (unless you get stuck in slow traffic and need lights, heat or air con)' and have supercharger stations every 50 miles or so (otherwise your useful range gets reduced because you have to recharge early or detour to charge) and you might have a viable care replacement.

There's also a scaling issue with chargers: I was looking at (non-Tesla) chargers in the UK and, superficially, its not too bad. Look closer, however, and most of those stations only have 1 or 2 bays - often one slow and one fast (with different connectors). Arrive there and find the bay in use (with the owners off having lunch somewhere), or out-of-order, and you'd be stuffed. You'd have to be so cautious about how soon to recharge that it would decimate the useful range of an EV.

Re:All the improvements could want except... (3, Insightful)

SIGBUS (8236) | about 5 months ago | (#47194957)

What he hasn't done yet is created a compelling alternative to the gas-powered car. The Tesla has a very clear niche where it might be practical if cash were no object: private garages and long, regular commutes of 50-100 miles: long enough to make you want to travel in a luxurious car, short enough to fall comfortably within the Tesla's range, home-based so you can recharge overnight.

Exactly. It's an executive car - but that's a good place to start. Advance the technology and make it available to the early adopters to get the ball rolling. The biggest single obstacle to making long-range electric cars available to the masses is the price of the battery pack. The reason a Nissan Leaf is relatively affordable is that it doesn't have the huge battery pack needed for long range.

Now that Tesla has taken care of building the cars, and the charger network is expanding, it's on to scaling up the battery production, and that's where the upcoming Tesla/Panasonic battery factories step in. Aside from reducing battery costs and increasing production for the cars, they should be useful as storage for charging stations as well.

I know there's a lot of impatience (I want my electric car NOW, and Superchargers on every corner!), but starting a car company from the ground up isn't easy, especially when you're taking over a century of auto industry tradition and standing it on its head. I'm glad to see the progress that's already been made, even if it's still a long time before I could afford to go electric.

America needs more businessmen like Elon Musk and fewer like Donald Trump.

Not only... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 months ago | (#47193547)

Not only a Slashvertisement that links to an article with practically zero content... but largely a dupe [slashdot.org] to boot.

Horrible in a rollover (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193719)

Gullwing doors are horrible in a rollover (unless there is some kind of explosive bolt to blow the hinges off), are terrible for clearance in tight garages, are notoriously prone to leaks, have generally poor ergonomics, and are - other than looking snazzy (because we associate them, along with scissor doors, with supercars) - just a flat out crap idea. There is a good reason why there has *never* been any mainstream adoption of the technology.

Re: Horrible in a rollover (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47193849)

They're a bad idea until they're not - just like everything else Elon has done. The man has super powers.

Lots of updates coming (2)

mknewman (557587) | about 5 months ago | (#47194401)

Elon Musk has said there will be a roof rack for skiis and other things (bikes, canoe?) not sure how he's going to pull that off. He's also promised 400m batteries, self driving (entrance ramp to exit ramp), better seats, 4wd and of course the megafactory and a sub $40k car capable of 200m range. Oh and Mars missions. Got to hand it to him, he doesn't think small.

talkies, phonographs, and electric chairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47195095)

Thinking big isn't a problem; Elon's at least *doing* and not just *talking* or building *concept cars* for auto shows. And Elon is better than Tom , I think, for how he treats his engineering workforce. At least he's not electrocuting circus elephants to knock his competition.

This is not news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47194519)

If they had stop making improvements to their car, which is not actually finished yet(it's basically a "beta" version of the car right now), that would have been news...

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