Tesla on autopilot crashes into Michigan cop’s patrol car

spaminator

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U.S. safety agency probes 'violent' Tesla crash in Detroit
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
David Shepardson
Publishing date:Mar 15, 2021 • 4 days ago • 2 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
This file photo taken on September 5, 2020 shows a Tesla logo on a Model Y car during its presentation at the Automobile Club in Budapest.
This file photo taken on September 5, 2020 shows a Tesla logo on a Model Y car during its presentation at the Automobile Club in Budapest. PHOTO BY ATTILA KISBENEDEK /AFP via Getty Images
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. auto safety agency said on Monday it is investigating a crash in Detroit on Thursday involving a Tesla that became wedged underneath a tractor-trailer and left a passenger in critical condition.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Monday it is “aware of the violent crash that occurred on March 11 in Detroit involving a Tesla and a tractor trailer. We have launched a Special Crash Investigation (SCI) team to investigate the crash.”


The crash occured at 3:20 a.m. Thursday when a white Tesla drove through an intersection and struck a trailer, Detroit police said Monday.

Both the driver and the passenger were taken to a local hospital, where the passenger was listed in critical condition. Police said the crash is still under investigation.

WDIV-TV in Detroit aired video of a badly damaged Tesla crushed underneath a tractor-trailer and said the injured passenger was a 21-year-old woman.

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NHTSA has previously launched around at least 14 SCI teams to investigate Tesla crashes that may be tied to the vehicle’s advanced Autopilot driver assistance system, but taken no action against the automaker as a result of those probes.

It is not clear if Autopilot may have been a factor in the Detroit crash.


Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Autopilot has been engaged in at least three Tesla vehicles involved in fatal U.S. crashes since 2016.

NHTSA and the National Transportation Safety Board have probed other crashes in which a Tesla struck a trailer, including two fatal crashes in Florida.

In a 2019 crash, a Tesla struck a tractor trailer and the roof was sheared off as it passed underneath the trailer and stopped three-tenths of a mile south of the collision. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

In May 2016, a Tesla Model S driver was killed near Williston, Florida, using Autopilot when he slammed into a tractor trailer that also sheared off the vehicle roof.

Tesla advises drivers they must keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention while using Autopilot. However, some Tesla drivers say they are able to avoid putting their hands on the wheel for extended periods when using Autopilot.

In February 2020, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sharply criticized Tesla lack of system safeguards in a fatal 2018 Autopilot crash in California and called U.S. regulators’ approach in overseeing the driver assistance system “misguided.”

The NTSB can only make recommendations, while NHTSA regulates U.S. vehicles.
 

spaminator

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U.S. safety agency reviewing 23 Tesla crashes, three from recent weeks
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
David Shepardson
Publishing date:Mar 18, 2021 • 2 days ago • 2 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
This file photo taken on September 5, 2020 shows a Tesla logo on a Model Y car during its presentation at the Automobile Club in Budapest.
This file photo taken on September 5, 2020 shows a Tesla logo on a Model Y car during its presentation at the Automobile Club in Budapest. PHOTO BY ATTILA KISBENEDEK /AFP via Getty Images
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. auto safety agency disclosed on Thursday it has opened 27 investigations into crashes of Tesla vehicles, 23 of which remain active, and at least three of the crashes occurred in recent weeks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed Thursday that it will send a team to investigate a recent Tesla crash in the Houston area. Four of the 27 NHTSA investigations have been completed and the results published.

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Earlier this week, NHTSA said it was sending its special crash investigation team to probe two crashes in Michigan, including a crash early Wednesday involving a Tesla suspected of being in Autopilot mode when it struck a parked Michigan State Police patrol car.

Tesla did not immediately comment.

NHTSA said in July that its “(Special Crash Investigations team) has looked into 19 crashes involving Tesla vehicles where it was believed some form of advanced driver assistance system was engaged at the time of the incident.”

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Michigan State Police said a parked patrol car was struck by a Tesla apparently in Autopilot mode while investigating a traffic crash near Lansing on Interstate-96. No one was injured and the 22-year-old Tesla driver was issued traffic citations.

On Monday, NHTSA said it was sending another team to investigate a “violent” March 11 crash in Detroit in which a Tesla became wedged underneath a tractor-trailer and left a passenger in critical condition.

Detroit police said Tuesday they do not believe that Autopilot was in use.

The Autopilot feature was operating in at least three Tesla vehicles involved in fatal U.S. crashes since 2016.

Tesla advises drivers they must keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention while using Autopilot. However, some Tesla drivers say they are able to avoid putting their hands on the wheel for extended periods when using Autopilot.

NHTSA’s Special Crash Investigation team typically looks at more than 100 crashes a year with a focus on emerging technologies. Issues in recent years include performance of alternative fueled vehicles, child restraint systems, adaptive controls, safety belts, vehicle-pedestrian interactions, and potential safety defects.


Separately, the agency said it had been briefed on Tesla’s “full self-driving” (FSD) software. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk wrote on Twitter last week that the beta FSD software had been expanded to about 2,000 owners while other drivers had access to the program revoked.

The agency said it “will monitor the new technology closely and will not hesitate to take action to protect the public against risks to safety.”

NHTSA said the system does not make the Tesla “capable of driving itself. The most advanced vehicle technologies available for purchase today provide driver assistance and require a fully attentive human driver at all times performing the driving task and monitoring the surrounding environment.”
 

spaminator

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Two dead in Tesla crash in Texas that was believed to be driverless
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Apr 18, 2021 • 8 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
This file photo taken on Sept. 5, 2020 shows a Tesla logo on a Model Y car during its presentation at the Automobile Club in Budapest.
This file photo taken on Sept. 5, 2020 shows a Tesla logo on a Model Y car during its presentation at the Automobile Club in Budapest. PHOTO BY ATTILA KISBENEDEK /AFP via Getty Images
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Two men died after a Tesla vehicle, which was believed to be operating without anyone in the driver’s seat, crashed into a tree on Saturday night north of Houston, authorities said.

“There was no one in the driver’s seat,” Sgt. Cinthya Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 said.


The 2019 Tesla Model S was traveling at a high rate of speed, when it failed to negotiate a curve and went off the roadway, crashing to a tree and bursting into flames, local television station KHOU-TV said.

After the fire was extinguished, authorities located 2 occupants in the vehicle, with one in the front passenger seat while the other was in the back seat of the Tesla, the report said, citing Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman.

Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The accident comes amid growing scrutiny over Tesla’s semi-automated driving system following recent accidents and as it is preparing to launch its updated “full self-driving” software to more customers.

The U.S. auto safety agency said in March it has opened 27 investigations into crashes of Tesla vehicles; at least three of the crashes occurred recently.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in January that he expects huge profits from its full self-driving software, saying he is “highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year.”

The self-driving technology must overcome safety and regulatory hurdles to achieve commercial success.

Umanzor said the two crash victims were born in 1962 and 1951.
 

spaminator

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U.S. probes fatal Tesla crash believed to be driverless
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
David Shepardson
Publishing date:Apr 19, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. Video taken April 17, 2021.
The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. Video taken April 17, 2021. PHOTO BY SCOTT J. ENGLE VIA REUTERS /SCOTT J. ENGLE via REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — Two U.S. agencies on Monday said they were investigating a Tesla crash in Texas on Saturday that left two dead and which local police said appeared to have occurred with no one in the driver’s seat.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which regulates vehicle safety, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) both said they would investigate the crash.


The NHTSA said it “has immediately launched a Special Crash Investigation team to investigate the crash. We are actively engaged with local law enforcement and Tesla to learn more about the details of the crash and will take appropriate steps when we have more information.”

Just hours before the crash, Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted to his more than 50 million followers, “Tesla with Autopilot engaged now approaching 10 times lower chance of accident than average vehicle.”


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Tesla, whose shares were down 3.4% Monday, did not immediately comment.

The crash occurred as scrutiny is increasing over Tesla’s semi-automated Autopilot driving system following recent crashes.


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Autopilot was operating in at least three Tesla vehicles involved in fatal U.S. crashes since 2016. NHTSA has sent teams to at least three other Tesla crashes in recent weeks that were believed to have been tied to Autopilot use.

In Saturday’s accident, the 2019 Tesla Model S was travelling at high speed near Houston when it failed to negotiate a curve and went off the road, crashing into a tree and bursting into flames, local television station KHOU-TV said.

After the fire was extinguished, authorities located two occupants in the vehicle, with one in the front passenger seat and the other in the back seat of the Tesla, KHOU-TV said, citing Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman.

The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media.
The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. PHOTO BY SCOTT J. ENGLE VIA REUTERS /SCOTT J. ENGLE via REUTERS
Tesla advises drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention while using Autopilot. However, some Tesla drivers say they are able to avoid putting their hands on the wheel for extended periods when using Autopilot.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter that “using Tesla’s driverless system — or any other — shouldn’t be a death risk. Advancements in driving technology must first & foremost be safe.”

He added that “comprehensive oversight” by the NHTSA “is paramount to prevent future semi-automated driving deaths.”

Last month, NHTSA told Reuters it had opened 27 special investigations into crashes of Tesla vehicles, 23 of which remain active, and that at least three of the crashes had occurred recently.

The NTSB, which makes safety recommendations but cannot compel recalls, said it would send two people to conduct a safety investigation into the Texas crash focusing “on the vehicle’s operation and the post-crash fire.”

The NTSB last criticized the NHTSA’s approach to oversight of automated vehicles as “misguided, because it essentially relies on waiting for problems to occur rather than addressing safety issues proactively.” It added that NHTSA has “taken a nonregulatory approach to automated vehicle safety.”
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spaminator

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Texas police to demand Tesla crash data as Musk denies autopilot use
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
David Shepardson and Hyunjoo Jin
Publishing date:Apr 19, 2021 • 16 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. Video taken April 17, 2021.
The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. Video taken April 17, 2021. PHOTO BY SCOTT J. ENGLE VIA REUTERS /SCOTT J. ENGLE via REUTERS
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WASHINGTON/BERKELEY — Texas police will serve search warrants on Tesla Inc on Tuesday to secure data from a fatal vehicle crash, a senior officer told Reuters on Monday, after CEO Elon Musk said company checks showed the car’s Autopilot driver assistance system was not engaged.

Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4, said evidence including witness statements clearly indicated there was nobody in the driver’s seat of the Model S when it crashed into a tree, killing two people, on Saturday night.


Herman said a tweet by Musk on Monday afternoon, saying that data logs retrieved by the company so far ruled out the use of the Autopilot system, was the first officials had heard from the company.

“If he is tweeting that out, if he has already pulled the data, he hasn’t told us that,” Herman told Reuters. “We will eagerly wait for that data.”


The crash is the 28th Telsa accident to be investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which regulates vehicle safety.

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It is also being probed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which removed Tesla as a party to an earlier investigation into a fatal crash in 2018 after the company made public details of the probe without authorization.

In Saturday’s accident, the 2019 Tesla Model S was traveling at high-speed near Houston when it failed to negotiate a curve and went off the road, crashing into a tree and bursting into flames, Herman said.

Authorities found the bodies of two men in the car, one in the front passenger seat and the owner of the car in the backseat.

“We have witness statements from people that said they left to test drive the vehicle without a driver and to show the friend how it can drive itself,” Herman said.

Tesla’s Autopilot is a driver assistance system that handles some driving tasks and allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel at times, but Tesla says its features “require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

In his tweet, Musk rejected the idea that the vehicle’s semi-automated driving software was to blame: “Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD,” in a reference to Full Self-Driving, Tesla’s separate beta semi-automated driver assistance system that still requires driver supervision.

Musk added that “standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have,” referring to road markers that need to be captured by a vehicle’s cameras to enable autopilot.


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Tesla has access to operational and diagnostic data delivered to its servers at “regular intervals” from the car, which has been impounded by police. It is unclear whether investigators will be able to retrieve data directly from the event data recorder in the severely burned vehicle.

Just hours before the crash, Musk had tweeted: “Tesla with Autopilot engaged now approaching 10 times lower chance of accident than average vehicle.”


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Tesla’s Autopilot system, which was operating in at least three Tesla vehicles involved in fatal U.S. crashes since 2016, has come under increasing scrutiny.

NHTSA told Reuters last month it had opened 27 special investigations into crashes of Tesla vehicles, 23 of which remain active, in crashes believed to have been tied to Autopilot use.

The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media.
The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. PHOTO BY SCOTT J. ENGLE VIA REUTERS /SCOTT J. ENGLE via REUTERS
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment. Its shares closed down 3.4% Monday before picking up 1.5% in after hours trading following Musk’s tweet.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter that “using Tesla’s driverless system — or any other — shouldn’t be a death risk. Advancements in driving technology must first & foremost be safe.”


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The NTSB, which makes safety recommendations but cannot compel recalls, said its investigation into the Texas crash would focus “on the vehicle’s operation and the post-crash fire.”

Fire officials said it took four hours to completely extinguish the fire because of the car’s lithium ion battery.
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spaminator

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Doctor named as one of victims in fatal Tesla crash in Texas
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Apr 20, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. Video taken April 17, 2021.
The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. Video taken April 17, 2021. PHOTO BY SCOTT J. ENGLE VIA REUTERS /SCOTT J. ENGLE via REUTERS
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Austin — One of the two victims killed in Texas at the weekend in the crash of a Tesla car believed to operate without a driver was William Varner, a doctor, his employer said on Tuesday.

The Tesla Model S smashed into a tree near Houston on Saturday night and burst into flames, killing one occupant found in the front passenger seat and the owner in the back seat, the police has said.


Witnesses told the police that the accident happened shortly after the victims left a house, saying they would test automated driving capability.

“Dr. Varner was a tremendous human being who personally impacted many…,” Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center said in a statement. “He will be dearly missed by so many.”

Varner, a 58-year-old anesthesiologist, graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch At Galveston in 1988.


“We were saddened to hear of the death of one of our physicians over the weekend. Dr. Varner spent his life caring for others, and now we are focused on caring for his colleagues and family, helping them to cope with this sudden and unexpected loss,” US Anesthesia Partners said in a statement to Reuters.

The other victim, who was born in 1951, was not identified as of Tuesday.

Texas police has told Reuters that it would seek search warrants to secure vehicle data, after Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted that its data showed the vehicle was not operating on Autopilot.
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spaminator

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Tesla cars can drive without anyone in driver's seat: Magazine
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Apr 22, 2021 • 1 day ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Visitors wearing masks check a China-made Tesla Model Y sport utility vehicle (SUV) at the electric vehicle maker's showroom in Beijing January 5, 2021.
Visitors wearing masks check a China-made Tesla Model Y sport utility vehicle (SUV) at the electric vehicle maker's showroom in Beijing January 5, 2021. PHOTO BY TINGSHU WANG/FILE PHOTO /REUTERS
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Influential U.S. magazine Consumer Reports said on Thursday its engineers were able to operate a Tesla vehicle without anyone in the driver’s seat, but the system failed to send out a warning or indicate that the driver’s seat was empty.

The engineers tested a Tesla Model Y this week as investigators probe an accident where two men died after their Tesla Model S, which was believed to be operating without anyone in the driver’s seat, crashed into a tree on Saturday night north of Houston.

Over several trips across half-mile closed test track, the Model Y automatically steered along painted lane lines, the magazine said.

“In our evaluation, the system not only failed to make sure the driver was paying attention, but it also couldn’t tell if there was a driver there at all,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of Consumer Reports’ auto testing.


“Tesla is falling behind other automakers like GM and Ford that, on models with advanced driver assist systems, use technology to make sure the driver is looking at the road.”

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Tesla’s Autopilot is a driver assistance system that handles some driving tasks and allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel at times, but Tesla says its features “require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. (SCOTT J. ENGLE via REUTERS)
The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, April 17, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. (SCOTT J. ENGLE via REUTERS)
The Consumer Reports story comes amid growing scrutiny over Tesla’s semi-automated driving system following recent accidents and as it is preparing to launch its updated “full self-driving” software to more customers.

Separately on Thursday Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey sent a letter to the National Highway Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) acting administrator asking the agency to thoroughly investigate the Texas accident and produce a report outlining corrective actions to prevent future accidents.

NHTSA said Monday it was sending a special crash investigation team to probe the crash and has opened 28 crashes into Tesla crashes to date, with four pending. NHTSA did not immediately comment on the letter.
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spaminator

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Musk says Tesla new self-driving rollout could take a couple of months
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:May 12, 2021 • 3 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
A Tesla logo is pictured on a car in the rain in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., May 5, 2021.
A Tesla logo is pictured on a car in the rain in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., May 5, 2021. PHOTO BY CARLO ALLEGRI /REUTERS
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Boss Elon Musk said Tesla Inc is tweaking its self-driving software to eliminate a phantom braking problem and may release a significantly improved version within the next couple of months.

Tesla shares were down 4.4% at $589.89 in late afternoon, extending falls after the U.S. safety regulator said it has launched a probe into a fatal crash near Fontana, California, involving one of the company’s vehicles.


U.S. federal and state regulators have been scrutinizing Tesla’s semi-automated driving system following accidents in Texas and other states.

In March, Tesla told California regulators it may not achieve full self-driving technology by the end of this year. It said it is currently offering a driver assistant, level-2 technology that requires driver supervision.

“I think we’re maybe a month or two away from wide beta. But these things are hard to predict accurately,” Musk said in a tweet on Wednesday.


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In April, Musk said he would be “surprised” if wide test service were available later than June, calling a May launch “aspirational.”

In October, Tesla rolled out a pilot program of its long-touted full self driving (FSD) technology to a limited number of employees and customers, but has delayed the wider launch.

“We had to focus on removing radar & confirming safety,” Musk said, referring to the carmaker’s plan to rely on cameras for its system.

When asked by a Twitter user whether its vision-only system would remove the “phantom braking” issue, in which a Tesla car sometimes applies a brake abruptly under an overpass or a bridge, he said, “yes.”


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Subscriptions to the software for the system would be offered within a month, Musk said, without elaborating.
 

bob the dog

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Tesla dropping the plaid model from the lineup for now. 570 km range and 0 - 60 in two seconds.

Not sure the world needs that kind of speed so readily available although I guess it is transportation.
 

Jinentonix

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It's kind'a funny. Musk keeps insisting his cars will be "L5 autonomous" by the end of the year while his engineers silently shake their heads in disagreement. And as we head into a solar maximum, the risk of autonomous vehicles going out of control will be even higher than "normal".
 
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