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Transportation Upgrades

Tesla Makes Improvements To Model S 136 136

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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Tesla Makes Improvements To Model S

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  • Re:gullwing doors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2014 @11:33PM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday June 09, 2014 @12:05AM (#47193041) Homepage

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @12:08AM (#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.

  • by stox (131684) on Monday June 09, 2014 @12:58AM (#47193187) Homepage

    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.

  • by Lohrno (670867) on Monday June 09, 2014 @01:04AM (#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...

  • by John.Banister (1291556) * on Monday June 09, 2014 @02:45AM (#47193371) Homepage
    "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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @03:29AM (#47193439)

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

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Monday June 09, 2014 @08:58AM (#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.

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