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7/31/2014
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Tesla Cars: 8 Hot Technologies

Tesla Motors' electric vehicles pack plenty of technology breakthroughs. Explore the most innovative features found in these computers on wheels.
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(Source: Tesla Motors)
(Source: Tesla Motors)

Just how much technology does a Tesla electric car deliver? Let's start with over-the-air software upgrades, a 17-inch capacitive touchscreen, and a sophisticated array of computer processors.

In fact, you can think of the vehicles essentially as computers you can drive -- complete with 3G wireless and WiFi connectivity.

It's no wonder the Tesla roadster and the Model S generate plenty of buzz despite their limited sales to date and their high price range (starting at $70,000). The much-anticipated Model X will add an SUV to the company's offerings in 2015. Tesla Motors is expected to sell 35,000 vehicles this year.

In 2017, the company plans to introduce the Model 3, a $35,000 electric vehicle, while rumors abound that Tesla Motors is working on a self-driving car.

We're focusing here on the technology in the cars themselves. But Tesla Motors has a tech-forward approach to everything it does, from the sophisticated robotics in its manufacturing plants to its direct sales strategy, which relies on e-commerce, something that is shaking up the automotive industry. In addition, its groundbreaking supercharger stations, which are designed to let drivers recharge their vehicles in the span of a lunch break, are being built out around the country.

Here are the eight hottest technologies in Tesla Motors' electric vehicles, including a look at what the future might hold. Do you drive a Tesla? If so, tell us what you love (or hate) about it. If you're admiring the vehicles from afar, let us know what intrigues you most. Did we leave any of your favorite Tesla Motors technologies off the list?

Susan Nunziata works closely with the site's content team and contributors to guide topics, direct strategies, and pursue new ideas, all in the interest of sharing practicable insights with our community. Nunziata was most recently Director of Editorial for ... View Full Bio

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Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/26/2014 | 8:27:52 PM
Re: Love Me Some Tesla
@mejiac: There are too many players with too much $$ invested in Big Oil for this change to happen overnight. Eventually, though, the business will shift and once it's seen that there is also money to be made in this new vehicle paradigm things will fall into place. I hope the kind of network we're talking about here for service and charging stations will become ubiquitous in our lifetimes.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
8/25/2014 | 3:23:53 PM
Re: Love Me Some Tesla
@nomii,

 

Correct, but it's not a bad concept at all...and it might be establishing a future trend/standard, but I think that because of the word's dependency on oil.... it won't be any time soon
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
8/25/2014 | 1:23:22 PM
Re: Love Me Some Tesla
@Mejiac I agree with you. I believe its time saving in one sense and a comfort level in another. I feel that these kind of vehicles can be repaired remotely even without the intervention of any mechanic. I believe that there will be nodes available where these vehicles can get repaired but I doubt such a big network can easily get established.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/6/2014 | 3:06:47 PM
Re: Love Me Some Tesla
@Mejiac: So I guess we can expect for geek squad to start servicing our cars.

Ha! Very true. And maybe they'll even make house calls...
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/6/2014 | 3:03:27 PM
Re: Great article, but...
@Teslaliving: Thanks for sharing that. i'm so going to book a test drive now. and I love that you got to pick up your test vehicle at a store in the mall. Talk about an unusal test drive experience.

This is my favorite part of your post:
  • I found out for test drives they software limit the vehicle to 80 mph max. He explained that it accelerates so fast test drivers were getting tickets. No comment on how that topic came up :p

Having almost gotten a speeding ticket when I took my first MINI cooper test drive (the dealer managed to talk the NY State Trooper out of it, bless him) I can totally relate.

 
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
8/5/2014 | 4:38:15 PM
Re: Love Me Some Tesla
@Susan,

Thank you for your reply, and it's fair to say that it's a very accurate statement,

I think what'll happen is that, like you mention, people will drive there vehicles to an authorized representative, will plug in to a computer which communicates with the automakers servers to run diagnostics and repairs, so I think the mechanic would probably be following specific and detailed instructions.

This would be similar in the way PCs and Laptops are repaired, that if it's not somethign that a firmware update can fix, then it would be swapping out the parts, which require specific tools and steps to do.

So I guess we can expect for geek squad to start servicing our cars :)
teslaliving
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teslaliving,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/5/2014 | 4:12:00 PM
Re: Great article, but...
I'd encourage anyone wanting to test drive to go for it. There's no cost and there's no requirements and you dont get a hard sales pitch like you do at a dealer. If you want to live vicariously, here's my experience from back when I did the test drive:

http://teslaliving.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/the-test-drive/

 

 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/5/2014 | 3:48:48 PM
Re: Love Me Some Tesla
@mejiac: What's interesting too is how electric/hybrid vehicles in general, and Teslas in particular, are completely rewriting what it means to be a auto mechanic. Even the word mechanic is a misnomer these days--there's so little that's actually mechanical in these vehicles. These folks are basiclaly having to become software engineers.

I imagine that auto repair people are having to go through a serious learning curve in order to work on these vehicles. I suspect that the days of going to the local auto mechanic may be fading, as we will increasingly need to go back to the automaker's own service centers for any repairs that can't be executed over the air.

It's really flipping around everything we've come to know and accept about automobiles and how they work...
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/5/2014 | 3:44:48 PM
Re: Tesla Gigafactory
@Pedro: They really are setting a new benchmark in how we think about automobiles, and the technology in a Tesla is far more compelling to me than anything I've read about driverless cars, for example. I suspect that most automakers are watching Tesla closely, and that these innovations will eventually become de facto standards for vehicles, even if it takes 10 or 20 years.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/5/2014 | 3:42:59 PM
Re: Tesla feedback
@TeslaLiving: That's great info. I'm puzzled by the USB music thing...Are there upgrade options? I can't imagine it would be easy (or even possible) to add an aftermarket sound system into a Tesla. Being a bit of an audio snob I'd definitely want more options for my music--do you happen to know who the OEM is on the audio system?

Maybe Neil Young can get them to add Pono, LOL.

Also, the Nav...What?! that's quite shocking in an era when smartphone apps such as Waze exist that blow away any in-car nav systems I've seen. Perhaps they need to partner with someone on that...

But really, it's about the dirving experience at the end of the day, and your description makes me seriously want to go out on a test drive.

Maybe I can launch a Kickstarter campaign to help fund my purchase of a Tesla...

:)

 
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