It certainly looks retro, with the design and body of an old-school IZh 21252 “Kombi” car — the Kombi came from a Soviet era car maker from the 1970s. It’s a bold design decision, a vintage throwback akin to the Fujifilm Instax camera.
So, will the company’s CV-1 “supercar” stand up to Tesla’s electric empire?
A limited number of Tesla vehicles have been sold in Russia in the past few years.
Kalashnikov didn’t give any pricing details for the potential vehicle, but the specs that the company provided didn’t exactly stack up with Tesla.
Tesla’s electric vehicles boast much more impressive stats. The CV-1 claims to have about a 200-mile range and go from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds. Tesla’s newest affordable sedan, the Model 3, has a 220-mile range and a long-range battery that reaches 310 miles. The Model 3 can reach 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
If the concept car isn’t that impressive to you, check out the gun maker’s walking robot named Igoryok, also unveiled at the defense show this week.
On Thursday night, Elon Musk rolled out Tesla's biggest gizmo yet: a fully electric semitruck. The Semi can go a whopping 500 miles between charges, hauling 80,000 pounds along the way. And it can sorta, kinda drive itself—on highways, anyway. The truck comes with Enhanced Autopilot, the second generation of Tesla's semiautonomous technology, equipped with automatic braking, lane keeping, and lane departure warnings.
"Every truck we sell has Autopilot as standard," Musk said of the Semi, which goes into production in 2019. "This is a massive increase in safety."
That may be true—about 4,000 Americans die in truck-related collisions every year, and human error is responsible for many of them. Self-driving trucks will certainly change lives. That goes double for the nearly 3.2 million people currently employed as delivery and heavy truck drivers. But we don't know how: A dearth of research means that no one really knows what effect automation will have on the sector. It's clear that truck driving will change, though, and companies testing autonomous trucking today in Florida and California and elsewhere show what that new future might look like.
Trucking jobs are, as a recent report from the Washington, DC, think tank Global Policy Solutions points out, solid, middle class jobs. The median annual wage for delivery and heavy truck drivers is $34,768, 11 percent higher than the country's median wage. Trucking has also been an opportunity for black, Hispanic, and Native American workers, who have faced serious, race-based barriers to entry in other blue collar jobs and are now overrepresented in the industry. Many trucking jobs are unionized, and the gig doesn’t require an advanced education. You probably won't get rich doing it, but driving a truck is an option for those—men, in many cases—who might otherwise have done the kind of factory work that's left the country in the last three decades or so. Losing these jobs outright could devastate them.
Truck driving is, at the same time, a not-so-great job. Driving is solitary, physically inert, and psychologically exhausting. And long-haul truckers can be on the road—and away from family and friends—for months at a time. So people leave. In fact, there aren't enough truck drivers to go around. The American Trucking Associations reports the annual driver turnover for large truckload carriers reached a whopping 90 percent this year, and it projects a 50,000-driver shortage by the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, the freight shipping industry grows like Elon Musk's plans for the future. Today, trucks carry 70 percent of all goods shipped in the US, about 10.7 billion tons this year, pulling in $719 billion in revenue. And thanks to a burgeoning economy and population, ATA expects the industry to swell by 3.4 percent annually until 2023. Robo-trucking could help the sector dodge growing pains.
And, better, autonomous driving on highways should be easier to figure out than driving in cities, because those big rigs don't need to navigate pedestrians, cyclists, and traffic lights. That means most of the country's first experiences with driverless vehicles may be in the form of 70,000-pound trucks, instead of the kinds of driverless taxi services testing in sections of Pittsburgh and Arizona.
But what does the future look like for truck drivers? That kind of depends on how you define trucking. Because autonomous big rigs aren't going to be 100 percent autonomous, at least not in the near or medium future.
For example: Peloton Technology, a 6-year-old startup, envisions “platooning” trucks that can travel in packs and “talk” to each other via radio waves. Drivers in these trucks need only sit at the wheel if their vehicle leads the platoon; others can fill out paperwork, nap, or sit at a laptop and manage the fleet’s logistics network (though they'll probably need more training for that). Autonomous startup Embark sees a future in which drivers are more like tug boat pilots, waiting at a highway’s exit ramp for self-driving trucks to arrive and driving them into “port”—in this case, a distribution center. (The company announced this week it’s using semiautonomous vehicles to ship refrigerators between Texas and California, though today there’s always a safety driver inside to monitor the tech.)
The trucker doesn't even need to be in the truck: Starsky Robotics—a Silicon Valley startup that employs six full-time truck drivers—would put the driver behind a screen, in a call center-like office. The company, which today is testing and collecting data on Florida highways, envisions one joystick-equipped driver manually guiding trucks through the trickier bits of operations, though construction zones and the last few miles between an interstate and distribution center, while the computer handles the bulk of the simpler, highway driving tasks. One driver might be able to handle up to 30 trucks per eight-hour shift, the company predicts. “These would be remote drivers who get to go home at the end of the day,” says founder Stefan Steltz-Axmacher.
But yes, trucks that drive themselves are going to need fewer people to drive, and Goldman Sachs economists predict all driving industries could lose up to 300,000 jobs a year to automation. Still, those effects won’t kick in for decades. “This technology will be introduced sooner than people think, but take a longer time to diffuse through the country,” says Jonny Morris, who heads up policy for Embark. At first, these vehicles might be constrained to certain parts of the US, maybe those with good weather. (At this point, self-driving sensors do not love snow That could give drivers time to retrain, or retire. (The median age of a truck driver today is 49).
Not surprisingly, the Teamsters are skeptical. “It’s not just job loss,” Sam Loesche, a legislative representative for the Teamsters, told WIRED in September. “It’s also what happens to the working conditions of the person who remains in the cab. How do we protect the livelihood of the driver who may be pushed to operate on a 24-hour continual basis because the company is claiming he’s in the back of a cab?” The union, which represents almost 600,000 truck drivers, is also concerned that that lower demand for actual, human workers could mean lower wages overall.
The trucking jobs that do go away will affect some states more than others. That report from the Washington think-tank Global Policy Solutions notes that states with high shares of trucking industry employees, including North Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Indiana, would be the most vulnerable. But not enough research is being done on the effects of automation on the trucking industry in the first place.
Maya Rockeymoore, who directs Global Policy Solutions and helped write the trucking report, says she’s been surprised by how little thought lawmakers, policymakers, and the automotive industry itself have given to the repercussions of their technology. When she took the report to industry meetings and congressional offices, “it wasn’t clear that any of them had done any modeling or forecasting or research about the impact of their disruptive technologies on the labor market before developing their technology,” she says. "It signals, perhaps, that disruption and the value of disruption itself as being a more important factor than the impact on society." The first bill regulating self-driving technology is working its way through Congress, but commercial vehicles like trucks aren't likely to be included in the final legislation. That means states will continue to decide individually how to regulate self-driving trucks on their roads.
Morris, of Embark, says this lack of research is partly out of necessity. “It’s much easier to measure the things that you have now that might go away,” says Morris. “It’s much harder to measure the things that will be created through innovation.” Cars might have killed the buggy whip industry, but they created jobs in the hospitality industry, the oil and gas industry … and trucking.
With 500, 000 orders for that $35,000, 350km-range vehicle, the upstart carmaker faces its greatest test
Tesla boss Elon Musk has paid the very first of the items he hopes is a mass-market electric vehicle to worker buyers,setting happens for that greatest test yet from the companys intends to revolutionise the car industry. .
Outdoors Teslas factory in Fremont, California on Friday night, Musk demonstrated from the $35,000 Model 3 which has a variety of 220 miles (350 km) on the charge that marks a departure in the companys earlier luxury planet.
Hrs prior to the event, Musk acknowledged it might be a significant challenge to construct the vehicle noisy . times of production.
Would undergo a minimum of six several weeks of producing hell, Musk told journalists.
The over 500, 000 reservations are up from about 373,000 disclosed in April 2016. Customers pay $1,000 refundable deposits for that vehicle, that is qualified for tax credits. Any new buyers may likely not receive their vehicle before the finish of 2018, Musk stated.
An extended-range form of the vehicle costs $44,000 and can drive 310 miles (500 km) on one charge. The cars have a streamlined dashboard lacking of buttons or knobs, having a touchstream display right from the driver.
Tesla faces major hurdles living to the Model 3 hype. The 500,000 vehicles Tesla vows to create the coming year are nearly six occasions its 2016 production.
Were Tesla to create, then sell 500,000 cars each year, the organization may likely still outsell the BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus brands within the U . s . States.
Production delays and quality issues damaged the launches of Teslas Model S and Model X vehicles, and the organization blamed production trouble for a shortfall throughout the second quarter of the year. Musk has stated a less complicated Model 3 design will help reduce potential set up-line problems.
Tesla has burned through greater than $2bn in cash to date this season in front of the launch. A troubled Model 3 launch could heighten the potential risks for the organization, while a stable delivery of Model 3s could produce a stream of money that will allow Tesla to prevent going again towards the capital markets to finance its operations.
So far, Tesla has operated like a niche producer of luxury electric vehicles, having a charismatic, showman leader who regularly interacts with fans on his Twitter account. Now loss-making Tesla is attempting to maneuver right into a different league, building vehicles in high volume for purchasers capable of paying merely a couple of 1000 dollars greater than the typical cost of the conventional vehicle or truck offered in america.
The Model 3 belongs to Musks broader intend to develop a clean energy and transportation company that provides electric semi trucks, rooftop solar power systems and enormous-scale battery storage systems.
Exclusive: Chief executive officer Elon Musk defends workplace, saying [we’re not just greedy capitalists who skimp on safety and declares his $50bn company overvalued
When Tesla purchased a decommissioned vehicle factory in Fremont, California, Elon Musk transformed that old-fashioned, unionized plant right into a much-vaunted factory of the future, where giant robots named after X-Men shape and fold sheets of metal in the gleaming white-colored mecca of advanced manufacturing.
Hunger for Musks planet, and the promise to disrupt the carbon-reliant automobile industry, helps Teslas value exceed those of both Ford and, briefly, General Motors (GM). But a few of the human workers who share the factory using their automatic counterparts complain ofgrueling work pressure they attributeto Musks aggressive production goals, and often existence-altering injuries.
Ambulances happen to be known as greater than 100 occasions since 2014 for workers experiencing fainting spells, dizziness, seizures, abnormal breathing and chest pains, based on incident reports acquired through the Protector. Hundreds more were known as for injuries along with other health problems.
Inside a phone interview concerning the conditions in the factory, which employs some 10,000 workers, the Tesla Chief executive officer conceded his workers have been getting difficulty, working lengthy hrs, as well as on hard jobs, but stated he cared deeply regarding their health and wellness.His company states its factory safety record has considerably improved within the this past year.
Musk also stated that Tesla shouldn’t be when compared with major US carmakers which its market capital, now greater than $50bn, is unwarranted. I do think the forex market cap is greater than we’ve any to deserve, he stated, mentioning his company produces just 1% of GMs total output.
Were a cash losing company, Musk added. This isn’t some situation where, for instance, we’re just greedy capitalists who made the decision to scrimp on safety to be able to convey more profits and dividends which type of factor. Its only a question of how much cash we lose. And how can we survive? How can we not die and also have everybody lose their jobs?
Mobileye says capability of system to do the drivers job was overstated but Elon Musks company denies ever suggesting its cars could drive themselves
Mobileye broke ties with Tesla Motors because the Silicon Valley firm was pushing the envelope in terms of safety with the design of its Autopilot driver-assistance system, its chairman has said.
It is not designed to cover all possible crash situations in a safe manner, said Amnon Shashua, who is also chief technology officer at the Israel-based maker of collision detection and driver assistance systems.
No matter how you spin it, [Autopilot] is not designed for that. It is a driver assistance system and not a driverless system.
The safety of Autopilot, which helps drivers stay in lanes and steer on highways, was thrust into the public spotlight after a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S driver using the new technology in May. Tesla said in a blogpost after the accident that neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied.
A Tesla spokeswoman said on Wednesday the company had never described Autopilot as an autonomous technology or self-driving car.
Since the release of Autopilot weve continuously educated customers on the use of the features, reminding them that theyre responsible to keep their hands on the wheel and remain alert and present when using Autopilot, the spokeswoman said. Drivers must be prepared to take control at all times
However, drivers using Autopilot have been known to take their hands off the wheel at highway speeds for several minutes at a time. YouTube videos proliferated soon after the systems launch showing Tesla drivers going hands-free, prompting Musk to express concern about drivers doing crazy things.
On Sunday, Tesla said it would update Autopilot to make it more difficult for drivers to ignore warnings to keep hands on the wheel and other changes that Musk said would probably have prevented the fatality in May. Musk said on Sunday that as drivers became familiar with the system, they tended to ignore audible warnings to retake the wheel.
Still, Musk said, the revised system would allow a drivers hands to be off the wheel for up to three minutes while following a car at highway speeds.
Shashuas comments escalate an unusually public rift in an industry where suppliers and automakers rarely speak ill of each other in public. After Mobileye announced its break with Tesla in July in the wake of the fatality, Tesla said in a statement that Mobileye could not keep pace with Teslas product changes.
Our parting ways was inevitable, Musk told a press conference in late July.
Shashua said the company had reservations about the mixed messages from Tesla about Autopilot both boasting of its capabilities while cautioning that drivers needed to keep their hands on the wheel especially after watching Teslas response to the Florida crash.
Long term this is going to hurt the interests of the company and hurt the interests of an entire industry, if a company of our reputation will continue to be associated with this type of pushing the envelope in terms of safety, he said.
The company counts as customers 27 automakers for its collision detection systems, which represent around 70% of the current market.
Tesla and Musk have also said the Florida death was the first known fatality involving a car operating on Autopilot in 130m miles of driving, and have compared that with the average of one death every 60m miles of driving by vehicles worldwide.
As the sun set beyond the long-needle pines and emerald waters of Lake Tahoe, I looked across the campfire and laughed out loud. I was about to go camping in the back of a $145,000 electric car because, well, it’s become a thing.
Tesla Camper Mode, as its often called, may not be sanctioned by the company, but a community of drivers is devoted to the practice. There are forums and YouTube videos that praise the virtues of Tesla camping and explore the hacks youll need to make it work. Theres even a third-party Tesla car app, with a Camp Mode function that will optimize the cars systems for a good nights sleep. This is a quirky, little Tesla subculture, and of course I had to try it myself.
I know what youre thinking (because it was my first thought, too): Why would someone who can afford a Tesla need to bed down inside one? The last time I slept in a car was on a college road trip from Iowa to Florida, and it was a night of eternal torment, with cramped seats, suffocating heat, and mosquitoes that swarmed when we cracked the windows. Who would choose that again?
But Tesla camping promised something different. The sapphire blue Model S I was driving for the week has a 90-kilowatt-hour battery the largest you can find in a car on the road today. In theory, it should be able to handle a night of climate control and HEPA-level air filtration without much limiting of the vehicles range. Also, electric cars are virtually silent and release no tailpipe emissions (they dont have tailpipes) so they wont suffocate the camper or disturb the local fauna. As for the Model Ss panoramic glass roof, well, no tent can compete with that.
Theres also something romantic about the idea that you slide into a car to enjoy the solitary pleasures of life on the road and you need to stop only when you, or the car, need to recharge. And Camper Mode could be a real draw for Teslas next car, the more affordable Model 3, which is headed for production in 2017. According to a person familiar with the final design, which hasnt been made public, Camper Mode will indeed be possible. (More specifics below.) Tesla is hoping to make at least 500,000 Model 3s a year, beginning in 2018. In doing so, it may open up a whole new approach to road tripping for 21st century Jack Kerouacs.
Step one: Park it
One beauty of the Model S for camping is that the back seats fold flat, creating an impressive expanse that can accommodate someone more than six feet tall, or even two people side by side, as Norwegian Tesla enthusiast Bjrn Nyland shows in this video from April 2015. But what I didnt realize is that the 2016 Next Generation rear seats dont fold completely flat. In fact, they leave a hump of several inches that could be a real pain in the backside.
My solution: I stopped by a sporting goods store and picked up a few leftover cardboard boxes. It took only a minute to even out the hump, but its an annoying extra step that somehow feels like cheating. Cardboard in place, I unrolled a self-inflating sleeping pad and made up my bed with a sheet, pillow, and light blanket. The parking spot at my Lake Tahoe campsite was slightly inclined, so I backed the car in to level it out, accounting for my cardboard job. There. Now it was time for a campfire.
Why they call it Camper Mode
Driving a Model S takes some getting used to. Theres little difference between having the car on or off. When you approach it with the key fob in your pocket, it unlocks itself and the climate control engages, ready to drive. When you leave the car, everything shuts down and locks up automatically. You can even use the official Tesla phone app to pre-heat or pre-cool the car from a distance. Theres no key or ignition button.
Unfortunately for campers, when the drivers seat sits empty for more than half an hour, the car wants to turn itself off. Here are the steps to trick the car and get it ready for camping:
1. Put the car in neutral and manually engage the parking brake on the touchscreen. This will prevent the cars systems from turning themselves off. (Dont worry: You cant accidentally disengage the parking brake without having your foot on the brake pedal.)
2. Turn off the headlights, though the daytime running lamps (a thin outline of LEDs) will remain on when the car is in neutral. For stealth mode, I cut out squares of cheap backing for blackout curtains and hung them like sunglasses from the cars front hood.
3. Set the temperature, fan, and air filtration to your preferred levels for sleeping.
4. Manually lock the car via the touchscreen.
5. Change the screen to the nighttime setting and dim it to the lowest setting. If thats still too much light, you can also set the screen to cleaning mode, which blacks it out, though I preferred to maintain instant access to the controls. I threw a towel over it.
6. Do yourself a favor and pick up a portable electric espresso maker or kettle. They plug right in to the car, so in the morning you can recharge before hitting the road again.
The Camp Mode option on the unauthorized iPhone Tesla app works differently. Instead of shifting to neutral, the app checks in with the car every 30 minutes to re-engage the climate control when it would otherwise turn itself off while parked. This has the added advantage of allowing you to charge the car while you camp and to turn off the headlights completely, but it disengages if you ever use your phone. I wasnt able to test it because theres no Android version of the app yet.
Coming Soon to the Model 3?
Short of a literal camper, the Model S may be the only car in the world ready for full Camper Mode. Other electric carsthe Nissan Leaf or BMW i3, for instancedont yet have the battery range to drive to a remote destination, park, leave the cars HVAC system running overnight, and return home. After driving the car from Reno, Nevada, to the south shore of Lake Tahoe (mostly on Autopilot), the cars navigation system told me I had enough power left to make it to the next Supercharger station on my route with 40 percent of my 270-mile range to spare. A night of camping ultimately sapped that range by about 7 percentage points.
Surprisingly, the Model Ss bigger brother, the Model X SUV, makes an unsuitable camper because the unique monopost second-row seats dont fold down. The Model Ss little brother, the Model 3, will be camp-ready, if a bit cramped.
The Model 3 seats will fold flat, and the storage well at the bottom of the trunk will have a leveling cover, similar to the setup on the Model S, according to the person familiar with the final design. However, the flat bed on the compact Model 3 is long enough to accommodate only someone who is about 5 1/2 feet long, stretched out. Anyone much taller than that would need to bend their knees or sleep at an angle.
The Model 3 Bed5 Feet Long
Better for side sleepers
After a meal of brats and beans, roasted marshmallows, and a few nips of bourbon before bed, it was time for me to put camping mode to the real test. The campground was still noisy with late arrivers and late-night revelers, but when I closed the doors, all was silenced. I stretched out on my Tesla bed and realized for the first time that I was in a room of windows, with a panoramic view of the mountains and trees and the stars beyond.
It took a century of human technology to create this fully connected pod of an electric camper. Teslas Autopilot removes the physical stresses of long-haul driving, and the large-screen maps and integrated Supercharger navigation leave the traveler to think about the bigger picture. The great American road tripper, Jack Kerouac, drove a 1949 Hudson Commodore made by a scrappy U.S. car company and priced a step above the average car at the time. If he were alive today, hed probably be checking out a Model 3.
Sometime after midnight, I awoke in a climate-controlled sleep bubble beneath a view of the Milky Way. New to electric driving, I had a bit of range anxiety and checked the battery gauge. The car was barely sipping juice, confirming what a Tesla salesperson once told me when I asked how long the car could keep me comfortable in gridlock. His response, which I now believe: Days.
Tesla camping is still an imperfect experience, but it doesnt need to be. The company clearly didnt design the Model S with the camper in mind, given the hump, the cardboard boxes, the auto shut-off, the daytime running lights, and the inability to turn off the dash. It wouldnt take much for Tesla to code a sweet official version of Camper Mode and to ensure a big enough flat bed in the Model 3. I hope it does, because I could get used to this.