Second-hand Tesla Cars may not Have all of the Core Functions

Second-hand Tesla Cars may not Have all of the Core Functions


Tesla cars are in very high demand all over the world.

Those who buy a car second-hand may notice not all of the core features are working.  In theory, this is a very smart decision by the company, albeit one that may come back to harm them.

A Second-hand Tesla Isn’t the Best Option

This entire story revolves around a second-hand Tesla Model S. The new owner suddenly noticed how he cannot access driver assistance features. According to Tesla, these have been disabled remotely because “the new owner did not pay for them”. A very interesting stance, as it would mean that there is little to no market for second-hand Teslas. When the car is originally purchased, it comes with all features that have been paid for. If the owner decides to sell the car to someone else, the package deal expires. Up until now this has never happened with any car in history. However, the modern cars are subject to over-the-air updates, thus they seemingly fall into a different category. Hardware-based upgrades will never be deactivated remotely, but software functions can certainly be turned off. 

Article Produced By
JP Buntinx

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Volvo will launch its first all-electric car in 2019 to take on Tesla — here’s everything we know

Volvo is looking to China for the future of its electric cars.

The carmaker said Wednesday that it plans to produce its first fully electric car in China and will export it around the world.

The Swedish automaker, which is owned by the Chinese company Geely, is making a big bet on electric vehicles.

In 2015, Volvo launched its XC90, which was its first vehicle with a hybrid powertrain. And in April 2016, the company vowed that it would sell one million electrified cars by 2025.

Volvo's first fully electric car is slated to go into production in 2019. Here's everything we know about the car so far.

Volvo's first electric car will have a 100 kWh battery and be manufactured at its factory in Luqiao, China.

Volvo's designed the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) for its smaller electric cars.Volvo
Mats Anderson, a senior director of electric propulsion systems, said in February that its modular car platforms will support 100 kWh battery packs, according to a report by Green Car Congress. 

 When fully charged, the vehicle will have a range of 250-miles.

To help put that into perspective, Tesla's Model S 100D has a range of 335 miles per charge, according to EPA estimates. 

Volvo will likely price the car between $35,000 and $40,000, putting it in direct competition with Tesla's Model 3.

Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Car USA, said in March that he was pushing for its first electric car to fall in the $40,000 range. 

The move makes sense considering more affordable, long-range electric cars are coming to market in a similar timeframe. 

Tesla is planning to launch its first mass-market car, the Model 3, by the end of this year, but the majority of its pre-orders are expected to arrive in 2018. And Volkswagen's first long-range, electric crossover is coming in 2020. 

While Volvo hasn't said whether or not the vehicle will be a sedan or SUV, it has said it will use a smaller platform, similar to the 40-Series, for the car.

While Volvo hasn't said whether or not the vehicle will be a sedan or SUV, it has said it will use a smaller platform, similar to the 40-Series, for the car.
Volvo's 40.2 concept car.Volvo
Volvo previously said that its first electric car would be built on a larger platform, like the one used for the S90. However, the company has shifted away from that plan. 

Volvo said in a press statement on Wednesday that its new electric car will be based on its Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which is the platform the carmaker is using for its smaller 40-Series vehicles. 

However, it is not clear whether Volvo will actually use the CMA platform for its first electric car, or if it will introduce a new platform that is even smaller. 

 Volvo also plans to launch another larger electric car by 2019

Volvo will also build an all-electric vehicle on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, which is the same platform the company used for its second-generation XC90 SUV and its 90-Series sedan. 

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Apple has an official permit to test self-driving cars in California, DMV confirms

Apple CEO Tim CookAP

Kif Leswing 
Apple has received a permit to test autonomous cars in California, the first official confirmation that the maker of the iPhone sees the century-old automobile as a product that's ripe for reinvention and a reflection of its need to find new markets to sustain its growth. 

The California DMV updated its website on Friday, adding Apple's name to 29 other companies testing self-driving vehicles in the state, including Tesla and Google.

The permit is confirmation that Apple has been quietly working on self-driving car technology, something that the company has not previously discussed in public or confirmed beyond an advisory letter to the NHTSA in December. 

The DMV says that any manufacturer of autonomous technologies must apply to the California DMV before it can test a vehicle in autonomous mode on public roads.

"Today, April 14, 2017, California Department of Motor Vehicles issued Apple Inc. an autonomous vehicle test permit. The permit covers three vehicles, all 2015 Lexus RX450h, and six drivers," a DMV spokeswoman told Business Insider. 

Apple declined to comment about whether Apple is currently testing autonomous vehicles on public roads and pointed to a previous statement that it is "investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems."

2015 Lexus RX 350 front three quarters
This is the car that Apple listed in its application to test its autonomous platform.Lexus

Silicon Valley and Detroit are engaged in a high-stakes race to develop self-driving cars, with companies like Google, Uber, Ford, Tesla and GM all working on autonomous vehicle technology. Prototype cars, with clunky radars, sensors and cameras rigged on the roofs and the sides, are a common sight on the streets of San Francisco.

And although there are still numerous technological, as well as political and regulatory obstacles to clear before self-driving cars become a widespread product for the masses, analysts believe the market will be worth tens of billions of dollars in the coming years. 

Apple's work in the automotive world is an open secret, but the company has never officially confirmed the existence of a project before Friday. 

"It's going to be Christmas Eve for a while," Apple CEO Tim Cook once said in response to a question about the project.

Apple has what appears to be a mostly separate organization of 1000 employees working on what it calls "Project Titan" in Sunnyvale, California and other satellite offices. Apple has also been linked to a private course in California where secretive companies test self-driving cars. 

Last year, the project hit some snags, though, and Apple was forced to bring on Bob Mansfield, a respected engineer, to cut back the scope of the project and set new goals, according to reporting from Bloomberg. Apple is believed be be primarily working on autonomous software, instead of a full car, but the project is still shrouded in secrecy. 

Apple is expected to assess the progress it has made on self-driving cars at the end of this year, according to Bloomberg. 

Have you seen one of Apple's self-driving cars on the road or know anything about Apple's automotive project? Email the author at

This is the car that Apple listed in its application to test its autonomous platform.Lexus


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How Toyota is Teaching Cars to Drive

From Google to Tesla, companies around the world are working on developing driverless cars. Manufacturers have had various degrees of success thus far, but the overall progress has been good, and many experts predict driverless cars to be widespread on the road within the next decade. One car manufacturer is taking matters into its own hands to develop the best driverless technology on the market—here’s how Toyota is teaching its cars to drive.

The initiative started in January 2016 with the creation of the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), the company’s $1 billion investment in developing artificial intelligence for driverless cars and home-care robots. Because the institute is still relatively new, its main focus is currently on research and development; a large push right now is to collect a variety of data from vehicles, including from sensors, cameras, radars, and LIDAR. The eventual goal is to create effective driverless technology that will work in all Toyotas, as well as other brands of cars.

Once it fully understands the data from the car, TRI will combine it with data from outside the vehicle, including mapping roads and traffic patterns. The goal is to eventually get driverless technology to the same level of humans where it doesn’t necessarily rely completely on maps but instead uses perception to see where it is and where the obstacles and difficulties lie ahead, but that likely won’t occur until sensor systems are stronger and more reliable.

One of TRI’s more unique tactics is to learn from drivers and apply that data and learning to driverless technology. Machines are trained by example rather than by rules, so safe driverless cars need to learn from examples, such as human drivers. Toyota does this in part by having humans label various driving videos feeds to identify safety threats such as a bike in the road, an oncoming car, or a pedestrian. It can then take that human-created data and run it through a machine with numerous other scenarios so the technology can adopt those human-like obstacle identification skills. The end result is a model that can identify objects on a video in real time, very similar to how a human would do it. Because Toyota is an international company that has cars all over the world, it also needs to be able to create driverless models that fit in anywhere in the world. How you drive in Manhattan is different than how you drive in the suburbs of Minneapolis, so the model takes into account human driver characteristics and trends to create profiles of sorts for various locations.

Like most other car companies, Toyota already sells cars with driverless features, including driver-assistance technologies like lane assist and rear-view cameras that are available in many cars including the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. According to leaders at TRI, cars will likely continue to get safer and more automated incrementally until fully autonomous cars are ready to hit the open road, with autonomous features starting with the most dangerous areas and working forward. It is much more likely that safety regulators and human drivers will accept a car with multiple driver-assistance technologies that are proven safe over a fully driverless car that isn’t as proven.

TRI is definitely making progress in the driverless space, but the work isn’t without its challenges. Dealing with such large amounts of data from car sensors, road maps, and driver research can be an incredibly large undertaking, especially when the data is constantly being updated and upgraded with new technology.

What’s next for driverless technology at Toyota? Continued research and a huge push towards simulation. In order to prove safety and continue development, the company will have to spend hundreds of hours and millions of miles testing its technology. Simulations allow researchers to isolate various dangerous conditions and make sure the car performs well in those scenarios, instead of simply testing the car on hundreds of miles of flat roads on sunny days. The company also plans to continue developing its technology as new research and data becomes available. Because driverless technology is constantly changing, the work is never really done.

We could be riding around in driverless cars before we know it. And thanks to the work being done at TRI, there’s a greater chance that those driverless cars just might be Toyote
 Rick Delgado Rick Delgad

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