Tesla now tells its cars about charger availability en route
Unlike most automakers, Tesla doesn’t schedule redesigns, updates, and new features for its cars to coincide with traditional model years.
Aided by the fact that most of its new features are software-related, Tesla takes a more flexible approach.
Many new features are pushed to its electric cars whenever they’re ready, in the form of over-the-air software updates.
That means, when checking for the latest Tesla updates, the best place to look typically isn’t a company press release, but rather an owner forum.
Sure enough, posts about a new Supercharger live-status feature recently began appearing on the Tesla Motors Club forum.
The new capability lets drivers know how crowded a given Tesla Supercharger DC fast-charging station is while en route.
Tesla’s electric cars previously displayed Supercharger locations on their dashboard touchscreens, but the status feature was apparently added as part of the firmware update known as 2.52.22.
That’s the same update that added the “Ludicrous Plus” performance mode, which slashed the 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of the Tesla Model S P100D to less than 2.5 seconds.
The Tesla dashboard display overlays nearby Supercharger sites onto a navigation map, representing them with brightly-colored flags.
With the new live-status feature, touching one of these flags on the display map brings up an icon with horizontal bars.
Each bar represents a plug at that Supercharger site. When one of those plugs is in use, the bar is colored red.
Similar functionality is available from certain third-party charging stations and apps, too.
The status of charging sites on the EVgo network is available through the PlugShare app, while ChargePoint lists the status of its charging sites on its own mobile app.
But Tesla owners in particular will probably find this feature useful.
Despite Tesla’s consistent efforts to expand the network, overcrowding at a few Supercharger sites has become an issue, especially during heavy travel periods, such as the holiday season.
Tesla has tried to counter that problem by encouraging owners to use Supercharger stations only for long-distance travel, and instituting penalties for owners who leave their cars parked at Supercharger stations after the cars have finished charging.
It also ended unlimited free Supercharger use for new owners as of last month, although buyers do get a period of free charging after they take delivery of their cars.
With CEO Elon Musk’s plans to produce 500,000 cars next year, however—and a very low rate of new Supercharge sites added over the last year or so—the Supercharger crowding problem may endure or conceivably worsen.
That will make the new feature one that owners will likely value quite a lot.
This post first appeared on Green Car Reports.
via VentureBeat http://venturebeat.com
February 17, 2017 at 02:19PM
Tim Cook: ‘Steve was the son of an immigrant’
After receiving an honorary degree today at Scotland’s University of Glasgow, Apple chief executive Tim Cook spoke about a wide number of topics during a fireside chat and question and answer session with university students.
Seating was limited and the event was sold out. Fortunately a video recording of the event has surfaced on YouTube. (Hat tip to 9to5Mac for posting it.)
Among other things Cook touched on Apple’s renewable energy push, how Apple devices can be used to track health, its FBI encryption case, how to deal with cynical people, President Trump’s executive order limiting travel into the U.S. (“We don’t support it. I think it’s wrong,” he said), and some of the people he’s met during his tour of Europe in the past few days.
But the most interesting comments for Apple watchers were about Cook’s predecessor, Steve Jobs, the first of which was in the context of the Muslim ban.
“Steve was the son of an immigrant,” Cook said. Steve Jobs’ father Abdulfattah “John” Jandali was born and raised in Syria.
This comes a few days after Cook told employees in a memo that “Apple would not exist without immigration.” Sure enough, Cook repeated that line today.
One student asked if Steve Jobs’ spirit still lives at Apple, particularly given the launch of the Apple Pencil stylus that works with the iPad Pro.
The truth is Steve did hate styluses,” Cook said. “…The Apple Pencil is a creative tool.”
He also said that “Steve’s DNA will always be the core of Apple. Steve is deeply embedded in the company. We celebrate him. And we celebrate his philosophy. His philosophy I think will be at Apple 100 years from now. … So yes, he’s very much at Apple.”
Cook was also asked who has had the most influence on him. The answer: Jobs. “By far,” Cook said.
via VentureBeat http://venturebeat.com
February 8, 2017 at 12:44PM