Posts Tagged ‘elon musk’

Assembly Line Production of Self Driving Cars is Here: A Brand-New Bolt, One of 130 – Hayes Valley Meets Uncanny Valley

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Look what I saw coming out of Hayes Valley – it’s VEHT2079, a brand-new self-driving Chevy Bolt all the way from Orion Township, MI. It’s different. Notice the white thingamajigs above the front wheels:

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At first I thought it could have been a Project Titan from Apple, but no. It’s just an updated version of what we’ve seen for a while now.

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Of course that’s the human minder in the driver’s seat, but is that the robot in the passenger seat? Let’s ENHANCE:

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I’ll think of him as Frisco’s Star Trek Data, or Johnny Cab 2017, but you make the call, Gentle Reader

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Off they go, a boy and his robot:

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But not without a few Grove Street hassles. I mean, that’s what GM is doing here, a kind of driving torture test, right?

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And all this is just one block away from the Hayes Street block where Anthony Levandowski’s long-forgotten self-driving Pri-Bot used to get parked, right?

The Future is Now…

Word On The Street: Poor Elon Musk! – “KATSU – SF AUG. 19 – A.I. CRIMINALS”

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

As seen, en La Mision, on Mission:

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[UPDATE: Indeed, it doesn’t look very pro-Elon, Reddit. Oh well.]

[UPDATE II: Oh, Nitasha Tiku has the whole story in WIRED.]

They Call Me MISTER Platypus! – My White Whale Spotted, Again

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

This is the closest I’ve gotten to this now-famous ride:

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“PLATYPUS” – go figure. I don’t think Old GM had a platypus car…

This Brand-New Chevy Bolt is Driving Itself on the Streets of San Francisco

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

As seen in the SoMA on Folsom near 12th right, by the SF Eagle, not that there’s anything wrong with that:

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No, it’s not sucking the data off of your cell phone – it’s Cruise Automation, baby. And it looks like they’re on the right path, unlike, say, so-called Elon Musk and his so-called “Autopilot.”

Play us out, SLATE’s Will Oremus:

Is Autopilot a Bad Idea? Why Ford, Google, Volvo and others think Tesla is wrong about automation.

What Happened to All the Tesla Roadsters of the Bay Area? They’ve Disappeared – Why’s That?

Monday, June 15th, 2015

I’ll tell you, there was a time when most of the Lotus Eliseses I saw in the Bay Area were Lotus Eliseses. Then a few years back, most of the Elises I saw were Tesla Roadsters. And then, starting a year or two ago most of the Lotus Elise I’ve seen on the Bay Area went back to being actual Lotus Elise. Isn’t that funny?

Like here, for instance. Is this the first Tesla Roadster I’ve seen this year? The past year? I think so.

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Man, they’re hard to tell apart, the gas and electric versions. The Tesla version is less stubby, but I generally need to see the “T” logo to be sure. Isn’t that sad?

I guess having a Roadster isn’t a thang anymore. So they sit around garages, aging, slowly discharging, and gathering dust. They never really were practical, you know?

Now let’s hear some government-subsidized propaganda from yesteryear:

“One of the more common misconceptions about the Tesla Roadster is that it is an electrified Lotus Elise. This has been an interesting problem to deal with because the Tesla is vastly different from an Elise and it is important that people are aware of this.”

But in fact, the Tesla Roadster is/was an electrified Lotus Elise. Exactly. Take an Elise, stretch the chassis, throw out the Toyota engine (frankly, the best thing about the vehicle, you know, with billions invested over the years, coming from what’s still the best car manufacturer in the world) add a very heavy battery pack and a motor and boom there’s your Tesla Roadster.

The dude what wrote all that back in aught-eight shortly later quit / got fired / resigned – it’s hard to say.

The question now is whether you’d rather operate the original gas powered version or the newer electric kind. Certainly the gas-powered one handles better, due to its lightness. But both versions are impractical two-seaters, so maybe that’s why most people don’t own/use/garage either kind. Oh well.

Anyway, that’s the sad end to the vaunted Tesla Roadster – it’s still in the back of your closet, but you don’t wear it anymore…

Recycling Dead Batteries is Surprisingly Easy in Frisco – One Simple Trick!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

[UPDATE: Herb Caen eventually recanted re: the Frisco Issue – see Comments. Or here’s the short version:“Balderdash,” Caen wrote. “The toughest guys on the old S.F. waterfront, neither rubes nor tourists, called it Frisco, and no effete journalist would have tried to correct them.”]

Are you like  – do you pine for an Uber For Dead Batteries?

Person that comes to your house to remove your used AA batteries because you’re too lazy to ‘dispose of them properly.'”

Here you go – they’ll come right to your place for pickup if you put your used batteries in a baggie:

Curbside Battery Recycling Service – Most residents may place their batteries in a sealed plastic bag taped to the top of their black bin for curbside collection.” 

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This baggie system is news to me, as I’m accustomed to the Big Orange Bucket:

“Residents of multi-unit homes (4 units or more) should place batteries in their Orange Battery Bucket. If your building does not have one, ask your building manager to order one at (415) 330-1300. For more information on battery recycling, please visit: SFEnvironment.org/ecofinder

Like this:

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So who says our local garbage monopoly is all bad?

*As opposed to the actual Elon Musk. I’ll tell you, BEM is much cheaper for us than the real deal:

Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies

How Tesla CEO Elon Musk is WRONG WRONG WRONG About How the Fremont Assembly Plant Has Been in Operation for “Over 60 Years”

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Here’s the background:

How Elon Musk Hustled $1.4 Billion Out Of Nevada For Gigafactory

Now here’s Musk’s defense of the Nevada Gigglefactory battery tax incentive deal.

Which you can swallow or not, but I have a beef with this part in particular:

“However, the 20 year mark is simply when the last of the incentives expires. The Gigafactory itself will continue contributing economically to Nevada for much longer. Our automotive plant in California has been in operation for over 60 years with no foreseeable end in sight.”

Well, first of all, there’s nothing to stop Tesla or its successor from threatening to move away unless it receives another massive subsidy from the people of Nevada, right? So that’s just wrong.

But, more importantly, what’s up with this “over 60 years” thing? Let’s take a look.

Fremont Assembly began operations in 1963, right? 2014 minus 1963 = 51 years, right? 51 years is less than “over  60 years,” right?

And that doesn’t mean that this place was “in operation,” all that time, right?

And actually, it didn’t make sense to have such a big old GM factory in the Bay Area so it shut down in 1982. Let’s get some more deets:

“Operated as GM plant from 1963 to 1982, then became the site of NUMMI, GM’s joint venture with Toyota and the only major auto assembly plant remaining in California. Closed April 1, 2010, partially reopening as the Tesla Factory, an automobile assembly plant for Tesla Motors”

So Fremont Assembly was massively downsized when Toyota was coerced into starting up NUMMI, which lasted just 16 years.

Then NUMMI got massively downsized and now what’s left has been a Tesla factory for a couple years.

Now you might think that that’s good or bad, but this record sure doesn’t match what Elon Musk has to say.

END OF LINE

Word on the Street, San Mateo-Style: “MUSK MUSK MUSK MUSK MUSK” – Elon Musk has a Rabid Fan?

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

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Hey, how many junior Musks should you make with a baby mama before trading her away for a new model? I think the answer is five.

Peas in a Pod: The Tesla Model S and the Fisker Karma are Very Hard to Tell Apart

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Ah look, from Marin it’s a red Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid in red and in the background it’s a silver Tesla Model S electric car.

Don’t they look super similar?

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Ah memories:

“On 14 April 2008, Tesla Motors filed a lawsuit against Fisker Automotive, alleging that Henrik Fisker stole Tesla’s Model S hybrid technology and was using it to develop the Karma. Tesla’s suit claimed that the design work done for the Model S sedan by Fisker Coachbuild was substandard, and that Fisker Automotive diverted its best ideas to the Karma.[77] On 4 November 2008 CNET News reported that Tesla Motors would discontinue its suit after an interim ruling in favor of Fisker et al.[78] A news release on the Fisker Automotive website stated that Tesla was ordered to pay US$1,144,285 in costs.[79]

Sorry Elon Musk, But Your Low-Slung Tesla “Model S” Sedan is NOT “Perfect For Winter”

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Check this out:

“MODEL S IS PERFECT FOR WINTER Model S is an all-electric, rear wheel drive sedan designed to perform exceptionally in winter conditions. In fact, all-wheel-drive is not necessary. The state of the art liquid thermal control system dynamically heats and cools powertrain components to maintain range and power.

Cold Weather Performance – Additionally, the Tesla mobile app allows drivers to remotely heat the passenger cabin and battery from the comfort of their home or office. Watch Tesla’s VP of Vehicle Engineering Chris Porritt explain why Model S redefines what’s possible in cold weather. Book a test drive now to experience the supreme handling capabilities of Model S for yourself.”

I don’t know where to start. Uh, if you don’t have four wheel drive, you’re not going to get a pass from chain control during snowy days on the way to Tahoe, right? And are 21 inch wheels on a “sports car” “perfect” for snow? And ground clearance?

If Tesla is trying to say that the Model S is acceptable for winter, well that would be fine.

But Tesla is saying that its electric Porsche Panamera with 21 inch wheels and RWD is “perfect.”

I cry foul.