The Tesla Model 3 has been billed as a groundbreaking car. And in one respect, it is: It doesn’t have an instrument cluster.
Although it is unusual to have the most important displays and controls on the left side of the screen instead of the center or right, keep in mind the screen’s location in the center of the car, to the driver’s right. A large speedometer is located at the top left of the screen, which turns red if you are speeding. Below that is a graphic of the car. When parked you can open the hood, trunk, and charging door. The navigation and music selection screens work much the same way you would expect in any other infotainment system, tablet, or smartphone.
Why It’s Hot
It’s one of the more significant updates to car dashboard U.I. in a long time – it will be interesting to hear the usability feedback now that the cars are being delivered. It also marks a more aggressive step towards autonomous cars.
Tesla and SolarCity have created a new renewable energy project for the island of Kauai (pop. 67,000) which will hopefully enable the small island to reach its goal of using 70% renewable energy sources by the year 2030.
The Powepacks technology allows for solar energy to be stored during the day for use at night!
Hawaii doesn’t have the benefit of a massive grid like the mainland to pull electricity from sources hundreds of miles away. Instead each island has to take care of its own energy solutions.
The 45 acre project in Kapaia will reduce the use of fossil fuels by 1.6 million gallons a year.
Why It’s Hot
The project in Kauai can serve as a test case to see if the Powepacks technology can work in smaller mainland cities and suburbs. As Tesla learns how to scale the efficiency of the Powepacks, it could take a lot of fossil fuels offline in small and mid-sized cities. It’s a start.
The somewhat scary world of self-driving cars moved closer to reality this month with Tesla’s introduction of several new features of its self-driving technology: smarter auto-steering that can navigate even when road lines are faded, and Summon, which allows drivers to summon their Tesla within 39 feet or as Tesla CEO Elan Musk predicts, coast-to-coast within two years.
Through software upgrades, the Tesla Model S electric car can change lanes at the flick of a turn signal, as well as navigate more easily in stop and go traffic. It can also back out of a garage without anyone inside and open/close the garage door while doing it.
Why It’s Hot
Imagine getting yourself ready for work in the morning and then summoning your car once you are ready to leave. You get to work, park far away, but summon your car when you are ready to leave. That’s the future and Tesla is making it happen probably quicker than most imagined. Along with true driverless features and self-park, can the day be far away when you send your car to pick up prescriptions, get groceries or bring friends/relatives to your house (or elsewhere) for get togethers, parties, dinners, or anything that requires getting from one destination to another, even without a driver?