Tesla Model 3 'release candidate' drives off the lot

Jonas believes that the Model 3 will provide "superhuman" assistance to human drivers in the safety department. Any 60 kWh Model S will have the ability to upgrade their battery to 75 kWh via an over the air update.

For Tesla fans, the company's next highly anticipated electric vehicle - the Model 3, slated for release later this year - can't come soon enough. But wading through the comments on the forum and on the YouTube page, the general consensus of the feedback seems to be that the problems are really no bigger than on other makers' vehicles and although the Model S has had its problems, most seem to be quite satisfied with their vehicles in general. And the self-driving software will be improved over time with the likely result that Model S/3/X will all be at parity. With the Model 3 preparing to launch within a matter of months and addressing a vastly larger market than Tesla's current vehicles, the vehicle's safety will be paramount. In Tesla's case, Musk is setting some clear expectations. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Model S an "acceptable" rating on one of five crash tests this year, noting that drivers could sustain a possible skull fracture in front-left-corner crashes.

Musk also answered several questions on Twitter about Tesla models. Tesla's electric sedan broke the record for speed in 4-door production cars. Musk said that the "Tesla Vision" image processing system and new hardware suite will enable level 5 autonomous driving, which he plans to demo by the end of the year with a trip from Los Angeles to NY, but that doesn't mean that it will be available in Tesla's vehicles.

Even amid manufacturing bottlenecks, Tesla Inc., formerly known as Tesla Motors, is working on expanding its lineup as much older automakers launch their own electric sub-brands. What this means for range is TBD, but it puts a cap on battery capacity at 3/4 what Model S already has. When that will happen, Musk didn't say. The company is laser-focused on meeting its anticipated Model 3 delivery targets this year by maximizing production efficiency. Apparently, the contract was only for the Model 3.

Any early quality problems that crop up in the first weeks of Model 3 production can thus be kept in-house, to be fixed before significant volumes of the auto are delivered to non-Tesla buyers.

Further details of the system have yet to be released, but SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive has said that the company was working towards a 40 cent per watt efficiency.

Those anxiously waiting for a right-hand-drive version of the Model 3 will have to be more patient, as that won't be available until summer 2018 at the earliest.


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