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When is something new regarding the Model S coming out from Tesla? If launch is due a year from now, should the Beta not now be released? Options? Interiors? Final body shapes? Colours? In fact, at this stage they must surely KNOW where they heading, unless there is some glitch in the production/product development sequence. It is going to take quite some time for tooling etc.
At the very least, Franz needs to answer the questions posed on a previous blog, as promised. We are halfway through the month AFTER he was supposed to reply!!!
Is this a cause for concern for those of us who have put down cold hard cash to reserve? "S"#9 holder, Australia

Personally, I think we all need to stock up on patience and relax. Launch time is still more than a year away, we will all go nuts if we expect weekly updates.

I'd prefer to have Tesla focus on developing cars than run the web site. Granted, it feels like they are handling this site with their left hand every few months or so and I don't appreciate a blog that goes for months without an entry, but you have to admit that the insight we get in the model S development (when we get it) is miles away from what we see from the major manufacturers, who usually don't say peep about a model until it's done.

FWIW, I found this article online that should put some of our minds a bit at ease: http://www.cnbc.com/id/43769500

Best not to criticize someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then you'll have their shoes and be a mile away!

This car has a great look ,and since it's on the high tech it should have it all around .
1,Those door handles should light up by it self during the night .
2,The center of all 4 rims should have the sign of TESLA light up as well.
3,If there is not an option already ,all of that glass should be able to dim in direct sun light , or on command .
4,Since this car seats 5+2=7 it should have a entertainment system that is wireless for use with kids, also what are the safty spec ?
How many air bags ?
5,I would really like to see a crash stop system , with locking doors and closing windows .
6,Last what about the self parking that lexus and ford are doing, it would be a good .
I THINK YOU HAVE ALREADY THOUGH ABOUT THIS ,BUT IF NOT HERE IS SOME THINGS TO ADD , EVEN IF THE PRICE GETS HIGH , I AND MANY WILL BUY .

All cars come with a wireless entertainment system for kids, it is called Books and Talking, you should try it.

I second the auto-dimming windshield, although I'd prefer an auto-fogging windshield whenever I turn the car off. Helps keep the interior cool :)

Linky: http://www.electricglasswall.com

The technology is very close to what's in a LCD panel (which have become dirt cheap lately), and it's manufacturing doesn't require anywhere near the same precision the LCD panel does. I can't figure out why all cars don't do this, it seems an almost basic method to keep heat out. And better than a tint, which merely absorbs heat into the glass.

Not to mention the style points.

I doubt any car manufacturer wants to be the first to put electro-dimming glass in the windshield. The possibility of an electrical failure which blocks the driver's view (even partial blockage at night could be disastrous) is enough to scare everyone away. It might be do-able with some triple-safe manual switch. Also,I'd like to be sure there is absolutely no visual distortion associated with it if I'm to look through it all the time.

But maybe it can be put on the roof or sides or rear, to start?

Great for driving to lover's lane, too. I won't bother cross-posting to the 18 year old's thread.

I spoke with a Tesla representative last night at the Plug-in 2011 event here in Raleigh, NC. I don't know if this will satisfy your craving for more news, but he said the Beta would be out in either the 3rd or 4th quarter. It will probably be available for journalists to drive and maybe even some reservation holders...so we should start reading a lot more about it at that point.

Also, he basically said (with much dancing around the question) that the styling of the production version will probably be closer to the Alpha than the Prototype, and that they hadn't made a final decision yet, but its likely that the charging port will be on the rear of the vehicle. He said they are trying to balance the practical problem of having charging stations at the head of a parking spot with the reality that putting the plug on the front of the car could really interfere with the styling.

@MTriantafelow, thank you very much for sharing! It's good to know that Tesla is carefully considering the same questions that bother a majority of the posters here.

Lol, We all know books and talking go a long way, but if you are driving from NEW YORK to FLORIDA with kids ,you need another thing for them .
Can u access a kindle over the 3g through the wireless entertainment ?
The Q? What are the safty spec ? at the end means what type of nosie reduction to the inner ear for pro longed use , and how would this wireless system fair with travel cross country and Europe.
This is the Q?

@EdG:
That's the best part, electric potential is only necessary to cause a change in states. The scenario you described cannot happen, should the panel suffer an electrical failure, the worst that would happen is it 1) fail to fog after turning the car off, or 2) fail to clear after turning it back on. Both of which could only occur when the car isn't moving.

@MTriantafelow:
I would consider that news, not sure if I think it's good news. And to think I was all of 15 miles from Raleigh last night too.

@stAtrill: I guess you've never encountered an electrical short or computer bug. If you were in charge of design for this, would you risk the company's reputation on your faith in this never happening?

All I'm saying is: I would not, not without extensive backup systems to make me 99.99999% sure no driver would ever encounter a problem of "fogging" the window when not desired. And if Tesla put it in, I'd have to be sure the error would never occur before I'd ever turn it on in my car.

@stAtrill, to confirm EdG:s comment, my computer at home blew up an capacitor at night (BOOM! I woke up) and that caused my computer to start up, not to die. Needless to say I was in hurry to rip to cord off the wall because who knows which kind of voltages it was pushing to the motherboard at that time. Luckily nothing else broke down (that I have noticed).

To make sure that fogging doesn't happen there would have to be some sort of real switch that removes the connection completely from power source during driving. Then there are static discharges. I don't know what static charges do to that system. I pretty regularly get zapped by static discharge when I get out of the car when I'm wearing one of my favorite jackets (something to do with the inner lining of that jacket).

And, for what it's worth, about 30 years ago New York State passed a law banning window tinting that stopped police officers from being able to see into a car (pulled over for traffic violation). It allows them to see when an occupant is pulling out a gun.

I'd guess the ability to turn your windows into mirrors or otherwise opaque would be illegal here.

Predictable answer about the styling, but I am still very disappointed to hear it.

@EdG,Timo: Not that I've never heard of a failure or short, but wouldn't the possible failure rate for that scenario be similar to failure rates of the other computer controlled but essential modules? I would expect an electrical short could also knock out my power steering, or anything else critical on a primarily electrical vehicle. Although it can happen, it rarely ever does - as my last check of accident statistics reported the overwhelming majority of causes as "user error" ;)

Its basically a game of risks; I would find the risks of failure about the same as any other critical component failure, and with that basis would still build it into the vehicle.

As to the legality, that is a good point (maybe offer as option?). I simply think this could be a huge help in line with the other efficiency-related improvements. I could see this potentially allowing me to not use the cooling system at all on those summer days where I cant just 'precool' because I'm not at my house. (To clarify: North Carolina summer, not Florida summer)

Power steering is not critical, if it fails you can still control your car, just turning the wheel would be a bit harder. There are not much safety "essentials" in cars that are controlled purely by computer (can't think any just now).

When designing a car, you have to minimize the number of things that can go very badly wrong. That's probably why Timo couldn't easily think of any.

While power assisted steering and brakes have been a feature of most cars over many years, you don't see cars that are pure electrical steering or brakes. At least not yet.

When the engineers of any critical system can find a more reliable way, they will change. But brand new risks will not be put in lightly. So, because steering and braking are necessary, if an electrical system is shown to be more reliable than the mechanical ones in use, even in failure modes, they will be used, and not until. Note that there are two reasons Roadsters have disk brakes: because regenerative braking doesn't work well at very low speeds (you do need to actually stop after slowing down) and the disk brakes are mechanically (should I say fluidly?) connected to the pedal, satisfying those who worry about electrical failures and emergency braking.

You'll have to satisfy yourself with the reflective corrugated paper you unfold - manually - to reflect unwanted infrared. Maybe someday someone will invent a glass coating that will reflect all the infrared without affecting the visible red. It would make it a bit weird to see the hot sun, but not feel it at all through the glass. I guess we could get used to that.

( Repeating myself :) Note that making the sunroof out of electrically controlled safety glass wouldn't add any hazard.

Timo - "There are not much safety "essentials" in cars that are controlled purely by computer (can't think any just now)."

Throttle.

That's correct. Throttle in EV (and regen braking) is controlled by computer, though not like any home computer.

I never thought of this, but what does the acclerator feel like in Roadster? The pedal, not the acceleration. Is it easy to keep same speed? Does it resist fast movements?

On a second thought, most assisted systems in vehicles do have a mechanical backup. On the other hand, the way vehicles are heading, more and more of the driving experience will be computer assisted. For example, there is no mechanical link between the accelerator pedal and the throttle. And because the throttle is electronic, this has allowed cruise control. In older cars, there is a twistable metal bar (whose name I forget) that governs the purely mechanical power assisted steering. However, newer cars can either have electric AS, or a hydraulic system governed electrically. This is what enables park assists. Call it a personal opinion, but I feel that the fear of loss of safety retards the otherwise phenomenal progress cars could be making. I haven't ever heard of the throttle malfunctioning on the electronic side (Toyota's big scare was a hardware issue), nor have I heard of AS or even the electronic braking assist systems malfunctioning while driving - they seem more reliable than even the engine itself.

However, I do see where you're coming from. The risk would be higher than usual, but considering vehicles' electronics use multiple redundancy anyway (3 in just the ECM alone), I think this move we're seeing now towards a system with no mechanical overrides is inevitable.

As an aside, to illustrate risks already built into cars: for those with park assists, electrical failure of such a system could turn your wheel to lock, which at highway speeds would cause immediate loss of control. And the worst part is, is that no normal human could muster the power to resist it. It's never happened before, and we have electrical reliability to thank for that.

Whoops, didn't see Douglas3's post there.

I never thought of this, but what does the acclerator feel like in Roadster? The pedal, not the acceleration. Is it easy to keep same speed? Does it resist fast movements? (Timo)

I only know the Roadster from a 20-minute test drive, but the major impression from that was: Yes, it drives like a Go Kart as expected, but only in positive ways. And yes, it unexpectedly drives just like a normal car, but only in positive ways... ;-) It is hard to describe in detail, suffice to say that at least for me, the feeling of the accelerator pedal (including regen) was just right. The only surprise was (and that was a big one) that there wasn't any.

I second Volker's opinion. I can't really describe the difference I felt when I tested the Roadster (this past Saturday in Greenwich, CT). If I say the accelerator handles feels like an electric golf cart, but at road/highway speeds, it doesn't sound like a positive thing.

The best I can tell you is the difference in feeling is positive: if that difference were the only thing different between two cars, everyone would opt for the electric vehicle's feeling. Smooth, quite, precise, quick. Is that boring, or just what you'd want?

Some people like to drive old double clutch vehicles. That kind of nostalgia is about the only feeling that would bring you back to wanting the feeling of driving an ICE if you're allowed the alternative. Noise, reaction delays, etc. We who remember the ICE being driven by everyone may want to drive one now and again to hear the noise and feel the delay.

@stAtrill,
Too bad you missed it. If you are going to be around Raleigh next Tues. or Wed. Tesla is going to be here with the Model S prototype.

http://www.teslamotors.com/event/model-s-design-prototype-tour-raleigh

Many cars, not just Tesla, have digital throttles. Toyota famously took a lot of heat about theirs, when it was suspected that they caused unintended acceleration. (The consensus seems to be floor mats and user error.)

As for the Roadster's throttle, I'd have to say they really nailed it. It is smooth yet incredibly responsive. The regen is seamless. It took me less than a minute to get used to it on my test drive, and just a couple minutes more to really start enjoying it.

In comparison I've come to really dislike the throttle in my G37. I don't think it's particularly bad or anything; it just has all the usual limitations of an internal combustion engine. When you stomp on the pedal there's a huge lag before anything happens (it's probably under half a second but it sure feels a lot longer). You get also inconsistent results when you press it moderately; it depends on whether you hit the trigger point for downshifting or not. Better just to hit the paddle shifter first... but that's slow too!

I agree wholeheartedly with everything Douglas3 said. Except in my case replace g37 with bmw 335d... I was doing some spirited driving this week and the lag from a complete stop to begin accelerating is unbearable.. They can't build the Model S soon enough!

@MTriantafelow
I will most definitely be able to attend this go 'round. I already have the days off too? I am beyond ecstatic, like I've pretty much been following this project since it was mere rumor!

It's one thing to see pics and a vid, but to see something actually functioning in front of you?
...Can you ride in the prototype?

Regarding the throttle, I've noticed the lag in my car too (VW Passat GLS v6). I always assumed it was simply a poor quality computer or something, I have tuner friends that are always suggesting a new chip would fix that.

You can't drive it, you can't even touch it. And it's not the real thing, either, because it's built on a different frame, etc. than the alpha or beta or final versions.

Even the door handles are probably not the finished type. (The salesman there said they may be going with a handle that rotates out on a front hinge, as opposed to the handle that has been seen in the video.)

The battery compartment is different than the final configuration, too.

The touch display looked nice through the open door...

Maybe you can ride in a Roadster. That's what I did.

So (accelerator) doesn't get fits when you move your feet to more comfortable position. Single feet driving has one drawback: you need to drive all of time, no rest or even relaxing exercise moments when you change gears. I tend to have cramps in my feet sometimes if I don't get to move them, I would hate to have those in Roadster-like street rocket.

[sarcasm alert!] Yeah, I hope they have the technology for cruise control ready so you can move your feet around. And an exercise gym so my behind doesn't stay in one place for the whole ride. What else??? [¡end alert]

Since I'm already wasting everyone's time with reading another post, I'll add to the previous discussion here with one more thought: given that ICE cars used to stall out a lot - back in the day - people somehow did not crash without a working throttle. We still needed steering and brakes, so I think of those as more important to keep working when all else fails. Maybe it's just my age showing. But, weather permitting, I'd also like to be able to see out the window till I get to a stop.


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