Elon Musk and Jeremy Clarkson have an ongoing feud
Elon Musk Viral Videos/YouTube
The automotive world has witnessed many rivalries throughout history, but none quite as electrifying as the ongoing feud between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and British television presenter Jeremy Clarkson. These two larger-than-life personalities have consistently butted heads over electric vehicles, Tesla's performance, and the future of transportation. Let's take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the most memorable moments from this epic battle of wits and opinions.
The Spark That Ignited the Feud
It all began in 2008, when Clarkson, then a host of the popular British television show Top Gear, reviewed Tesla's first production car (video below), the Roadster. In Season 12, Episode 7, Clarkson was critical of the Roadster's range and reliability, with the segment featuring the car running out of battery and breaking down. Tesla quickly claimed that the breakdown was staged for dramatic effect, a claim that BBC denied.
The Aftermath and Legal Action
Tesla didn't take Clarkson's review lightly. In 2011, the electric car manufacturer filed a lawsuit against BBC, alleging defamation and malicious falsehood. However, the British High Court dismissed the case in 2013, with the judge stating that no Top Gear viewer would have reasonably compared the Roadster's performance to that of a traditional sports car based on the episode.
The War of Words
The legal battle didn't put an end to the rivalry. Over the years, Musk and Clarkson exchanged barbs through interviews and social media. In a 2018 interview with The Independent, Clarkson called Musk "an idiot" and claimed they "almost had a fight." In response, Musk took to Twitter and called Clarkson "weird" and "rude." In 2021, Clarkson talked about Musk's kids' unique names and suggested he call them "John or Jane or whatever."
The Twitter Battle
The rivalry between Musk and Clarkson has expanded beyond the realm of electric vehicles. Recently, Clarkson shared his thoughts on Musk's new Twitter laws and claimed that the new CEO should be paying him to use the social media network. In his Sunday Times column, Clarkson expressed his outrage at the proposed new costs for blue tick verification. He argued that he brings in advertising for the platform and should not be paying for the verification. This latest episode showcases the enduring feud between these two influential figures.
The Autopilot Debate
Clarkson has also criticized Tesla's Autopilot feature, questioning its safety and reliability. He once called it "an accident waiting to happen" after a fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S operating on Autopilot in 2016. However, Musk has dismissed Clarkson's concerns as biased and uninformed, insisting that critics have an outdated view of electric vehicles and are resistant to change.
The Model X Review and Beyond
Despite his new-found popularity, Clarkson didn't shy away from critiquing Tesla. In a 2019 episode of The Grand Tour, he reviewed the Tesla Model X, acknowledging its advancements while questioning its design and practicality. Clarkson said, "The truth is, the world's most hated car company has changed the world," but he also questioned whether electric vehicles would ever fully replace internal combustion engine cars.
The Grand Tour and Clarkson's Farm
After leaving Top Gear, Clarkson and co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May launched The Grand Tour on Amazon Studios. The show continued to feature Tesla vehicles and maintain a critical stance on electric cars. However, Clarkson's image softened with the release of his show Clarkson's Farm, which showcased his love for farming and the challenges he faced in running a farm. The show garnered a new fan base and a more sympathetic public image, but he still prefers internal combustion.
In a surprising twist, Elon Musk appeared on Top Gear in 2020, discussing Tesla's progress and the future of electric vehicles with the show's presenters. Though Clarkson was not involved in the episode, the appearance marked a notable moment in the rivalry's history.
The ongoing feud between Elon Musk and Jeremy Clarkson is a fascinating chapter in the automotive world. As electric vehicles become increasingly popular, the rivalry between these two influential figures serves as a reminder of the broader debate surrounding the future of transportation. With the latest development involving Twitter, it's clear that their rivalry continues to evolve and shows no signs of slowing down. Fans of both individuals can only wait and see what the next chapter holds for this electrifying tale.
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This week we take a look at Tesla's upcoming update, 2023.20, Tesla's improvements to Autowipers and its latest app update
Join us as we take a look back at this week's top Tesla stories. From an early look at the features included in Tesla's upcoming 2023.20 software update, to Tesla's latest app update, we dive into the top stories of the week.
An Early Look at Tesla's 2023.20 Update and Its Features
Tesla is introducing the ability to track your tire mileage in update 2023.20
Preparations are underway for Tesla's next software update, version 2023.20. Although currently in testing, this update has been drawing attention since it was first noticed last week. Considering Tesla's 2023.12 update brought numerous new features, it appears this next may be smaller. However, we now have our first look at some of the features included in Tesla's 2023.20 update.
A noteworthy improvement under the upcoming update pertains to tire service tracking. Post-update, vehicle owners can track how many miles have been driven since their last tire service.
Tesla Updates App to v4.21.5, Adds New Loot Box, Referral Rewards and References New Features
Tesla has updated its app to 4.21.5
Not a Tesla App
This week Tesla updated their iPhone app to version 4.21.5. The updated features include a new Loot Box design and a notice to Canadians using their Superchargers. Tesla also hints at several upcoming features including Boombom v2.
Tesla's Model Y With Hardware 4.0 Doesn't Include Radar: We Take a Look at Why
Tesla's Model Y with HW4 is coming without radar
As Tesla continues to redefine the automotive industry, insiders have revealed that the company's upcoming Hardware 4.0 (HW4) will not include the radar module in its Model Y vehicles, at least not initially. This marks a shift in the company's approach towards autonomous driving, relying more heavily on vision-based systems. This strategic decision builds on the recent introduction of HW4 in the luxury Model S and Model X models.
Previously, the integration of HD radar in the Model S and Model X indicated an evolution in the company's Full Self-Driving (FSD) hardware.
Tesla Reduces FSD Beta Suspension Duration With FSD Beta 11.4.2
Tesla has reduced the FSD suspension to one week with FSD Beta 11.4.2
Tesla is again modifying the Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta suspension policy. Initially, the system, which is based on a strike policy, suspended users until Tesla reset strikes globally, which ranged from about every three to nine months. The driver has up to three strikes for vehicles without a cabin camera and five for those equipped with them.
More recently Tesla changed their policy to reset FSD suspensions on an individual basis after "approximately two weeks," according to Tesla. But with the introduction of FSD Beta 11.4.2, Tesla has now reduced the suspension interval from two weeks to approximately one week.
Tesla and Ford Forge New Partnership: Ford To Incorporate Tesla Charge Port (NACS) in Future EVs
Ford will add a Tesla (NACS) port to its future EVs
In a move that attests to Elon Musk's words on fostering industry collaboration over competition, Tesla and Ford have announced a partnership to enable the latter's electric vehicles access to Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network.
Contrary to earlier speculations that Tesla's move to open its proprietary charging connector might be a futile attempt at standardization, Ford has embraced the North American Charging Standard (NACS) - Tesla's charging system. With this, Tesla’s charging plug design, known for some advantages over the current CCS standard, might start gaining traction across the North American EV sector.
Tesla Upgrades Autowipers to v4, Musk Apologizes for Poor Performance
FSD Beta 11.4.2 introduces Autowipers v4
For Tesla owners, the auto wiper system has been a contentious feature. Loved by some for its attempt at autonomous convenience yet criticized by others for its hit-or-miss performance, the system has often had trouble with extreme light conditions or misty weather. Now, Tesla has introduced v4 of their autowipers system that aims to correct past issues and enhance the user experience.
Tesla to Deliver Cars at 50% Charge, Offers 150km Free Supercharging
Tesla will now give owners a 150km Supercharger credit
Tesla has recently come up with a new way of doing things when it comes to delivering cars. The company claims this change has been made to align with some new rules in the industry. In the past, Tesla always delivered cars with a full charge. Now, they are to be delivered with only half charge.
When electric vehicles are being transported from one place to another, having them fully charged can pose a risk. Keeping the state of charge (SOC) at 50% during shipment reduces the chances of battery fires. This practice is not new. Other battery-operated devices, like e-bikes, are also shipped at a lower SOC for the same safety reasons.
Tesla Model 3 Refresh Reveal Rumors Coincide with Elon Musk's China Visit
Is Tesla getting ready to unveil the refreshed Model 3?
Tesla CEO Elon Musk's recent visit to China, his first in three years, has set the stage for widespread conjecture around the unveiling of the revamped Tesla Model 3. Dubbed Project Highland, this model refresh has been a topic of discussion for some time. Industry insiders believe Musk's significant stop at the Shanghai Gigafactory might be strategically timed to coincide with a potential sneak peek of the new Model 3 design.
Tesla Screen Size Comparison for All Tesla Models, Including Size, Resolution and Aspect Ratio
A good view of all the displays available in a Model S
Tesla is a pioneer in the automotive industry, and one of the most defining features of its vehicles is the use of large touchscreens. These screens are a central hub for most vehicle functions, including music, vehicle settings, navigation, and more. Tesla's commitment to a minimalist and user-friendly design is evident through integrating these screens, which have become iconic in electric vehicles.
Between 2012 and 2020, the Model S and Model X were equipped with vertical screens, which stood out due to their impressive size and orientation.
NHTSA closes its investigation into Tesla's 'Passenger Play' feature
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has concluded its investigation into Tesla's 'Passenger Play' feature, stating it will not pursue a recall of the scrutinized vehicles. Passenger Play allowed passengers in the vehicle to play certain games like the Sky Force Reloaded while the vehicle was in motion. Tesla was quick to respond to NHTSA's concerns and issued an update that requires the vehicle to be in park before games can be launched.
The closure of the probe comes amidst continuing concerns over the potential for driver distraction.
Investigation Ends, Still Leaves Room for Future Actions
While NHTSA's conclusion signifies a milestone in Tesla's ongoing scrutiny, it does not entirely absolve the electric vehicle maker. The administration emphasized that the end of the investigation does not mean a safety-related defect doesn't exist. Furthermore, the NHTSA's decision opens the possibility for future action if additional concerns arise.
NHTSA's apprehensions were primarily rooted in Tesla's decision to allow video games to be played on the front center touchscreen of the vehicle while in motion. Having acknowledged these concerns, Tesla voluntarily took action by disabling the 'Passenger Play' feature through an over-the-air software update soon after NHTSA launched its investigation in December 2021.
Tesla's Voluntary Disabling of Feature Commended
The administration confirmed that Tesla reported a 97% completion rate of the software update disabling 'Passenger Play', within a month of its release. The agency lauded Tesla's swift action, which showcased a responsible approach toward ensuring driver safety and mitigating distractions. This action appeared to significantly address NHTSA's concerns, as the agency cited the importance of "affirmative technology-based lockouts" as more effective than merely using labels or disclaimer screens.
Ongoing Scrutiny of Tesla's Autopilot System
Despite the conclusion of this specific probe, Tesla remains under the lens of the NHTSA, which is currently investigating Autopilot. The investigation, covering approximately 830,000 Tesla vehicles, aims to understand better human factors concerning Tesla interfaces and the dynamic driving task.
A History of Safety First
Tesla has always portrayed itself as an automaker that prioritizes safety. From advanced driver assist systems to top-tier safety ratings, the electric car manufacturer has consistently sought to revolutionize transportation safety norms. The swift action in disabling the controversial 'Passenger Play' feature further underscores the company's commitment to road safety and user well-being.
Tesla’s case serves as a potent reminder for all automakers that in-vehicle infotainment devices must balance entertainment and safety. In 2014, the NHTSA issued guidelines encouraging automakers to design in-vehicle devices so the driver can’t use them to perform inherently distracting secondary tasks while driving. As the lines between automobiles and technology blur, the importance of these guidelines will only grow.
Although the 'Passenger Play' investigation has concluded, Tesla’s journey with the NHTSA is far from over. The ongoing probe into Tesla’s Autopilot system indicates that the auto giant will remain under close watch to ensure the highest levels of safety for users and fellow road users alike.
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