Elon has said various times that Tesla is not a car company, but rather an AI company. Tesla is using AI to solve problems such as auto high beams, auto wipers and of course FSD. Tesla's tango with AI explains its recent move into robotics.
Solving FSD is just the beginning. We're likely to see Tesla enter additional fields that rely heavily on AI. Tesla will be able to take everything they've learned in the world of artificial intelligence and apply it to a completely new product or even a new field, similar to what they're doing with NeuraLink.
Tesla to look into adding AI-based HVAC
Elon has previously talked about how he would love for Tesla to develop air conditioning systems. Elon believes Tesla can make them much more efficient than they are today, but Tesla just doesn't have the resources to enter another field right now. The use of air conditioning around the world currently accounts for 10% of global electricity usage, according to IEA.
Tesla may now be looking to introduce AI to Tesla HVAC systems. Twitter user @coffeetabletsla asked Elon if Tesla could develop a neural network similar to Deep Rain that's used for windshield wipers, but instead use it to improve air conditioning. It could monitor when to turn the AC on/off, when to circulate air versus bringing in fresh outside air and take into account various factors such as current air quality, traffic and dirt roads.
In response, Elon gave his typical “Ok" answer, which has usually meant that Tesla is already working on a similar feature or that Elon is genuinely intrigued by the idea and will have Tesla engineers evaluate its feasibility.
Given Elon's fascination with air conditioning and wanting to reduce the world's energy footprint, this could be Tesla's first entry into the HVAC industry.
This conversation started on Twitter when the official Tesla account tweeted “can we all just agree that pumping out carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide from cars on all the streets around the world is maybe a bad idea".
Elon replied to the Tesla account with “in close traffic, poisonous gas spewing from the car in front of you goes straight into your AC intake." A fair point. We're just hurting ourselves. He then snarkily added that “Good thing gas/diesel carmakers didn't cheat on their emissions or we'd be in real trouble."
Air quality is also something Elon has shown interest in before. In fact, Teslas in China show the Air Quality Index right next to the temperature near the top portion of the car's screen.
In close traffic, poisonous gas spewing from the car in front of you goes straight into your AC intake. Good thing gas/diesel carmakers didn't cheat on their emissions or we'd be in real trouble ?
Teslas currently have an Auto AC button that determines when to activate the air conditioning system, although it's likely to be similar to other manufacturers where it compares the indoor and outdoor temperatures along with the relative humidity of each environment.
By adding AI to air conditioning not only can Tesla reduce its energy usage, resulting in longer range for your Tesla, but it could also give you cleaner air to breathe. Your Tesla can give you fresh air when you're driving alone on the road, and automatically switch to recirculated air when you're close to other cars.
This is just another example of how Tesla is redefining cars and improving the world we live in.
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
The Tesla crowd of enthusiasts has eyes everywhere. Twitter user @MissJilianne caused quite a stir after visiting the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, which recently opened a new Tesla exhibit. The Model S Plaid owner and FSD Beta tester posted a few pictures of her visit, including some artwork at the Cybertruck display.
The artistic design shows the Cybertruck in a two-door version. Miss Jilianne asks: Are we not going to talk about the beautiful artwork of a two door Cybertruck displayed at the @Petersen_Museum Tesla exhibit?
Her tweet generated discussion on social platforms and Tesla blogs, and it had mixed reactions. @KounisTou tweeted: It's not only that, but it has a totally different, dare I say better looking? A-pillar design with a wraparound windshield like early Semi prototype. Looks great. Except maybe that it looks a bit too much like a Lamborghini.
That may be the biggest clue to this spectacular piece of art. Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer, is a huge fan of the “wedge” design. He grew up with Lamborghini Countach posters on his wall. Other responses to the picture believe it is the origin of the piece of art. It is likely an early sketch of what the Cybertruck could look like, and there were likely several. Given von Holzhausen’s love for the Countach, this is quite likely an early concept he was sketching out.
Elon Musk has publicly stated his support for a smaller truck. On November 24, 2019, he tweeted: Long term, it probably makes sense to build a smaller Cybertruck too.
However, the four-door version is due in 2023. CNBC interviewed von Holzhausen right in front of the Cybertruck. He stated, “Cybertruck will look, for all intents and purposes, just like the one behind us, maybe slightly smaller, a few percentages, but in general, this is what the truck will look like.”
Still, the designer did say something else during that interview that leaves the door open for a possible two-door Cybertruck. The creative mind behind the Model S, 3, X, Y, Semi and Cybertruck was asked to pick a favorite. His response was, "My favorite one is the one that is coming. I can't talk about (it).”
For a man that loves sports cars, it was believed that he was referring to the second-generation Roadster. Maybe he is referring to a smaller Cybertruck that looks a lot like those wedge cars that inspired him to become a car designer.
Tesla has a history of providing sketches to early reservation holders of their vehicles. It waits to be seen whether Tesla will do the same for the Cybertruck when deliveries start next year.
Below you'll find other sketches that Tesla provided to Model S, 3 and X reservation holders.
Model S Sketch
An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
Model 3 Sketch
A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
Model X Sketch
An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
Tesla deliveries the first semi trucks to Pepsi Co
The first Tesla Semis have been delivered, and so has the promise to adhere to the company’s mission: accelerate the advent of sustainable transportation. Yes, it took five years from the first peak at the Semi and three years longer than initially projected, but the Semi is set to change the trucking industry the same way the Model S, 3, X and Y changed the automotive industry.
While Tesla has been increasing the number of passenger vehicles it produces worldwide; these large trucks are not needed at the same level. The company states that 15 million passenger vehicles are sold in the U.S. every year, but only a couple hundred thousand big rigs. So why would Tesla put so much time and effort into something that doesn’t sell as many units?
Musk’s response, “it seems like a small percentage, but it (semi-trucks) is actually 20 percent of U.S. vehicle emissions. Because you’ve got a huge vehicle, and it’s being driven all the time.” Musk said, “Over a third of all the articulate emissions (are from semi-trucks). So, from a health standpoint, particularly in cities, this is a huge impact, like gigantic — that’s why we are doing it.”
The Semi is a Recruiting Tool for Truckers
Back in 2017, Elon Musk said he could drive a Tesla Semi. That was quite a statement, given that trucks this size usually come with anywhere from 10 to 18 gears. However, the CEO did just that five years later. He drove the newest member of the Tesla lineup to the event to deliver the Semi to Pepsi Co. Musk said, “It’s like driving a Tesla, literally.” That is because it’s built the same way with a single stalk to put the vehicle in drive, reverse, neutral or park. “It looks sick. I mean, you want to drive that! That thing looks like it came from the future… It’s fun. It looks awesome, there is a big shortage of drivers, so if you are a truck driver and want the most bad ass rig on the road - this is it.”
The Semi is known as the Beast
Senior Manager of Tesla’s Semi Engineering, Dan Priestley, explained why many people refer to the Semi as the beast. “(It has) three times the power than any diesel truck on the road right now. So you’ve got all the power you need to get the job done, but the other reason that it’s a beast is because it is efficient, you can go 500 miles on a single charge on one of these things. It’s the mix of those two - this is a game-changer. What’s awesome is both of those are enabled by our 1000-volt powertrain. This is the first vehicle we are doing with that.”
That max power combined with hyper-efficiency is due to a tri-motor power train system. One motor is for highway driving and will always be engaged, while the other two are for torque and acceleration. Those motors use the system straight out of the Model S Plaid powertrain. Priestly said, “These are clutched automatically. No driver input is needed. It is seamless.”
Musk commented on the Semi’s performance, “It looks crazy. It looks like an elephant moving like a cheetah.” He was also astonished at the size of the motor powering the Semi. It’s described as the size of a football, “I find it amazing that this enormous thing can be pulled by something that you can carry in your hands — it’s like, wow, that is power density.”
The Semi has been tested in all conditions in the real world, in a lab and virtually. One of those real-world tests was proving the naysayers wrong by taking the Semi for a 500-mile drive, fully loaded, from Fremont to San Diego on just a single charge.
Elon Musk later revealed on Twitter that the Tesla Semi's current efficiency is about 1.7kWh/mile, but that there is a path for Tesla to make it even more efficient. It's not clear whether the additional efficiency could be achieved through software or if it would require hardware changes. The quoted 1.7kWh/mile efficiency is a pleasant surprise, as many were expecting the truck to have an efficiency of about 2kWh per mile.
Speaking of charging, the new V4 Superchargers were also revealed. They produce 1 megawatt of energy and will be used for the Semi and the Cybertruck.
Tesla's Semi Delivery Event
Musk finished the event with this message: This is going to revolutionize the road, make the world a better place in a meaningful way.
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