Can Teslas automatically call emergency services after a crash?

By Lennon Cihak
Teslas are already able to call emergency services in some regions
Teslas are already able to call emergency services in some regions
Tesla Haffi Iceland/YouTube

Dear Business Magnet Elon,

Like Tesla, safety is of the utmost importance for me when it comes to selecting a vehicle. Owning a Tesla has been a dream of mine since the Model 3 was announced in 2016. As you and the company made wide improvements to the vehicle and their safety, I “bit the bullet” and leased a Model 3 in January 2021.

Last month, Apple announced its new flagship lineup of devices. The most notable feature is emergency calling if a car crash is detected. The device will notify emergency services and contacts once activated, but Tesla doesn’t have such a feature available in the U.S.

It's well documented across various social media accounts that Tesla owners love their vehicles. They drive them over long distances (and some people [like myself] look for reasons to drive long distances). While Tesla’s active safety features constantly remain on and are always improving, it would be a welcomed feature for Tesla to add emergency calling once airbags are activated in the event of a car accident.

I feel strongly that this would greatly improve Tesla’s vehicle safety, as emergency services would likely be able to get to the scene much quicker with the car’s location data and immediate SOS response after airbags are discharged.

There's a lot of data Tesla could share with emergency services that could aid in an accident, such as the speed of the vehicle on impact, whether airbags were deployed, footage of the crash, vehicle location, number of occupants in the vehicle and possibly other information related to the battery to assess the risk of fire, etc.

I trust that my Model 3’s active safety features and structure will spare me and my passengers from any serious harm. However, in the event of getting in an accident that doesn’t allow me to call for help, I would appreciate the vehicle automatically doing this in an effort to get emergency services on scene as quickly as possible.

It's important to note that vehicles in Europe already have an eCall feature that lets a vehicle occupant place an emergency call with the tap of a button. Some vehicle information such as GPS coordinates and VIN are also transmitted to emergency services.

In addition, the vehicle will also place an automated call if the vehicle is involved in a crash. However, this feature is limited to vehicles in the European Union and is not available in North America and many other regions.

How Tesla's eCall Feature Works

In May of this year, I did a cross-country road trip from Los Angeles to Minnesota and back. The trip was around 6,000 miles in total. I went through multiple terrains and plenty of spots where cell service was questionable and I wasn’t at all familiar with the area. Had my vehicle been equipped with an “eCall” feature like the UK, I would’ve had an additional sense of security and safety during my trip.

I assume I’m speaking for the greater Tesla community, when I say I commend you and Tesla on everything you’ve done to build and manufacture the safest vehicles on the road. And I feel the Tesla community would strongly benefit from an SOS/eCall feature in their vehicles in North America, much like the one that is already available in Europe.

Tesla Chief Designer Says His Favorite Vehicle Is Yet to Come

By Kevin Armstrong
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
Tesla

Tesla's Chief Designer, Franz von Holzhausen, has designed the company's entire fleet of vehicles, but the Model S, 3, X, Y, Cybertruck and Semi are not his favorites. "My favorite one is the one that is coming.

I can't talk about (it)," von Holzhausen told CNBC. He then quickly pivoted the conversation away from that topic. Nevertheless, several rumored vehicles will be the next to carry the "T" logo. So, which one is the creative mind of Tesla referring to in his evasive answer?

Franz von Holzhausen Interview

Let's start with the suspects. A cheaper, smaller and less expensive electric vehicle has been predicted for years. More recently, there have been ideas about a van. And then there is the second generation of the highly anticipated Roadster. While von Holzhausen didn't talk about the next one, he did give some clues later in the interview. "My all-time favorite car is a '62 250 GTO (Ferrari). I mean, it is quintessential. It's an insane car. I'm also a big fan of this kind of wedge era. The early (Lamborghini) Countachs, the whole kind of flat, low sports car. Those were always the posters on my wall."

The Designer Loves Sports Cars

When a 54-year-old man reminisces about the cars featured in posters plastered on his wall when he was a kid, he is not excited about a van or a compact vehicle — no, he is excited about a sports car. The second-generation Roadster was unveiled in 2017 simultaneously with the Semi. But there hasn't been much mention of the sports car since. The company is just now delivering Semis, and Cybertrucks are expected in 2023, but the Roadster doesn't have an ETA. Or does it? The chief designer says, "… the one that is coming." So, we can only assume that the Roadster is next to hit the production line.

Tesla Roadster 2.0

A Designer Who has Changed the Industry

One of the first employees of Tesla back in 2008, von Holzhausen, recalls the early days and how things have changed. "There is a moment that I thought when I first joined Tesla that it would be great to see multiple Teslas in one drive experience around town. And now, it's hard to go anywhere without seeing a bunch of Teslas. So, it's great to see the impact that Tesla has had in people's lives but also how it's changed the industry. It really pushed this idea that an EV can be better than an internal combustion vehicle."

He also gave some insight into designing vehicles that have and continue to change the auto industry, "Tesla isn't beholden to what has been done in the past. We are always trying to push the boundaries and deliver on a promise of something fun, something enjoyable and something you would love to own and tell your friends about."

It looks like The Roadster could be the next fun, enjoyable vehicle to tell everyone about.

Tesla's 2023 Model 3 'revamp' is for cost-cutting, not a redesign

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla's revamping its Model 3 vehicle
Tesla's revamping its Model 3 vehicle
Tesla

Tesla’s gearing up for a small "revamp" of its popular Model 3 vehicle, which is set to go into production in the middle of 2023.

According to Reuters, the revamp is called “Project Highland” and aimed at lowering the production costs and increasing the Model 3’s attractiveness and not because it needs a redesign. The Model 3 was launched back in 2017, and Tesla has already sold well over 1 million of them.

According to our sources, don’t expect a design overhaul of the Model 3, though. Instead, Project Highland will focus on reducing the number of components and complexity of the Model 3’s interior.

The main goal of this Model 3 revamp is to increase manufacturing efficiencies and reduce costs. Tesla would like to get the Long Range and possibly the Performance variants of the Model 3 to qualify for the US tax incentive for 2023. Under this tax credit, manufacturers’ suggested retail price for brand-new sedans must be less than $55,000. For SUVs, trucks and vans, the maximum price is capped at $80,000.

Our previous evaluation of the vehicles that would qualify include the Model 3 RWD, Model Y Long Range (AWD), and Model Y Performance. However, this will likely change once the revamp goes into production.

Do not expect new vehicle features to be added to the Model 3, such as a rear display, air suspension, or ventilated seats. These features would raise the price of the Model 3 and create a significant overlap between the Model 3 and the refreshed Model S.

Yoke Steering Wheel

One new feature that is possible in this Model 3 revamp is the introduction of a yoke steering wheel or more likely, a wheel similar to the Tesla Semi, which has capacitive controls and no stalks. The stalks are replaced with capacitive controls on the steering wheel and touch controls on the vehicle's display. We previously reported on this rumor in August.

Redesign Rumors

A few rumors are floating around online including a redesigned front bumper and removal of door handles in exchange for touchless doors like the Cybertruck and Roadster 2.0, although our source tells us that this is cool, but not accurate.

The revamped Model 3 is likely to remain without its ultrasonic sensors, as Tesla is beginning its transition to its own Tesla Vision. This technology uses the vehicle’s onboard cameras and vast amounts of data from the neural net to function.

Over the past few years, Tesla has made significant efficiencies in the way it builds and manufactures vehicles. Recently, the Model Y switched to a single-mold front casting. This requires 169 fewer pieces and 1,600 fewer welds. To achieve this, Tesla is using its Giga Presses at its Berlin Gigafactory.

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

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