My Life in Cars - May 2018

by Dick Potter

Mon, 30 April 2018

My Life in Cars - May 2018

Whenever the topic of car technology, innovation or futuristic motor foresight arises, the name Elon Musk will also, inevitably, arise.

Now, to my Missus, Elon Musk is the newest oud on the market! To me, he is a fascinating individual. I would quite happily put him on my clichéd dining table of famous people. Other invitees possibly being Richard Branson, Putin and Ricky Gervais.

You, dear readers, are probably most familiar associating Elon Musk with Tesla cars. However, there is considerably more to this caped crusader. With his unique blend of South African, Canadian and American accent, he has forayed into fascinating ventures such as SpaceX, Solar City and Tesla. 

Quite the visionary, Mr Musk is not only a business genius, investor and engineer, he is also currently valued at USD20 billion. Not exactly short of a bob then, is he? As if that’s not enough, he is also at the forefront of delivering self-drive electric cars and reusable rockets to open up space to the masses.

SpaceX will launch rockets at a fraction of current costs, using recoverable and reusable launch vehicles. His immediate goal is multiplanetary colonisation commencing with Mars. Another company, The Boring Company – not if you’re interested in cars – will bring an underground car transport system into Los Angeles. 
 Sporting a 30-kilometre underground transport network system, it intends to move cars on a carrier-type arrangement at up to 200kph.

You also have to admire his pluck at being appointed a technical advisor to the Trump administration. He allegedly resigned his post after disagreements with “The Donald’s” decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement last year. 

As this is a motoring column, we have to come back to his Tesla plan of making autonomous driving the norm.

This year, Telsa was awarded tech car of the year by What Car magazine. It won this accolade for being able to change the car’s infotainment system by app download and upgrade.

Seeing this, who could fail to have been impressed by his outrageous publicity stunt? Combining SpaceX and Tesla, Elon put a Tesla with a spaceman mannequin driver into earth orbit to the sounds of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. The launch boosters landed safe and sound and reusable back on Earth.

Tesla is a game changer in the industry. Spanning 14 years, it has in that time challenged more experienced and established manufacturers. 

Tesla’s wireless update system ensures your Tesla is always current and up-to-date and unlocks new features and abilities to make self-driving software – called Autopilot – safer and easier to use.

The battery-charging-network outlets are also growing so that you become less likely to be far away from a recharging point.

Tesla have two new models in the pipeline. The Tesla Roadster, touted to be the quickest car in the world, with a 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds and a top speed in excess of 250mph. Good luck with those speeds and the proliferation of speed cameras around the island! The Roadster proposes to have a range of 1,000 kilometres.
The second offering consists of the first electric semi-truck resembling a spaceship. Can’t wait to get my hands on one of those.

The production line of existing cars is also being increased, now churning out 6,000 cars per week. 
This is possible, as announced recently, due to increased automation. 

We know Tesla have had issues with the Model 3, but they rise to the challenge continuously,  throwing down the gauntlet to other manufacturers.

Tesla has been prominent in bringing electric cars into the market and also making self-driving technology a reality. It continues to develop its model portfolio with gusto and strives to increase limits for range and performance of electric vehicles. 

I, for one, shall be following Elon’s car technology developments with baited breath.

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