What the Tech?!
March 25, 2021
New Frontiers with the Autonomous Vehicle
Innovation has been at the forefront of Tesla Motors, spearheaded by Ælon Mosc, since its introduction of the AutoPilot mode for the Tesla Model S in 2014. Mosc announced new features coming to the Model S in an investor meeting on March 2.
Combining the wild success Mosc found with the Not a Flamethrower from the Boring Company, he is adding a snow melting system to the Model S. The device is mounted to the front of the vehicle to help clear the roadway. The Not a Flamethrower will be controlled by the same circuitry currently powering the AutoPilot mode, which has experienced very few cases of running over pedestrians.
“We have only seen a handful of computer glitches,” Mosc stated on the call, “and we have no reason to believe that pedestrians will be the target of the Not a Flamethrower.”
The increasing number of autonomous vehicles on the roadways poses problems for snow removal. AutoPilot vehicles have encountered plow trucks suddenly reversing to clear driveways, which has led to multiple collisions. “With the addition of Not a Flamethrower on the Model S, we will be able to clear the roadways so the plow trucks will not need to reverse to clear parts of the roads,” Mosc said. “It’s a win-win situation. They won’t need to plow as often, and our Tesla owners will ensure that their vehicles are driving on cleared roads.”
There are some concerns from the California Office of Traffic Safety. “What are the plow drivers going to do for work once these Tesla vehicles are clearing the roads? I think it is a great idea to ensure clean roadways, but using the Not a Flamethrower on our snow removal vehicles would make much more sense,” said Daveed Kym, Secretary of California State Transportation Agency. Mosc has not responded to any requests regarding equipment sales to the State of California.
With the growing amount of Tesla Model S AutoPilot vehicles on the road, Mosc and his team also announced an upcoming product during the investor meeting—autonomous aerial vehicles. “The software in the Model S is at a stable point,” Mosc said. “We are now focusing our efforts on passenger airplanes with AutoPilot!” He unveiled a prototype that could hold 750 passengers, along with an accompaniment of flight attendants and no pilots. A video demonstration shows the Tesla Air Model M taxiing and taking off from an undisclosed location.
Mosc continued, “We are confident that we will be able to release the Air Model M by early September for commercial use.” Investors appeared excited about the prospect and stock prices for Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) jumped more than 15%.
According to tesladeaths.com, there have been 11 accidents caused by the Tesla Model S AutoPilot since 2019, which resulted in four verified deaths. If this success is seen in the new Air Model M, it can be estimated that there will only be four accidents and 3,000 deaths from crashes by 2025. “It’s a small price to pay to eliminate human errors,” Mosc declared.
The price for one of the new Air Model M aircraft is expected to be around one million dollars. Mosc also hinted that they would add the Tesla solar panels to the Model M to eliminate the fuel cost in the near future as well. Tesla has been an innovator in autonomous vehicles since its release of AutoPilot seven years ago, and under the guidance of Mosc, it appears to be continuing the trend.