Top 10 Tesla Moments of 2019

Eli Burton, the creator of The Adventures of Starman, gives us 2019’s Top 10 Tesla Moments. Tesla has had a pretty swell year in 2019.

From the Chinese Gigafactory rising from the mud pits of nothingness to the unveiling of my future truck, the Cybertruck, it’s been an epic year and a great ending to a decade of what seemed like uncertainty for a bit. Tesla had some struggles, especially in 2018, but those struggles became triumphs. 

10. Software Version 10. On March 6, 2019, Tesla released this update that included Theather Mode which included Youtube, Hulu and Netflix as well as more games–you can only access these while parked which is great for those who are supercharging their cars on road trips. Eli says that this just signals a focus by Tesla on the in-car experience. 

9. V3 Superchargers. V3 Superchargers have a charging rate of up to 200 KW and a peak of 1,000 miles per hour of charge. Typical charging time of V3 will drop to around 15 minutes. This is quicker than my phone charger. Also, there are a few whispers about the Lafayette Superchargers being built are going to be V3, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

8. Plaid Powertrain. The Plaid 3 motor powertrain should be coming to the Model S in mid-2020. A quarter-mile performance is expected to increase as well as track performance.

7. GIGA 3 Shanghai. This is a true story of an underdog. Many in the media said it would never happen, that this was just a Chinese mud field with nothing in it. Yesterday, the first Made-In-China Model 3 was delivered and there was a huge celebration. The Gigifactory in Shanghai is also the fastest factory ever built at its size. 

6. Enhanced Summon. This improved the Summon capability to drive through and across the parking lot autonomously. It’s taken the world by storm and the media decried it as something to be afraid of, but in the end, it’s pretty simple and convenient. Tesla is taking the driving experience to an entire level–as in a completely new plane of existence.

5. Raven Powertrain. The Raven Powertrain increases the range and performance of the Models S and X Long Range. Drivers are allowed to travel farther than before and charge less frequently. In essence, they get more dollars out of every penny spent on charging–if they pay to charge. Many Tesla owners charge at home or work. 

4. Model Y Unveil. Back in March Tesla unveiled the Model Y which looks as if the Model 3 and the Model X had a child that few up fast. It looks like a Model 3 with a hatchback.  The highlight of the event, Eli says, was Elon bringing the history of all of Tesla’s cars. I actually liked that part and Elon’s little dance as well. 

3. $35,000 Model 3. This was announced in Q1 2019 just after Elon said it may not happen. However, Elon wanted to keep that promise so it closed a few of its stores. I think that the reason why Elon was able to keep this promise is due to Tesla making progress in its battery development.  I could be wrong. 

2. Cybertruck Unveiling. Everyone was stunned with this beauty rolled out on to the stage. The moment I laid eyes on it, I fell in love. Unfortunately, I am one of the few people who reacted that way. Many members of the Tesla community were a bit freaked out then later fell in love. I mean, how can you not love this truck? It’s so cool. But I collect pyramids and other cool minerals so I definitely appreciate the creativity in this truck. 

The unveiling was unique as well. There was a hologram of Grimes and the entire stage was really lasered up. Tesla stunned the world with this angular designed truck. Franz breaking the windows is also a moment that will be forever remembered fondly by the internet. Equally just as surprising as the design of the Cybertruck is the starting price at $39,900. Elon followed up the surprise with an all-electric ATV that can plug into the bed of the truck and charge. 

1.  3Q Earnings. I really thought Eli was going to mention the stock price hitting $420 but Q3 Earnings definitely earns this spot because no one, except those of us who believe in Tesla, saw this coming. Many in the media often repeat what short-sellers say about Tesla and fully believe Tesla is a failure. Elon is often mocked in the media and Tesla is touted as a luxury fraud by the uninformed. So when those numbers hit, shockwaves made their way into the bank accounts of those shorting the stock.  Wall Street fully expected Tesla to sustain losses and it didn’t.  \Tesla believes it has grown to a point of being self-funding. 

Tesla Full Self Driving Preview – 2019.40.50.1 First Look

It is the night before Christmas and it is 2 AM. The only one stirring is Tesla’s Starman (Eli Burton) as he sits in his Tesla opening the gift that Santa Musk has given. Eli aka Starman from My Tesla Adventure gives us a preview of Tesla’s Full Self Driving technology and also a first look at Tesla’s latest software version 2019.40.50.1 Update.Eli shows is several new and exciting things that came with this Christmas Eve update.

Updates

Driver Profiles.

New settings have been added in this update that will include navigation settings such as volume levels for navigation voice guidance as well as traffic display settings. Eli also points out how important Driver Profiles are for those who may share their car or have more than one Tesla. With this feature, Tesla makes sure that your car is exactly to your comfort levels from climate control to sound.

Save Dashcam Clips On Honk.

This would actually help Tesla owners in traffic to record proof of accidents that would help them in court. It would also remind us that sometimes honking is unnecessary and to be nicer to people on the road.

Adaptive Suspension Damping. Adaptive Suspension Damping now has three tailored modes:

  • Comfort provides a gentler ride and a more relaxed driving experience.
  • Auto replaces Standard to be more responsive to dynamic driving.
  • Sport continues to provide a firmer, more controlled ride that increases driver engagement and connection to the road.

TRAX v0.1.

You can make your own music inside a Tesla! Just like with the Tesla sketchpad for drawing, you can make an “audio masterpiece” with TRAX. Eli pulls up the app and loads it onto the screen and is a bit excited at the fact that you can actually mix music. There is also a keyboard and Eli breaks out a two-second jam session with Beethoven.

Voice Keyboard.

With this feature, you can dictate text into your car as I do with Google Text to Speech. Now people will blame Tesla for their typos. This feature is accessible by the microphone icon on the keyboard (like on the phone).

Games.

  • Backgammon. You can play against your passenger or against your Tesla. This actually made me think of the TV show, Person of Interest where Harold played chess against The Machine, an AI that he created.
  • Stardew Valley. The theme of this game is that you have inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot and now you must learn to live off the land.

Tesla Theater. 

Tesla Theather now lets you watch Twitch streams in the app.

Camp Mode.

Tesla enables your car to maintain airflow, temperature, interior lighting and play music. You can also power your devices. This is the mode just for Eli because he loves camping in his Tesla. He explains why this update is vital. “It’s always been a little frustrating for me that when I want to power something from the car I have to leave the door open to trick the Tesla into leaving the power on.” Eli can’t wait to try out this new Camp Mode.

Phone Improvements. 

Your Tesla can now read your texts to you and you can send text messages by saying them out loud to the speakers in your Tesla and it will send them. Eli sends himself a test message in the video and it’s pretty funny to see Tesla helping him talk to himself.

Voice Commands.

You can say things like, “Show me the rear camera” and it will show you the rear camera. These commands have been rebuild to understand natural language. Tesla focused on commands that would minimize having to touch the screen so you can keep your eyes on the road. Reread that if you’re shorting Tesla. You can now tell your car to take you home, or to your favorite restaurant without having to touch the screen. This may seem simple, but it’s a huge advancement in technology that helps contribute to safer driving. This is why Tesla is a tech company, not a car company.

Preview of Full Self Driving

This preview shows us the Driving Visualization Improvements that show more new objects such as stoplights, stop signs and select road markings that haven’t yet been seen in previous versions of AutoPilot. However, this is a preview meaning that you are seeing improvements in the software but it’s still not yet FSD. So remember to stop at the stop signs and red lights.

Advanced Summon: Making Parking Lots Fun Again

Eli Burton got to show Alex from E for Electric just how cool Advanced Summon in his Model S P100D is. The video is 15 minutes long and Eli comes in at about 3 minutes into the video after Alex introduces him.

Eli points out just how independent Advanced Summon is.

“We now have very much AI-driven self-driving feature–no person in the car it backs itself out of the parking lot and navigates itself through open spaces without direct lane lines approaching situations that involve turns and it is doing this without a human involved.”

“It is very much a beta feature so when it runs you see it being very cautious moving very slow some of those movements are kind of jerky as it’s assessing those situations. It will come up to a place where it has to make a turn and I’ve watched it wait three or four seconds–there weren’t any cars coming but it was clearly assessing the environment and deciding what to do next”

Advanced Summon is still in Beta which is making parking lots kind of fun. Seeing a car drive itself is kind of like watching someone you love learning something new. It puts that human feeling into the mix and makes Teslas, in my opinion, seems more human than any other type of car.

In the above tweet, Michael Liebow has excellent advice. Once you (and your human-like Tesla) get a feel for Advanced Summon, you’ll feel more confident as this beta version continues to improve. Many people start out driving in parking lots, so it makes sense to train your Tesla in parking lots as well.

Also, the convenience of Tesla’s Advanced Summon will help people when they have a lot of items such as heavy groceries, or if its pouring or any other similar situation.

One of the best perks is safety, as Michael Liebow points out in another tweet below.

Having had to walk through a dark alley a few times in my life (and fend off attackers here and there) I can definitely agree that having a car that drives itself, records everything and lights the way would make me feel safer if I had to cross a dark path to my car.

Can the Raven Model S run a 10.5 Second Quarter Mile?

Eli goes back to the drag strip with his shiny new Raven Model S to answer this burning question.

He gives a quick shout out to Juan who towed him and then takes of like a rocket down the strip.

You can feel the sense of excitement as he yells, ‘Oh My God!” and we all are cheering for him to fly.

As you can see in the full video below, this is an adventure that almost takes Eli’s breath away–but that could be because it’s hot.

Tesla 2.0 Autopilot Takes Left Turn Through Intersection

Tesla has been improving Auto Pilot for a while now, and as Eli demonstrates, Tesla Auto Pilot is now able to take turns in intersections.

One of the goals of Tesla is to change up the way we drive using artificial intelligence and as you can see in the video, it’s smooth.

Eli runs a quick test of Auto Pilot by taking a left turn in an intersection. It’s a 90-degree angle turn. Eli says 45-degree turn, but he clarifies that in the comment section of the video.

Eli starts from the middle lane and keeps his hands on the wheel, barely touching it as the Tesla successfully completes the turn.

You can hear Eli and his friend in the background hyped up and very excited. This is a small thing to normal drivers, but a huge feat for a company seeking to revolutionize the auto industry in a way that helps us and our fellow drivers.

In a follow up edit, Eli states:

” There is only a line on the left side of the “lane” – there is no lane marker on the right side of the car. I had attempted this intersection just a couple months ago with AP and it barreled straight very early in the turn forcing me to jump in.”

Both InsideEVs and Teslarati wrote articles about Eli’s video.



2nd Annual Tesla Takeover Road Trip

On April 13, 2018, My Tesla Adventure had their second annual My Tesla Adventure Roadtrip and filled up all 40 stalls of the Kettleman City Tesla Supercharger

Imagine going to a gas station and trying to befriend other car owners. You’re likely to have odd looks or strange, glances aimed your way while the person you are trying to befriend rushes to fill their tanks and go.

At Tesla superchargers, the atmosphere is more relaxed and people are more friendlier. They are also open to sharing their love of Tesla and how they became Tesla owners with you.

So naturally, inviting someone to go on an adventure wouldn’t seem strange at all, but fun! And this is just what My Tesla Adventure does.


One of the most beautiful things about the Tesla community is how they are open with their love of something that empowers both them and others.

Tesla makes clean energy cars and cuts the carbon impact by tons on a daily basis. This community is supportive of that goal and wants to create a better world for our children and their children.

My Tesla Adventure reminds Tesla owners visually by inviting them to explore the world around them–the very world that Tesla is impacting for the better.

Watch the full video below to experience the 2nd Annual My Tesla Adventure Roadtrip right from your home, office or wherever you are.


My Tesla Adventure, Meet Up, Drive & Private Dining. Freemont to Santa Cruz.

Tesla Owners Drive & Dine – Tesla Factory to Santa Cruz

My Tesla Adventure | Meet up, Drive & Private Dining | Tesla Factory to Santa Cruz | February 2, 2019

 Cost per attendee including Room Fee, Bread, Salad, Entree, Desert, Tax, and Gratuity: $55

The My Tesla Adventure family has grown beyond what a normal restaurant reservation can handle, so this time we have booked a private room for our event.

Lunch: Private Room at The Ideal Bar and Grill
Meal: Plated 3 Course Meal

  • Your choice of:
    • Blackened Mahi Mahi
    • New York Steak
    • Mixed Greens & Gorgonzola Grilled Chicken*
      • *Can be made vegetarian

Cost per attendee includes room fee, bread, salad, entree, dessert, tax, and gratuity: $55

All Attendees must RSVP.

If you live nearby, please arrive with a good state of charge because the Tesla Factory is a popular charging location. There are hundreds of destination chargers at the factory, so everyone who comes can top off during the meet up prior to the drive.

Starting Location:
Tesla Factory Supercharger (12 stalls)
45500 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA 94538

Destination:
Ideal Bar & Grill
1 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, CA

Tesla Owners Drive & Dine – Los Gatos to Half Moon Bay – November 10th, 2018

Join us for the Tesla Owners Meetup Saturday, November 10, 2018 starting at 9 am at the Los Gatos Supercharger. We will be departing the supercharger at 10am. To attend RSVP using the form below. The information provided will be used to keep you informed of any event changes and allow us to properly prepare for the total number of attendees. If you do not RSVP we can not guarantee your spot at lunch at the end of the drive.

The Los Gatos supercharger has only 12 stalls and we anticipate 20 Tesla’s in attendance. If you can arrive with a good level of charge so that everyone can get the needed ranged before we depart.

Registration is Closed.

We have reached maximum capacity for this event. Thank you for your interest.

Tesla Model S Interior, My Tesla Adventure

What Happens When Your Tesla Gets a Flat Tire?

I fly back to Colorado on a regular basis. So much so that it has become as routine as a daily commute. I live about 20 minutes from San Jose airport. Close proximity coupled with a few travel memberships, I’m door to gate in about 30 minutes. My travel routine is a well-oiled machine. Except for that one time…

In January, I had a trip planned. Aside from a few mundane tasks related to owning a vehicle that is registered and stored in another state, my good friend was having a house warming party. I was looking forward to the change of scenery and spending a few days hanging out with friends.

About halfway through the drive to the airport Alex, our Model X P100D, starts complaining of low tire pressure. My husband and I had this happen before, due to temperature fluctuations and a faulty sensor, so we continued on our path, assuming this was the case again. Another mile down the road a 33 PSI warning.

Something is up. We exited the highway on to a local street. Waiting for the light to change Alex announces another PSI warning. The light changes and mid turn, 14 PSI! I’m trying to remember if we hit a big pot hole or something else that could have caused this rapid pressure loss. By the time we find parking Alex is at 0 psi. This is bad.

We had purchased the portable air compressor/tire repair kit from Tesla. A very compact and well designed unit. I was excited to have and opportunity to use it, so I hopped out, opened the frunk, grabbed the compressor, and made my way to the offending tire.

Upon close inspection there appeared to be no damage. No large holes. No objects puncturing the sidewalls or tread. No reason I could see for the flat. However, I knew something was up when I started to remove the valve stem cap and it hissed at me. Tell tale sign of valve stem damage. I wiggled the valve stem and again it hissed. Unfortunately, the tire repair kit was of no use in this situation. I hopped back in the car to consult with my husband. “Anders, We have to call Tesla Service.”

A few touches on the main display, a couple of rings and we’re in contact with a Service Rep. I wish I remembered his name, he was great. After making sure we were safe and didn’t need any medical assistance. He asked for our location and a few other details about the situation. After a minute or two on hold, he came back and said, “A truck is routed to you with a replacement wheel to get you back on the road.”

He explained that the truck will take our flat to the Santa Clara service center, where it will be fixed. They’ll call in a few days to arrange a time to bring it back to us and swap the repaired wheel for the loaner. Pleasantly surprised we didn’t have a tow in our future, we thanked him and ended the call.

In the past, we had AAA roadside assistance, so we were prepared for a few hours of waiting. Resigned to our fate, I took the time to make a few calls to sort out the plans that were affected by the detour. I obviously wasn’t going to make my flight.

After finishing up my calls and settling into the cozy warm seats of the X, I saw some yellow flashing lights navigating the road behind us and said, “I guess we’re not the only people needing a tow truck tonight.” I was thinking that it was a tow truck on it’s way to some other stranded motorist.

Much to my surprise it stopped right next to us. Me, in my eternal pessimism, assumed it was some roving towing company seeing our hazard lights as a way to make a quick buck.

Nope, wrong again. It was Alex with truck 41 of Finish Line Towing. (Yes, he has the same name as our car. It must be fate.) I was impressed with his speedy arrival. He went right to work and had the wheel swapped so quickly I suspect he may moonlight as a Formula One pit mechanic. Despite his expedient work he maintained professionalism and took great care not to damage the finish of the wheel. The swap took less than 10 minutes. A few minutes of paperwork, a huge thank you and hand shake for Alex and we were on our way. All in all it was 45 minutes from first point of contact with Tesla to back on the road. That’s pretty impressive. AAA could learn a few things from this.

Anyway, I didn’t make my flight, but to be honest I didn’t mind. I came away from the situation feeling much more at ease about having a car with no spare tire. A nagging worry I have had since I learned spare tires were becoming obsolete.

While the the initial Tesla Support rep said that the service center would follow up with us when the tire was fixed most, we ended up having to call the service center to check on it’s status a few days later. Since we already had the annual service scheduled for the following week, we arranged to keep the loaner wheel until then. The Model X could survive with mismatched wheel for a few more days.

If that had not been the case it might have been a little annoying to have to take the car in. However, the support during my “Oh no! I have a flat.” moment was flawless when it mattered most.

Tesla seems to have figured out the logistics of the many concerns I had with their unique approach to car ownership and care. It will be interesting to see if this scales when flocks of Model 3s are out on the road. I feel comfortable assuming they will. Tesla is changing the world in so many ways not only with innovative vehicles and energy solutions, but changing expectations and raising the bar for many industries. All in all I came away from this potentially stressful situation with a smile and yet another wave of satisfaction we made the right decision becoming a Tesla family.

Link to Finish Line Towing - http://finishlinetowing.com
Link to Tesla Tire Repair/compressor - https://shop.tesla.com/us/en/product/vehicle-accessories/model-s_x_3-tire-repair-kit.html?sku=1133009-00-A

Was the Tesla Model 3 designed for Self Driving?

The Tesla Model 3 Was Made for Autonomy:

My Tesla Adventure’s founding member and driver of the Model Model 3 IG@BlueModel3 realized that the model 3 was made with an autonomous future mind. Erza saw the design of the Tesla Model 3’s interior as odd until the steering wheel was removed.

Tesla Model 3 no Steering Wheel
Tesla Model 3 With Steering Wheel

It is hard to argue that this isn’t Tesla’s Intent. At quick glance it looks “so right” you can easily overlook that the steeling column is missing. We showed our photo shopped render of the Model 3 with the steering wheel removed  to Tesla Chief designer Franz Von Holzhausen and ask if this was the intent with this design. He couldn’t comment on the matter but we believe the image allowing makes a compelling case that Franz and Tesla designed the Model 3 with the intent of a fully autonomous and only autonomous model 3 option in the coming years.

We anticipate the first non human drivable fully autonomous cars deployed by Tesla and others will be to serve the ride sharing market first. Elon Musk has talked in the about the future option to have your Tesla participate in a ride share service while you work to generate income for the owner.

How do you feel about self driving cars? Are you ready for a fully autonomous car with out a steering wheel option?