Sam joins Leo to talk about the news that Tesla data indicates the car that crashed in Houston may not have been on autopilot at the time of the crash that killed two people. Sam says that doesn't mean it wasn't on autopilot before the crash though, and Tesla hasn't responded to when exactly the autopilot disengaged. If it disengaged a few seconds before the crash, and with the driver foolishly sitting in the back seat, there would be no way to regain control of the vehicle. So the point is rather moot.
You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin.And Leo says a single bitcoin will buy a new Tesla, that's how much it's worth right now.
Alex is thinking of getting an electric vehicle and wonders if leasing is a better idea than buying because of battery degradation. Leo says that it's hard to know just how long the batteries in e-vehicles will last. But Tesla has been around for ten years now, and early Teslas are still working fine. And with the market moving towards e-vehicles, the battery life is going to get even better. What about the environmental impact of those batteries? Leo says every car comes with that consideration.
Sam joins Leo to talk about updates to Android Auto, which are coming to fix a bug that would put Android phones into a "boot loop." The problem stems from the Sync 4 standard that Ford uses for over the air updates. The fix is coming in the next few weeks. Leo says that Tesla was the first to do over the air updates since they treat their cars more as a computer than an automobile. But OTA updates have been happening with telematics in cars for years. Tesla was the first to actually update a car's firmware.
Sam joins Leo to talk about Tesla's new design, which includes a "flight yoke" style steering wheel. Sam says it's almost certainly a problematic design that favors form over function. It forces drivers to abandoned 10 and 2 positions in favor of 9 and 3. And if you get into a sudden situation, there's nothing for you to grab for hand over hand steering. And that could cause an accident. There's also no steering stalk for turn signals or transmission. It's in favor of the car deciding what gear selection is. You can use a button on the touch screen to go in reverse.
With Tesla's stock skyrocketing, Elon Musk has surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world. Leo thinks that Tesla's success may be what's pushing Apple to develop their own electric car.
Meanwhile, Elon is going to Mars.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the upcoming final report about a Tesla Autopilot crash that killed its driver. Tesla blamed the driver, an employee, and there is evidence he was playing a game on his phone and not paying attention. The NTSB agreed but said there was plenty of blame to go around. The NTSB said that Tesla shares part of the blame because the automaker did not incorporate active driver monitor systems that they recommended after the last fatal crash.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the latest over the air updates by Tesla. Tesla recently removed auto drive from a used car bought by a user, which caught a ton of bad press. Tesla's position was that the upgrade was attached to the driver, not the car itself. But eventually, they relented and gave the new owner back the advanced feature. This is why Sam advises people to buy an electric vehicle based on what it can do today, not what it may do down the road because new features will likely be required to pay a fee to enable.
A used car dealer bought a used Tesla directly from the carmaker, with autopilot and a host of other features. He then passed the car along to a customer who wanted the autopilot feature. Tesla turned it off, saying that the customer didn't pay Tesla for the feature. Leo says that is the realm we are in now, companies can disable features and hold them hostage until the new owner pays up.
Sam joins Leo to talk about CES and what we can expect to see with car technology. Automakers and suppliers have been coming to CES since 2007 when Ford Sync was announced during the Microsoft Keynote. Then GM did a Keynote the year after.