Tesla

Sam Abuelsamid ... Disengaged

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1791

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. 

Should I Buy or Lease an Electric Vehicle?

Ford Mustang Mach E

Episode 1777

Alex from Alpharetta, GA

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 Abuelsamid: Serviced

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1771

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 Abuelsamid and the Cool, but Dangerous Steering Yoke

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1767

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.

Sam Abuelsamid and the NTSB Tesla Report

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1674

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 Abuelsamid ... in the driver's seat

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1672

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. 

Used Tesla Car Dealer Sells Car with Autopilot. Tesla Turns it Off

Tesla

Episode 1667

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.