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JB Straubel describes Tesla's engineering culture and future developments

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by GSP, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. GSP

    GSP Member

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    #1 GSP, Apr 25, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
    The April 2, 2013 issue of Automotive Engineering International has an article with Tesla's CTO discussing their engineering culture. He also discusses future developments, which can be summarized as:

    1) more software configurability, such as driver adjustable regen
    2) replace exterior mirrors with cameras. Tesla is working to convince regulators to allow this
    3) lower cost, more energy dense batteries. "If you look at the physics, there is no good reason why better nanoscale engineering couldn't make a battery with energy density approaching chemical fuels."
    4) tesla will continue to offer a choice of battery sizes


    Here is a link, but it might require a digital suscription to the magazine to work:

    Login to SAE International

    GSP

    PS. The link works for me, and takes me directly to page 20 where the JB Straubel article starts. However, I have a suscription to the magazine and probably automatically logging in. Does the link work for anyone else?
     
  2. J in MN

    J in MN S60 P12635

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    It prompts for a login.
     
  3. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    2) replace exterior mirrors with cameras. Tesla is working to convince regulators to allow this

    They need to get that rock solid first. My reverse camera is still sometimes finicky, and I've had it go "gray" on me while backing up numerous times. It lasts about a second, but that's all it takes...
     
  4. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    Also, it's easy to adjust the rear view in a mirror by just moving your head around. That doesn't work with a camera. I'm skeptical that they'll be able to get the regs changed.
     
  5. DriverOne

    DriverOne Member

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    The camera could have a wider view, so you would't need to shift your head around. I had to stick extra curved mirrors onto my side mirrors just so I don't have a blind spot.
     
  6. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    It's hard to judge distance with a wider view. So many times I'm looking in the rearview camera thinking, ok, there's plenty of space, but when I turn my head around I think "wow that's close!"
     
  7. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    If that's all it took, why haven't they mandated more convex mirrors?

    I agree with you. The first thing I do with a new vehicle is to slap on a small ultra-convex mirror in the corner of the regular mirror - even on my SLK.
     
  8. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I actually just mentioned this to my wife the other day Since going to the S I've found that I'm more often uncertain if anything is in my blind spot or not. I'd at first attributed it to the fact that the S is bigger and unfamiliar, but I think it might also be the mirrors. On all of our previous cars, I'd order the European spec mirrors which have a dashed line at the edges. To the left (or right) of this line, the mirror was curved so that you saw more. I think I got too used to having that. Wonder if the aftermarket would do something like that for our mirrors? Are ours similar to Mercedes mirrors?
     
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I wonder if someone has a patent on this yet (automotive camera that adjusts based on tracking your head movements).
     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I've noticed that too. I've taken to backing up "the old fashioned way" (i.e. turning around and looking out the back) and just use the camera for those last few inches.
     
  11. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    I've tried using NPR Car Talk's "head shake" mirror routine (props to Jerry33 for pointing this out sometime ago):

    http://www.cartalk.com/sites/default/files/features/mirrors/CarTalkMirrors.pdf

    This worked well in our Mini but, atleast for me, the Model S side mirrors don't tilt out far enough. When my head touches the window and the side mirror is tilted out to its limit, I can still see a good meaty chunk of my S's left "hip"!

    Couple this with a relatively-poor view through the rear-view mirror and a massive B-pillar that's right next to my ear given how far back my seat setting is (I'm 6' 1", long legs), I have a huge blind-spot and have had a couple of really close shaves with cars on my left :(
     
  12. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    It still works in the Model S, just pretend the "sticking out" part isn't there. The mirrors do turn out far enough to eliminate the blind spot, particularly when used in conjunction with the rear camera.

    On another note, I've found the Model S is the second easiest car to park I've ever had (easiest was the DS-21). Between the mirrors (to determine side issues) and the camera (to determine when to stop) it makes parking a breeze.
     
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Agreed - once I got used to it, the Model S is very easy to park.
     

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