Tesla Motors’ Model S(mart)

All Posts, Smart Objects


It’s the middle of February, it’s freezing and snowing outside, and you have to be at work in the next 30 minutes. Typically, this means you need to warm the car up for a few minutes to get the engine ready… Not anymore. Instead, you grab your smartphone, open up the Tesla Motors Owners App, and set the internal temperature of your vehicle to a lovely 72 degrees. Your car is primed and ready to hit the road.

You’re driving through the middle of Nebraska, and suddenly your car comes to a stop. You have no cell service, so you can’t call Triple A. Normally it’s about time to wait for someone to drive by you, or else you start walking… Not anymore.  When your Model S happens to go offline for whatever reason, the nearest Tesla Motors Service Center will receive a notification of your troubles (with diagnostics about what’s wrong with the car), and if they cannot reach you by cell phone, they will dispatch a tow truck to your vehicle’s GPS coordinates.

These are just a few minor examples of what sort of technological capabilities the Tesla Model S possesses.  Car and Driver Magazine contributed to the Model S’ exceptionally high ratings by claiming that the automobile was “… attractive, comfortable, fast, practical, technically fascinating, and not overpriced. Most important, it’s not just a good electric vehicle, it’s a good car.”

I happen to work for Tesla Motors, so I am fortunate enough to get to experience the unending and impressive innovations Model S has every single day. Each one of our vehicles is operated primarily by a 17” touch panel display (images below), has a constant connection to a 3G network, and actively makes adjustments based on driver preferences as it learns your driving style. When most automobile manufacturers release a new model year, Tesla designs and releases new software updates equipping the vehicles with a variety of new features. For instance, you can now sync your Google Calendar/iCalendar with your Model S, granting it permission to send you reminders, as well as providing an easy way of navigating to your destination based on the location stated by your calendar event. Instead of requiring owners to bring their cars in for service, the car actively sends diagnostic reports about its performance to service centers in the nearby region. If something seems out of order, the owner is contacted immediately.

Tesla’s Model S is paving the way to a new way of automotive transportation, one technological advancement at a time. This is the first vehicle to use a computer in the way that it does, which means more data is being collected than ever before. The data that the Model S collects could expand to being reported to insurance companies, indicating your average speed in particular zones (are you speeding, but just not getting caught?), average distance between you and the vehicles in front of you (are you driving cautiously or aggressively?), or virtually anything else that may affect the way in which you get charged for insurance. The implications of all data created, sent and received by Model S are unknown for the time being, but it will surely be interesting to be on the employee side of the developmental process moving forward. As of now it appears that there is no definitive technological ceiling for Model S, so the sky is the limit.

Oh, and did I mention that this car is entirely eco-friendly? It produces no emissions, requires no oil changes or gas, and runs entirely on electricity. Yeah, pretty amazing.

Below is a video of the vehicle as well as some links if you’re curious to learn more about Tesla Motors or any of its products:

Model S Walkthrough

Model S Photo Gallery


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