Tesla driver DJ Klypso claims he dodged California traffic ticket by blaming autopilot, but there’s more to the story

Tech & Science Tesla California Autopilot DJ Klypso A Tesla owner caught driving with his feet out the window says he got off paying a traffic ticket because the judge was so impressed by the car's Autopilot feature. Joseph Salim Mourad, more commonly known as DJ Klypso, appeared in court on Tuesday in Los Angeles to argue his ticket. According to The Blast, Mourad said the judge dismissed his ticket after seeing evidence that the Tesla Model S is capable of completely driving itself. Mourad was not only driving with both feet outside the driver window, he was also filming the trip on his cellphone. The video shows a police officer on a motorcycle doing a double-take when passing Mourad. See all of the best photos of the week in these slideshows The Tesla Model S P100D can travel from 0-60 mph in 2.4 seconds with 'Ludicrous mode' enabled. Tesla His ticket was issued for driving at an “unsafe speed for traffic conditions” and for operating a cellphone while driving. Mourad was driving on the 101 Freeway in San Fernando Valley. Speaking to Jalopnik, a Los Angeles County spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that the ticket was scrapped by the court, but also said the decision had nothing to do with Mourad’s evidence surrounding the autopilot feature. “The reason the ticket was dismissed was because the officer didn’t show up.” Tesla has urged owners to stay attentive when the Autopilot feature is being used. According to the Tesla website, Autopilot is “designed as a hands-on experience to give drivers more confidence behind the wheel, increase their safety on the road and make highway driving more enjoyable by reducing the driver’s workload”. Autopilot is classified as a level 2 automated system by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meaning the driver “must remain engaged with the driving task and monitor the environment at all times”. In January, a Tesla driver Continue Reading

Review: 2018 Tesla Model X

Tesla’s first car was a 2-seat roadster based on a Lotus Elise, an example of which is now famously in orbit around the sun. It wasn’t until the debut of the groundbreaking Model S sedan, however, that Tesla became a household name. Since then, the company has established itself as both a successful automaker and a pioneer in the engineering of long-range electric vehicles. So what was the next logical step in a world gone mad for SUVs? Build one. With its signature gull wing doors, available room for seven passengers, and intimidating acceleration, the Tesla Model X is less a genuine SUV and more a rounded-off minivan, but it continues to cause a stir amongst the faithful even as the company ramps up production of its far more affordable, and smaller, Model 3 sedan. With a starting price of about $80,000, it would be easy to characterize the Model X as a competitor of high-end SUVs from Cadillac and Lincoln, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. But as a fully-electric crossover capable of a 2.9-second sprint to 60 mph, the Model X truly is in a world of its own. Tesla buyers can also be described as a loyal breed; however, even those committed to the green lifestyle the automaker promotes may struggle with the decision of whether to invest in “the big Tesla.” Extra space is always appreciated, especially by busy parents, but does the Model X offer enough of it to make choosing the X over the S worth the extra five grand? After spending nearly a week driving this futuristic family hauler in its highest performing specification, P100D, I can help to answer that. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Surprisingly the most polarizing aspect of the Model X may be in its design. Looking more like a shuttle pod than an SUV, the Model X’s futuristic aesthetic comes from its slippery smooth profile and virtual lack of corners. While some can appreciate and even envy this look, others like myself simply see an overinflated Model S, the vehicle Continue Reading

Ferrari’s CEO shoots down claims that Tesla’s Model S is secretly a supercar (TSLA, RACE)

Matthew DeBord, provided by Published 12:14 pm, Friday, February 2, 2018 REUTERS/Denis Balibouse Tesla has posted some crazy fast 0-60 numbers for its Model S, raising comparisons with supercars. But there's more to supercars that straight-line speed. Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne helpfully pointed this out. That 0-60 speed might be faster than what some of the world's proper supercars can achieve, but the CEO of one of those supercar brands isn't having any of it. LATEST BUSINESS VIDEOS Now Playing: Now Playing YouTube's TV Streaming Service Debuts on Roku Wibbitz Google Is Hiring Thousands for Data Center Locations Wibbitz Blow Dryer Lights on Fire Jukin Media United and Delta Tighten Rules For Comfort Animals Veuer 49ers' President: Record Demand For Football Games Cheddar TV Your Cup of Coffee Might Come With a Cancer Warning Fortune Report: Whole Foods New Inventory System Is Making Workers Cry Buzz 60 49ers' President: Ratings May Be Down, but Football Demand Is High Cheddar TV Trader: Dow 665-Point Swing "Normal Behavior" Associated Press Investors get slice of Apple's pie Euronews After Ferrari reported solid full-year 2017 earnings Thursday, Sergio Marchionne spoke with analysts on a conference call and took questions about a rumored all-electric supercar. At the Detroit auto show in January, Marchionne said, "If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first," and his impromptu remarks at the unveiling of the Jeep Cherokee implied that the prancing horse was aiming to take on Tesla. On Thursday, it became clear that Marchionne doesn't think Tesla has created a real supercar (even though Tesla did unveil a new Roadster last November that, when built, will be the fastest thing on the road, with a predicted 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds and styling that's anything but stodgy).  He reiterated his "Ferrari will be first" comment, in the process taking a shot at the handling Continue Reading

Tesla’s Model 3 — one of the most anticipated debuts ever — lives up to the hype

Seamless autopilot Some pre-ordering Model 3 customers have been dismayed to discover that their base model cars won't include Autopilot, which under certain conditions will do all the steering, braking and accelerating required for safe driving. Instead, the base model contains what Tesla calls "automatic emergency braking and collision avoidance." Autopilot will cost an extra $5,000. As I found when I drove the Model S and the Model X, the driver-assist Autopilot package is beyond the best in its class. Though it balked periodically — the system seemed confused by freeway interchanges — Autopilot maneuvered seamlessly across 100 miles of Los Angeles roadways without any unnecessary drama. The voice-activated command system is top-notch, as is the backup camera. The keyless ignition system allows the operator to start the car remotely and set the inside temperature or choose charging times. The nav screen will identify the closest charging stations and their charging rates. And the Model 3's Autopark system is very effective. As a notoriously bad parallel parker, I was delighted to see how well the 3 angled into tight spaces without any driver input. I could quibble about the clunkiness of the suspension damping, which seemed to amplify the impact of certain potholes, and about the squeaky front left body panel — things that would not be noticeable on a gas-powered car but stood out in the silence of the electric 3, and would drive me nuts if I'd paid top price for the car and then waited so long to get it. Expectations Over three days of driving, while I was enjoying the acceleration and silent sporty feel of the 3, I didn't do a very good job of maximizing range. Though the unit I drove was fitted with the $9,000 "long-range battery" upgrade — as well as other upgrades for the enhanced Autopilot, premium interior, special wheels and special paint — I found I had only 52 percent of battery power remaining after I'd driven my first 100 Continue Reading

Tesla Model 3: Elon Musk’s mass-market car is a magic carpet ride

Tesla’s Model 3 is the most highly anticipated car of the 21st century. It may be the most eagerly awaited car of all time.More than 450,000 people put down $1,000 refundable deposits to reserve one of the “affordable” battery electric sedans after Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk unveiled the car and inaugurated the waiting list in March 2016.Since then, online forums and automotive news websites have breathlessly reported every Musk tweet, production delay or postponed delivery date.Now the first Model 3s are rolling away from the Fremont factory, and we were able to secure one for a long holiday weekend test drive.So?The Model 3, from its inception as Tesla’s “mass-market vehicle,” promised the transportation trifecta of long range, low cost and high performance. The 3 was to be sporty, silent and quick, and emit zero pollutants, while going at least 200 miles on a charge and costing less than $35,000 before rebates and incentives.Many people assumed it would include Tesla’s technologically sophisticated Autopilot driver assist software (it doesn’t — customers have to purchase an upgrade) and be fully rechargeable in less than an hour through Tesla’s now-nationwide “Supercharger” network (it is, but Model 3 owners won’t have free access to the network as Model S and X owners do).Some certainly hoped they would be driving their $35,000 models 3s by now, but they can’t because the entry-level cars aren’t being built yet: Tesla is producing only the fully loaded 3s at this time. The one we drove costs $57,500.On its actual promises, the Model 3 delivers — mostly.The sleek midsize sedan, in its base model, is powered by a lithium-ion battery, attached to a permanent magnet motor, that will accelerate the rear-wheel-drive car from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds to a top speed of 130 mph.That battery pack is capable of running up to 220 miles between charges and can be Continue Reading

We rented a Tesla Model 3 from a new owner: Call it spartan, high-tech and compelling

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Will the Model 3 make or break Tesla?That greatly depends on how compelling the smaller, entry-level electric sedan is. The $35,000-and-up Model 3 is in short supply — and Tesla isn't yet providing any for review — so USA TODAY sought to answer this question by renting one for the day on peer-to-peer car rental service Turo. Our take: The car could be a winner for Tesla if it manages to produce a lot more of the buttoned-down example we rented from a new owner last week. There are other all-electric options out there roughly in this price range, including the Chevy Bolt and the BMW i3, but neither car is fundamentally as elegant as Tesla’s new foray into the mass market.But good luck getting your hands on one. Production has been delayed by well-publicized snags. The company has delivered around 2,000  to some 400,000 deposit-holders and Tesla only features this model in two of its stores.CEO Elon Musk will need to ramp up these deliveries to turn Tesla into a mainstream manufacturer, living up to the $57 billion market valuation that's hinged on vows to produce a half-million Model 3s annually. The new black sedan we rented was bought by Grayson Giovine, owner of Bay Area college test-prep company Zenith Tutoring, who already has a three-year-old black Tesla Model S in the driveway and recently gifted his very first Model S to his parents back east.“Teslas are some of the best cars out there, so I wanted to see what they were up to next,” says Giovine, who rents out all his cars (his Model 3 costs around $150 per day) as a “hobby that also defrays the cost of ownership.”Giovine’s Model 3 is less than a month old and already has 1,700 miles on the odometer – only 10 miles of those put on by him. “It’s a popular rental,” he says with a smile.Other than seeing the Model 3 Continue Reading

4 Chinese-backed electric-car start-ups planning a run at Tesla

The electric vehicle market is currently dominated by Chinese venture capital investors have poured more than $1.4 billion into electric vehicle and battery start-ups in the past three years, according to PitchBook, compared to $2.1 billion in total global venture capital funding for the sector. Though far more successful than these start-ups, Tesla does have one thing in common with competitors: the recent investment from China. It received an investment equal to $1.8 billion from Chinese messaging firm Tencent, when it purchased a 5 percent stake in Tesla shares. The investment makes the Chinese giant one of Tesla's largest shareholders, and is part of Tencent's pursuit of self-driving cars and electric vehicles, and it can open doors in China for Tesla. Its EV rivals also lack one key ingredient: Elon Musk. "While each of those start-ups are run by individuals who don't shy from the spotlight, none of those companies are headed by a successful entrepreneur who is continuously challenging, and changing, the world like Elon Musk," said Michael Harley, executive analyst for the vehicle valuation and research company Kelley Blue Book. Faraday FutureOne well-known EV start-up funded entirely by Chinese investors is Faraday Future. It's backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, founder of the conglomerate LeEco. Faraday plans to build its first EV, the FF 91, in a factory under construction in Nevada (where Musk is building his battery gigafactory). Faraday hopes to bring the car to market next year, but the company has faced widely reported financial troubles, in line with its parent company's balance-sheet Continue Reading

VIDEO: Tesla Model S P90D races Boeing 737 in Australia

There's something about the Tesla Model S. Maybe it's the curiosity around its electric motors, garishness of its "Ludicrous Mode" or just the simple fact that it's the new kid on the block, but for whatever reason, everyone wants a piece of the Model S in a head to head race. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. 'LIKE' US HERE! It's had its mettle (and its metal) tested against Ferraris, BMWs and a host of other supercars since it burst onto the scene in 2012, but it's never had a challenger quite like this—all the others have at least stayed on the ground. To celebrate their recent collaboration, Tesla and Qantas (Australia's largest airline) pitted two of their top-tier vehicles against each other in a race for the ages: a Model S P90D against a Boeing 737. The race, which took place at Avalon Airport southwest of Melbourne, was tight at first, but the Model S (in Ludicrous Mode, of course) pulls away before the plane goes airborne.  GET THE LATEST TESLA NEWS HERE. Considering one competitor was able to fly off into the distance while the other had to turn around at the end of the runway, it's not exactly an even drag race, but the visual, is impressive nonetheless. In addition to promoting the fact that Qantas and Tesla working together toward the pursuit of more fuel efficient transportation, it also thrusts the Model S back into the spotlight after the Model 3 dominated headlines last week. Continue Reading

‘Ludicrous Mode’? Tesla adds power to already-fast Model S

NEW YORK — Tesla Motors says it’s adding a new “Ludicrous Mode” to high-performance versions of its Model S electric car. CEO Elon Musk said Friday that the upgrade will cost $10,000 for new buyers of the Model S, whose base price is $70,000. Current Model S owners will be able to get the upgrade for $5,000 plus the cost of installation in the next six months. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. 'LIKE' US HERE. It will allow the car to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds. Tesla had referred to a previous package as “Insane Mode.” Musk also said Tesla will upgrade the battery pack of the Model S to improve its range, something it plans to do every year. The upgrade will cost about $3,000, and it will give the car a range of about 300 miles on the highway on a single battery charge, about 15 miles more than the current version. The company also announced a rear-wheel drive version of the Model S that will cost about $5,000 less than the standard model. GET MORE TESLA NEWS HERE. Earlier this month Tesla said its deliveries grew 52 percent to more than 11,000 in the second quarter. Shares of the Palo Alto, California-based company rose $7.98, or 3 percent, to close at $274.66 on Friday. The name “ludicrous mode” comes from Mel Brooks’ 1987 “Star Wars” spoof “Spaceballs,” where a spaceship is able to surpass light speed - traveling so fast it turns plaid. Tesla said the next version of its Roadster car will have a “maximum plaid” speed, but that Roadster won’t be available for another four years. Continue Reading

I test-drove a Tesla and lived to tell the tale

There I was sitting inside a $120,000 Tesla Model S, sporting a worn down flannel thinking, “I am not worthy.”“Whenever you’re ready,” my driving instructor tells me.That’s it? You don’t have to throw obstacles my way and test out my reflexes? Do a background check? Ask my mother if I’m a decent person?Nope. Tesla Motors gives anyone the opportunity to request a test drive — whether or not you’re looking to purchase one of their vehicles. I scheduled a free test drive appointment at the Tesla Motors at Short Hills Mall. All I needed to provide was my home address and my driver’s license.As soon as I started driving the Model S, I understood why these cars are making quite the statement. It’s the fastest accelerating sedan on the road and the sleekest looking electric car on the market. The Model S is a 100 percent electric sedan with a battery range of up to 270 miles.As New Jersey native John Fitzgerald, and the president of Six Flags Great Adventure, said, “It sort of makes driving anything else depressing.”Fitzgerald, who bought his first Model S Tesla in 2013, said with a Tesla you get the best of both worlds.“Like any teenage boy, you can drive really fast, but you’re also not doing any damage to the environment.“(It’s) a little pricey, but it really has been completely trouble-free and there’s no maintenance whatsoever. You don’t have oil-filters that need to be changed. You just have to worry about your tires and your brakes.”I spoke with Alexis Georgeson, communications at Tesla Motors, to learn more about what this car has to offer. 1. Better with ageTesla Motors, which was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers in Silicon Valley spent the first five years of the company researching electric cars. Their first car, Tesla Roadster, came to market in 2008. In 2012, Tesla launched the Model S, the world’s first premium Continue Reading