27 agosto 2017

Elon Musk News - Issue 98

Elon Musk News - Issue 98
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Note From The Curator
The top three stories in this issue of Elon Musk News are:
  1. SpaceX nails another landing as Formosat-5 Earth imaging satellite placed in orbit
  2. Watch this Tesla Model X SUV out drag race a $530k Lamborghini supercar and set a world record
  3. The Boring Company gets approval for a tunnel below Hawthorne
It's been an exciting few days on several fronts. In addition to the successful SpaceX booster landing and approval for The Boring Company to start boring under Hawthorne, SpaceX is now hosting their second Hyperloop competition. Today until Sunday student teams will focus on achieving the highest possible speeds. It promises to be a very exciting weekend, and I'll have all the details for you in the next issue!

Enjoy issue 98, and have an awesome weekend!

Featured Quote
"There's a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering."
— Elon Musk

From Inc.
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Ten days after the company sent a Cargo Dragon on its way to the International Space Station, SpaceX's Falcon 9 lifted off once more at 11:51 a.m. PST with a Taiwanese Earth imaging satellite in tow. The satellite, Formosat-5, will replace Formosat-2, which was retired almost a year ago after more than a decade of service in orbit.

The successful launch of Formosat-5 Thursday saw Falcon 9's Full Thrust iteration carry the relatively tiny satellite into a sun synchronous polar orbit, which allow the spacecraft to image locations on Earth at the same time each day. As is now routine, SpaceX recovered 1038, the Falcon 9 first stage, aboard it's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS) approximately 200 miles offshore. 1038's landing marks SpaceX's ninth successful recovery of 2017 and the company's 15th successful recovery ever.
After Elon Musk hinted that SpaceX spacesuit details and photos would be revealed sometime this week, he followed through on his promise and has posted the first official photo of the suit that NASA crew and private astronauts will wear while aboard the manned Dragon 2 spacecraft.

While not technically a true "spacesuit", SpaceX's creation is intended to protect crew aboard its Dragon 2 spacecraft in the unlikely event of depressurization while in orbit or following an abort after launch. These flight suits would be of no use on spacewalks, as they make movement extremely difficult while fully pressurized.
Spotted Monday and Sunday on its journey from Florida to Texas, Falcon Heavy's second and final side booster is believed to be headed to Texas for static fire testing at SpaceX's McGregor facilities. Over the past several weeks, several people have independently spotted all three Falcon Heavy cores inside SpaceX's LC-39A integration facility at Cape Canaveral.

The Falcon 9-turned-Falcon Heavy booster, numbered 1025, still has to conduct thorough live testing, however. It has since been tracked during its road trip across the U.S., from its hangar in Florida to test stands in Texas, and was spotted today in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Once at McGregor, Texas, it will likely conduct full-length static fires and be shipped back to Cape Canaveral for Falcon Heavy's inaugural launch in November or December.
Despite the countless Tesla drag racing videos we've seen, the latest one from DragTimes showing a Model X SUV take on a $530k limited-production Lamborghini SV has got to be one of the more gratifying races we've seen. The drag racing video posted to YouTube by DragTimes shows a Lamborghini Aventador SV, with 750 horsepower and 1,200 pounds lighter than the Model X, struggle to keep up with the heavyset all-electric SUV. The Tesla Model X not only out accelerated the Lambo, but also set a world record for world's quickest SUV with a 1/4 mile time of 11.418 seconds at 117.95 mph.
Earlier this summer, after Elon Musk hinted at rethinking music streaming in cars, we learned that Tesla has been reaching out to music labels to license their portfolios in order to build its own music streaming service. Now we are starting to see them push the backend of its upcoming service in the latest software updates.

Tesla tinkerer known as Green has found a new client in Tesla's most recent updates for the new streaming service. It's called 'TTunes', which could possibly only be a placeholder name for the actual service. Tesla Tunes? For now, only the backend of the service is present and there's no consumer-facing UI, but the code is in all of Tesla's vehicles.
Autolist, which previously released a report suggesting that the Tesla Model S is retaining its value better than gas-powered cars in its segment – losing only 28% after 50,000 miles, used its data to make the projection in a new report: 3's Company. Vice President of Data Science at Autolist, Alex Klein, wrote in an email to Electrek:

"Derived using the Model S, its peer group, and corresponding entry level competitor pricing data, our forecast projects a best-in-class depreciation curve for the Model 3, with the vehicle losing only 29% of its value after 50k miles and 50% of its value after 100k miles" A lot of it can be explained by the Model 3's specs hitting the mark when it comes to consumer expectations for EVs in that price range.
With the Model 3, Tesla is parting ways with using a regular key fob and instead built the experience around its mobile app. Tesla has now released a few new official shots to show how to unlock and use the Model 3 with its key card and iPhone-based unlocking system. The app now becomes the main device for Model 3, which is Bluetooth connected to your phone in order to automatically unlock the doors as you approach, much like it does with the key fob on the Model S and Model X today.

If your phone is dead, or if you are one of those people who are going back to flip phones, Tesla provides a keycard with a NFC chip. The driver has to swipe the card on the B pillar and it will unlock the doors. The NFC card, which stands for near field communication, raised a few concerns about security, but Tesla says that it's linked only to specific vehicles and can be made secure.
TMC member 355rockit ran into an unnamed early Model 3 owner, who claimed to be a VP of Engineering at Tesla, at a Supercharger in Monterey. The Tesla executive gave him a quick walkthrough of his brand new Model 3 and explained why he decided to go with the 18″ wheels: "He said that he went with Aero since he wants more mileage and said the gain is ~10%." That's significantly higher than expected, but not impossible.
Scott Perry, an executive at Ryder System, a large Miami-based fleet service company, disclosed the spec of 200-300 miles range after telling Reuters that "he met with Tesla officials earlier this year to discuss the technology at the automaker's manufacturing facility in Fremont, California."

Though Elon Musk said that their electric truck will have "the highest weight capability and with long range" and if Ryder is correct, they would fall short since some trucks have a range greater than 1,000 miles. But 200 to 300 miles with a full load would already require a battery pack with a capacity greater than anything built today and it would also be satisfactory for plenty of regional and local transport routes, which represent a significant share of freight transport. We should definitely know more by the time Tesla unveils the vehicle next month.
Elon Musk announced another feature apparently geared toward car-sharing: cloud-based driver profiles. In Model S and Model X, Tesla has a driver profile function that lets the vehicle adjust several settings based on who is driving the car. Those driver profiles can be chosen from the center screen or linked to a key fob. But now Musk says that they will be in the cloud, or more accurately Tesla's servers, in order for "any Tesla you drive in the world automatically adjusts to you."

To be fair, it could be used for more than just Tesla Network. The feature could also be useful for Tesla owners who have more than one Tesla or even when an owner gets a loaner vehicle while their car is in service, but the feature certainly has more important implications for car-sharing.
The "B-Pillar camera" on a Tesla is just that, a camera mounted on the car's "B-pillar" — the vertical support of a car between the window of the driver and the window of the back-seat passenger — and it might one day be used to unlock a car, using facial recognition technology.

The B-Pillar camera's primary function, of course, is to collect data as one of the eight cameras on every new Tesla that inform the company's "enhanced Autopilot" technology. Musk confirmed that it's possible the B-Pillar camera could one day read your face, but it's on the back-back-burner, for now. His reply on Twitter to a Dutch Tesla enthusiast this past weekend noted that there are other, more important tasks at-hand for Tesla.
Referral program leaders received notification of a new secret 'Level 2' prize – the chance to drive an electric tunnel boring machine with The Boring Company. "You've unlocked the second secret level. Share your referral code to give 5 more of your friends free unlimited Supercharging and $1,000 off a new Model S or Model X.

Once all 5 take delivery, we'll give you the opportunity to drive an electric tunnel boring machine with The Boring Company in Hawthorne, CA." reads a notification from Tesla. The ability to 'gift' 5 Model S or Model X buyers with free unlimited Supercharging and a chance to attend Tesla's upcoming Tesla Semi unveiling event was introduced in Tesla's ninth referral program.
The Boring Company
The Boring Company has gotten the go-ahead from the Hawthorne City Council to construct a test tunnel below the South Bay city. In a 4-1 decision Tuesday, the council voted to allow the two-mile tunneling project to go forward. According to a report from city staffers, the tunnel will be constructed at a depth of between 22 and 44 feet below ground and will be about 12.5 feet wide on the inside. It will start beneath a parking lot owned by Space X and extend north before turning west around Crenshaw Boulevard and continuing below 120th Street to Hawthorne Boulevard.

Construction of the project is expected to take about five months, with the tunnel boring machine advancing about 60 feet per day. That much digging is going to produce a lot of dirt; the staff report notes that about 40 truckloads of material will be hauled away from the project site each day. Brett Horton, senior director of facilities and construction at SpaceX, told the council Tuesday that, in spite of the project's larger scope, residents of Hawthorne were unlikely to notice the construction. "They won't even know we're there," he said.
After months of preparations, a global roster of student-formed teams have readied their Hyperloop pods and made their way to Hawthorne, California in anticipation of SpaceX's upcoming Hyperloop Competition Weekend 2, scheduled for August 25-27, 2017. Based on the the public competition rules, it appears that SpaceX will continue to use their own electric pod truck to accelerate the pods before they are released to travel on their own. For teams that wish to develop their own methods of propulsion, SpaceX appears to be open to proposals that use magnetic levitation and acceleration.
Elon Musk and over 100 leaders in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics have come together, calling on the United Nations to take action against the use of autonomous weapons, or 'killer robots'. "Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend." warns the group of tech leaders in an open letter to the UN. This marks the first time world leaders in the field of robotics and AI have collectively issued a 'warning letter' to the UN in such great numbers.
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