Tesla battery researcher unveils new cell that could last 1 million miles in ‘robot taxis’

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Tesla’s battery research partner has released a new paper on a battery cell that could last over 1 million miles, which they say is going to be particularly useful in ‘robot taxis’ — something that Tesla wants to bring to market.

When talking about the economics of Tesla’s future fleet of robotaxis at the Tesla Autonomy Event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasized that the vehicles need to be durable in order for the economics to work:

The cars currently built are all designed for a million miles of operation. The drive unit is design, tested, and validated for 1 million miles of operation.

But the CEO admitted that the battery packs are not built to last 1 million miles.

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Bezos and Musk’s satellite internet could save Americans $30B a year

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LEOs will change the game.

Consumer policy expert, BroadbandNow — Tyler has more than a decade of experience in IT and networking, and has been writing about broadband issues such as the digital divide, net neutrality, cybersecurity, and internet access since 2015.

Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites for broadband internet access are beginning to display signs of real potential. Recently, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin pulled back the curtain on its space intentions by announcing Project Kuiper, a 3,236-satellite constellation. Additionally, Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink recently launched a rocket containing 60 satellites from Florida’s Cape Canaveral.

The fight for space internet supremacy is on. Both players, alongside others like OneWeb, are spending billions in space in hopes of making further billions annually once the satellites go into service for consumers in the US and around the globe.

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Tesla’s Megapack battery is big enough to help grids handle peak demand

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A new industrial storage product coming as the company’s lost its lead in home solar

Tesla announced a new massive battery today called Megapack that could replace so-called “peaker” power plants, which provide energy when a local electrical grid gets overloaded. Tesla says that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) will deploy several Megapacks at Moss Landing on Monterrey Bay in California, which is one of four locations where the California utility plans to install more cost-effective energy storage solutions.

Each Megapack can store up to 3 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy at a time, and it’s possible to string enough Megapacks together to create a battery with more than 1 GWh of energy storage, Tesla says. The company says this would be enough energy to power “every home in San Francisco for six hours.” Telsa will deliver the Megapacks fully assembled, and they include “battery modules, bi-directional inverters, a thermal management system, an AC main breaker and controls.” Tesla says the Megapack takes up 40 percent less space, requires a tenth of the parts to build, and can be assembled 10 times as fast as alternative energy storage solutions.

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Tesla launches its Megapack, a new massive 3 MWh energy storage product

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Tesla is launching today its ‘Megapack’, a massive new energy storage product that combines up to 3 MWh of storage capacity and a 1.5 MW inverter.

Electrek exclusively reported last year that Tesla has been working on a new energy storage system called ‘Megapack’.

We found out that Tesla was going to use the Megapack at a giant new energy storage project in California.

Today, almost a year later, the company is now officially launching the product.

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Tesla to charge $1,000 more for ‘full self-driving’ Autopilot package in August

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A reminder, though, that Tesla’s cars still aren’t fully autonomous

Tesla will increase the price of the “full self-driving” version of its Autopilot driver assistance system by around $1,000 starting August 16th, according to CEO Elon Musk. The higher-tier package currently costs $6,000 if customers choose the option when buying a car, but Tesla charges $8,000 if they decide to upgrade after taking delivery. It’s not clear if Musk was referring to increasing both those price tags, and Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla brought back the “full self-driving” package earlier this year after shelving the option in late 2018 amid criticism that the company was overselling the autonomy of its vehicles. While Tesla sells the package under the name “full self-driving,” it should be noted that Tesla’s cars still cannot operate autonomously. Musk has said the company will make that possible by the end of 2019, and earlier this year he showed off the custom chip that Tesla will use to tackle this tall task, though he is well-known for missing deadlines.

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Battle for Mars: Planet Bezos, Planet Musk, Planet Branson, or Planet New America?

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On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” becoming the first human being to walk on the moon. NASA reported to Congress that the Apollo program cost $25.4 billion ($176 billion in 2019 dollars). At the time, there were only two entities with the resources to accomplish a mission of this scale: America and its cold war rival, the Soviet Union. America won.

Through the lens of history, the Apollo program had less to do with our innate curiosity, our need to explore, or our quest for knowledge than it had to do with proving to the Soviets that America had “space superiority” and could efficiently deliver weapons of mass destruction at will.

As the cold war drew to a close, NASA did its best to convince our military-industrial complex that we needed to continue to explore “the final frontier.” It has been an uphill battle, and today, NASA’s budget is a fraction of what most scientists believe it should be.

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Elon Musk unveils Neuralink’s plans for brain-reading ‘threads’ and a robot to insert them

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Not for humans yet

The proposed future technology Neuralink intends to make, a module that sits outside the head and wirelessly receives information from threads embedded in the brain. Photo: Neuralink

Elon Musk’s Neuralink, the secretive company developing brain-machine interfaces, showed off some of the technology it has been developing to the public for the first time. The goal is to eventually begin implanting devices in paralyzed humans, allowing them to control phones or computers.

The first big advance is flexible “threads,” which are less likely to damage the brain than the materials currently used in brain-machine interfaces. These threads also create the possibility of transferring a higher volume of data, according to a white paper credited to “Elon Musk & Neuralink.” The abstract notes that the system could include “as many as 3,072 electrodes per array distributed across 96 threads.”

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Elon Musk: Tesla will stop selling cars to consumers once autonomous driving is perfected


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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been talking a lot about Tesla Network lately, part of Tesla’s “Master Plan, Part Deux” which will enable Tesla cars with full self-driving hardware to operate as autonomous robotaxis to generate revenue for owners and for Tesla itself.

This is all still a ways off, but that hasn’t stopped Musk and others from theorizing about what might happen when the technological problems behind self-driving are solved. Recently, Musk stated that any Tesla bought today is an “appreciating asset” due to its potential to be used to generate revenue in the future. But an asset wouldn’t really appreciate unless a new, similar asset couldn’t be bought at the same price. So now, Musk has committed to making that happen, stating that once robotaxis become possible, Tesla will likely stop selling cars to consumers, at least at anywhere near the same price.

The exchange came, as it often does, as part of a nighttime tweetstorm from Musk. Among various other questions about the timeline for upgrading HW2+ hardware to Tesla’s new FSD computer and a comment about Tesla’s potential to have a million-robotaxi-fleet by the end of next year, Musk was asked whether prospective buyers would be able to keep buying Teslas well into the future, or if their potential as a revenue generating asset would make that price unattainable for a typical consumer:

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Will your next job be on Mars?

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NASA Mars recruitment poster NASA/KSC

Look around the space where you are sitting. How many of the things you see were not available to you as a child? Perhaps you note a laptop, smart phone or Wi-Fi connection? Now imagine these things vanished. What would your life be like? Think back to when you were a child. Could you have imagined the items you now can’t live without?

This same dynamic may soon be on the horizon for jobs on Mars—we may one day wonder how we ever confined our human activities to Earth.

Advancing technology continues to create more unique and interesting jobs—for now, all of them based on planet Earth. But change may be upon us.

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Elon Musk doubled down on his theory that the world population is headed for collapse

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Elon Musk believes the human population is headed for decline. REUTERS/Mike Blake

In a tweet on Friday, Elon Musk doubled down on his theory that the global population will be in decline by 2050.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO first backed the theory in 2017 in response to a New Scientist article about a “population bomb.”

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LightSail 2 gets ready to make its debut in space

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Artist’s concept of LightSail 2 above Earth. Image: The Planetary Society

Yesterday, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket successfully launched NASA’s STP-2 mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying with it a whole raft of technology demonstrations that will one day aid in smarter spacecraft design and help the agency’s efforts in getting to Mars.

Some of the more high profile projects included a Deep Space Atomic Clock that could change the way deep-space navigation is conducted, and a new propulsion system that runs on a high-performance and non-toxic spacecraft fuel called the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM).

However, also stashed amongst NASA’s payloads was a small satellite built by Georgia Tech students, called Prox-1 and packed safely within that like a Russian nesting doll, is a citizen-funded project that originally sprang from the mind of Carl Sagan.

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Elon Musk’s Starlink:The hidden agenda behind SpaceX’s mission to DOMINATE space internet?

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ELON MUSK’s Starlink, the controversial space internet system designed by SpaceX, may have an undisclosed purpose.

Aside from providing high-speed internet access to billions of people in “underserved communities around the world”, Elon Musk’s vision could advance the ambitions of SpaceX’s sister company, Tesla. Manny Shar, head of analytics at Bryce Space and Technology, told Express.co.uk: “I do see the potential for Tesla with Starlink.” When a Tesla vehicle rolls off of the manufacturing line it comes internet-connected with an AT&T LTE cellular connection much like what is in a mobile phone.

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