Home > Uncategorized > Will Tesla be Apple, or Blackberry?

Will Tesla be Apple, or Blackberry?

I have now been driving a Tesla model Y for 6 months. I wanted to experience an electric vehicle, and Tesla appeared to be a safe, popular choice. They have the best charging network, and the owners I spoke with seemed to be very happy. Owners raved about the responsiveness of the car, and the technology that made it feel so advanced. So I turned in my Subaru Outback for a Tesla. 

The electric drivetrain is very responsive, and when you press on the accelerator the response is immediate and powerful. It is definitely fun to drive. The absence of engine noise is very pleasing. 

On my first drive, I learned some things about the Tesla that had never come to light in all my conversations with Tesla drivers. I pulled out of a parking spot at Home Depot in reverse, and just missed avoiding a car that was coming behind me. No rear cross traffic alert in this high technology vehicle? I had one in my Subaru. This is a safety feature in many contemporary vehicles, but not Tesla. Not available, and cannot be added. 

Next was blind spot detection. I have been accustomed to a blind spot warning on my side view mirror when another car is about to enter the blindspot. Not in a Tesla. The warning occurs as an alarm only when another car is already in your blind spot, and you see a red car on the display screen. I have resorted to carefully using mirrors, and occasionally turning around. 

The cockpit experience leads to more distractions that take my eyes off the road. The absence of Apple Carplay means that I need to use my phone to play podcasts, listen to satellite radio, and accurately dial numbers, even by voice. I miss these features from my Subaru. 

Tesla has at times removed safety features. Autopilot, which includes a lane departure warning, and lane centering, had those features temporarily removed earlier this year when they removed sensors from newly produced cars to focus on cameras alone. Tesla said the transition to a camera-focused system “may result in limitations of some features such as lane-centering and parking assistance, functions which it said will be restored via software updates in the weeks ahead.”

I have received this message while driving: “Lane departure avoidance features unavailable. Features may be restored on next drive”.  

Autopilot software is noted to be in beta. Tesla drivers are testing software, while operating a lethal weapon. Yes, we agreed to it. 

I am a disappointed Tesla customer.

On the other hand, I have been a very satisfied customer of Apple. Apple has consistently produced high quality products. Tesla’s problems with quality are well known. 

Apple has always been willing to make significant changes to incorporate new technologies when they become available and are commercially viable. They used this formula with the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. They have been willing to make significant changes to core technologies, with some changes taking years to implement. Examples include changing the operating system of their computers (to OS X), and changing processors (from Motorola 68000 to PowerPC, then to Intel and now to their own designs).

And Apple has always paid great attention to the user experience. 

The coming years will see intense competition in the electric vehicle space. It is somewhat like the early years of the personal computer revolution, when new companies competed with established vendors. 

The cost of newer technologies for safety features and autonomous driving will be coming down such as radar and LIDAR. A successful technology company knows when to incorporate new technologies into their products. 

In the next few years, Tesla may have Apple as a competitor in the electric vehicle business. 

Will Tesla retain a leadership position in electric vehicles? Time will tell

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