USA TODAY tech reporter Marco della Cava takes his hands off the wheel of a Tesla Model S sedan while driving down the 280 Freeway north of the Tesla's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. Pressure is building on Tesla Motors in Europe to stop using the name "Autopilot" to designate its partial self-driving system -- and the concerns could reverberate to the U.S. The issue is that Tesla's designation can encourage drivers to put too much reliance on Autopilot to protect them from crashing and not pay proper attention behind the wheel. Although Tesla says it repeatedly tells drivers that they need to stay in charge, a Tesla owner was killed in May when his car broadsided a tractor-trailer that turned in front of him. The Autopilot system was engaged at the time. Over the weekend, it was reported that Germany's Transport Ministry sent a letter to the California-based automaker telling it to stop using the name in advertising.
Tesla is developing a long-haul, electric semi-truck that can drive itself and move in "platoons" that automatically follow a lead vehicle, and is getting closer to testing a prototype. Love exists, but they are not together. Reports swirled over the weekend that the entrepreneur, Elon Musk, and Amber called it quits, after publicizing their couple status in April. TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer looks at Thursday's trending stocks. Tesla had roughly 63,000 people cancel their order for the companies Model 3 car in the last year.
Tesla has told customers via its monthly newsletter that it will hike the base Model S 60 price by $2,000 on November 22nd. The new $68,000 price is still luxury car money, so we doubt the increase will dissuade many potential buyers. However, it gives them even less of a reason to choose the 60 kWh, 215-mile-range Model S, since the 75 kWh Model S 75 is just $6,500 more and has 259 miles of range. Tesla re-launched the Model S 60 and 60D to boost sales by giving buyers a lower-priced option. The move no doubt had an impact, as Tesla made a profit for the first time in two years last quarter and increased sales by 59 percent over last quarter.
Tesla's most affordable option, the highly anticipated Model 3, can do 0-60 in under 6 seconds and get at least 215 miles per charge. The Model 3 drove onto a stage through a curtain of fog at a lavish ceremony in a converted hanger adjoining the SpaceX factory in this Los Angeles suburb. Tesla CEO Elon Musk vowed that the car will seat five, hit the highest safety marks and have a range of at least 215 miles a charge. While its performance won't be nearly as breathtaking as its larger sibling, the super-luxury Model S, will be impressive: Zero to 60 miles per hour in less than 6 seconds. To prove the point, Tesla offered test rides with a long straightaway in which the car hurtled down a side road at push-you-back-in-your-seat speeds in near silence.