The outage, however, provided a glimpse into some of the real-world issues created by the evolution of increasingly connected vehicles that rely on the Internet. Telsa vehicles use mobile connections for a wide range of functions, including remotely setting heating and air conditioning and making service appointments. They also unlock the features of vehicles’ Autopilot driver-assistance system, which can navigate highways and city streets between waypoints set by the driver. A feature to summon a vehicle in a crowded parking lot, for example, was inaccessible because it is accessed through the app.
“It’s like what you see in a lot of other areas of our lives,” said Karl Brauer, a veteran auto industry analyst who works as an executive analyst at the website iSeeCars. “When we get this increased convenience, we tend to become a lot more expectant and dependent on it.”
It’s the latest innovation push by the Silicon Valley car builder that has aimed to rewrite the rules on electric vehicles, making them performance-oriented and aspirational in a way that has eluded competitors. But electric vehicles constitute a small slice of the overall car market, and to expand, Tesla will need to reign supreme over not only the manufacturing of vehicles but also their lifeblood: batteries.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the stage Tuesday to announce plans for tackling that issue at a widely anticipated “Battery Day” event. Unlike at the company’s glitzy Cybertruck unveiling in Los Angeles last year, there was no blockbuster product announcement and no definitive hardware breakthrough.
Tesla instead sought to set its future agenda, headlined by its goal to build a $25,000 mass-market electric car — a niche its long-promised $35,000 Model 3 sedan failed to fill.
The yet-unnamed offering would see its lower price