Tesla Model 3

July 28, 2017, Tesla Inc. revealed the new Tesla Model 3. During the “handover” event, 2,000 employees, press, and other guests waited for the unveiling of Tesla’s first mass-market electric vehicle. Employees from different departments discussed their contribution to the creation of the car and shared behind the scenes information. It was also announced that 30 select employees would be receiving a production-ready vehicle before the car’s official launch.

A 10-second countdown was initiated shortly after 9:00 pm concluded by Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, driving onstage in a red Model 3. Musk gave a presentation discussing things like the time and energy put into the design, the challenges of mass production, and the love and appreciation he and his company have for all of their wonderful customers, some of whom have already pre-purchased a Model 3. After his presentation, servers offered decadent desserts while members of the press were offered short test rides in the new model.

Since the beginning of Tesla Inc. 13 years ago, Elon Musk has envisioned affordable electric vehicles (EV). The company’s first shipped EV cost the consumer approximately $109,000, a price that exceeded Musk’s dream. Over the next nine years, Tesla took strides to evolve into the world’s first mass producer of electric vehicles.

The brand new Model 3 can be purchased at a base price of $35,000. While there are many features for individual customization, the price will change with each new addition. Although the term ‘basic’ seems a little drab, the Model 3 has plenty of features to get you excited. For starters, the EV’s range is approximately 220 miles. This means a typical driver can go multiple days before needing to recharge. The EV’s speed is also quite impressive. It can get up to 60 miles per hour in about 5.6 seconds reaching its top speed at 130 to 140 miles per hour. Another enthralling feature of this model is the digital display. At the handover event, Elon Musk noted that a goal of the company was to create a simplistic yet effective display for Model 3. Instead of multiple knobs and buttons, one 15 inch center touchscreen will control any changes need, as well as the car information.

For those with pockets a little deeper, Tesla offers different ways to customize individual models. For an extra $1,000, consumers can choose between a few colors outside of the default black for their car. Consumers can also elect to upgrade from rear wheel drive to dual motor all-wheel drive. The Ludicrous mode featured in older versions is offered as an option in Tesla’s new model. For around $8,000, the Model 3 offers premium options such as autopilot, self-driving, a premium audio system, and much more.

Tesla Model 3

Alternatives to the Tesla Model 3

Twenty years ago, electric cars were an idea, a hope, and a dream. Ten years ago, they were a reality though extremely pricey. A consumer would need to pay over $100,000 to own an EV. Today, prices have decreased, and society is on its way to more affordable, mass-produced electric vehicles. Earlier this year, Tesla Inc. unveiled the newest addition to their line, the Model 3, their first mass-produced EV. While the reasonable pricing and exemplary design have encouraged the populace to purchase an EV, the extensive waiting list has caused many to look at what other options might be available. The Model 3 is in a league of its own, but there are many companies hard at work to bring some competition to Tesla. For those looking for an environmentally friendly vehicle, here are the top 3 alternatives to the Tesla Model 3.

 

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

 

The top alternative to the Model 3 is the 2017 Chevy Bolt. Ranked #1 in the compact cars category by U.S. News’ Best Cars. It also ranked #1 in small cars, hybrid and electric cars, and hatchbacks. Based on an evaluation of 18 pieces of research and data elements, the Chevrolet Bolt received an overall score of 8.9 out of 10 points. The vehicle comes with an astonishing range of 238 miles in a single charge. It has space for five passengers and comes with plenty of room for cargo, and to top it all off, it comes with tech-savvy features, such as a 10.5-inch touchscreen system.

 

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

 

The 2017 Ioniq is available as an electric vehicle, a hybrid, and a plug-in hybrid. The strong driving performance, stellar fuel economy, an appealing base price, and upscale interior landed this Hyundai at the #11 ranking in compact cars. It was also ranked #6 in hybrid and electric cars,  #13 in small cars, and received an overall score of 8.4 out of 10. This alternative is highly efficient with a 124-mile range and includes a 7-inch intuitive touch screen system.

 

2017 Nissan Leaf

 

This alternative is the option for anyone looking for a daily vehicle. The U.S. News’ Best Cars ranked the Leaf as #21 in compact cars based on an evaluation of 65 pieces of research and data elements. It also received #15 in hybrid and electric cars, #30 in small cars, and #24 in hatchbacks with an overall score of 7.6 out of 10. While it isn’t as upscale as its competition, this Nissan offers a spacious interior, a cushioned ride, and a range of 107 miles.

Alternatives to the Tesla Model 3

Far-Fetched: Flying Taxi Service

The automobile industry is one of the most complex and fascinating industries in the world. One of the more interesting facets of the industry is the sheer amount of innovation and technological advancement that we are currently seeing. Manufacturers are working on self-driving cars, electric cars and everything else in between. And just recently, one of the most desired and dreamt-of fantasies of the automotive industry could become a reality: the flying car.

 

Practically since the dawn of the automobile and the airplane, human beings have always wanted to mix the two as seamlessly as possible. Television, movies and other media have, for decades, depicted a world where human beings can take flight in their personal vehicles. And while we are still not at that stage, we are on the verge of a major breakthrough.

 

According to a report from Business Insider, Volocopter, a German-based startup, has struck a deal with the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (DRTA) to test out self-flying taxis for five years.

 

The flying taxis can fly for up to 17 minutes and can comfortably seat two passengers. The company has worked with the DRTA in order to create a set of predetermined routes for the tests. The tests will take place before the end of the year, meaning that the citizens of Dubai will be looking up to a sky full of flying taxis.

 

Although the taxis have the ability to sly themselves, they will be manned by a pilot for the entirety of the testing period. And while it is intriguing to think that the world will see a flying taxi service within the year, it also lends itself to many more questions.

 

Will this technology be implemented into personal vehicles as well? Will they be pilotable or will they exclusively function autonomously? What will guidelines and regulations look like for the vehicles? These are all questions that will hopefully be answered by the time flying vehicles make their way into the hands of eager consumers. But until then, the world will watch Dubai as it takes a tremendous leap towards the world of tomorrow.

Far-Fetched: Flying Taxi Service

Apple’s Self-Driving Car

You know the name; you’ve seen their products; you’ve more than likely purchased a few of them at one point or another. They’re one of the most valuable and recognizable companies in the world. The empire that Apple has built is a wonder to behold. And that empire was built on technology and software, but now, the company may be getting into the automotive industry.

 

There have been rumors of Apple entering the automotive industry for quite some time, and for a moment, it had appeared as if nothing would come of it. But just a few months ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company is indeed working on a self-driving car; in a manner of speaking.

 

While there have been several documents and files that have led the public to believe that Apple was working on a full-fledged, self-driving vehicle, it turns out, according to Cook himself, that the company is really working on the software side of things. Based on Cook’s description of the project as being “one of the most difficult AI projects to work on,” it is assumed that the company was originally working on creating a complete vehicle, but as the project became much more difficult, they scaled it down and instead chose to focus on software.

 

In essence, this means that Apple will ditch their long-lasting tradition of manufacturing both hardware and software, and instead create only the software. And Apple has already released a similar feature. Apple CarPlay is a software that can be installed into the infotainment system of almost any vehicle. The software acts as something of a conduit for the driver’s existing iPhone. With CarPlay, drivers can play music from their phone, use the iPhone’s built in navigation, and even respond to texts and make use of Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri.

 

Since Apple is no stranger to automobile software, this project should be familiar territory. That is not to say that this project will not be difficult, as creating software to allow for autonomous driving is vastly more complex than creating software for multimedia use.

 

In short, Apple is more than likely going to steer away from developing a self-driving car; they will, however, focus on creating software for cars to drive themselves. And although the prospect of having Apple, who is renowned for their stable software, create self-driving software for vehicles, one can’t help but wonder just how amazing it would have been to get behind the wheel of the Apple Car.

Apple’s Self-Driving Car

Life Insurance Vs. Health Insurance

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Life insurance is complex. There are so many technical terms and so much information that it is incredibly easy to misunderstand, forget or even dislike the process. To make matters worse, life insurance is not the only type of insurance out there. There’s car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, travel insurance, general insurance and even pet insurance. However, the most common type of insurance that seems to get mixed up with life insurance is health insurance, two very different types of insurance. And, in everyone’s best interests, I figured that I would go through and give a brief overview of the differences between the two types.

 

Life Insurance

While both types of insurance are equally important, they are important during different times of your life. Firstly, let’s talk about life insurance. Life insurance is the type of insurance that you would need after you die. You may be asking yourself, “Why would I need insurance for when I die? It won’t matter to me, I’ll be long gone.” And while that may seem like a valid argument at first, you will quickly realize that life insurance is much more important than you’d think.

 

Imagine that you have a child that is dependent on you either due to their age or a disability, or you have a parent or a significant other who relies on you and your income. Now imagine if one day you were to unexpectedly pass away. Your dependents would be thrown for a loop because they would have suddenly lost their income. For some of you, this is a reality. And this is exactly why life insurance exists. By owning a policy, you are ensuring that, upon your passing, your family or dependents would receive monetary compensation so that they may have, at the very least, peace of mind in terms of money.

 

Health Insurance

Now that I’ve explained life insurance, health insurance should be easier to explain. Where life insurance is necessary for after your death, health insurance is necessary during your life. In essence, health insurance covers a policyholder in the event that he or she falls ill and requires minor or major surgery.

 

For example, let’s say you suddenly have a heart attack and require surgery. The average price for bypass surgery is $117,000. Most people do not have that amount of money lying around. Health insurance will kick in to cover the majority of that cost, leaving you to pay a much more feasible amount of the bill.

 

So, in short, life insurance covers your dependents upon your death, whereas health insurance covers the cost of your medical bills while you are alive. It is of the utmost importance that you have both types of policies. Make sure to get out there, ask an insurance agent about your options and get yourself covered!

Life Insurance Vs. Health Insurance

Two Eye-Catching New Car Concepts

We are living in a digital age. Smartphones can now complete almost all of the tasks that only refrigerator-sized computers could back in the 80s, smartwatches can track our heart rates and play music, and our appliances can connect to the Internet. The household of the Jetsons is almost a reality. But I’d like to talk about an important part of our daily lives that doesn’t live inside your house: the car. Automobiles and the technological revolution that they are currently going through seems to be the topic of conversation on everyone’s mind. There are a striking number of new-age concepts and technological innovations in the automobile industry that I would love to share with you. I figured I would start off with the two that I find most interesting.

Mercedes-Benz F 015

Robert Taurosa Car Concepts
One of the hottest topics of conversation in the world of cars is that of the self-driving car. The Mercedes-Benz F 015 capitalizes on this trend in a major way. By using advanced sensor technology and cameras, the F 015 can read any and all driving patterns on the road and drive itself. This allows the driver and passengers to relax and have some free time. The car’s interior features swiveling seats that face each other and a small desk in the center. The walls of the car feature LED screens that can be used to display information about business or your family trip to DisneyWorld.

The Oasis Car

Robert Taurosa Oasis
The Oasis Car from Rinspeed is as unique as it gets. The car’s design rivals that of a modern Smartcar; however, the Oasis is far more technologically inclined that the Smartcar. The Oasis boasts several far-out features that one can only dream of, including: headrests with built-in speakers, a full-motion steering wheel that can be fitted with a keyboard, a ceiling with multiple LED lights, a three-monitor computer placed on the dashboard that can be used for Internet browsing as well as traditional navigation and multimedia functions, and, quite possibly the most unique feature of all, a miniature garden. If this car ever makes it to production, I would love to test-drive it.

As I’ve said before, there are plenty of other boundary-pushing concepts for the automotive industry. I will definitely discuss them throughout this ongoing series. Be sure to come back next month for part two!

Two Eye-Catching New Car Concepts

Samsung To Buy Harman For $8 Billion

It’s tough to find somebody who hasn’t heard of Samsung before. Currently, the South Korean tech giant, whose revenue was projected to have been over $300 billion in 2014, owns and operates a variety of different companies and builds a bevy of devices. Samsung is known for manufacturing televisions, home appliances, mobile devices and even military weapons. Now, Samsung is looking to enter probably the only industry it hasn’t tapped into yet: automobiles.

Recently, Samsung officially announced that it intends to purchase Harman International Industries for $8 billion. The deal is expected to close sometime next summer. While Harman is primarily known for its top-tier audio equipment, most of its revenue actually comes from its infotainment, automotive and driver-oriented technologies. By purchasing the company, Samsung seeks to get its foot in a market that is quickly growing. Samsung believes that the automotive technology market will grow over $100 billion by 2025.

The mobile device market has primarily been Samsung’s go-to for quite some time now, but given the recent embarrassment of its Galaxy Note 7 debacle, Samsung is more than likely attempting to gain traction in a new market.

In a New York Times article, Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer at Samsung Electronics, stated, “the vehicle of tomorrow will be transformed by smart technology and connectivity in the same way that feature phones have become sophisticated smart devices over the past decade.”

The acquisition stands to be extremely profitable for Samsung. Harman already has deep rooted connections in the automotive industry, including deals with Tesla and General Motors. And with more and more cars requiring processors and screens, Samsung can take advantage of its brand new contacts to learn more about selling its products to car manufacturers.

Samsung isn’t the only company trying to get into the automotive industry. Both Apple and Google have shown heavy interest in not only implementing their technology into cars (which they are already doing), but developing their own smart cars as well.

With three of the top technology companies in the world looking to blur the lines between our smart devices and our cars, it’s safe to say that the future of the automotive industry is going to be very bright.

Samsung To Buy Harman For $8 Billion

Meet Turo: Airbnb for Cars

UBER and Lyft may be the heavyweights, but there are many and more companies entering the ride-sharing economy. You can score a seat in a car heading your direction pretty easily these days. But what about the entire vehicle? UBER and the like have absolutely disrupted (read: exploded) the taxi industry, but now a relatively new company is looking to disrupt the car rental industry. Enter: Turo.

Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental service headquartered in San Francisco, though the company was founded in Boston. Turo is most easily described as ‘Airbnb for cars’. They’ve developed a platform for car owners to list their unused vehicles to be rented for extended periods of time. Though the company (originally known as RelayRides) formerly focused on short-term, hourly rentals, they have since pivoted to longer term rentals.

So Turo has found a way, like many of the best startups of the last 10 years, for users to both make AND save money. If you’ve got a car sitting around that you or your family isn’t using, you can list it on Turo and it can start generating some income. If you are looking to rent a car for a few days, Turo is going to be far, far cheaper than renting from a brick-and-mortar car rental company. This dualist value proposition has led to Turo being listed as one of the hottest on demand startups by Forbes in 2015.

Another advantage that Turo has over traditional car rental services is the types of vehicles that you can rent. Turo’s ‘inventory’ is determined by what people are listing, so you will find cars that you’d never be able to get at a Rent-A-Car. Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar: all of these luxury brands can be found and rented via Turo. If you are looking for a high-end sports car, Turo’s got you covered. If you need something with four-wheel-drive for some backcountry adventures, Turo can provide. If you need something sleek to impress a date, look no further.


On the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty (if not more) economy options. You can find gas-sipping hybrids, compacts, and regular sedans. Cars on this end can often be rented for less than $20 a day! With the addition of the affordable insurance Turo provides and the gas you’ll use, you’re still saving tremendously compared to traditional car rental places.

Another interesting thing about Turo is that, just like Airbnb, you are interfacing directly with another person. That’s certainly one of the major selling points in marketing campaigns of these companies (see the attached video), but does that really factor into the experience? Is a guest at an Airbnb more inclined to be respectful of the space because they’ve met the owner of it? Similarly, is a Turo renter going to be a more cautious and responsible driver having met the person who owns the vehicle? And if so, is it the fear of facing that owner after the fact that encourages courteous usage? I’m not aware of any market research on the matter, but common logic would suggest that attaching a face to the transaction can bring out the best of us.

In any case, next time you’re planning a road trip, check out Turo!

Meet Turo: Airbnb for Cars

Rolls-Royce Ends Production of Phantom VII

Throughout the course of the tremendous history of the automobile industry, which spans some 125 years, we have seen many iterations and models come and go. The famous Ford Model T, the AMC Gremlin and the Toyota Venza are all famous examples of cars that once had a popular following, but have been cut from the assembly line. And sadly, another classic model enters the growing list: the Rolls-Royce Phantom VII.

According to a report from CNET, the English car manufacturer is set to conclude the long-running model’s 7th generation iteration. And, in typical Rolls-Royce fashion, the final model to roll out of the factory is quite a lavish one. Per the customer’s request, the car is designed to resemble an ocean liner from the 1930s. It features a powder blue interior leather and naval-themed clocks. It even mentions H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, for some reason. Under the hood, the car includes a 6.8 liter V12, good for 454 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque.

The Phantom is not only a classic vehicle that exudes style and technology, but also an extremely part of Rolls-Royce’s history. As the company’s second most popular model, the Phantom actually helped revitalize the company. It helped create a popular image for the brand name, and after its 2003 update, was able to compete with other brands in terms of engineering. Before then, the Phantom series of cars were, for the most part, an aesthetic masterpiece, with little else to brag about. However, after BMW purchased the company and invested a large amount of money into its reengineering, the Phantom was finally able to live up to its potential. It became quieter, more powerful and more technologically advanced than its counterparts.

Now, while this may sound worrying, it isn’t, in actuality. The actual Phantom namebrand is not being discontinued, just this generation’s version. The Phantom VIII will probably roll out sometime either this year or next. I’m very excited to see what the company can come up with, and if the car can live up to its predecessors.

Rolls-Royce Ends Production of Phantom VII

Top 3 Cars From The Geneva International Motor Show

Although it feels as if CES 2017 was just last week, the Geneva International Motor Show has already come and gone; that means more concepts, designs and innovation. And with the variety of automobiles that were showcased during the event, I wanted to pick a few cars from the show that I found to be fascinating.

Vanda Electrics – The Dendrobium

Named after a flower commonly found in Singapore, the Dendrobium is making its first public appearance at Geneva. Created by Singapore-based Vanda Electrics, a small battery technology and electric mobility company, the car is a delightfully refreshing take on the super car. The Dendrobium’s design is heavily influenced by nature, with its recurrent honeycomb patterns and key fob-controlled doors and roof simulating blooming orchid petals. The interior of the car is meant to emulate the human body, with the seat stitching and aesthetic resembling muscle fiber. According to Vanda’s website, the team had wanted to create an electric supercar since the 90s, but the technology was not viable until now. Boasting a projected performance of 0-62mph in 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 200mph, and a beautiful design, this car needs to be seen to be believed. It definitely has the appearance of a car 20 years in the making.

Tata Motors – Tamo Racemo

The latest sports car from Indian car manufacturer, Tata Motors, is catching attention not only for its design or power, but for its price. While exact prices are not discussed, according to an article from Motoring, the new car could be one of the most affordable sports cars on the market. Tata Motors, which owns Jaguar and Land Rover, has invested a large amount of technology into the Racemo, giving it the ability to utilize cloud-computing, analytics and mapping systems to its advantage. The Racemo is also being designed on a modular chassis, which will allow Tata to produce the car faster and more efficiently. With its 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine, advanced technology and affordable price, the Tamo Racemo could prove to be India’s flagship sports car.

Hyundai – FE Concept

The earth’s resources are limited; there are only so many fossil fuels we can use. We have known, as a society, for quite some time that we will eventually run out of our precious gasoline, and car manufacturers are rushing to come up with an alternative. That’s where Hyundai’s FE (Future Eco) Concept comes into play. The FE Concept ditches gasoline as its fuel source for a far more abundant element: hydrogen. Featuring a hydrogen fuel cell with 30 percent more energy density than the Tucson’s, Hyundai claims that the car can squeeze approximately 500 miles out of a full tank of hydrogen, and hopes to launch production by early 2018. Inspired by flowing water, the FE’s design is also quite visually stunning. While Hyundai has been trying to push this technology for quite some time, they have yet to really breach the market. Hopefully the FE Concept can do just that.

Top 3 Cars From The Geneva International Motor Show