Tesloop pilots the first zero-emission electric freight shipping initiative

LA-based mobility startup leverages Model X towing capabilities in internal supply chain efforts

Culver City-based mobility startup, Tesloop, has this month partnered with Noah’s Spring Water to leverage the towing capabilities of a Tesla Model X to transport 250 cases or 3,500 lbs of water from the 7-UP Bottling Station in Modesto to Tesloop’s headquarters in Culver City, in an effort to reduce emissions and increase sustainability within its supply chain.

Tesloop, with the help of DV Trailers, transported the water from Noah's Bottling Plant in Modesto to Tesloop HQ in Culver

Tesloop, with the help of DV Trailers, transported the water from Noah's Bottling Plant in Modesto to Tesloop HQ in Culver

The Tesla Model X, capable of towing up to 5,000lbs, can be used not only as the ideal long distance passenger mobility vehicle, but can also be used to move freight.  Tesloop's procurement of 250 cases (3,500 lbs) of Noah's Spring Water in environmentally sustainable packaging, represents the first zero-emission electric shipping demonstration, in order to support mission to create a sustainable ecosystem that supports passenger travel.

Tesloop CEO, Rahul Sonnad, said: “This is the first step in creating an emissions-free supply chain. It’s exciting to be demonstrating that we can make inroads towards lowering our carbon footprint in our supply chain also, both by sourcing environmentally friendly products, and by thinking through the transportation logistics related to these in-car amenities. While freight travel is not at the core of our business, working to advance the sustainability of our entire mobility ecosystem is core to our values.

“At Tesloop, we partner with companies and people who share our values and the quest for better products and better packaging of these products. Noah’s Water is a perfect example of breaking the norm to deliver a more sustainable product.”

Noah’s Spring Water will now be offered as a free amenity in Tesloop cars along with other healthy drinks and snacks. Tony Varni, President and CEO of Noah’s Spring Water notes that their cans are “refillable, resealable and 100% recyclable. We encourage people to drink Noah’s Spring Water from the CapCan, refill it several times while on the go, at the office, at school, then recycle it before buying another one.”

This month, Tesloop expanded its routes in Southern California, providing round trips from LA to all major destinations including: Palm Springs; Orange County; and San Diego, with up to ten round trips per day on a given route. The company also notes that Santa Barbara will be its next service route, along with some initial pilots in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tesloop vehicles are loaded with a wide range complimentary amenities to ensure a healthy, productive and relaxing experience: fast wifi with dual hotspots, device charging, nutritious snacks and beverages, a variety of neck pillows, and noise cancelling headphones for those seeking privacy, as well as car features, such as heated seats, filtered air, and the highest safety ratings in the world.

Over the last two years, Tesloop has achieved the highest satisfaction rating of any travel service in the world, with a 5 star rating on Yelp and Facebook.

Tesloop, Goodyear Map out the Digital Future of Tires on Teslas Today

NEWS PROVIDED BY The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Jan 05, 2017

AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ: GT) has signed a technology agreement with California-based Tesloop Inc. to study and model tire performance based on data generated by the city-to-city mobility service.

Tesloop operates an expanding fleet of semi-autonomous Tesla vehicles, providing a shared passenger transportation service for distances between 50 and 300 miles. 

Tesloop's first vehicle in service, a 2015 Tesla Model S, is passing the 250,000 mile mark, running exclusively on Goodyear tires.

Tesloop's first vehicle in service, a 2015 Tesla Model S, is passing the 250,000 mile mark, running exclusively on Goodyear tires.

Tesloop's first vehicle in service, a 2015 Tesla Model S, is passing the 250,000 mile mark, running exclusively on Goodyear tires.

Since its launch in July 2015, Tesloop has been collecting data at a rate now approaching 20,000 miles per month on each vehicle. The company's first vehicle in service, a 2015 Tesla Model S, is passing the 250,000 mile mark, running exclusively on Goodyear tires.

"Leveraging our deep knowledge and experience in tire design, testing and fleet operations, our goal is to ensure that we can offer the most innovative range of tire-related technologies and services for the next generation of connected passenger mobility fleets," said Jim Euchner, vice president of global innovation at Goodyear. "Tesloop's leadership in the utilization of semi-autonomous, connected, electric cars gives us insights today into the next generation of 'mobility' where driving vehicles 250,000 miles a year may be a common occurrence."

"Over the next few years, we believe that all leading passenger mobility services will migrate to autonomous, electric, supercharged vehicle platforms," said Rahul Sonnad, Tesloop CEO. "This will drastically lower the cost of car transportation, increase miles driven and enable cars to run nearly 24 hours every day."

Upcoming technology activities will focus on creating and validating predictive models for tire wear using cloud-based machine learning and predictive analytics systems. A further goal is to create data-driven triggers to optimize tire maintenance procedures. 

"At Goodyear, we know that the ability to gather real-time information about the road, driving conditions, and driving patterns will play an increasing role in optimizing tire performance for autonomous vehicles," said Euchner. "With increasing amounts of data being compiled from an array of vehicle sensors as well as internet data sources, there is an unprecedented opportunity to create a new real-time digital framework that may enhance both safety and range, while lowering operational costs."

"With the advent of the autonomous, connected, electric car, the automobile is undergoing its most transformative upgrade of the last 100 years," said Sonnad. "More than just cars, our vehicles are effectively nodes on a deeply-digital electric transportation network. And in this world, tires are by far the most important ongoing maintenance cost factor."

About Goodyear
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. Goodyear employs approximately 66,000 people and manufactures its products in 49 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.

About Tesloop
Tesloop, a California based startup, is building the first software driven mobility service on autonomous, connected, electric supercharged vehicles (ACES). It manages and operates an expanding fleet of electric Tesla vehicles offering shared personal transportation between 50 and 300 miles. The ACES vehicle platform enables disruptive economic and real-time digital control of vehicles, while delivering an unprecedented level of consumer value vs. all other regional transportation alternatives. The company has a strong focus on building the software technology required for routing, pricing, remote administration, and security, as well predictive models based on deep learning from the vehicle data. In its first 18 months, Tesloop has become the highest rated transportation service in the world, and is rapidly expanding. Tesloop is lead by seasoned internet entrepreneurs and is funded by Clearstone Ventures, along with angel investors from Facebook, Tesla Motors, and Allen & Co.  

SOURCE The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tesloop-goodyear-map-out-the-digital-future-of-tires-on-teslas-today-300386503.html

Related Links

http://www.goodyear.com

5 Common Myths about Car Autonomy - and why its impacts are coming sooner than expected

Over the last year autonomous cars have started to enter the popular zeitgeist just as they have started to roll down our roads.  It now seems inevitable that in the not-so-distant future, our roads will be dominated by self-driving vehicles just as capable as they have been in our favorite scifi movies like “Minority Report”.  And because of this, it’s natural that every car manufacturer, car service operator, and many car-related technology developers have strong opinions on when autonomous cars will really matter, how it will affect their business, and how these autonomous cars will transform the roadscape in general.

However, when you read what people predict, there is a wide variety of contradictory opinions, which often stem from confusion about the relationship between autonomous technology, driver-free vehicle designs, and driving regulations.

So here are some misconceptions that people seem to have about how autonomous driving will play out.

Myth 1: Autonomy is an all or nothing proposition.  

Often when people talk about self-driving cars, they envision a clear black or white distinction between cars that drive themselves, and those that don’t. In reality autonomy is an aggregate of features and behaviors that will continue to advance and have a major economic impact far before regulation catches up.  

From a technical standpoint, there is no clear delineation between semi-autonomous and autonomous. Cars will be “autonomous” in certain scenarios (meaning they won’t need any help from a driver), and semi-autonomous (where the need a driver backup) in others. Google cars are already “autonomous” at certain speeds in certain areas. Consumer focused autonomous features started with simple driver assistance such as radar assisted braking in 2006. These have been highly refined in current Tesla vehicles, to the point where well over 90% of highway miles can now be driven by the car needing no driver interaction with either the pedals or steering. This percentage of autonomous scenarios will continue to increase on the highway and rapidly start to unfold on city streets in 2017.  

The immediate result of this technology is a huge reduction in driver fatigue, road rage, and a general increase in safety in cases where the driver maintains attention on the road. By 2018 the leading semi-autonomous cars (i.e. Teslas) will be able to technically drive themselves in almost all situations. Despite the regulatory requirement to have a licensed driver behind the wheel, this technology will change the nature of driving, as drivers essentially become passengers - though the laws will not afford them the same freedoms as true passengers. Then, over the next few years - once technical autonomy has been achieved by the leading companies - states and countries will start to change regulations around licensed drivers in vehicles - freeing them up to start texting, sleeping, and eventually to not even need to be the backup “driver”. 

Generally while a true “self-driving” (no driver needed) car is a huge inflection point for some scenarios, the benefits of autonomous technology will arrive at different times in different places and different scenarios and will quickly start to change the nature of driving this year.

Myth 2: Regulatory hurdles will impede the technology development and adoption. 

Because regulatory approval is not required for advanced “driver assistance” features, it is possible to deploy autonomous technology in cars as long as it is done in a manner that allows the driver to take over control of the car at anytime in a similar manner to current cruise control systems.  Long before the regulations catch up with the technology, cars will be effectively driving themselves in an increasing range of scenarios. 

Myth 3: The most important benefit of autonomy is that the car doesn’t require a driver. 

Eliminating the need for a driver in cars may have an astounding impact on lifestyle and economics - making them dramatically easier to share, and park, etc…  But even if you need a driver autonomy has a huge benefit of making driving close to effortless and stress free.

However, a what should probably viewed as a much more important benefit of autonomy will be a reduction in traffic fatalities and injuries, and this benefit will start to manifest with semi-autonomous vehicles.  Over 1.25m people die annually worldwide in traffic fatalities and 20m - 50m people are injured, a leading cause of long term disability.  

Myth 4: High end sports cars like Porsche, will choose to forgo autonomy.

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume recently stated that his company has no plans to go driverless: “One wants to drive a Porsche by oneself”, he told a German newspaper.  However, he’s probably not thinking about this the right way. Porsche will have technical autonomy just as many of their vehicles have automatic transmissions. There may be some system akin to Tiptronic shifting, that lets you feel that you are driving 100%.  However, in 2020 when the car in front of your new Mission E slams on its brakes, the Porsche will stop whether or not the driver hits the brakes. If you’re about to side-swipe a car while lane-changing, the Porsche is not going to let you do that without a struggle. And yes, when you're stuck in traffic on the I-405, you’ll click a button and the Porsche will start driving itself - because that’s just additional software (which you’ll download) that uses the same set of sensors that provide safety features.  And if you special-ordered the version without these sensors, you’ll pay for it in insurance premiums and incredulous looks from your passengers.  Autonomous technology will prevent an increasing percentage of accidents and only the rare consumer will opt-out of these features.

Myth 5: It will be many years before autonomy has a meaningful impact in the market.  

Many forward thinkers feel the real impact of autonomous cars will be a long way out: 2025 or 2030. However, the greater likelihood is that the entire mindset around vehicle autonomy will shift as fast as it did around smartphones, starting next year. In 2018 when you can buy a Tesla Model 3 - for less than $40k - that has the technical capability to drive itself better than you in most situations, this will change how you think about transportation. Autonomy will become the most important feature on consumer vehicles. Even before regulation allows an empty driver’s seat, technical autonomy will start to dramatically impact the transportation landscape: commute considerations, road anxiety, driver staffing costs, insurance costs, senior citizen driving capabilities, and even real-estate values in many locations.

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Rahul Sonnad is co-founder and CEO of Tesloop. Over the last several months, Rahul has personally driven about 15,000 miles on Tesla’s Autopilot.  Tesloop’s cars are currently being driven on average 18k miles per month, and Tesloop’s first car has been driven over 115k miles on Autopilot since late last year.

Tesloop Overview

Tesloop’s manages and operates an expanding fleet of electric Tesla vehicles offering city-to-city shared-car transportation. Tesloop’s service, launched in July 2015, offers transportation on routes from LA and Orange County to Las Vegas. The Tesloop model disrupts city-to-city travel by leveraging the low cost of electricity and a business model that immediately utilizes the latest in autonomous driving technology. Collectively, this platform enables a 5x to 10x cost efficiency vs. all other alternatives, as well as significant time efficiencies. The service has received rave reviews from its growing customer base, and is rapidly expanding with routes to Palm Springs and San Diego planned for this spring. 

Mission

Tesloop’s mission is to enable its community of travelers to create an amazing & sustainable travel experience, and make access to this convenient and affordable. Tesloop's goal is to employ autonomous/electric vehicle technology towards its highest utilization thus creating the maximum societal benefits.

The Tesla Warranty is Ludicrous

We’ve had our favorite vehicle, which we’ve affectionately named eHawk (Ebon Hawk), for about 9 weeks now. It has been faithfully running the LA and Orange County to Vegas tesloops (our supercharger-laden routes), and over the last couple months we’ve put over 35 thousand miles on the car.

Several days ago an alert about reduced power started to sporadically come on the dashboard. Like the check engine light that appears on any car, it suggested we call tech support to find out what the issue was. Tech support at Tesla is in a class by itself, and before you even bring the car in they can look over at a set of logs that your car generates and diagnose the issue. The Tesla service center decided they would need to take it in. They came out to the house, took eHawk away and left us with an even faster Model S in its place.

Today I got the news that the service center was going to replace the front motor in eHawk. My first thought was “Wow, only 35k and the motor blew out. That’s not good.” My next thought was “I’m glad this was under warranty, and it would be horrible it if had happened after the 50k standard warranty.” Then I realize “well, the motor didn’t actually blow out, it just reported a power issue alert, which had no noticeable effects on speed or power. However, after looking at the logs, Tesla decided to replace the motor anyway.”

So I ask the service manager, “How much would this cost to replace if it wasn’t under warranty?”

He answers, “Probably something like 10 or 12 thousand.”

“I’m lucky this didn’t happen 15 thousand miles later, after the warranty ran out,” I tell him.

“Oh, no, this is covered by the infinite mile, 8 year warranty,” he notes.

“I thought that only covered the battery and the drivetrain,” I reply.

“The motor is part of the drivetrain,” he clarifies, without making me feel stupid at all.

That was when I realized what Tesla was really offering. While the original warranty for this car was 50k for 4 years. Their warranty was upgraded about a year ago (retroactively to all 85kw cars) to an Infinite Mile Warranty for 8 years on the battery and drive unit.

So essentially what Tesla is guaranteeing is that, no matter how much you drive, your car’s core propulsion system will keep going for 8 years. And there aren’t even any restrictions on commercial use.

Now for us, our goal is to drive cars 400k miles a year. This is not too far from the theoretical maximum miles you can drive a tesla, which is roughly 500k miles a year (assuming the car is always driving at 70mph or charging).

So what this means for us at Tesloop, is that Tesla is going to guarantee our car will keep running for 3 million miles. This is unprecedented on so many levels. Has any other serious manufacturer ever offered a warranty for anything at this magnitude of longevity? If there were a road to the moon, you could drive there and back 8 times and still be covered under warranty. Now of course, unless you are in a business where your goal is 100% utilization of the vehicle, you're never going to get anywhere near this milage, but it's good to know that you're always covered in the first 8 years.

This also effectively means that Tesla will retake possession of every defective motor, giving them a chance to diagnose the problems with a nearly perfect sample size and make fixes to the design. Will other electric vehicle companies match this operation?

While it remains to be seen if our current eHawk’s motors will last another 3 million miles, I think that the ones they sell in 3 to 5 years, will likely be able to consistently go that distance.

The economic implications of a car whose drivetrain will last this long are staggering. It essentially means that the cost per mile to propel this car will trend down to the low pennies range, a drop of something close to an order of magnitude versus other cars on the market today.

It seems that when Elon talks about their plan to make cars that are 10 times better than anything else on the road, he’s also ready to walk the walk.

 

P.S. after getting back the invoice, I see that Tesla Service also: Discovered a minor air leak in a door at high speeds. Fixed the handle and mounting of the door handle causing this. Replaced the front facing camera. Serviced the radar. Performed a front end alignment. Washed the car. Delivered the car back to us and took back their loaner. All at no cost.

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Rahul Sonnad is co-founder and CEO of Tesloop. Over the last several months, Rahul has personally driven about 15,000 miles on Tesla’s Autopilot.  Tesloop’s cars are currently being driven on average 18k miles per month, and Tesloop’s first car has been driven over 115k miles on Autopilot since late last year.

Tesloop Overview

Tesloop’s manages and operates an expanding fleet of electric Tesla vehicles offering city-to-city shared-car transportation. Tesloop’s service, launched in July 2015, offers transportation on routes from LA and Orange County to Las Vegas. The Tesloop model disrupts city-to-city travel by leveraging the low cost of electricity and a business model that immediately utilizes the latest in autonomous driving technology. Collectively, this platform enables a 5x to 10x cost efficiency vs. all other alternatives, as well as significant time efficiencies. The service has received rave reviews from its growing customer base, and is rapidly expanding with routes to Palm Springs and San Diego planned for this spring. 

Mission

Tesloop’s mission is to enable its community of travelers to create an amazing & sustainable travel experience, and make access to this convenient and affordable. Tesloop's goal is to employ autonomous/electric vehicle technology towards its highest utilization thus creating the maximum societal benefits.