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Update your Tesla or fingers could be caught in the windows • The Register

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Tesla owners ought to check for firmware updates, or risk their windows proving to be less than (h)armless.

According to what is technically a recall issued by Tesla and published [PDF] by America’s National Highway and and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) earlier this week, windows on affected vehicles may fail to detect obstructions and put customers at risk of a “pinching injury.”

Fingers, elbows, or worse may get caught in the window when closing, in other words. The technology to stop limbs and other stuff getting stuck is decades old, and Tesla’s having a million-car problem with it.

The notice estimates the issue affects roughly 1,100,000 US customers who have bought Muskmobiles in the past five years. That includes Model S and X vehicles manufactured between 2021 and 2022, Model 3s manufactured between 2017 and 2022, and Model Ys manufactured between 2020 and 2022.

The fault was identified by Tesla technicians late last month, and after weeks of testing the automaker has produced an over-the-air firmware update to fix it. The good news is most Tesla customers will thus be spared a trip to the dealership to install it.

Specifically, the software fix, we’re told, will recalibrate the vehicle’s automatic window reversal system to avoid potential injuries. Meanwhile, vehicles delivered to customers after September 13 have already been patched to mitigate the issue.

And at least as of September 16, Tesla isn’t aware of anyone getting hurt. But, if you happen you own an affected Tesla we recommend keeping your digits free of the windows until you’ve confirmed your vehicle is up-to-date.

While Tesla is combating finger-pinching glitches, Toyota this week is once again facing a hardware problem.

According to Reuters, Toyota may be forced to shutter its 10 production lines at seven Japanese factories for a period of up to 12 days as a result of an ongoing chip shortage.

While supplies of some chips may be improving, shortages of other components continue to dog the auto industry. Reuters reports that Toyota now expects to produce roughly 800,000 vehicles globally in October, around 100,000 fewer than expected.

In July the automaker blamed a combination of semiconductor shortages and COVID-19 for ongoing production challenges, which have stretched for months now.

In a tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk downplayed the fault, and hit out at the fact it has to be classed as a recall even though it can be fixed remotely. One might imagine hundreds of thousands of flash motors having to be taken off the road and repaired, when that’s not really the case.

“The terminology is outdated and inaccurate,” the tech tycoon fumed. “This is a tiny over-the-air software update. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no injuries.”

And that’s not the only fire Tesla is trying to put out this week. On Tuesday, a Tesla Megapack battery at a California substation literally caught fire, driving officials to close several roads and instate a shelter-in-place order in the Moss Landing area of Monterey Bay.

The inferno at the 182.5 MW facility, operated by Pacific Gas and Electric, reportedly took roughly 20 hours to contain, partially because the standard practice for containing lithium-ion battery fires is to allow them to burn out.

The Register has reached out to Tesla for further comment regarding the recall and over-the-air update. Given the biz binned its media relations team in 2020, we might as well sent our request to /dev/null. ®



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Tesla has a bit of work to do on Optimus robot • The Register

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Tesla headlined its AI Day 2022 event on Friday with the reveal of its “Optimus” robot prototype, showing just how much work was left to do on the project.

While the demo was certainly more robotic than last year’s dancer in a onesie, the lumbering mess of cables was far from the sleek and sexy design faithful Muskites might expect from the EV maker.

CEO and founder Elon Musk said before the curtains opened: “I do want to set some expectations with respect to our Optimus robot. As you know, last year it was just a person in a robot suit, but we’ve come a long way and, you know, compared to that, it’s going to be impressive.”

But in a world accustomed to the back-flipping bots of Boston Dynamics, Optimus was less than impressive. A mechanical engineer stepped in to inform the audience that this was the first time the robot was run “without any backup support – cranes, mechanical mechanisms, no cables, nothing.”

Tesla Optimus protoype

Tesla’s ‘rough development robot’

The prototype managed to rotate its arms, then tottered to the forefront to give the audience a wave, before walking back as a screen failed to close. “This is essentially the same self-driving computer that runs in Tesla cars by the way,” an Autopilot engineer proclaimed.

The event then showed videos of the robot picking up and putting down objects, and watering plants. “What you saw … was our rough development robot using semi-off-the-shelf actuators. But … we actually have an Optimus bot with fully Tesla-designed and built actuators, battery pack, control system, everything.”

This version, which was then pushed onto the stage, was a little more “Tesla” – slimmer, neater, shinier. Only one problem: it can’t walk. “I think it will walk in a few weeks,” Musk said, “but we wanted to show you something that’s fairly close to what will go into production.”

Clumsily wheeled out by staff, it also managed a couple more waves and did the splits from the rod on which it was mounted.

“Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,” Musk said. “We’ve also designed it using the same discipline we use in designing the car, which is to say to design a form of manufacturing such that it is possible to make the robot in high volume at low cost with higher liability.

“You’ve all seen very impressive humanoid robots demonstrations, and that’s great, but what are they missing? They’re missing a brain. They don’t have the intelligence to navigate the world by themselves. They’re also very expensive and made in low volume. Optimus is designed to be an extremely capable robot but made in very high volume – ultimately millions of units – and it’s expected to cost much less than a car, so probably less than $20,000.”

That’s one expensive Roomba.

Accepting that there was “a lot of work to be done to refine Optimus and improve it,” Musk said the aim of the event was convince more AI and mechanical engineers to join the company to bring the project “to fruition at scale” and “help millions of people.”

He then waxed lyrical about an economy where there was “not a limitation on capita,” which could then become “quasi-infinite,” implying that he hopes Tesla’s robots might one day replace humans on production lines.

“This means a future of abundance,” he said. “A future where there is no poverty, where you can have whatever you want in terms of products and services. It really is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it.”

As if to reference his belief that AI is humanity’s “biggest existential threat,” he added: “Obviously, we want to make sure that transformation is a positive one and safe,” claiming that Tesla’s public ownership model was the right way to achieve this.

While not quite the disasterpiece of the Cybertruck reveal, going by what was shown at the AI Day, such a utopia is still far away. ®

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Dublin proptech constructing an operating system for buildings

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The SpaceOS platform sets out to create smart workplaces as the world wises up to the future of hybrid, flexible and sustainable work.

“We believe that buildings have been failing to answer people’s needs for decades,” said Marley Fabisiewicz. “We’re making them more convenient and human-centric with technology, while feeding the property managers and real estate developers with data.”

That, in a nutshell, is what proptech start-up SpaceOS is all about. “The real estate industry is a dinosaur,” said co-CEO Fabisiewicz, whose vision is to realise its digital transformation through developing tech-enabled workspaces. “Our mission is to help companies attract, retain, inspire and empower their people by creating dynamic and digitised workplace communities.”

Headquartered in Dublin, SpaceOS offers a workplace experience platform that Fabisiewicz said “turns smartphones into remote controls for the workplace”. The name derives from the concept of creating “an operating system for buildings”.

What this involves, Fabisiewicz explained, is digitising physical assets and providing APIs to integrate existing business technologies, such as access control. “[SpaceOS] covers everything from opening doors and booking desks and rooms, to ordering food, registering guests and sending out invoices, all blended seamlessly into daily workflows,” he said.

“Because of its modular structure, SpaceOS is ready to integrate with a variety of platforms to meet the specific requirements of any workspace infrastructure. It connects all stakeholders, reduces inputs and costs, provides insights, and offers smart management tools. It provides building managers and users with transparency, cost efficiency and real-time information, while focusing on the user experience.”

‘Dynamic workspaces are shaping the future of work’
– MARLEY FABISIEWICZ

Fabisiewicz sees the platform as essential to the transformed modern workplace. “We are targeting building owners, tenants, and managers. With a high demand for spaces to fit varying needs in a modern work environment, dynamic workspaces are shaping the future of work,” he said.

“However, current building management tools were typically designed before hybrid working became mainstream. As a result, they are inflexible and lack the adaptability and technology necessary to make today’s workspaces more efficient, while reducing operating costs.”

Demand for SpaceOS could also be employee-driven, Fabisiewicz explained, as modern workers demand systems that enable flexibility, engagement and sustainable practices. Clients can use the platform to deliver push notifications for news, events or community updates, and the service also offers detail data on carbon emissions, to support net-zero initiatives.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals have been a focal point of the start-up in the past year, leading to a partnership with Germany company Aedifion, which provides a cloud-based platform to collate data on buildings’ energy consumption.

“This collaboration allows property owners and managers to offer tenants a real-time visualisation of metrics regarding their energy usage and carbon emissions. This is the basis for transparency, and a step to make everyone in the workplace become a sustainability activist, supporting the decarbonisation of buildings,” said Fabisiewicz.

“We are currently working on managing heating, ventilation and energy based on occupancy and capacity data, to decarbonise buildings even more effectively. Future integrations will also allow tenants to remote-control HVAC, blinds, lights and more, through the SpaceOS app.”

‘The landscape has changed significantly since the markets tanked’
– MARLEY FABISIEWICZ

Serial entrepreneur Fabisiewicz also founded Upnext Technologies, a software and digital product development agency focused on the fintech industry.

SpaceOS was founded in 2017 by Fabisiewicz and his co-CEO Maciej Markowski, who has a background in real estate consultancy and proptech. “He has international experience in corporate workplace and change issues, advising major corporations on their workplace research, strategy and change management,” said Fabisiewicz.

So far, the founding duo have increased revenue three times over in the past 12 months and built up a strong client portfolio. “However, we are still in the early innings of the proptech game,” said Fabisiewicz. “Market saturation for tenant experience technology is at around 5pc globally, so there’s still a massive upside potential and room to grow.”

Of course, the present-day market disruptions present a challenging environment for growth and investment. “The landscape has changed significantly since the markets tanked,” said Fabisiewicz. “12 months ago, it was all about hypergrowth. Today, it’s all about how quickly you can become profitable.”

In Dublin, however, Fabisiewicz describes the start-up ecosystem as “a continuous boom” with “more money to be deployed by investors, more founders with great ideas, and a maturing ecosystem for start-ups in general”.

In his company’s case, SpaceOS is looking for “smart money” that offers more than a cash injection. Fabisiewicz is seeking investors who “not only write a cheque, but also support in building the business”.

“I believe especially in proptech this is essential for a successful start-up,” he said.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk showcases humanoid robot – video | Technology

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Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, showcased his humanoid robot, Optimus, at the electric vehicle maker’s AI Day event. The billionaire has said a robot business will be worth more than its carmaking business. At the event a prototype of the robot walked on stage and waved to the audience. And a video of it carrying a box, watering plants and moving metal bars in the Tesla factory was shown.’Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,’ Musk said at the event in Palo Alto, California.

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