Tesla's Exclusive docomo Data Deal

Tesla's Exclusive docomo Data Deal

In addition to Nayalan's news below, many of you probably saw today's huge announcement, and if not, have a read of Elon Musk's Tesla blog post from a few hours ago. The patents, as the kids say, are out of the barn.   -Ed.

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The Tesla Model S is a vehicle that has truly revolutionized the automotive industry. One of the most outstanding points about the car is it’s connectivity: from navigation to entertainment and even repairs, the Model S has more in common with smartphones than it does with most other vehicles on the road.

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Car News & Coverage at AkihabaraNews

With the first deliveries in Japan about to roll out, Tesla has teamed up with NTT docomo, Japan’s largest telecom, to ensure that all the Teslas on Japanese roads will be connected to the hive at all times, thus allowing for firmware updates and built-in functions to…well, function.

Tesla’s decision to go with Docomo is likely because of their network penetration. While the other carriers have caught up to and in some cases passed docomo in throughput (particularly in urban areas), in many rural parts of Japan Docomo is the only carrier that works.

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NTT docomo News

The deal seems limited to Borg Collective-to-drone communications, and so far there is no mention of whether it will also be used for the navigation features and internet connectivity. Meaning that Tesla owners who take their magical space cars into the mountains of Iwate, the twisties between Yamagata and Niigata, and along the north coast of west Japan will be able to download firmware updates and troubleshoot problems, but may not be able to find their way back to a power plug before the batteries are done.

Whether the typical Tesla owner will ever leave the cities and sanitized expressways with their power outlets and designer coffee shops to explore the incredible, natural beauty those drives offer is another matter entirely.

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Daihatsu unveiled new technology used for their new convertible kei-car (light automobile) - COPEN - that is scheduled to be released in July. It is planned to be available for less than 2 million yen (USD 20,000).

A newly developed framework based on a frame and monocoque construction called D-Frame is used, where the car's external parts give it support and stability.

New 13th-generation Nissan Skyline called "Skyline 200GT-t" will be out on June 5.

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Toyota has just released its first hybrid full-time 4WD for its Crown series  (Majesta, Royal, and Athlete).

All the new models have a hybrid system that combines 2.5-liter 2AR-FSE engine and motor, torsen LSD transfer and newly-developed hybrid transmission. Regarding high fuel-efficiency, the Royal series and Athlete series offer 21.0km/liter and Majesta offers 19.0km/liter.

Japanese convenience store, FamilyMart, just announced they are installing charging stations for next‐generation vehicles (EV, Electric Vehicle/ PHEV, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) at roughly 500 of its stores all over Japan after this summer.

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Japanese taxis are the most beautiful (and expensive) pieces of road-candy you could ever hope to see.

They exist in their own little auto-industry universe, still rocking the far-forward wing-mirrors for optimizing both the driver’s sight-lines and the passenger’s privacy.

Daihatsu's new-style convertible kei-car (light automobile) - COPEN - went on sale today.

The model released today is called COPEN Robe and it's now available for JPY 1,798,200, which roughly equal to USD17,660. Daihatsu is scheduled to launch another new model called COPEN X (cross) in autumn this year. The COPEN X's exterior looks more sporty than COPEN Robe.

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The 43rd Tokyo Motor Show opened to the public today, so if you're here, get yourself to the Big Sight convention center ASAP.

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Yamaha Motor's lightweight two-seater car, MOTIV, which was unveiled in last year's Tokyo Motor Show, is rumored to be out for sale in 2015, starting in Europe.

MOTIV was jointly designed with a team including Gordon Murray (Gordon Murray Design) who has worked with McLaren F1. It's built based on the skeleton frame "i-Stream" technology that consists of steel pipes and carbon.

Thanko's new device Eye-Catch-Pre-Crash-Alarm is able to detect your fatigue while you drive and it prevents you from dozing off at the wheel.

Subaru announced the release of WRX S4 and WRX STI, new 2 models from their Sports Sedan WRX Series.

Both of them feature a powerful 2.0 liter horizontally opposed 4 DOHC direct-injection turbo engine. Subaru made WRX S4 for all ages by putting more importance on fuel economy performance and safe performance, while Subaru honed drivability with the suspension system and high-power output (308ps/422Nm) for WRX STI.

Toyota announced that they are going to sell the Land Cruiser 70 from their popular rugged four-wheel drive vehicle line, Land Cruiser. It will be available in Japan for a limited time until June 30, 2015.

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