Tesla Technology: What Is and Isn’t Worth It

Teslas are great cars with a lot of awesome options to make them even more exciting. If you are looking at getting a Tesla it is a good idea to know which aspects of the technology will be most helpful to you, and what things you don’t need as a driver. The more you know in advance, the better you can do in deciding which Tesla technology you need in your vehicle.

Software Updates

If you’re getting a Tesla, there is likely to be a lot of software and with that software will come updates in the future. While updates may be unavoidable, it is a good idea to know in advance what some of the benefits and problems with those updates may be.

While automatic updates are pretty common for phones and laptops, they are still a pretty rare thing for vehicles. As with any other software update, there can be difficulties if the hardware isn’t updated as well. Software updates can also sometimes miss bugs or cause small problems that a later update will need to take care of. It is a good idea to stay informed about any updates so you can be aware of what they are doing and how that may affect the performance of your car.

Cabin Overheat Protection

One of the interesting features of the Tesla is the cabin overheat protection it offers. This can be a great tool, especially if you have an animal in your car or another safety issue, but it can also lead to problems of efficiency. It can be super annoying and inefficient for this feature to kick in unnecessarily. While this can be overcome with things like window tinting your Tesla, it isn’t great that it will turn on while your car is just parked. By investing in other more efficient tools to keep your car cool when it is empty and parked, you can keep things safe and cool without having to risk running down your battery or causing other efficiency issues.

Battery Life

The most exciting thing about Tesla is that it has the technology to run a car completely on battery, but that also means that you need to be careful of battery life. For the most part, just remembering to charge your Tesla when you are at home overnight will be enough to ensure that you always have enough battery life, but there are a few things that can become a problem.

Phantom battery loss and degradation can be a big problem for electric cars like Teslas. This phenomenon is when power is lost when the vehicle is not in use. Generally speaking, if you can find the cause of the battery loss, you can avoid the problem and keep things running smoothly. It generally occurs when the car is prevented from going into its sleep state which allows energy to continue draining slowly.

Autopilot

The autopilot feature on Tesla cars is incredibly popular. While autopilot can be convenient, some downsides need to be addressed. The main downside to autopilot tends to be user error. When users misunderstand their role when their car is on autopilot, they can create dangerous situations. Although autopilot can help with many common driving tasks, it is not a completely autonomous driver.  It is essential that the driver be present and actively paying attention, even when the car is in autopilot mode. Being on autopilot is not a good time to take a nap or play around on your phone. Instead, it is just a little bit simpler a way to drive a car.

In-Dash Web Browser

Another cool tech feature in Teslas is the in-dash web browser. This is pretty great because it gives drivers access to important information that can help them along their drive and make travel much simpler and more straightforward. That said, having a web browser at your fingertips while driving can also be a bit distracting and cause problems down the road. The main thing to keep in mind with the web browser on your dash is that it is your responsibility as a driver to ensure that you are using it carefully and appropriately and not putting yourself or others into dangerous situations.

Streaming Services

Tesla also offers the ability to stream both music and video through your vehicle. This is a pretty interesting addition that has both benefits and problems. The ease of being able to stream video directly from your car is pretty awesome, especially for parents of children who could use a little distraction when they are on road trips or even just spending a little time in the car while running errands. This feature can also be distracting for drivers though, which may cause some problems and raises some safety issues. Also, Tesla plans to charge a monthly fee for premium streaming capability. This can seem like a lot of extra spending when you already pay for the streaming services themselves.

Advanced Parking Sensors

If you struggle with parallel parking or simply dislike parking in general, the parking sensors from Tesla can be incredibly helpful. These sensors give you a better idea of the space around your car and can give you the guidance you need to park effectively. You can even use the parking assist feature to make the parking job that much simpler and less stressful. Even with the sensors and assistance, you should pay attention and actively participate in the process so you can maintain your safety and keep things running well for you and your vehicle.

Understanding the technology you have available through a Tesla vehicle can help you to make smart choices that will inform your future as a driver and a car owner. No matter what technology you decide to include, you are sure to have a great vehicle that can perform in exciting ways.

Read this next: Technology That Can Save You Time and Money

Technology That Can Save You Time and Money

Saving money is always a difficult prospect. It can be complicated when there are so many things pressing upon both your time and your finances. If you’re able to automate various obligations, it can make it possible to shave some of the expenses off the top. However, finding which apps could help your circumstances can be time consuming. Consider these suggestions to save money effortlessly.

FinTech Apps

Finance Tech apps can add a little fun to your savings, and begin as large or as small as you like. Some apps, like Cleo or Acorn are designed to throw a predetermined amount into savings for each small purchase you make. Others, like Oval, can have added instructions— they can, for instance, add a nickel or so to your savings from your checking account for every time you post on a social media site. It’s a tiny bit, but it adds up quickly, especially if you love Facebook during the pandemic!

Smart Home Tech

Some apps need devices in order to work properly, but a small investment in smart home devices can help you lower your bills as well. A programmable thermostat can reduce electric use when you aren’t at home. Being able to lower your electric bill by turning off lights from a distance is a definite plus! Other tech which could be stopped from using “vampire energy” are things like printers, DVD players, or other things which traditionally stay plugged in for convenience but which do not need to stay on all the time.

Shopping Apps

It goes without saying that you will still need groceries during a pandemic, but you don’t want to do a lot of physical shopping around. Online apps which offer savings are available for many services. Some, like Southern Savers, allow you to make lists of which coupons are available, and offer you deals you might not know about. Others, like Honey, allow you to find hidden coupons and retail codes to get your prices just a little lower. Still others, like Dollar General’s shopping app, allow curbside pickup.

Small amount of saving can add up quickly to larger savings. If you feel you’re behind, remind yourself that you’re years ahead of where you will be years from now if you don’t start! The most critical thing is to begin now and keep going. It can become a tidy sum even by the end of the pandemic!

Read this next: How To Take Good Care Of Your Beloved Laptop

Why You Should Embrace Smart Home Technology

Smart homes are becoming more and more popular as technology improves and becomes more readily available. Some people are hesitant to make the leap into smart home technology and worry it may be expensive, but in this modern age, the benefits of a smart home far outweigh the costs. Now is the time to invest in your future with a smart home that meets your needs.

Manage Home Functions in One Place

In the fast-paced world of the 21st century, according to Frontsteps, convenience is key. With smart home technology, managing your home’s functions has never been so convenient. In your smart home, you can deal with heating, cooling, lighting, and every other need at the touch of a button in one remote or app.

Whether you’re at home, at work, or even away on vacation, you can make sure your home is at the right temperature, lit appropriately, and safe and secure.

Greater Home Security

Staying safe and secure is one of the biggest benefits of home ownership, and with smart home technology, you can feel an added layer of protection. From motion sensors and alarm systems to the basics like smoke alarms will keep your home safe as part of your smart automation system. These tools will give you the peace of mind to know your house is safe, wherever you are. Safety features like this have made home automation even more popular. In fact, according to AMP Smart, in 2019, 33% of households in the U.S. used a home automation system.

Year-Round Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is becoming one of the most important aspects of home ownership. With a smart tech system, you can increase your home’s efficiency. With a smart thermostat, you can set precise temperatures to match your schedule. This keeps your house comfortable while your home and as efficient as possible when you’re out. Even your lights can be programmed to automatically shift as daylight changes, helping your home be more efficient with almost no effort on your part. Making your home efficient has never been easier!

Investing in smart home technology is a way for you to take control of your home and make your life easier. Whether you’re in your first home or a seasoned homeowner, you have a unique opportunity to tailor your smart home to your needs. Make your home the best it can be with smart home technology today.

Read this next: How Smart Home Technology Can Save You Money

Home Tech That Keeps You and Your Family Safe

When it comes to protecting your home, finding the right security devices can be difficult. With so many different options out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are three different home tech options you can install to keep yourself and your family safe.

Motion-Sensor Cameras

Motion-sensor cameras can make a big difference in protecting your home and in giving you peace of mind. Motion-sensor cameras can actually be a big deterrent for would-be thieves. Thieves stay away because they know that there’s a chance that their face will be recognized on the sensor.

Additionally, motion-sensor cameras can also give you peace of mind when it comes to knowing where your family members are. If you go out of town, having remote access to them can help you know when your children get home.

Smart Door Locks

Smart door locks can make a big difference in protecting your home from burglaries. Unfortunately, according to AMP Smart, around 3.7 million homes are broken into every year. Having a smart door lock secures your door through networking. This eliminates the risk of someone either finding your key beneath a doormat or picking the lock.

Additionally, smart locks can be incredibly functional. You can give your children the passcode so that they can enter the home when needed but don’t have to carry around a key that they could potentially lose.

Water Leak Sensors

When it comes to keeping your home and family safe, water leak sensors may not be the first thing that pops to mind. However, installing these smart sensors can make a big difference. According to Fresh Water Systems, they ensure your home stays safe from costly problems.

Typically, these sensors are installed in areas where leaks are common, like under your kitchen faucet, in bathrooms, or connected to your dishwasher. When the sensor senses a leak, it is able to turn the water off to that appliance. This can make a big difference in preventing floods as well as in catching smaller leaks that may normally go unnoticed.

When it comes to your home security, there are a variety of important measures to take. In addition to installing a reliable home security system, it can also be a good idea to install other home tech. Think about your family’s specific needs to identify the best options for you.

Read this next: How to Keep Your Company Information Secure

The Benefits of Learning to Drive on a Simulator

One of the latest developments in driving technology is simulation. Learning to drive on a simulator is beneficial in many important ways. Simulation can benefit new drivers as well as experienced drivers. If you are curious about the ways driving in a simulator can help you, keep reading to find out more.

Creates Safer Drivers

Traditional driver’s education program models are currently several decades old and incredibly out of date. Simulations, on the other hand, are up-to-date and can offer hundreds of more scenarios to train drivers than a traditional driving program can. Driving simulators replicate the experiences of actual driving in many different road, weather, and traffic conditions and allow drivers to get experience in ways they otherwise would not be able. Of course, no simulator can replicate hard-earned hours on the road, but simulators can be great supplemental tools for driving training.

Prepare for Unexpected Situations

Simulation allows drivers to prepare for unexpected situations. Simulation training exposes drivers to challenging, realistic scenarios that increase critical driving skills, strengthen decision-making abilities, and improve the overall safety of your operations. Drivers can practice making good decisions in difficult situations by replicating challenging scenarios multiple times until they receive a successful outcome. If drivers have enough practice handling challenging situations, they will be able to react more safely in a real-life stressful situation, even with the adrenaline and sensory overload such a situation may cause.

Reduce Accidents

Nearly every one of us has either been involved in a car accident or knows someone personally who has. Car accidents are terrible, tragic, and often very avoidable. Training safer drivers who know they are prepared for unexpected situations will lead to a reduction in the number of accidents nationwide. Simulation technology is a great way to save hundreds of lives by creating a smarter driving culture in general. The current number of accidents happening every minute in the United States is astonishing and tragic. In fact, the United States has more fatal car accidents than anywhere else in the world. Investing in simulation technology will help us combat this problem by providing safer, more effective drivers.

Everyone can greatly benefit from driving simulators. Both new and experienced drivers can prepare better for unexpected situations and learn from practical experience the newest safety techniques. Additionally, driving simulators can benefit even those who don’t drive themselves, by creating safer roadways nationwide. The benefits are endless and important enough to warrant taking the necessary steps toward investing in driving simulators in your area.

Here’s another article you might like: Are Self-Driving Cars Really the Future?

How Smart Home Technology Can Save You Money

Owning a home comes with a plethora of expenses. There’s usually a mortgage to pay, to start. Then there’s homeowners’ insurance, property taxes, utility bills, and the cost of maintenance and upkeep. It’s expensive. Fortunately, smart home technology can help you save some of your hard-earned money.

Smart Thermostats

Have you ever been shocked by the amount of your energy bill before? According to Direct Energy, heating and cooling your home can be responsible for nearly half of the bill all by itself. Changing out an old model thermostat for a new, smart thermostat can help you reduce that cost. You can more easily set your thermostat to reflect whether or not anyone’s home. It’s also easier to adjust it for daytime and nighttime temperatures. Keep in mind that a smart thermostat doesn’t change how much energy is needed to heat or cool your home. What it does do is help you avoid having to unnecessarily heat or cool your home. This saves you both energy and money.

Smart Lighting

While heating makes up a much smaller percentage of the power bill, the cost of lighting your home still makes up a measurable chunk of the bill. Smart lighting gives you another opportunity to save some money by reducing your energy consumption. Using the right type of bulb is a good place to start. According to Lighting & Supplies, LED light bulbs can last up to ten times longer than conventional light bulbs. They also use less energy to produce a comparable amount of light. Like other smart devices, smart lighting can often be controlled remotely. If you leave a light on, you can turn it off from wherever you are and save the cost of lighting that room until you need to again.

Smart Sprinklers

You’ve probably seen at least one lawn that had the sprinklers going while it was raining. Maybe that’s even been you before. It’s a bit silly to water your lawn when the world’s doing it for you, isn’t it? By installing a smart sprinkler system, you can save money by making sure you don’t use more water than needed for your lawn again. Some systems will even monitor the weather for you and adjust your watering schedule to match. It’ll be easier to customize your water usage to meet your actual needs as indicated by changing weather patterns, soil moisture, and the needs of the plants in your yard.

While it’s not likely to do much for your mortgage or make a dent in the cost of maintenance and upkeep, smart home technology can help you save some money on your utilities. Smart thermostats, lighting, and sprinkler systems can help reduce your energy and water usage, reducing the corresponding bills. Between the added savings and convenience, what’s not to love?

Read this next: Safety in Cyberspace: How to Protect Your Identity Online

How Your Company Can Use Technology to Improve Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is one of the best ways to retain customers and gain a positive reputation as a company. Thanks to technology, the burden doesn’t fall entirely on employees anymore. There are some ways your company can use technology that can help improve your customer service.

Use Chatbots

Thanks to chatbots, consumers can now interact with a business at all hours of the day. This can be wonderfully convenient for customers. This is especially useful since there is an increased expectation for instant gratification when it comes to using internet resources. Chatbots have varying levels of sophistication, each with their pros and cons. Which one works best for a given business will depend on what that business wants to accomplish with the chatbot.

Partner With Other Companies

Not every business can support having a personal IT department, but at some point every business will need to have some IT assistance. Technology failures are a sure way to ruffle customer feathers, so it’s imperative that you have access to quality support. This may mean that you need to partner with an IT company to help you make the most out of your technology. You shouldn’t necessarily partner up with the first company you stumble across though. You should ask a few questions to make sure the provider can give you the right service you need. Once you’re satisfied with the terms of service, then you can partner up.

Personalizing Marketing Emails

If you’ve ever gotten marketing emails that were irrelevant to you, you know how little attention those types of emails get. If that happens too often, they end up getting marked as spam and your customers won’t even see them. Effectively personalizing emails means that your customers are more likely to read them and act on them. This requires proper customer segmentation. Thanks to powerful analytics programs, it’s easier now to segment customers by different categories, such as gender, how much they tend to spend, what they usually purchase, and when they’re most likely to make a purchase. All of these factors can influence what marketing offers will be most effective and should be used to make the best offers possible.

Businesses should be taking advantage of technology to improve their customer service. With tools like chatbots, the option to partner with other IT companies, and the ability to personalize marketing emails, delivering excellent customer service is easier than ever. If you aren’t taking advantage of these tools, you’re missing out.

Read this next: How to Communicate with People Using Encrypted Channels

Car Technology Improvements That Keep You Safe

Technology has come a long way, especially when it comes to cars. The days when the only options were manual transmissions, windows, and locks are long gone. In fact, it seems today it’s nearly the opposite, with cars becoming more automated and more reliant on computer systems. Many advancements have been made in the name of safety—and to great effect. Some safety features are naturally included as a part of the car, while others are options you’ll need to have added, and it can all depend on what car you’re looking at on top of that. So what are some car technology improvements that help keep you safe?

Self-Sealing Tires

Getting a flat tire is pretty much never a good thing and always seems to happen at the worst possible time. If you’re really unlucky and you get stuck trying to handle a blown tire on the freeway you can be in for a pretty scary situation, and getting it changed is both inconvenient and dangerous. It’s hard to believe something as small as a nail can cause such a problem, but all too often that’s exactly what happens. Fortunately, self-sealing tires can help with that.

Self-sealing tires are pretty much what they sound like. They’re tires with a layer of sealant inside that help close up holes if something punctures the tire tread. This can be a real lifesaver, possibly even literally, if you happen to pick up a nail as you’re driving. These tires can be great since they’re essentially just conventional tires with sealant inside, so they don’t need special equipment to put them on and you can mix and match them with existing tires, unlike run-flat tires. The downside to self-sealing tires is that the sealant is only on the part of the tire with tread. If you puncture the wall of the tire, or if the hole in the tread is too big, you’ll still end up with a flat tire. Still, they’re a safer option than a regular, conventional tire.

Anti-Collision Warning Systems

Everyone’s probably been in a situation where traffic suddenly stops without warning. Maybe you’re just a second, or even less, away from rear ending the car in front of you when you come to a stop, leaving you hoping and praying that the cars behind you react at least as well, if not better so they don’t bump you from behind. Whether the reason is that someone cut in front of you or you were distracted, anti-collision warning systems have been a boon when it comes to helping drivers avoid accidents.

Anti-collision warning systems work by sensing obstacles, usually cars, out ahead and monitoring the speed of the vehicle they’re installed in, that of those in front of them, and the distance between. When those metrics reach levels that are likely to result in a collision, the system alerts the driver to take action. Some vehicles automatically respond by breaking or steering independently of the driver. These systems have been shown to be effective in reducing the rate of head-on crashes.

Limp Mode

Limp mode is what your car does when it detects a serious problem in normal functions. To anthropomorphize a vehicle, it’s an attempt at self-preservation. Upon detecting a critical malfunction such as damaged wiring, a sensor malfunction, low fluids, or a failed transmission, the vehicle turns off all extra unnecessary features such as radio and air conditioning to preserve power for essential functions. If your check engine light is on, the car enters limp mode until repaired. You’ll have to slow down, as you’ll likely be limited in how fast you are able to go, which can spell trouble for driving on the freeway. On the other hand, it might help the car last long enough to limp to a mechanic where you can fix the problem. Fixing the problem is the best way to get your car out of limp mode. Like all car problems, whatever has triggered your car to go into limp mode won’t go away if you ignore it. You have to fix the problem that caused it in the first place.

Lane Keeping Assist

Lane keeping assist systems are another proven safety feature. They have been shown to reduce injury accidents by 21 percent when it comes to sideswipe accidents. Lane keeping assist systems work by sensing lane lines in relation to the position of the vehicle. If the system registers the vehicle moving outside of the lane, it sends a signal to the driver. This can come by way of an audible alert, a vibration through the steering wheel, or both.

If the driver fails to respond, the system may gently guide the vehicle to stay within the lane lines. While this sounds like it allows the driver to take a back seat, so to speak, that isn’t the case. This system requires clearly visible lane lines to function, so if the lines are faint, covered, or non-existent, it’s all on you as the driver.

Smart Airbags

Airbags were first thought of in 1952 and have been a regular installment in cars since the 1970’s. They’re in large part the reason why relatively few car accidents result in the death of occupants, though to be fair, they’ve caused their own share of injuries and even death. Fortunately, advancements in airbags and deployment systems have reduced that as well. Airbag systems can now detect whether or not there is a passenger in a seat where an airbag might deploy. They can also detect the weight, seating position, and whether or not a seat belt is being used. Using this information, the system is able to exert a degree of control over the deployment of the airbag, including how much force is used and whether or not it even deploys at all.

Smart Headlights

Ever been blinded by someone’s brights while driving at night? It’s pretty dangerous and can be a little scary. Enter smart headlights. These headlights are able to control where light is projected in front of the car using shutters that are a part of the light system. This prevents lights from high beams from shining in the eyes of oncoming drivers. It’s even supposed to be able to reduce the impact precipitation has on visibility. Sounds great, right? Well, unfortunately it isn’t legal in the US yet.

Concerns over glare have had the NHTSA dragging its feet over the necessary amendments to the FMVSS. In the meantime, the US does allow auto-dimmer features that enable vehicles to sense other vehicles and automatically switch between high-beam and low-beam headlights. This is a useful feature as well, since it doesn’t require the driver to adjust the lights, but it may not react in time to avoid accidentally flashing another driver.

Driving a car is safer than ever, thanks to new technology. With innovation in materials and automation features, cars are starting to make up the difference when it comes to human error. While this doesn’t allow drivers the luxury of not paying attention to the road and their surroundings, it can help reduce the risk of getting into an accident. Keep in mind that not all cars come with all features. Carefully consider which features you value most and allow that to guide your decision when it comes to upgrading your vehicle.

Read this next: How the Digital Age Is Changing the Used Car Buying Experience

Why You Should Use Smart Tech in the Workplace

You’ve heard a lot about smart tech options for businesses but may have wondered if it’s worth the hassle to switch. Even though it can seem overwhelming to shift certain business functions to a new format, it is worth the effort. This article will detail three key benefits of using smart tech in the workplace.

Better Communication

In order for your team to work effectively, they need to be able to communicate instantly. Email can be an efficient method of communication when teammates need to transfer large files or long messages. But in order to enable your team to communicate with each other in real-time, other platforms are often better options. Using different smart tech options that are best positioned for video chats or instant messages can give your teams multiple options for communication that can help each team-member be able to communicate in a way that best suits his or her needs.

Efficiency

Upgrading to smart tech can initially seem like a large upfront cost for a growing business. But the facts show that more than half of electricity is wasted by businesses. By utilizing smart tech in the workplace, you will be able to minimize electricity waste and drastically reduce the utilities cost per month. There are a variety of different smart tech options that manage everything from parking and building space to individual room temperature. Additionally, as your business grows, you will inevitably have a growing number of devices. All of these devices need to be effectively connected to the network and need to use relative amounts of electricity. Smart tech solutions help manage this growth in order to ensure that your utility bills stay low.

Cloud Technologies

Cloud technology allows businesses to forgo the hassle of managing on site software and services and instead shift that role to an outside provider. Team-members can access important materials and other online applications through the cloud in order to do their work. In addition to reducing upfront cost, cloud technology can provide a multitude of other benefits. It takes your company’s data, the different projects that various team-members are working on, and other important materials and puts them all in the same place online. Doing this can greatly improve the productivity of your employees by eliminating the necessity to jump through hoops to access needed information. At the same time, cloud technology boosts cooperation between team-members.

Moving your business to a smart tech workplace can seem intimidating at first. Transferring paper files to an online format, training team-members in a new process, and paying for the upfront cost of new tech can seem daunting. But, in the end, making the switch is worth it.

Read this next: What’s Going to Be the Next Facebook?

How to Communicate with People Using Encrypted Channels

Privacy is a big issue with the digital age. There are so many services available that advertise instant or near instant communication, but how well is your data protected? Encrypted channels are a better option as they are secure and maintain confidentiality. But it can be difficult to know what channels to use that do encrypt your information. Here are three channels that can be encrypted and how to use them.

Email

One of the most important channels that should be encrypted is email. It can be easy for someone to read your email, which can be big trouble for your company. There are email services, like ProtonMail that let you encrypt your emails. You can also use encryption services on most email accounts. Encrypted emails protect your information and make sure that only the intended recipient can read the information in the email. Without encryption, anyone could read the email and confidentiality can be breached. When sending out confidential information, it’s important to make sure the email is encrypted.

Messaging Apps

Messaging apps are another channel that should be encrypted. Text messages are one of the most widely used forms of communication. More than 90 percent of text messages are read within 3 minutes as people check their phones frequently. Messaging apps offer a quick and easy way to stay in communication with your employees and many of them come encrypted. Messaging apps simply require the phone numbers of those you want to message and then you create an individual group with just those numbers. The service provides encryption to keep your information safe and secure so that only your group can read the information that you send.

Video Calls

Video calls are another channel that should be secure when meeting with people. Some video services come with some sort of encryption and can be further protected by passwords, which give secure access to the meeting. However, there are platforms that are better at protecting your privacy than others. Some provide end-to-end encryption and are very secure, while others record information in a cloud that can be accessible to others beside yourself. There are many options for secure and encrypted channels, but ultimately is up to you what kind of protection you’ll get.

There are many options available that encrypt your data and provide privacy protection. It’s important to know what is available so that your information can stay protected.

Here’s another article you might like: How to Know if a Website Is Secure