Tesla: Elon Musk details plans to create humanoid robot
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The Tesla CEO took to Twitter on Friday to say that his company’s mobile application was coming back online after the temporary fault left dozens of furious drivers locked out of their cars. He wrote: “Should be coming back online now. Looks like we may have accidentally increased verbosity of network traffic.”
“Apologies, we will take measures to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
Mr Musk’s post was a response to a Tesla owner who had tweeted that he was experiencing a “500 server error” when he tried to connect his Model 3 Tesla through Tesla’s iOS app from Seoul in South Korea.
Another user tweeted: “I’m stuck an hour away from home because I normally use my phone to start [my] car.”
The server failure was first reported by Electek, a specialist electric vehicle website, which received complaints from Tesla drivers across the world, from the US and Canada to Europe and Asia.
According to outage monitoring site Downdetector, around 500 users reported facing an error at around 4.40pm ET (9.40pm GMT).
But by 9.20pm ET (2.20am GMT) there were about 60 reports.
This incident was rare for Tesla, according to Electek, who have reported that Mr Musk’s company rarely experiences outages.
But this was not the first time that Tesla customers have been left outrages by technological fault.
Back in September 2020, Electek reported that Tesla suffered both a complete outage of customer-facing services and its internal system for several hours.
While the latest outage of the app may have appeared embarrassing for Mr Musk, Tesla drivers are not completely reliant on the mobile application to enter their cars, according to Stuart Masson, editor of Car Expert.
He told the BBC: “There will be a secondary mechanism to get in or out of the car beyond the app, the difficulty will come for drivers if they are not carrying it.
“Technology makes things convenient but relies on a server working 100 percent of the time.
“It’s the same as leaving the house without my credit cards, expecting to pay for things with my smartphone. If we are reliant on one mechanism all the time, we can be caught out.”
Professor David Bailey from Birmingham Business School, who writes about the automotive industry and was also one of the Tesla drivers affected by the outage, told the BBC: “To some extent, Tesla is a bit of a victim of its own success.
“It encourages its customers to use the cutting edge technology it creates and sometimes that will go wrong.
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“Although of course, you can use a key to open the car too, the natural instinct of many drivers, who are buying one of the highest tech models in the market, is to rely on the technology.”
This also comes after Tesla struck a deal with Uber to let London drivers access their electric cars as part of an incentive scheme to encourage the use of more environmentally-friendly vehicles.
And earlier this month, Uber drivers were provided with access to a clean air fund that allows them to buy or rent a Tesla car.
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