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2021’s Top Ten Tech Cars: Tesla Model Y

A little smaller than the X, and a lot less pricey

1 min read
Image of the 2021 Tesla Model Y.
Photo: Tesla

To drive any new Tesla is to realize that most of its EV rivals, for all their gains, still have some catching up to do. The Model Y SUV is the latest to raise the bar, including a 525-kilometer (326-mile) range.

Base price:

US $49,990

I tested the Long Range version in and around Brooklyn, driving nearly 4 miles for every kilowatt-hour stored in its 75-kilowatt-hour battery. That's about 30 percent higher energy efficiency than I achieved in the new Ford Mustang Mach-E and nearly two-thirds better than the Audi E-tron Sportback. The EPA estimates that a Model Y needs US $550 a year in electricity to cover 15,000 miles, versus $750 for the Ford's all-wheel-drive version and $850 for the Audi.

It's a delight to drive. The Model Y's frisky handling and instant-on acceleration makes every time you pass and merge a pleasure. That kind of oomph comes from dual electric motors that combine for 286 kilowatts (384 horsepower) and 510 newton meters (376 pound-feet) of torque. The $62,900 Performance edition—with a wicked 456 horses and 497 pound-feet—sacrifices 57 km of range but cuts the 0-to-60-mph time to 3.5 seconds, from 4.8.

A 15-inch center touch screen is the altar of the car's Temple of Tech, and its voice controls are among the most natural in the business. Dial up Tesla's sophisticated semiautonomous features, including Navigate on Autopilot, and its situational awareness includes animations in the driver's display of nearby vehicles, bicycles, even orange cones in a parking lot.

Tesla's other big advantage, in North America anyway, remains its proprietary, continent-wide Supercharger network. The company's V3 Superchargers will replenish up to 254 km (158 miles) of range in 15 minutes, enough time for a bathroom break and a snack.

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When Gamers Get Nasty

Researchers grapple with subjectivity as they develop algorithms to detect toxicity in online gaming

2 min read
A man wearing a headset is seen in a dark room playing video games
Getty Images

Online gaming is a chance for players to come together, socialize, and enjoy some friendly competition. Unfortunately, this enjoyable activity can be hindered by abusive language and toxicity, negatively impacting the gaming experience and causing psychological harm. Gendered and racial toxicity, in particular, are all too common in online gaming.

To combat this issue, various groups of researchers have been developing artificial-intelligence models that can detect toxic behavior in real time as people play. One group recently developed a new such model, which is described in a study published 23 May in IEEE Transactions on Games. While the model can detect toxicity with a fair amount of accuracy, its development demonstrates just how challenging it can be to determine what is considered toxic—a subjective matter.

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Quantum Computing for Dummies

New guide helps beginners run quantum algorithms on IBM’s quantum computers over the cloud

3 min read
An image of the inside of an IBM quantum computer.
IBM

Quantum computers may one day rapidly find solutions to problems no regular computer might ever hope to solve, but there are vanishingly few quantum programmers when compared with the number of conventional programmers in the world. Now a new beginner’s guide aims to walk would-be quantum programmers through the implementation of quantum algorithms over the cloud on IBM’s publicly available quantum computers.

Whereas classical computers switch transistors either on or off to symbolize data as ones or zeroes, quantum computers use quantum bits, or “qubits,” which because of the peculiar nature of quantum physics can exist in a state called superposition where they are both 1 and 0 at the same time. This essentially lets each qubit perform two calculations at once. The more qubits are quantum-mechanically linked, or entangled (see our explainer), within a quantum computer, the greater its computational power can grow, in an exponential fashion.

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Electromagnetic Simulations in Automotive Industry

Learn how an electromagnetic simulator can be applied to various scenarios in the automotive industry

1 min read
WIPL-D Logo
WIPL-D

This whitepaper shows several examples of how WIPL-D electromagnetic simulator can be applied to various scenarios in the automotive industry: a radar antenna mounted on a car bumper operating at 24 GHz, 40 GHz, and 77 GHz, an EM obstacle detection at 77 GHz, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication at 5.9 GHz. Download this free whitepaper now!