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REAL TIME WITH... IPC APEX EXPO 2019 SHOW & TELL MAGAZINE I I-CONNECT007 83 that time, electric vehicles had been slow, heavy, and short-range, and fell into the golf- cart category. Anything beyond that had been the territory of hobbyists, and the mainstream automotive industry had dismissed the oppor- tunity to move away from the internal combus- tion engine. But in 2002, having recognised the potential of lithium-ion power storage to enable electric cars to become accepted as premium vehicles, the Tesla team committed to realise that poten- tial. When they announced their first Roadster prototype in 2005, they were dismissed as a crazy startup company. Their reluctance to fol- low the rules led them to be labelled as dis- ruptive by those whose attitude would stifle innovation. But there was no rule book! Their Model S was designed from scratch and built around a battery pack that formed the floor of the vehicle with its centre of gravity below wheel-spindle height, which resulted in consequent benefits in road-holding stability and safety. New elec- tronics were developed to control the electro- mechanical functions, and a decision was made to eliminate buttons, knobs, and switches—to make everything software-controlled. Further, Tesla built their own version of a gigantic iPad right in the middle of the car. Additionally, they made the whole car con- nected via a built-in 3G modem so that they could integrate the whole user experience as well as update firmware and software and per- form maintenance functions by two-way data transfer. This gave them a flying start into the technology of intelligent vehicles and autono- mous driving. Tesla quickly gained credibility as a serious manufacturer of automobiles, and the prece- dent that they had set resulted in the automo- tive industry moving quickly to jump on the electric vehicle bandwagon. But what about

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