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Tesla now using leftover upholstery leather from its cars to make stylish iPhone cases

Tesla iphone cases 2Just barely in time for Christmas, Tesla updated its online store to add new apparel and accessories, including new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus leather cases/wallets.  If you have a Tesla enthusiast on your Christmas list, this might be your best last-minute shot for a holiday gift.

Like most luxury automakers, Tesla offers accessories made from automotive-grade leather leftover from making the interior of its vehicles, which is an interesting way for the manufacturer to promote its brand while reducing upholstery losses. The company rarely updates its collection since launching it last year with travel bags, gloves and purses – making the new iPhone cases the first significant addition to the ‘Tesla Design Collection‘.

You can get a Tesla designed iPhone 6 or 6 Plus case for $45. For $5 more, Tesla can add 2 (or 3 for the 6 Plus) credit card slots stitched to the back of the case for a smartphone case/wallet amalgam.

Tesla says that its wallet-case option is RFID blocking, which can be reassuring if you see RFID skimming as a security risk.

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Tesla also offers $100 touchscreen-friendly leather gloves to match your new iPhone case.

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If you plan on matching those accessories with the ultimate Tesla product, the Model S, make sure to use Seth’s referral code to get a $1,000 discount on your purchase (valid until December 31).

Also, if you want more Tesla Motors and electric vehicle news, make sure to follow our sister-site Electrek on Twitter,Facebook or Google+ to get our latest articles.

Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: iPhone case, Tesla iphone case, tesla iphone leather wallet, Tesla Motors

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Talking the safety of self-driving cars with Volvo

The fully autonomous car—one that will carry you from point A to B with no human intervention—is coming. We’re not quite there yet; the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has laid out four different levels of autonomous car and even the most advanced adaptive cruise control systems on sale today represent only level 2 autonomy. But the technology for level 4 autonomous vehicles is not far off. Yesterday, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk told Ars that he thought Tesla would have the technology solved in about three years. Even the more cautious estimates we’ve heard from companies developing self-driving cars predict that they’ll be safer than human drivers within a decade. In fact, everyone in the industry that Ars has talked to agrees on one thing: the technology is going to be ready before we—society—are ready for it.

Before we start buying self-driving cars, people will need to be convinced that they’re safe and that they won’t be hacked or used to spy on us. Regulators will need new ways of satisfying themselves that the machines they’re allowing onto the roads are a safety improvement. And we’ll want to know who is liable for any collisions that happen when a car is driving itself. Last week we attended a debate hosted by Volvo and the Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC to delve into these topics.

Here in the US, safety is the main force pushing us toward self-driving cars. NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind gave a keynote address, telling the audience that 32,000 deaths a year on the road is unacceptable, particularly when 94 percent of them are attributed to driver error. “If technology will reduce deaths on American roads, [the NHTSA is] for it, right now,” he said. Rosekind also said that safety innovations should be pushed beyond the option lists of luxury cars and be available across the entire passenger fleet.

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