Safety Features of your Tesla

By Henry Farkas

There are some people who think they’re smarter than the people who write the software for their Tesla. They even think they’re more alert than their car’s computer. Think again. The statistics show that you have about half as much chance of getting into an accident if you’re in Autopilot than if you aren’t using that feature of your Tesla.

Nobody can pay attention to every nearby car all the time. Nobody can even pay attention to what’s right in front of them all the time. People are human. Cars aren’t. Cars don’t get distracted by billboards, Maseratis, or accidents on the other side of a divided highway. Cars don’t text and drive or phone and drive. People get distracted by those things.

In an effort to prevent Teslas from getting in accidents that are the fault of the Tesla driver, Elon Musk has made autopilot a standard feature. You can use it on any road with clearly painted lines. It won’t make turns for you even when you have the GPS turned on and giving you directions, but it will be watching out for all the other cars nearby. Of course, that works only when you have autopilot turned on by clicking the gear shift lever down twice in a row. If you’re on a road without clearly pained lines, it won’t work, and it will give you an unpleasant sound if you try to use it on a local road without lines.

Lane Changing

On roads with lines, you can use Autopilot as long as you understand its limitations. Use it to change lanes by putting on the turn signal. The car will change lanes for you when it decides that it’s safe to change lanes. Here are the limitations for this. Autopilot won’t speed up past the limit you’ve set in order to change lanes. If there’s a spot in the next lane that you have to speed up for, you need to do that yourself. Sometimes, Autopilot will start to change lanes, but then it will bring you back to your current lane for no apparent reason. That sort of behavior will probably decrease with further software updates.

Uncommanded Actions

Regardless of what Elon Musk says, there are some uncommanded actions that the car makes in Autopilot, and the driver needs to be aware that they might happen. I use Autopilot nearly all the time. After all, that’s why I bought the Tesla instead of one of the less expensive electric cars. So what I’m about to say comes from personal experience,

Phantom braking happens every so often. So far, I haven’t been able to figure out what sets it off, but it happens at times. Make sure your car didn’t brake for a valid reason. If there’s no danger ahead, just press lightly on the gas pedal until the car stabilizes.

Uncommanded acceleration does happen at times. There’s one place near my house where I get uncommanded acceleration nearly every time I pass that way. Just press lightly on the brake, and the problem goes away.

Sharp Turns in the Road

Remember I said that Autopilot won’t make turns for you even when the GPS is telling you to make a turn and you put your turn signal on? Well, it also won’t follow a curve if it’s a very sharp curve. There are some sharp curves near my house where I need to take back control every single time I go on those roads or else my Tesla would hit the guard rail. So if you want to use Autopilot on local roads, you need to be aware of this issue and take control.

Autopilot quits driving

Any time you need to take control of your car, Autopilot quits driving. There will be a two-note sound that you’ll learn to recognize that tells you that you’re the only person driving. Sometimes, that happens even when you didn’t take control. The car may have just lost awareness of the road. Always be aware of that sound because if you ignore it, you may not realize that you’re the one driving until it’s too late.

Tesla Reduces Price of FSD Subscription to $99 Per Month [Subscriptions Now Available in Canada Too!]

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla just dropped its FSD subscription pricing dramatically in the U.S., lowering the cost from $199 to $99 per month. However, not everyone is thrilled with the new pricing.

For owners who bought the Enhanced Autopilot package for $6,000 USD, Tesla offered a lower-priced FSD subscription of $99, instead of $199. However, with this new FSD price reduction, EAP owners are no longer receiving a discount.

FSD Subscription Expansion

Currently, the FSD subscription is only available in the U.S., but plans for expansion are underway. Tesla's Rohan Patel recently announced that the subscription will soon be available in Canada, alongside the introduction of an annual plan for Premium Connectivity. 

This expansion into the Canadian market is anticipated to follow a similar pricing strategy, adjusted for the currency exchange rate, possibly setting the cost at approximately $140 CAD per month.

Update: Tesla has just announced that FSD subscriptions are now available in Canada! What’s even more surprising is the unexpectedly low subscription price of $99 CAD. Tesla took to X to announce the availability in Canada but unfortunately didn’t reveal any additional information regarding the subscriptions.

Is Buying FSD Still Worth It?

Despite the lowered subscription price, the outright purchase price for FSD remains steep at $12,000. This price point equates to subscribing to the service for over 10 years. Given that the average length of car ownership in the U.S. is about 8 years, this makes the current price of buying FSD unattractive to most. The saving grace of buying FSD is that you know what you're paying for the life of the vehicle and can avoid any potential subscription price increases.

Temporary Reduction or Long-term Strategy?

Tesla has not confirmed whether the price reduction is a temporary promotional tactic or a permanent adjustment. The timing coincides with Tesla's release of FSD v12 and its trial offer, suggesting that the company is keen on encouraging more drivers to experience FSD. This approach not only boosts user engagement but also accelerates the volume of data Tesla can collect to improve the system.

FSD With Referral Credits

Although Tesla hasn't adjusted the price of buying FSD, it is tweaking its referral program to accommodate the new price. Three months of FSD are now available through Tesla's referral program for 6,000 credits, reduced from the previous 12,000 credits.

Tesla's reduction in FSD in the U.S. and its planned expansion into Canada reflect a strategic initiative to make FSD more accessible and financially attractive to a broader audience. There's no doubt this change will increase the number of FSD subscriptions, but it'll be interesting to see how much. To break even, Tesla would need to double the number of subscriptions, but they likely have their eyes set much higher.

If you currently subscribe to FSD, Tesla has automatically reduced future payments to the lower $99 price point.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Additional Features in Upcoming Update

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla frequently introduces new models or trim levels before all the software features are available. This situation also applies to the Cybertruck, where several features are still in development.

In the 2024.8 update, Tesla added a handful of features to help the Cybertruck catch up in the software department, adding features such as Reset Tire Mileage, Rear Passenger Headphones, Auto Wipers and others. Tesla also added a Cybertruck exclusive feature that sets off the truck's alarm if the trailer is unhitched from the vehicle.

However, Tesla continues to improve Cybertruck's software. The company is planning an upcoming update that will let the truck charge faster and add Tesla's convenient cabin overheat protection feature.

According to Tesla's SVP of powertrain and energy, Drew Baglino, the Cybertruck's charging speed is about to be upgraded. This software update, slated for release later this quarter, is set to substantially improve the Cybertruck's charging curve and unlock faster charging times for owners. Baglino said the update will "let the Cybertruck get 154 miles of charge in just 15 minutes." That's a 20% increase over the truck's current 128 miles in 15 minutes.

Early reports on the Cybertruck's 4680 cells revealed a somewhat disappointing charging curve. The truck's charging speed would start at about 250kW, then drop off to about 150kW at ~40%. It would then level off at 75-80kW for the remainder of the charge.

It seems Tesla was being careful with the Cybertruck's new battery pack, but now, the company is ready to unlock additional throughput.

This fits Tesla's usual approach. The company likes to start conservatively and then improve its vehicles over time.

Cabin Overheat Protection

Another feature that's set to arrive on the Cybertruck is Cabin Overheat Protection (COP), according to the Cybertruck's program manager. This feature which keeps the cabin from overheating has been available in other models for several years, but it has yet to be made available for the Cybertruck.

In 2022, Tesla added the ability to customize the temperature at which COP would turn on. Users can now choose COP to activate at 90, 95 or 100º Fahrenheit. The Cybertruck's COP is expected to match the same features available in other models.

Given that Tesla's SVP and program manager have officially commented on these upcoming features, it may not be long before we see them available in an upcoming update.

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