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 FSD V12.5 to Enable Sunglasses-Friendly, Nag-Free FSD

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has made some significant improvements with FSD 12.4, primarily, the removal of the steering wheel nag under certain conditions. However, there’s a caveat – you can’t wear sunglasses.

According to Elon Musk, FSD v12.5 will introduce support for nag-free FSD, even if you’re wearing sunglasses.

FSD V12.5 is an Upgrade

Ashok Elluswamy, Director of Autopilot Software, also took to X recently to mention that v12.5 is a big improvement to FSD v12.4. While he didn’t mention any specific details, this lines up with some of Musk’s previous comments that each FSD v12 iteration will see major improvements to the FSD model.

Elon also mentioned that while Tesla has a massive fleet of cars, their laser focus on making FSD work, rather than touting every daily achievement – has been their key to making generalized self-driving cars work.

FSD v12 has been pretty much a complete rewrite of the FSD city streets software stack, with drastic improvements over FSD v11. However, certain parts of the software stack haven’t been updated yet. Some features, like the updated highway stack are expected to be in FSD v12.5, which Musk confirmed recently. However, other features such as Park Seek and Banish Autopark, which were expected to arrive with FSD V12.4 are still up in the air.

What about V12.4?

FSD V12.4.3 is currently out to about 5% of the fleet (about 20-25% of FSD users) and hasn’t been pushed out again since about July 10th. Our new auto updating statistics pages can help break this down for folks who are curious.

Update 2024.15.15

FSD Supervised 12.4.3
Installed on 5.4% of fleet
6 Installs today
Last updated: Jul 22, 5:45 pm UTC

Given that it’s been some time since any new vehicles have received V12.4.3, it seems the rollout has been stopped. There could be any number of reasons for this – including software bugs, or a lack of confidence with FSD. Additionally, it could just halted in favor of focusing resources on V12.5.

While we’d love to see more vehicles get v12.4.3, we’re likely to see v12.4.4 or v12.5 being the next big waves of deployments to customers. Either way, early-access testers and Tesla ADAS testers will receive these updates first, and then they’ll roll out to the vast majority of customers once Tesla feels confident there aren’t any major issues. Tesla does all this testing in the name of safety, and it's essential that bug-free versions of FSD are the versions that are rolled out wide.

So, for now, leave your sunglasses on and hang tight for the next FSD update.

Tesla Aims To Launch Cybertruck in Canada After Transport Canada Makes Exception for Steer-by-Wire

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has confirmed that they’re aiming to launch the Cybertruck in Canada later this year. Transport Canada recently granted Tesla and the Cybertruck a unique exemption to allow steer-by-wire functionality (h/t Sawyer Merritt).

Steer-By-Wire Exemption

We previously reported that the Cybertruck was facing delays due to a steer-by-wire regulatory issue with Transport Canada. On Friday, July 19th, Transport Canada issued a message stating that they would exempt the Cybertruck, for all its models, from part of Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Act, which currently doesn’t permit the usage of steer-by-wire systems.

The period that the exemption begins seems to be immediate – July 19th, 2024, and will last through July 18th, 2029, whereafter regulation should supersede the exemption. In the meantime, Tesla will provide a semi-annual incident report, beginning on January 18th, 2025, including information on steering system malfunctions or failures, as well as corrective measures and customer complaints.

It seems that Transport Canada will also have to be notified every time Cybertruck’s steering software is provided with an OTA update, which could result in some update delays in Canada.

Canadian Cybertruck Soon?

With all this information, it sounds like Tesla is aiming to launch the Cybertruck to Canadian customers sometime relatively soon, as they stated they’re still aiming by the end of the year. There is a good chance that they may begin converting pre-orders to orders once Tesla. Tesla hasn’t commented on which model will be available in Canada, but it wouldn’t surprise us if it’s limited to the Foundation series in Canada in the initial release.

We could expect the first customer Cybertrucks (Roshel Defence and a few private importers notwithstanding), to be on Canadian roads in just a couple of months.

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