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.

Henry Farkas is a retired country doctor. He bought his Tesla Model 3 in the middle of the pandemic.

Elon to Switch to the Cybertruck; Volume Production in 2024

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck mass production to start in 2024
Cybertruck mass production to start in 2024
Kim Java

Tesla's fourth quarter and 2022 earnings call with investors was mostly good news unless you were planning to drive a Cybertruck soon. While company executives eagerly jumped on every question asked by investors, there was a noticeable pause when a point-blank question was asked about Cybertruck's mid-year production date.

Elon Musk responded "um, we do expect production to start, I don't know, maybe sometime this summer. But I always like to try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it's always very slow at first. So I wouldn't put too much thought in start of production."

Volume Production Next Year

If the millions of people with Cybertruck reservations were in attendance, you might have felt the air leave the room. The previous belief was mass production would start by the end of 2023. There may be some stainless-steel beauties on the road by then, but only a few. "It's kind of when does volume production actually happen, and that's next year," said Musk.

Perhaps sensing some disappointed buyers, Lars Moravy, Tesla's Vice President of Vehicle Engineering added, "(I'd) like just to emphasize on that, we've started installation of all the production equipment here in Giga Texas, castings, general assembly, body shops. We built all our beta vehicles, some more coming still in the next month, but as you said, the ramp will really come 2024."

The Cybertruck Will be Elon's Next Car

Cybertruck was originally announced in 2019 at the memorable event that included the unbreakable armor glass smashing. Musk was wearing the smashed glass Cybertruck t-shirt while taking questions from investors. While the wait continues, he is adamant that it will be worth it, "So it's an incredible product. I can't wait to drive it personally. It will be the car that I drive every day… it's just one of those products that only comes along once in a while, and it's really special."

The original release deadline was set for 2021. However, the production date has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, like a global pandemic. Nevertheless, it is a positive sign that beta vehicles have been produced. Images of what appears to be a Cybertruck were leaked a few months ago.

Recently, chief designer Franz von Holzhausen did confirm that the Cybertruck was ready for production, but it's a work in progress. Every Tesla beta product gets thoroughly examined and meticulously reviewed before the next step. But at least it's a step in the right direction.

A Look at Tesla's 2022 Numbers and Record Quarter

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Statista

Tesla published their Q4 2022 and full-year financial results, setting new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations. Tesla’s annual profit rose to $12.6 billion in 2022, from $5.5 billion in 2021. Annual revenue rose to $81.5 billion, from $53.8 billion the year prior. Tesla reported fourth-quarter revenue of $24.32 billion beating analysts' $24.07 billion estimate. The automaker also reported earnings per share of $1.19 beating analysts' $1.12 estimate.

Tesla’s stock rose more than 5% in after-hours trading following the earnings release and surged more than 10% the next day.

Tesla's Q4 2022 revenue set a new record for the company, up 59% from a year earlier. In addition to automotive revenue of $21.3 billion, Tesla recognized $324 million of deferred revenue from the company’s driver assistance systems.

FSD Beta Numbers

Tesla reported that 90 million miles have now been driven with FSD Beta, up from 58 million miles in the previous quarter. The company also confirmed that they have about 400,000 FSD Beta users in North America, a sizeable increase since the last report. With such a steep increase in miles driven and FSD Beta becoming widely available in North America, Tesla is making significant progress with its autonomous driving software.

In late 2022 and into this year, Tesla began cutting prices on its cars globally. Elon spoke about how recent price cuts have fueled a surge in demand for Tesla: “Thus far in January we’ve seen the strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history. We’re currently seeing orders of almost twice the rate of production.” He added: “These price changes really make a difference for the average consumer.” Tesla acknowledges that average sales prices have to decrease over time because affordability is part of Tesla's mission to grow into a company that sells multiple millions of cars annually.

Price cuts will impact profitability, but margins should remain healthy, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn affirmed. Tesla has wider operating margins than the industry average, which allows them to make such price cuts.

Elon issued an uncertain forecast for 2023, saying Tesla planned on 1.8 million vehicles for the year without specifying whether that was a target for production or deliveries. If the company were to deliver 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, that would result in 37% annual growth.

View All How Tos

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2023.2.10.

Tesla News

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Sponsors

Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2023.2.10.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.