Tesla is removing ultrasonic sensors from all of its vehicles, fully transitioning to Tesla Vision

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla is switching to Tesla Vision, removing ultrasonic sensors
Tesla is switching to Tesla Vision, removing ultrasonic sensors
Not a Tesla App

Tesla made a major announcement today that beginning in October 2022, they will no longer be building vehicles with ultrasonic sensors (USS). This comes after the automotive company announced it was removing radar from its vehicles.

Tesla removed radar from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles back in 2021, and Model S and Model X vehicles in 2022. According to the announcement, “in most regions around the globe these vehicles now rely on Tesla Vision, our camera-based Autopilot system.”

The Austin-based company’s announcement adds that it is going to continue with its rollout of removing the USS with the Model 3 and Model Y vehicles this year, and the Model S and Model X cars will follow in 2023.

Since the removal of radar, Tesla has made significant improvements to its software to enable its advanced driver-assistance features (ADAS). This includes its vision-based occupancy network, which Full Self-Driving Beta relies on. The occupancy network will replace inputs that are generated by USS, per Tesla’s announcement.

“With today’s software, this approach gives Autopilot high-definition spatial positioning, longer range visibility and ability to identify and differentiate between objects,” reads the post. “As with many Tesla features, our occupancy network will continue to improve rapidly over time.”

However, a certain number of features will be unavailable as Tesla forges ahead with this transition to Tesla Vision. These features include Park Assist, Autopark, Smart Summon, and Summon.

Once the features become updated and improved by the Tesla team, they’ll be rolled out via over-the-air software updates. Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving will be active upon delivery, depending on your order configuration.

“In the near future, once these features achieve performance parity to today’s vehicles, they will be restored via a series of over-the-air software updates,” reads Tesla’s post. “All other available Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving capability features will be active at delivery, depending on order configuration.

According to Tesla's FAQ, they do not plan to stop using ultrasonic sensors in vehicles that already have them, although they do preface this by saying 'at this time'. It's possible that Tesla may choose to turn off ultrasonic sensors in vehicles if vision can perform as well or better than the current sensors.

Features * Equipped with USS Not equipped with USS
Forward Collision Warning
Automatic Emergency Braking
Lane Departure Warning / Avoidance
Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance
Pedal Misapplication Mitigation
Auto High Beam
Blind Spot Collision Warning Chime
AutoSteer †
Auto Lane Changes
Navigate on Autopilot
Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control
Park Assist Coming soon
Autopark Coming soon
Summon Coming soon
Smart Summon Coming soon

*Features listed are reflective of availability in North America. Features vary based on region and purchased Autopilot package.

†Autosteer maintains its 85 mph top speed, which is the same as Tesla Vision vehicles equipped with USS.

“Given the incremental improvements already achieved with Tesla Vision, and our roadmap of future Autopilot improvements and abilities, we are confident that this is the best strategy for the future of Autopilot and the safety of our customers.”

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Charging Improvements in Upcoming Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Former Tesla VP of Powertrain and Energy Drew Baglino previously mentioned that Cybertruck would be receiving charging improvements soon.

Wes Morrill, Tesla’s Cybertruck lead engineer, recently reposted Baglino’s comments on the charge speed update on June 16th and mentioned that it would be coming soon via OTA.

Charging Improvements

The 4680 cell has seen some difficulties in its charge curve, similar to Tesla’s other vehicles that have been deployed with the 4680. Tesla has alluded to difficulties in the manufacturing curve previously, and also with engineering improvements to the new cell standard, and eventually stopped manufacturing the Model Y with the 4680 cells.

However, this is the first time that Tesla has begun to deploy major improvements to the 4680 cell. It appears the improvements will allow up to 154 miles to be recovered in 15 minutes, which is approximately a 30% improvement to current charge rates.

We’re hoping that these improvements to the 4680 will also translate to older Model Y vehicles that have 4680 cells, which will be key to the owners of these vehicles. 4680 production is currently mainly focused on Powerwall, Megapack, and Cybertruck – with Semi not using 4680 yet.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range Now Eligible for $7.5K Tax Credit

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

In the US, the Model 3 Long Range has now become fully eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs.

Federal Tax Credit

The federal tax credit is up to $7,500 USD off at the point of sale, which applies to EVs with batteries originating from the United States. The Model 3 Performance was launched with the EV tax credit, which meant that until now, it was cheaper to purchase than the Model 3 Long Range.

Interestingly, after this change, the Model 3 Long Range is only $1,000 USD more expensive than the Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive, as the RWD model is not eligible for the credit. The LFP batteries in the RWD model are from CATL in China, and thus mark it as ineligible.

At $40,000 USD, the Model 3 Long Range is now an even better deal than before – and is nearly $7,500 less (the amount of the credit), than the average new car in the United States.

Canadian EV Credits

In Canada, Tesla dropped the Model 3 RWD price by $1,000 CAD, in response to the province of  British Colombia reducing the upper limit of their EV credit MSRP range. This means that the Model 3 RWD is the only Tesla vehicle that is covered under the new BC rebate – which is one of the few provincial rebates still left standing.

Sadly, as a result of this change, and due to a weird classification gimmick, the Model Y is considered a sedan by the Government of BC and is completely ineligible for the additional rebates – but the $5,000 federal EV rebate still applies.

Tesla vehicles accounted for 80% of federal EV rebate applications in Canada in 2023, marking a net increase since last year at 60%.

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