Tesla's debut of vehicles without ultrasonic sensors raise questions

By Kevin Armstrong
Will Teslas have a blind spot directly in front of the vehicle?
Will Teslas have a blind spot directly in front of the vehicle?
Munro

They may look sleek and smooth without those circular sonic sensors, but the non-ultra-sonic Tesla was not welcomed with open arms by hundreds of Reddit users.

Two weeks after announcing it was removing ultrasonic sensors (USS), new Model 3s were delivered to owners looking noticeably less polka-dotted, leading to heated debates and several unanswered questions as the company transitions to an improved Tesla Vision and its occupancy network.

A few users said they would cancel their order, questioning how the system could effectively replace the sensors parking. User Zeek215 posted: "I had a base Model 3 to be delivered next month. I'm cancelling because of this. Not just because of the USS, but it's a trend in the wrong direction for what is an expensive car." MunroLivereported Tesla would save $114 per vehicle by eliminating USS. Users said they would have gladly paid the additional $114 to keep the system in the car.

However, this figure doesn't include the additional logistics needed to source, stock and maintain these sensors.

Munro takes a look at Tesla's USS

The biggest question about removing the USS system and going strictly with Vision is regarding accuracy. Tesla owners like pulling into parking spaces or garages and having the sensors indicate down to inches the distance to objects. The concern is that precision will be lost, and many people believe there is no way Vision can replace it.

But people were defending the switch. Callmesaul8889 posted: "Who said they don't know if they can guarantee feature parity? I've heard a bunch of Redditors claim that, but Tesla has explicitly said they feel they can match or exceed the USSs with Vision alone in the original announcement... I get the impression that some of you guys assume Tesla has a bunch of dumb dumb engineers who are constantly cutting costs without thinking of the consequences..."

Tesla anticipated these concerns when it announced it was removing USS. In that announcement, it stated: With today's software, this approach gives Autopilot high-definition spatial positioning, longer range visibility and ability to identify and differentiate between objects. As with many Tesla features, our occupancy network will continue to improve rapidly over time.

Many Reddit users who were more supportive of the Vision system believe it will reach parity with USS quickly, as the company said in the initial announcement. We will know when Tesla is confident with Vision when the non-polka dot vehicles get some features enabled.

For example, the non-USS Teslas will not be able to use Park Assist, Autopark, Summon or Smart Summon. But according to Tesla's website: once these features achieve performance parity with today's vehicles, they will be restored via a series of over-the-air software updates.

Another popular question was if the company would stop supporting the system in USS-enabled vehicles. Telsa posted: At this time, we do not plan to remove the functionality of ultrasonic sensors in our existing fleet. USS will be removed from the Model S and Model X in 2023.

The Kilowatts on Twitter took a close look at these new Teslas' cameras and discovered no significant differences between the two.

The repeater camera on a Tesla without USS compared to a current Tesla with USS
The repeater camera on a Tesla without USS compared to a current Tesla with USS
@klwtts/Twitter

Some speculated that Tesla would add a front bumper camera, but that doesn't appear to be the case. The biggest noticeable change is that the repeater cameras on the fenders appeared to have a slightly different housing. There's no word whether the lens itself, the sensor, or the angle of the camera is any different from previous Teslas.

Cybertruck

Since the Cybertruck's introduction, we've wondered how Tesla would integrate ultrasonic sensors into the vehicle, however, it looks like we now have our answer.

There's no question that this move cuts costs and reduces complexity for Tesla, allowing them to manufacture even more vehicles and increase operating profits. The only question is how close can Tesla's occupancy network get to the accuracy that ultrasonic sensors provide.

Cybertruck Unveiling in Five Minutes

Tesla's Next FSD v12 Update Will Be Available For Users on 2024.8

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla will soon roll out a FSD v12 which is compatible with update 2024.8 Tesla began its public rollout of FSD v12 last month, which brings a much more refined, human-like experience to the self-driving software.

To celebrate the achievement and show owners how big of an improvement FSD v12 is, Tesla offered a free month of FSD to all owners with compatible vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.

However, there was a caveat. The latest FSD v12 (v12.3.4) is Tesla update 2024.3.15. Since Tesla doesn't roll back updates since the process isn't rigorously tested, that means many owners who had already received Tesla update 2024.8.9 were left without a free trial and access to FSD v12.

Subscribing to FSD on Update 2024.8

In fact, if you're in the U.S. or Canada and subscribe to FSD while on update 2024.8.x, you'll actually receive the older, and quite a bit worse FSD v11.4.9.

The FSD v12 update has been highly anticipated and aims to finally upgrade Tesla’s ADAS level 2 system to something higher. Musk has talked about level 4 or 5, and even recently said Tesla is going all-in on FSD.

FSD v12 for Update 2024.8 Is Coming

Rohan Patel, who recently left Tesla, recently said that Tesla is already working on an FSD v12 update that is compatible with users on update 2024.8.x. This means that the next FSD update may finally be based on the 2024.8 codebase.

However, just this morning Tesla released the next major update to the platform, update 2024.14 for employee testing. The update is massive and includes an updated UI, hands-free trunk opening, a full-screen browser and more.

However, Patel never specified which codebase the next FSD update would be based on. If it's based on update 2024.8, then users who are upgraded to 2024.14 in the next couple of weeks may face a similar fate as users on 2024.8 today.

Release Date

Patel said to expect the release of the next version of FSD v12 this week. Since update 2024.14 is still being tested with "wave 1" employees, we'll likely see one of two things happen. We may see the next FSD update be based on 2024.8 and released very soon, or it'll be based on update 2024.14, but it may not be available for another couple of weeks.

Once this update arrives, owners with a Tesla on 2024.8.x will finally be able to update and receive their one-month trial of FSD v12 and finally experience what everyone has been excited about.

Tesla Adds V12 User Interface, Full Screen Browser Button, Nav Improvements, Full Screen Visualizations for All

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla's latest V12 user interface will change the look and feel of some of the vehicle’s operations. This new interface, announced on X, is already partially available on the Cybertruck but will now be rolled out to the Model 3 and Model Y, equipped with AMD Ryzen processors according to Tesla. However, the new Model S and Model X will likely receive it as well, although possibly not at the same time. It integrates several new features and aesthetics that set new standards in vehicle interface design.

The new interface will become available in Tesla update 2024.14, which started rolling out to employees yesterday.

Centralized Vehicle Visualization

A standout feature of the v12 UI update, not to be confused with FSD v12, is the centralized vehicle visualization, which dominates the display while parked (shown in photo). This design choice enhances visual appeal and improves functionality by placing critical vehicle performance metrics, and status updates front and center. Similar to the layout in the Cybertruck, this feature provides drivers with a clear and immediate view of their vehicle's status and shows off the gorgeous 3D model.

Improved Navigation

The navigation system will see several improvements. You’ll now see a little trip progress bar that lets you visually see how far along you are on your route.

If your vehicle has a rear screen, as in the new Model 3, the redesigned Model S or Model X, then trip information such as ETA will also be displayed on the rear screen.

Tesla already has the ability to update your route if a faster route becomes available. You can change some of these settings under Controls > Navigate. However, now the vehicle will show you if a faster route becomes available and gives you a chance to cancel the updated route if needed.

Expanded Autopilot Visualizations

Tesla is now bringing its full-screen visualizations outside of North America. However, there will be some improvements as well. In addition to being able to have the visualizations go full screen, there will now be a small map displayed in the corner as well.

That’s one of the issues with the full-screen FSD visualizations right now. If you make them full-screen, you lose your navigation map completely and only have the next turn available.

This will be the first time full-screen visualizations are available outside North America. It’s not clear whether all the FSD visualizations will be available such as traffic lights, curbs and more will be displayed, but Tesla has slowly been adding additional visualizations for non-FSD users, so there’s a chance that this feature will finally display all FSD visualizations to users outside of North America.

It’s not immediately clear whether this feature will require Enhanced Autopilot or FSD.

Full-Screen Browser Support

With this update, Tesla will finally let you manually make the browser full-screen. While this will make Tesla’s Theater apps a little redundant since they just loaded the website of the selected streaming service, you’ll now be able to stream any video service full screen, as long as the service supports Tesla’s browser.

As expected, the full-screen button will only be available while the vehicle is parked.

Checking Compatibility and Availability

Owners can verify their vehicle’s compatibility with the new full-screen visualizations while parked and driving by navigating to Controls > Software > Additional Vehicle Info on their Tesla’s touchscreen. This update is tailored for Tesla vehicles equipped with the AMD Ryzen processor.

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