The suspense continues. The long-awaited Full Self Driving Beta Version 10.69.3 should be arriving any day now. Yes, you've read that before. While it can be frustrating to some, it should demonstrate just how important this update is for Tesla. Elon Musk has already stated his confidence in the update and believes FSD is safer than human drivers.
Musk also announced during the third quarter earnings call that every FSD subscriber in the U.S. and Canada will get access to the program before the end of the year. That means the number of FSD vehicles operating is about to skyrocket. With regulators watching the program closely, Tesla must double and triple-check everything. When asked when FSD was coming, Musk tweeted, "Next week. It's actually a major release, so a lot more internal testing is needed before going to public beta."
Perhaps it's the decimals that are throwing people off. Usually, updates with two or more decimals are small that address minor bugs or allow access to slight enhancements. Given the long list of tweets Tesla's CEO has published promising significant developments, this update could be better suited to be a new number, like 11. However, Musk tweeted earlier this month, "10.69.3 will actually be a major upgrade. We're keeping .69 just because haha."
Many observers expected the "major upgrade" shortly after A.I. Day 2022 on September 30. Unfortunately, FSD enhancements played second fiddle to the unveiling of Optimus, the humanoid robot. Nevertheless, it was still impressive for the Autopilot program and the engineers behind the scenes. Tesla's director of the Autopilot program, Ashok Elluswamy, said, "FSD beta software is quite capable of driving the car. It should be able to navigate from parking lot to parking lot, city street driving, stopping for traffic lights and stops signs, negotiating with objects at intersections, making turns and so on."
FSD Beta 10.69.3 has been eagerly awaited every week since, as the tweets continue to pile up. Musk also doubled down on the improvements of the next FSD during the recent earnings call. He is sure that Tesla is well on its way to being fully autonomous and is preparing to challenge regulators to prove that this program will make roads safer. "Certainly, without a question whatsoever in my mind, next year. I think we'll also have enough data next year to be able to show to regulators that the car is safer than the average human," said Musk.
Tesla has traditionally released FSD Beta updates toward the end of the week. It's possible we may see the first sightings of this beta this coming weekend when Tesla releases it to employees. Tesla will then slowly release to existing testers.
Other Features Included
It's almost certain that FSD Beta 10.69.3 will be based on update 2022.28 or 2022.36, which means that it will also bring some big features that are outside of FSD Beta.
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
Tesla's Chief Designer, Franz von Holzhausen, has designed the company's entire fleet of vehicles, but the Model S, 3, X, Y, Cybertruck and Semi are not his favorites. "My favorite one is the one that is coming.
I can't talk about (it)," von Holzhausen told CNBC. He then quickly pivoted the conversation away from that topic. Nevertheless, several rumored vehicles will be the next to carry the "T" logo. So, which one is the creative mind of Tesla referring to in his evasive answer?
Franz von Holzhausen Interview
Let's start with the suspects. A cheaper, smaller and less expensive electric vehicle has been predicted for years. More recently, there have been ideas about a van. And then there is the second generation of the highly anticipated Roadster. While von Holzhausen didn't talk about the next one, he did give some clues later in the interview. "My all-time favorite car is a '62 250 GTO (Ferrari). I mean, it is quintessential. It's an insane car. I'm also a big fan of this kind of wedge era. The early (Lamborghini) Countachs, the whole kind of flat, low sports car. Those were always the posters on my wall."
The Designer Loves Sports Cars
When a 54-year-old man reminisces about the cars featured in posters plastered on his wall when he was a kid, he is not excited about a van or a compact vehicle — no, he is excited about a sports car. The second-generation Roadster was unveiled in 2017 simultaneously with the Semi. But there hasn't been much mention of the sports car since. The company is just now delivering Semis, and Cybertrucks are expected in 2023, but the Roadster doesn't have an ETA. Or does it? The chief designer says, "… the one that is coming." So, we can only assume that the Roadster is next to hit the production line.
Tesla Roadster 2.0
A Designer Who has Changed the Industry
One of the first employees of Tesla back in 2008, von Holzhausen, recalls the early days and how things have changed. "There is a moment that I thought when I first joined Tesla that it would be great to see multiple Teslas in one drive experience around town. And now, it's hard to go anywhere without seeing a bunch of Teslas. So, it's great to see the impact that Tesla has had in people's lives but also how it's changed the industry. It really pushed this idea that an EV can be better than an internal combustion vehicle."
He also gave some insight into designing vehicles that have and continue to change the auto industry, "Tesla isn't beholden to what has been done in the past. We are always trying to push the boundaries and deliver on a promise of something fun, something enjoyable and something you would love to own and tell your friends about."
It looks like The Roadster could be the next fun, enjoyable vehicle to tell everyone about.
Tesla’s gearing up for a small "revamp" of its popular Model 3 vehicle, which is set to go into production in the middle of 2023.
According to Reuters, the revamp is called “Project Highland” and aimed at lowering the production costs and increasing the Model 3’s attractiveness and not because it needs a redesign. The Model 3 was launched back in 2017, and Tesla has already sold well over 1 million of them.
According to our sources, don’t expect a design overhaul of the Model 3, though. Instead, Project Highland will focus on reducing the number of components and complexity of the Model 3’s interior.
The main goal of this Model 3 revamp is to increase manufacturing efficiencies and reduce costs. Tesla would like to get the Long Range and possibly the Performance variants of the Model 3 to qualify for the US tax incentive for 2023. Under this tax credit, manufacturers’ suggested retail price for brand-new sedans must be less than $55,000. For SUVs, trucks and vans, the maximum price is capped at $80,000.
Our previous evaluation of the vehicles that would qualify include the Model 3 RWD, Model Y Long Range (AWD), and Model Y Performance. However, this will likely change once the revamp goes into production.
Do not expect new vehicle features to be added to the Model 3, such as a rear display, air suspension, or ventilated seats. These features would raise the price of the Model 3 and create a significant overlap between the Model 3 and the refreshed Model S.
Yoke Steering Wheel
One new feature that is possible in this Model 3 revamp is the introduction of a yoke steering wheel or more likely, a wheel similar to the Tesla Semi, which has capacitive controls and no stalks. The stalks are replaced with capacitive controls on the steering wheel and touch controls on the vehicle's display. We previously reported on this rumor in August.
A few rumors are floating around online including a redesigned front bumper and removal of door handles in exchange for touchless doors like the Cybertruck and Roadster 2.0, although our source tells us that this is cool, but not accurate.
2023 Model 3 Update
Based on recent rumors -Bumper facelift (in line with Y/S/X) -No door handles, wing mirrors or ultra sonics (as Cybertruck) pic.twitter.com/GQ5k64bV4O
Over the past few years, Tesla has made significant efficiencies in the way it builds and manufactures vehicles. Recently, the Model Y switched to a single-mold front casting. This requires 169 fewer pieces and 1,600 fewer welds. To achieve this, Tesla is using its Giga Presses at its Berlin Gigafactory.
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