Update 2022.40.4 uses vision to mimic ultrasonic sensors

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has added code that mimics USS in 2022.40.4
Tesla has added code that mimics USS in 2022.40.4
Not a Tesla App

Shiny new Model 3s started appearing last month, missing the small, round polka dots on their bumpers. The circles were gone after the company announced it was removing the ultrasonic sensors (USS) to move to strictly Vision. However, after a few weeks in the wild, evidence suggests the company will mimic what USS used to perform and display.

Twitter user @EZebroni tweeted a helpful video demonstrating the difference between a Tesla with and without USS. It's noticeably different then what Tesla drivers are used to seeing. The distance lines are gone, and even the images of what is beside the non-USS Tesla are not there, just a lot of white screen.

As seen in the video, a vehicle without USS will not display any information to the driver regarding nearby objects. The distance to nearby objects is not displayed on the screen nor are the colored arcs that usually display when an object is nearby.

However, update 2022.40.4 appears to reintroduce some functionality to owners of these vehicles, at least in shadow mode.

Twitter user @greentheonly, a well-known Tesla hacker, tweeted: 2022.40.4 merges no-ultrasonics code into "mainline," now receives parking distances from Autopilot (where not equipped with proper ultrasonics).

From Green's findings, it looks like Tesla is preparing to mimic ultrasonic sensors with Tesla Vision, which essentially means that the vehicle is likely to display not only the arcs when an object is nearby, but also the distance to the given object.

Greentheonly was asked several questions after tweeting this information. Someone wanted to know if the Tesla no-ultrasonics code was working in shadow mode, a blend or pure AutoPilot. Green said that it is not a blend, but he needed to figure out what is displayed on USS-less cars, encouraging someone with a new Model 3 or Model Y to try 2022.40.4.

Although the code is available in 2022.40.4, it's not clear yet whether Tesla is running this code in shadow mode, meaning that the code is run in the background without notifying the user, or if distances are now being shown on vehicles without USS.

Blind spot

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

One of the biggest questions that remains is how Tesla will solve the roughly 3 foot blind spot in front of the vehicle where cameras can't see.

Some speculate that Tesla will fill in this gap by taking the information the cameras saw before the vehicle got closer to the object, but this may not work in all circumstanes.

Others think that Tesla may be able to have the car back up in the rare situations where objects in front of the vehicle may have changed, such as when summong a parked vehicle. As these USS-less vehicles make it into more hands and update to 2022.40.4 we should have answers to some of these questions, however Autopark, Summon and Smart Summon remain unavailable on these vehicles, even with the latest update.

Will Tesla stop utilizing ultrasonic sensors like they did radar?

Another Twitter user asked if this would make the USS on the existing vehicles "ornaments?" This has been a widespread concern since the non-USS cars started showing up. Tesla addressed this matter when it announced it was removing USS. It states on the company website: At this time, we do not plan to remove the functionality of ultrasonic sensors in our existing fleet.

At this time USS have only been removed from the Model 3 and Model Y, but they will also be removed from the Model S and Model X in 2023. Green also believes the existing USS will remain operational, tweeting: not any time soon, I imagine. Also, the front ones still cover an area where the cameras don't see.

Another user questioned, does it only take information from the moving/static object networks, or is it able to use the occupancy, and road edge networks as well? To which Green responded that he had not looked into that kind of detail yet.

The new world of non-USS is upon us, and there will be many questions. This revelation is likely the first of a long line of updates to assist Vision in making up what was lost with ultrasonic sensors.

Tesla Chief Designer Says His Favorite Vehicle Is Yet to Come

By Kevin Armstrong
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
Tesla

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 2023 Model 3 'revamp' is for cost-cutting, not a redesign

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla's revamping its Model 3 vehicle
Tesla's revamping its Model 3 vehicle
Tesla

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.

Redesign Rumors

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.

The revamped Model 3 is likely to remain without its ultrasonic sensors, as Tesla is beginning its transition to its own Tesla Vision. This technology uses the vehicle’s onboard cameras and vast amounts of data from the neural net to function.

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

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

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

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