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?

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 Updates Hazard Lights Frequency To Improve Safety in Software Update

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is implementing a new hazard light pattern that improves drivers' attention
Tesla is implementing a new hazard light pattern that improves drivers' attention
Emergency Safety Solutions

Tesla is rolling out a significant safety enhancement through a software update. Teslas, already the safest vehicles on the planet, got a little safer thanks to a small company based in Texas. While this article will highlight the advancement in safety, it will also applaud the work of Emergency Safety Solutions, which dared to challenge the old way of doing things.

Overnight Evolution: The Game Changer

Tesla North America didn't mince words when they announced: "If an airbag is deployed, hazard lights will automatically activate & flash faster to improve visibility." Elon Musk added, "New Tesla safety feature uploaded via over-the-air software update. Your car just got better while you slept."

It got much better thanks to a partnership with Emergency Safety Solutions (ESS), which we spotlighted a year ago. The small company, now just five years old, used a Tesla Model 3 to display its advancements in the hazard lights system, which had remained unchanged for more than 70 years. After numerous studies, the company changed everything about the hazard lights and approached Tesla with its findings.

Chilling Frequency: Every seven minutes, a disabled vehicle is involved in a crash on American roads. The result? An alarming 15,000 injuries or fatalities annually.

Ancient Flaws: The primary culprit behind these startling figures is a hazard light system that hasn't been updated in over seven decades.

The Solution: A frequency shift by adjusting flash frequencies from the sluggish 1.5Hz system to between 4Hz and 6Hz immensely heightens driver alertness. Hertz is a unit of frequency, which equals the number of cycles per second. In this case, the frequency of flashing lights is increased from 1.5 flashes per second, up to 4 - 6 flashes per second.

Real-World Outcomes: When 5Hz flash frequency was tested, drivers reacted a crucial 12 seconds faster. Moreover, they recognized an issue of more than three football fields sooner than the 70-year version. The number of drivers shifting to the safer side of a disabled vehicle also shot up dramatically — from 30% to an impressive 87%.

Emergency Safety Solutions also posted on X: "Great step toward making our roads safer for people in disabled and vulnerable vehicles! We appreciate our partnership with Tesla and applaud this major milestone in our mission to protect drivers when they need it most."

Software Update

Tesla states in their post on X that this update is rolling out now in the U.S. to Model 3/Y vehicles and newer Model S and Xs.

It's not clear whether Tesla means this enhancement is available in update 2023.32, or whether it's in the upcoming 2023.38 update, which is currently in employee testing.

It's more likely that H.E.L.P. is implemented in update 2023.38, but we have yet to receive release notes for vehicles in the U.S., so we'll have to wait and see if this enhancement made it in.

More H.E.L.P. to Come

Keep an eye out for even more safety advancements courtesy of this partnership with ESS and Tesla. The company created the Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol or HELP. Beyond the lightning-fast flashes, HELP seamlessly integrates with in-car and phone navigation systems, giving drivers a heads-up about potential hazards before they become visible. It's like giving your Tesla a sixth sense.

Unfortunately, that will take longer as it would require more automakers to get on board with this new system. However, as we've realized, automakers are following Tesla's leadership on several fronts, and they may also increase road safety and implement the advanced system.

Video Reveals the Tesla Cybertruck's Unique User Interface [Video]

By Kevin Armstrong
A closer look at the Cybertruck's UI
A closer look at the Cybertruck's UI

It's not a good day to be named Max and work at Tesla or on the security team assigned to the Cybertruck. You can't help but wonder how a daring individual found himself in the driver's seat of this highly anticipated vehicle. This perpetrator spoke in Russian and joked that a bag in the truck belonged to Elon Musk before zooming in to a name tag reading "Max."

While we certainly don't condone breaking the law, we were provided with a risky reveal of the Cybertruck's interior courtesy of a mysterious and perhaps too-bold-for-his-own-good infiltrator.

Cyber-Theme UI

The video is less than a minute long but provides new information, notably on the updated user interface (UI). For weeks we've had Cybertruck sightings, but this is our best look at the Cybertruck's display.

Updated Icons and Font

The UI appears designed specifically for the Cybertruck; icons possess subtle sharp edges, mirroring Cybertruck's angular aesthetics. This design philosophy also extends to the unique font choice, giving the UI a rugged, distinct look.


A further advancement is the seamless transition between vehicle visualization and maps. The once-clear partition is a fading background, allowing for a more unified appearance. This unity is further emphasized with the vehicle now being depicted atop a 3D polygon terrain, which has been discovered before in firmware updates.

Icon Placement Changes

One of the first distinctions users would notice is the transition from horizontal app icons. This design has been the hallmark of previous Tesla models, to a vertical arrangement along the lefthand side of the screen.

The vehicle control icon is at the bottom, followed by climate controls and other apps. The gear indicator has evolved, too, switching from its usual horizontal layout to a vertical orientation in the screen's top left portion.

A closer look at the Cybertruck's UI
A closer look at the Cybertruck's UI

The status icons, such as time, temperature, Tesla profile used to grace the top of the display, but they have now been realigned to the left side and can now be found directly above the vehicle visualization.

Cameras, Front Camera Confirmed

Another intriguing update revolves around the Camera app. Where previously users had to decipher camera views, they are now labeled for convenience, as showcased in the video with marked "Left" and "Front" camera views. Yes, there is a front camera view, finally answering the question of Tesla introducing the front bumper camera. We previously had a look at how we expect Tesla's updated Camera app to work with the front bumper camera.

Battery Icon

One of the standout features in the video is the battery display. Gone are the traditional battery icons. Instead, we are introduced to slanted lines, each symbolizing 10% of the battery charge. This visual representation is intuitive and integrates with the Cybertruck's angular design.

Music Mini Player?

Beneath the vehicle visualization is what appears to be a minuscule music control feature, though its precise functionality remains uncertain from the short video clip.

Inside the Cybertruck: More than Just a Fresh UI

Ambient Lighting: Drawing inspiration from the latest Model 3 Refresh and the Chinese Model Y, the Cybertruck incorporates a colorful ambient lighting strip. Strategically placed, this lighting adds a modern aura to the vehicle's groundbreaking design.

Interior Layout and Accessories: The video takes us on a mini-tour of the truck's interior, revealing several intriguing features:

Hexagonal Design Elements: Keeping in line with Cybertruck's geometric aesthetic, the backup camera icon flaunts a hexagonal design, intriguingly contrasting the octagonal design found on the cupholders.

Center Console: A spacious tray area reminiscent of the old Model S finds a home between the front seats. Decked with some wires and a yet-to-be-identified document, the console boasts "cyber cupholders" with an octagonal design. Furthermore, it's equipped with dual phone charging spots right in front of the cupholders.

Sun Visor: The video briefly showcases the two-stage sun visor, which resembles the one found in the Model X. The video provides a glimpse of the massive glass roof, promising a panoramic view that will undoubtedly make the interior feel even more expansive.

Rear Window View: A feature with many talking is the clear view through the back window. Although the video offers only a short glimpse, obstructed by tires placed in the truck's bed, it's evident that when the cover is open, drivers and passengers will benefit from an expansive, unobstructed view.

As one viewer pointed out, this video will probably be used for evidence one day. Whoever was in the Cybertruck owes Max an apology, and poor Max needs to remember to lock the door.

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

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

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


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