First look at FSD Beta 10.69.3 as it starts going out to public testers

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla improves the full-screen visualization by adding destination details in beta 10.69.3
Tesla improves the full-screen visualization by adding destination details in beta 10.69.3
DirtyTesla/Twitter

Several Tesla enthusiasts posted videos to YouTube showing viewers their first drives with Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta 10.69.3. Generally, the reviews are positive. Most videos have moments where the driver expects the program to make an error; instead, the Tesla surprises the user and executes complex areas without intervention.

Elon Musk has been touting this version of FSD as a significant update, but after the release, he tweeted: Still a fair bit of polish to be done on 69.3. It's a major release posing as a minor release.

Destination ETA in Full Screen

Besides the numerous FSD improvements and the new features Tesla has added in this update, Tesla has also made improvements to the full screen visualization.

When you enlarge the visualization so that it takes up the full screen, your destination details will now remain in the top right corner of the screen.

This includes information such as your destination, your arrival time, and distance and time remaining. This crucial information was previously hidden if you enlarged the visualization. Your next turn is also displayed at the top of the screen instead of at the bottom.

First Impressions

@Wholemarsblog, who is an FSD Beta tester, posted a video on YouTube as he cruised around San Francisco. During the video, he said, "they delivered on basically what everyone said was impossible for them to do." He was impressed with the update, "I think people will be blown away by this product when they try it later this month. It does pretty much what they said it would do. You get in the car, you tell it where you want to go anywhere in the country, and it just drives you there, you just sit there, simple as that."

Whole Mars Catalog's Take

@blktsla, also posted on YouTube. He put the program to work, even driving into direct sunlight to test the Vision system. A few times, he gave a thumbs up to the camera after noticing a significant difference from early versions of the program on the same drive. "It's natural. It's human-like. It doesn't make me feel uncomfortable," he noted. He also pointed out the display, how the animation was solid, not wavering as the program tried to figure out what is going on, "Everything is a lot more still and stable in the visualization, specifically when standing still."

Black Tesla's Take

However, @blktsla did intervene a few times, including once at an unprotected left, "that was awkward," he said, "maybe an anomaly, but not a good look again." He gave the decision-making a six out of ten but was still quite sure about the program, "confidence of the car is really what impressed me. I'm going to give it a seven." He also gave it an eight for comfort.

Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley posted a ride with 10.69.3. There was less commentary than in the other videos. However, during the video a cyclist cuts the corner too close, and the Tesla has to make a quick decision to move to the right and slow down immediately.

Tesla Owners of Silicone Valley's Take

Dirty Tesla's ride on YouTube went through some complex areas. While the host seemed impressed with the update, he noted a few interventions: "I don't like seeing those things we are this far into beta, but that is why it is beta. It is not done."

Dirty Tesla's Take

@Wholemarsblog pointed out, "you definitely see the capability and the potential, at least in some areas. One area it definitely exceeds humans is the focus. It always has complete focus. It's never distracted. There are a lot of things this thing will be able to help humans with."

Musk is confident that this program will make the road safer and prevent countless injuries and fatalities. All the testers and Musk say the system is not 100 percent, but it has improved. Tesla has said that FSD will go out to everyone in the U.S. and Canada by the end of this year.

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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