Tesla expected to add HD radar to vehicles next month

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla discloses new hardware, is it HD radar?
Tesla discloses new hardware, is it HD radar?
@Taka87

Tesla requested more time for details to be kept confidential, and in doing so, everyone now knows something is up. A document dated November 18, 2022, appeared on Twitter on December 6. It’s from Tesla Inc. and addressed to the Federal Communications Commission. In the brief letter, Certification Engineer Cindy Li requests a 60-day extension of a previous agreement to keep a device secret. This mysterious letter set the Tesla sphere on fire with speculation to find out what is the secret device.

All we know from the letter is that model number 1541584 includes a user manual, internal photos, external photos, and test setup photos. Whatever this device is, it was going to be made public by the FCC on December 7, 2022. Tesla asked for an extension because the device will not be ready until mid-January 2023. The company wants to “avoid any unnecessary disclosure and competitive harm before our product launch…”

The poster of the letter, Twitter user @Taka87 reached out to well-known Tesla hacker @greentheonly, for some insight. The response: … something potentially major planned for mid-January which is just a bit over a month away... Like something that coincides with a sensor suite change.

That opens the door for the return of radar, which was removed last year and/or ultrasonic sensors, which Tesla just scrapped in October when it made the call to go completely with Tesla Vision. At that time, Tesla said in a statement: With today's software, this approach gives Autopilot high-definition spatial positioning, longer range visibility and the ability to identify and differentiate between objects. As with many Tesla features, our occupancy network will continue to improve rapidly over time.

There has also been a lot of speculation about HW4, where a high-resolution radar is believed to be part of the full self-driving sensor suite. HW4 goes as far back as the 2021 A.I. Day when Elon Musk said a new FSD computer would come out with the Cybertruck. This upgrade is now reportedly being developed by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC). It is expected to be much more powerful than the current hardware by as much as four times.

Elon has also previously commented on HD radar, saying "A very high-resolution radar would be better than pure vision, but such a radar does not exist. I mean vision with high-res radar would be better than pure vision."

An unidentified part, closely resembling a new radar was found on Tesla's Parts Catalog back in September by @GreenTheOnly. This mysterious item was marked but suspiciously not given a name, a part number or a description. However, given Green's experience with the inner workings of these vehicles, Green believes it is a new Tesla radar. In a follow-up tweet, he doubled down on his stance, saying the part matches the high-resolution radar Tesla registered with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in June.

Fans recently spotted multiple Model 3 vehicles that had parts of the front and rear of the vehicle covered up. If Tesla is planning to add HD radar or change some of the vehicle's sensor suite, these vehicles may be testing exactly this.

Elon to Switch to the Cybertruck; Volume Production in 2024

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck mass production to start in 2024
Cybertruck mass production to start in 2024
Kim Java

Tesla's fourth quarter and 2022 earnings call with investors was mostly good news unless you were planning to drive a Cybertruck soon. While company executives eagerly jumped on every question asked by investors, there was a noticeable pause when a point-blank question was asked about Cybertruck's mid-year production date.

Elon Musk responded "um, we do expect production to start, I don't know, maybe sometime this summer. But I always like to try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it's always very slow at first. So I wouldn't put too much thought in start of production."

Volume Production Next Year

If the millions of people with Cybertruck reservations were in attendance, you might have felt the air leave the room. The previous belief was mass production would start by the end of 2023. There may be some stainless-steel beauties on the road by then, but only a few. "It's kind of when does volume production actually happen, and that's next year," said Musk.

Perhaps sensing some disappointed buyers, Lars Moravy, Tesla's Vice President of Vehicle Engineering added, "(I'd) like just to emphasize on that, we've started installation of all the production equipment here in Giga Texas, castings, general assembly, body shops. We built all our beta vehicles, some more coming still in the next month, but as you said, the ramp will really come 2024."

The Cybertruck Will be Elon's Next Car

Cybertruck was originally announced in 2019 at the memorable event that included the unbreakable armor glass smashing. Musk was wearing the smashed glass Cybertruck t-shirt while taking questions from investors. While the wait continues, he is adamant that it will be worth it, "So it's an incredible product. I can't wait to drive it personally. It will be the car that I drive every day… it's just one of those products that only comes along once in a while, and it's really special."

The original release deadline was set for 2021. However, the production date has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, like a global pandemic. Nevertheless, it is a positive sign that beta vehicles have been produced. Images of what appears to be a Cybertruck were leaked a few months ago.

Recently, chief designer Franz von Holzhausen did confirm that the Cybertruck was ready for production, but it's a work in progress. Every Tesla beta product gets thoroughly examined and meticulously reviewed before the next step. But at least it's a step in the right direction.

A Look at Tesla's 2022 Numbers and Record Quarter

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Statista

Tesla published their Q4 2022 and full-year financial results, setting new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations. Tesla’s annual profit rose to $12.6 billion in 2022, from $5.5 billion in 2021. Annual revenue rose to $81.5 billion, from $53.8 billion the year prior. Tesla reported fourth-quarter revenue of $24.32 billion beating analysts' $24.07 billion estimate. The automaker also reported earnings per share of $1.19 beating analysts' $1.12 estimate.

Tesla’s stock rose more than 5% in after-hours trading following the earnings release and surged more than 10% the next day.

Tesla's Q4 2022 revenue set a new record for the company, up 59% from a year earlier. In addition to automotive revenue of $21.3 billion, Tesla recognized $324 million of deferred revenue from the company’s driver assistance systems.

FSD Beta Numbers

Tesla reported that 90 million miles have now been driven with FSD Beta, up from 58 million miles in the previous quarter. The company also confirmed that they have about 400,000 FSD Beta users in North America, a sizeable increase since the last report. With such a steep increase in miles driven and FSD Beta becoming widely available in North America, Tesla is making significant progress with its autonomous driving software.

In late 2022 and into this year, Tesla began cutting prices on its cars globally. Elon spoke about how recent price cuts have fueled a surge in demand for Tesla: “Thus far in January we’ve seen the strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history. We’re currently seeing orders of almost twice the rate of production.” He added: “These price changes really make a difference for the average consumer.” Tesla acknowledges that average sales prices have to decrease over time because affordability is part of Tesla's mission to grow into a company that sells multiple millions of cars annually.

Price cuts will impact profitability, but margins should remain healthy, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn affirmed. Tesla has wider operating margins than the industry average, which allows them to make such price cuts.

Elon issued an uncertain forecast for 2023, saying Tesla planned on 1.8 million vehicles for the year without specifying whether that was a target for production or deliveries. If the company were to deliver 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, that would result in 37% annual growth.

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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 2023.2.0.5.

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

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