Tesla Makes Yoke Optional; New Wheel Coming to the Model 3 and Y?

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla is now offering an alternative to the yoke steering wheel
Tesla is now offering an alternative to the yoke steering wheel
Tesla

Tesla has officially announced a full steering wheel option for the refresh Model X and Model S vehicles.

When Tesla unveiled refreshed Model S and Model X cars, one of the improvements they made was adding the yoke steering wheel. A lot of owners love it and say it makes it feel like you’re driving a rocket ship. Others have called it a gimmick and would prefer a regular steering wheel.

Now, after almost two years, as the Model S starts to enter new markets, Tesla has officially made the yoke steering wheel optional. When ordering a Tesla, you’ll now have the option to choose between a full steering wheel or the yoke.

Tesla is defaulting purchases to the standard steering wheel, but you have the option to change to the yoke at no additional cost.

Regardless of the wheel you pick, there are no stalks included. Turn signals, wipers and other functions are controlled through capacitive buttons on either steering wheel.

Retrofit

Additionally, Tesla is offering retrofits for current owners who have a yoke wheel. For $700 Model S and Model X owners who prefer the full steering wheel can have it retrofitted through Tesla service.

Standardize Parts Across Models

The capacitive steering wheel Tesla is offering appears to be the same one that is used in the Tesla Semi, and also the one that is expected to be used in the revamped Model 3 coming, according to a source. Tesla could be looking to standardize an additional part across their fleet with this new wheel.

Auto Shift

An additional improvement that Tesla added to its refreshed Model S and Model X vehicles with Full Self-Driving is the Auto-Shift feature. This partially removes the need for the driver to shift the vehicle into gear, passing this responsibility onto the vehicle. The car will use its cameras to determine which direction the vehicle needs to go in certain situations. When you need to specify or override your direction, you can do so on the center display or by using the capacitive buttons under the phone chargers.

Auto-Shift is supposedly coming to all Teslas in the future, but we do not have a timeline as to when.

Tesla Begins Testing FSD in China

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla was recently granted permission to test FSD on Chinese streets – specifically in Shanghai. Just recently, Elon Musk visited China and discussed the potential for FSD to come to China.

Gearing Up for FSD China

This is just the first step for Tesla to begin its customer deployments of FSD – Tesla conducts similar ADAS testing in North America, where special testing vehicles and testing employees run the latest FSD (Supervised) versions against a gamut of real-world, real-life tests.

Tesla has recently been working on translating FSD release notes into multiple languages, alongside building a data center in Shanghai and establishing an FSD Operations and Labelling team at the same center. These are the first, key steps to bringing FSD to a new market that has unique and different traffic rules when compared North America.

China doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles or challenges that Tesla faces in Europe to bring FSD and has been working with Chinese corporations as well as the government, which has now provided its official approval for FSD testing in-country.

We might even see FSD deployed to early testing customers in China by the end of 2025.

ADAS Competitors

There are quite a few competitors in the Chinese market already- with challengers like Xpeng and Xiaomi working on building their own homegrown systems, mostly driven by a mixture of cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, and LIDAR. However, many of these systems face similar challenges to other non-Chinese competitors and don’t have the mileage under their belts to tackle Tesla’s dominating lead in data and data processing.

European Union

Tesla is poising itself for an FSD rollout internationally, with increased testing also taking place in the UK, France, and Spain – some of the key locations with unique infrastructure in the European Union. However, some EU-specific regulations restrict how FSD can perform – each and every action must be manually approved by the driver. Until that regulation is changed to adapt to systems like FSD, it won’t be making its way there just yet.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Charging Improvements in Upcoming Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Former Tesla VP of Powertrain and Energy Drew Baglino previously mentioned that Cybertruck would be receiving charging improvements soon.

Wes Morrill, Tesla’s Cybertruck lead engineer, recently reposted Baglino’s comments on the charge speed update on June 16th and mentioned that it would be coming soon via OTA.

Charging Improvements

The 4680 cell has seen some difficulties in its charge curve, similar to Tesla’s other vehicles that have been deployed with the 4680. Tesla has alluded to difficulties in the manufacturing curve previously, and also with engineering improvements to the new cell standard, and eventually stopped manufacturing the Model Y with the 4680 cells.

However, this is the first time that Tesla has begun to deploy major improvements to the 4680 cell. It appears the improvements will allow up to 154 miles to be recovered in 15 minutes, which is approximately a 30% improvement to current charge rates.

We’re hoping that these improvements to the 4680 will also translate to older Model Y vehicles that have 4680 cells, which will be key to the owners of these vehicles. 4680 production is currently mainly focused on Powerwall, Megapack, and Cybertruck – with Semi not using 4680 yet.

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