New information is leaked about Tesla's upcoming hardware 4.0 suite
We now have new information regarding Tesla's updated cameras that will be used in Hardware 4.0. Twitter user @ChrisZheng001, who has ties with the Tesla supply chain in China, posted three images that appear to be camera configurations. While the information in the picture is limited, there is enough text to uncover what may be in development at Tesla.
Three Cameras to Two
The front-facing cameras will be reduced to two
Perhaps the biggest change comes to the trio of cameras that make up the forward-facing view for the Autopilot system. The translation appears to state that Tesla will be reducing its three front-facing cameras down to two and all cameras, including the interior camera, will be upgraded to 'AP4' cameras. The newer cameras are expected to have a much higher resolution in addition to other improvements such as LED flicker mitigation.
The only information provided by @ChrisZheng001 in the post is: The Autopilot HW 4.0 front camera will be reduced to two Cz (because) of the significant increase in both pixel density and field of view.
In November of 2022, it was revealed that a Tesla supplier was producing 5-megapixel cameras. The current cameras are 1.2 megapixels. So, while the number of cameras is being reduced, Tesla Vision will actually improve.
Fans for Forward Facing Cameras
The front-facing cameras will feature a fan to help with condensation
That leads to the next change. The housing size doesn’t appear to change, just what is in it. According to the document, and again using Google translate, it states: the shape of the black border at the position of the front camera has changed/added a camera fan.
By that wording, it sounds like the new housing will include a fan, likely to prevent condensation buildup. However, it seems open for change with a window for feedback and further evaluation.
B-pillar cameras will gain a heater in addition to a new camera opening
There is one more picture. The text reads: B-pillar exterior trim. B-pillar exterior panel camera change, opening shape change, new camera heating device. Inspection station: final care exterior decoration inspection appearance; heating function will be evaluated after project feedback.
There is not much to figure out there. Tesla appears to be adding a heating device to keep the B-pillar cameras clear and changing the shape of the opening. That could be due to the size of the new cameras or the field of view they require.
It’s widely speculated that a new high-resolution radar unit is in the works. That radar combined with these high-powered cameras means Tesla’s already incredible Autopilot system will only improve.
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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.
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
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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