Tesla Vision Park Assist: Bringing Back Distance Measurements for Cars without Ultrasonic Sensors

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla restores Park Assist using vision for vehicles without ultrasonic sensors
Tesla restores Park Assist using vision for vehicles without ultrasonic sensors
Tesla

Tesla has taken another significant step forward in its commitment to vision-based technology by introducing Tesla Vision Park Assist. This new feature reinstates the Park Assist distance measurements for Tesla vehicles without ultrasonic sensors (USS).

In October 2022, Tesla removed USS from Model 3, Model Y, and later, Model S and Model X, as part of the shift to its camera-based Autopilot system, Tesla Vision. However, the accompanying software to measure distances to nearby objects wasn't ready at the time, leaving owners of cars without USS to estimate their distance to surrounding things while parking.

The Latest Update Gets Even Bigger

The wait for a solution is finally over with the release of software version 2022.45.11, which includes the latest FSD Beta v11.3.2. As confirmed by well-known Tesla hacker @greentheonly, Tesla Vision Park Assist has been added to this update for vehicles without USS.

Improvements Over Ultrasonic Sensors

Although Tesla's vision-based approach is expected to not be as accurate as having ultrasonic sensors, at least initially, it does offer one improvement for the hardware-based solution.

The vision-based Park Assist system not only measures distances to objects at the front and rear of the car but also detects objects on the sides where there is no USS, providing 360° coverage around the vehicle.

It's not clear whether Tesla plans to add vision-based object detection to the sides of vehicles that have ultrasonic sensors in a future update.

The current release is limited to cars testing FSD Beta without USS, while vehicles with USS continue to operate with their sensors enabled. Although it might take some time for the feature to be deployed fleet-wide, Tesla Vision Park Assist demonstrates Tesla's progress in refining vision-based technology for parking assistance.

Who Will Get It

According to @greentheonly, the new Park Assist system is currently only available to customers in the United States and Canada who have purchased FSD and applied for access to the FSD Beta program. It is also currently limited to the Model 3 and Model Y. However, with visual and audio alerts of surrounding objects and the use of the occupancy network to predict high-definition outlines of objects around the vehicle, the vision-based system could eventually prove superior to Tesla's previous USS-based solution.

The release notes for Park Assist in 2022.45.11 state:

Tesla Vision Park Assist provides visual and audio alerts of surrounding objects. This feature uses the occupancy network to predict high-definition outlines of objects 360 degrees around the car.

Note: Tesla Vision Park Assist is for guidance purposes only and is not a substitute for an aware driver. Please be attentive and avoid obstacles as required.

Last year, Tesla's shift to a vision-only approach resulted in temporarily limiting or disabling some features, such as Summon, Smart Summon, Autopark, and Park Assist. Park Assist, which alerts drivers to nearby objects when traveling at less than five mph, appeared to be the easiest to implement. Now that Tesla has released Park Assist for vision-only vehicles, it is likely that Autopark, Summon, and Smart Summon will follow suit for Teslas without ultrasonic sensors in due course.

With Tesla Vision Park Assist, Tesla owners without ultrasonic sensors can now enjoy improved parking assistance, making it easier and safer to navigate tight parking spaces. As the feature continues to roll out and improve, Tesla demonstrates its dedication to advancing its vision-based technology for the benefit of its customers.

Tesla Reduces Price of FSD Subscription to $99 Per Month [Subscriptions Now Available in Canada Too!]

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla just dropped its FSD subscription pricing dramatically in the U.S., lowering the cost from $199 to $99 per month. However, not everyone is thrilled with the new pricing.

For owners who bought the Enhanced Autopilot package for $6,000 USD, Tesla offered a lower-priced FSD subscription of $99, instead of $199. However, with this new FSD price reduction, EAP owners are no longer receiving a discount.

FSD Subscription Expansion

Currently, the FSD subscription is only available in the U.S., but plans for expansion are underway. Tesla's Rohan Patel recently announced that the subscription will soon be available in Canada, alongside the introduction of an annual plan for Premium Connectivity. 

This expansion into the Canadian market is anticipated to follow a similar pricing strategy, adjusted for the currency exchange rate, possibly setting the cost at approximately $140 CAD per month.

Update: Tesla has just announced that FSD subscriptions are now available in Canada! What’s even more surprising is the unexpectedly low subscription price of $99 CAD. Tesla took to X to announce the availability in Canada but unfortunately didn’t reveal any additional information regarding the subscriptions.

Is Buying FSD Still Worth It?

Despite the lowered subscription price, the outright purchase price for FSD remains steep at $12,000. This price point equates to subscribing to the service for over 10 years. Given that the average length of car ownership in the U.S. is about 8 years, this makes the current price of buying FSD unattractive to most. The saving grace of buying FSD is that you know what you're paying for the life of the vehicle and can avoid any potential subscription price increases.

Temporary Reduction or Long-term Strategy?

Tesla has not confirmed whether the price reduction is a temporary promotional tactic or a permanent adjustment. The timing coincides with Tesla's release of FSD v12 and its trial offer, suggesting that the company is keen on encouraging more drivers to experience FSD. This approach not only boosts user engagement but also accelerates the volume of data Tesla can collect to improve the system.

FSD With Referral Credits

Although Tesla hasn't adjusted the price of buying FSD, it is tweaking its referral program to accommodate the new price. Three months of FSD are now available through Tesla's referral program for 6,000 credits, reduced from the previous 12,000 credits.

Tesla's reduction in FSD in the U.S. and its planned expansion into Canada reflect a strategic initiative to make FSD more accessible and financially attractive to a broader audience. There's no doubt this change will increase the number of FSD subscriptions, but it'll be interesting to see how much. To break even, Tesla would need to double the number of subscriptions, but they likely have their eyes set much higher.

If you currently subscribe to FSD, Tesla has automatically reduced future payments to the lower $99 price point.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Additional Features in Upcoming Update

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla frequently introduces new models or trim levels before all the software features are available. This situation also applies to the Cybertruck, where several features are still in development.

In the 2024.8 update, Tesla added a handful of features to help the Cybertruck catch up in the software department, adding features such as Reset Tire Mileage, Rear Passenger Headphones, Auto Wipers and others. Tesla also added a Cybertruck exclusive feature that sets off the truck's alarm if the trailer is unhitched from the vehicle.

However, Tesla continues to improve Cybertruck's software. The company is planning an upcoming update that will let the truck charge faster and add Tesla's convenient cabin overheat protection feature.

According to Tesla's SVP of powertrain and energy, Drew Baglino, the Cybertruck's charging speed is about to be upgraded. This software update, slated for release later this quarter, is set to substantially improve the Cybertruck's charging curve and unlock faster charging times for owners. Baglino said the update will "let the Cybertruck get 154 miles of charge in just 15 minutes." That's a 20% increase over the truck's current 128 miles in 15 minutes.

Early reports on the Cybertruck's 4680 cells revealed a somewhat disappointing charging curve. The truck's charging speed would start at about 250kW, then drop off to about 150kW at ~40%. It would then level off at 75-80kW for the remainder of the charge.

It seems Tesla was being careful with the Cybertruck's new battery pack, but now, the company is ready to unlock additional throughput.

This fits Tesla's usual approach. The company likes to start conservatively and then improve its vehicles over time.

Cabin Overheat Protection

Another feature that's set to arrive on the Cybertruck is Cabin Overheat Protection (COP), according to the Cybertruck's program manager. This feature which keeps the cabin from overheating has been available in other models for several years, but it has yet to be made available for the Cybertruck.

In 2022, Tesla added the ability to customize the temperature at which COP would turn on. Users can now choose COP to activate at 90, 95 or 100º Fahrenheit. The Cybertruck's COP is expected to match the same features available in other models.

Given that Tesla's SVP and program manager have officially commented on these upcoming features, it may not be long before we see them available in an upcoming update.

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