Tesla Introduces Vision Park Assist: Availability, Accuracy and Videos

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has released vision Park Assist with Tesla update 2023.6.9
Tesla has released vision Park Assist with Tesla update 2023.6.9
@EVBaymax & @ManZoneBeer

Tesla has unveiled the Vision Park Assist feature with its new software update, version 2023.6.9 for non-FSD Beta vehicles. This cutting-edge feature employs the car's cameras to measure distances to nearby objects, offering users valuable parking assistance.

When Tesla removed ultrasonic sensors (USS) from their vehicles six months ago, some owners expressed concerns regarding the loss of parking assistance. In response, Tesla embarked on the transition towards a vision-based solution, culminating in the introduction of Vision Park Assist.

Accuracy of Park Assist

Twitter user @EVBaymax couldn’t wait till morning to test out the new Vision Park Assist feature. Equipped with his Model 3 and a measuring tape, @EVBaymax put the new technology to the test and shared it all on Twitter, providing some valuable insight into its performance. In one video, he said, “super-impressive what Tesla has been able to do. This is… Wow! I’m impressed.” @EVBaymax was showing the car within an inch or two of what the reading said inside the car.

However, he did spot something less impressive. When shifting into drive or reverse after being parked for a few minutes, a message pops up that says: Park Assist is Loading. That load took 6-8 seconds as the system recalls what was around it before it was parked. The time is quite a lag compared to the USS-enabled systems. @EVBaymax is hopeful this is addressed. However, the vehicle did eventually load the data it had before it was turned off, showing the same distance to the curb that was in front of it, even though the curb was out of view of the cameras.

Several online videos show a significant difference in readings between USS and Vision. USS mostly displays smooth readings with straight edges, but vision does not display many straight lines. When backing up to a curb, @EVBaymax notes that the line representing the curb is “squiggly and is moving.”

Availability

Although Park Assist was initially included in FSD Beta 11.3.2 and limited to North American markets, Tesla is rolling out Park Assist to additional markets with update 2023.6.9.

Currently, the Vision Park Assist feature is compatible with Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Users also have the option to turn off Park Assist if they prefer, just like owners with USS. This innovative technology offers 360-degree detection, instead of just front and rear, as highlighted in our previous article.

Park Assist Detecting a Curb

One of the advantages of vision-based Park Assist is the ability to detect objects on the side of the vehicle. @EVBaymax does a great job illustrating that in this video below.

Vehicles With USS

At this time, it appears that vehicles with ultrasonic sensors still offer a higher level of accuracy, however that could depend on the height of the object and the type of object itself.

Vision Park Assist does not currently apply to vehicles with ultrasonic sensors. However, since Vision Park Assist does provide some advantages over its hardware-based version, it'll be interesting to see if Tesla incorporates it into all vehicles in the future as the feature matures.

As more Tesla owners install and utilize Vision Park Assist, the feature is expected to improve. The company will use the collected data to enhance distance estimates, aiming for accuracy on par with sensor-based systems.

Tesla's Vision Park Assist offers visual and auditory alerts for objects in the vehicle's surroundings, utilizing the occupancy network to generate high-definition object outlines. However, it is essential to remember that this feature should be treated as guidance, not as a substitute for an attentive driver.

Tesla's Supercharger Team Shakeup: Firings, Rehiring, and Future Prospects

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently fired the entire Supercharger team, including Tesla’s head of charging – Rebecca Tinucci, after she pushed back on the extreme layoffs that took place right before the cut.

The Supercharger team consisted of over 500 employees, at least after the initial layoffs. In the following days and weeks, Tesla began to rehire some of the employees that it had fired.

Some Damage Done

In the immediate aftermath of the firing of the Supercharger team, contractors and site planners were left bewildered, with no contact from the Supercharger team that was responsible for payment, planning, and decision-making.

As this has played out, new Supercharger deployments have been reduced – stations that were already being built are being completed, but no new announcements have been made since t

It was dire news at the time - but it isn’t all bad.

Returning Employees

Now, more and more of the employees that were fired are beginning to return to Tesla, some of whom are announcing that they were asked to return to Tesla in their previous capacities.

George Bahadue, Senior Manager of Site Acquisition and Business Development commented on LinkedIn:

“Two weeks ago, I was asked to return to Tesla in my previous capacity heading up the business development and site acquisition for Tesla charging – I accepted.”

His reasoning to accept the position was a quote from Rebecca Tinucci:

“You work at Tesla because you hope to have at least a small impact on our collective future – aspirationally, to leave the world better for our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren – by accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. And that mission is too important to allow any distractions.”

New Stations Could be Coming Soon

With the restaffing of the Supercharger team, especially with the return of George Bahadue, we can expect that new Supercharger sites may be announced in the coming weeks, as the ripple effect from the layoffs begins to settle.

The rehiring of experienced staff suggests that Tesla and Elon Musk are still committed to the vision of maintaining and expanding its Supercharger network – the largest and most reliable charging network in North America, which is crucial for the mission to move the world to renewable energy.

Tesla Cuts Model Y Output in China – Economic Slowdown and Anticipated Project Juniper Launch

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently cut Model Y output in China, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Tesla’s production of the Model Y in China experienced a decline of approximately 18% in March, and 33% in April, versus the same time last year.

Output Cuts

These output cuts can be attributed to Tesla’s recent decision to reduce production of the Model Y at Giga Shanghai by at least 20% from March to June 2024. This was attributed to an unnamed Spokesperson by Reuters last week.

This decision could be multifaceted – the primary reason being an economic slowdown in China as price wars continue to be waged between EV manufacturers, including Tesla. On the flipside, Tesla has continued its production of the updated 2024 Model 3, colloquially referred to as the Highland, with an increase of 10%.

Project Juniper?

The second reason for this slowdown could be the incoming arrival of the Model Y refresh – also known as Project Juniper. Tesla China has already introduced an updated Model Y with a unique cloth dash with similar ambient lighting as the Model 3.

The Model 3 Highland was also introduced in China before its introduction to other markets, including North America and Europe.

Juniper Upgrade Speculation

Not much has been seen about Project Juniper at this time, but we can expect a similar suite of upgrades that match the updated 2024 Model 3 Highland – including a new front fascia design, updated doors and dynamics, steering updates, improved control arms, ambient lighting, new seats, and improved range.

There is a continued expectation that Tesla is pushing back its Model Y refresh – its best-selling vehicle – to make a bigger splash. This could include newer features – like the Cybertruck’s Steer-by-Wire, front camera, or other upgrades and changes – like the lack of stalks on the rest of the Tesla line-up.

Tesla previously confirmed we’re not seeing the Juniper Y this year, this could be the time needed to retool and upgrade lines to prepare for its introduction sometime next year.

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