Tesla Advances Driver Monitoring, Phasing Out Steering Wheel Nag

By Kevin Armstrong
Elon Musk says Tesla will slowly reduce the steering wheel nag
Elon Musk says Tesla will slowly reduce the steering wheel nag
MKBHD/Twitter

Elon Musk has announced that Tesla is taking steps to phase out the steering wheel "nag" feature, which currently requires drivers to apply resistance to the wheel at certain intervals while using Autopilot. In a tweet, Musk explained that the nag will be "gradually reduced, proportionate to improved safety."

Musk announced in January that Tesla would remove the requirement to apply resistance to the steering wheel while using Autopilot. Musk responded to a tweet by @WholeMarsBlog, who asked if users with more than 10,000 miles driven using FSD Beta could have the option to disable the tedious steering wheel nag. Musk initially replied with, "Agreed, update coming in Jan."

Since then, Tesla appears to have decided to instead slowly reduce the steering wheel nag. The interval that the car checks for active participation has changed over the years, but with it being somewhere around 30-60 seconds, it can sometimes become an annoyance to drivers.

NHTSA is Watching Closely

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating Tesla's Autopilot system. Ann Carlson, the acting head of the NHTSA, has emphasized the need for thoroughness and care in the investigation, which also seeks to determine whether drivers are paying attention when using Autopilot. In January, Carlson revealed that the NHTSA had contacted Tesla regarding the planned removal of the steering wheel nag.

Amid this scrutiny, Tesla's decision to reduce the steering wheel nag may be seen as a response to the NHTSA's concerns about driver attentiveness when using Autopilot. By phasing out the nag, Tesla could demonstrate its commitment to enhancing safety while advancing its autonomous vehicle technology.

The Impact on Autonomous Vehicle Regulations

As Tesla moves to phase out the steering wheel nag, the company may encounter regulatory challenges. Tesla must maintain open communication with regulatory agencies like the NHTSA and demonstrate that the transition to vision-based monitoring will not compromise safety. By doing so, Tesla can help shape the future of autonomous vehicle regulations while staying at the forefront of the industry.

Tesla's plan to gradually reduce the steering wheel nag presents an opportunity for the company to collaborate with regulatory agencies in refining driver monitoring standards. By working closely with the NHTSA and other organizations, Tesla can help create a safer environment for autonomous vehicle users, while continuing to push the boundaries of self-driving technology.

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.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range Now Eligible for $7.5K Tax Credit

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

In the US, the Model 3 Long Range has now become fully eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs.

Federal Tax Credit

The federal tax credit is up to $7,500 USD off at the point of sale, which applies to EVs with batteries originating from the United States. The Model 3 Performance was launched with the EV tax credit, which meant that until now, it was cheaper to purchase than the Model 3 Long Range.

Interestingly, after this change, the Model 3 Long Range is only $1,000 USD more expensive than the Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive, as the RWD model is not eligible for the credit. The LFP batteries in the RWD model are from CATL in China, and thus mark it as ineligible.

At $40,000 USD, the Model 3 Long Range is now an even better deal than before – and is nearly $7,500 less (the amount of the credit), than the average new car in the United States.

Canadian EV Credits

In Canada, Tesla dropped the Model 3 RWD price by $1,000 CAD, in response to the province of  British Colombia reducing the upper limit of their EV credit MSRP range. This means that the Model 3 RWD is the only Tesla vehicle that is covered under the new BC rebate – which is one of the few provincial rebates still left standing.

Sadly, as a result of this change, and due to a weird classification gimmick, the Model Y is considered a sedan by the Government of BC and is completely ineligible for the additional rebates – but the $5,000 federal EV rebate still applies.

Tesla vehicles accounted for 80% of federal EV rebate applications in Canada in 2023, marking a net increase since last year at 60%.

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