For Tesla owners, the auto wiper system has been a contentious feature. Loved by some for its attempt at autonomous convenience yet criticized by others for its hit-or-miss performance, the system has often had trouble with extreme light conditions or misty weather. Now, Tesla has introduced v4 of their autowipers system that aims to correct past issues and enhance the user experience.
Deeper Insights into the New Auto Wiper v4 System
The updates come via the new Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta 11.4.2, as reported by Tesla hacker @GreenTheOnly. While release notes didn't indicate changes, Green pointed out significant differences under the hood. The most notable of these is the introduction of Autowiper v4 and the option to disable the much-anticipated "Deep Rain" neural net.
Elon Musk's "Deep Rain" Concept Shelved as Tesla Improves Rain Sensing
Elon Musk once promised a neural network (NN) solution for wiper sensitivity issues back in 2019, dubbing it "Deep Rain." However, Tesla is taking a different route by introducing the Autowiper v4 system. The new FSD Beta 11.4.2 release includes an internal option to disable the "Deep Rain" feature, indicating that Tesla is potentially walking back from the concept.
This surprises some, as the "Deep Rain" NN was a significant part of Musk's strategy to improve the Autowiper system. However, a disable option suggests that perhaps the feature did not pan out as well as intended.
Musk Apologizes for Auto Wiper Performance
Early this morning Musk apologized for Tesla's autowipers, saying that this one of the last neural nets Tesla is updating from a single camera, single frame NN to surround video. What this means is that Tesla is stitching together video from all of their cameras into a single 360-degree video, instead of looking at individual cameras. Tesla will then use the neural net to look at the clips of the surround video feed, instead of individual frames in the video.
Tesla Harnesses All 8 Cameras for Advanced Rain Detection
Although Musk's tweet says the Tesla is transitioning to surround video, Tesla was apparently already leveraging all eight onboard cameras to detect rain, according to @GreenTheOnly. This approach allows the vehicle to garner a complete understanding of the weather conditions, resulting in better responsiveness and accuracy in the autowiper system.
While the v4 update and the "Deep Rain" concept shelving are significant, GreenTheOnly also confirmed that these changes aren't specific to the new Hardware 4 (HW4) upgrade. This suggests that the improvements will be available to all Tesla vehicles equipped with the required cameras.
As Tesla continues to improve its Autowiper system, the hope is that these updates will lead to better performance and less driver frustration. While the shelving of the "Deep Rain" concept may be disappointing for some, the enhancements introduced in Autowiper v4 point to Tesla's commitment to continually refining its technologies for the benefit of Tesla drivers. Only time will tell if these updates deliver on their promise.
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Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
If you look up ambient lights for Tesla, you'll see several ads for third-party light kits. Perhaps this is why Tesla added its own Ambient Lights feature to the new Model 3. So, let's get enlightened.
Tesla's ambient lights are thin light strips that are embedded in each of the vehicle's doors near the top edge. It also curves around the dashboard near the windshield, giving passengers a near 360-degree light effect.
Tesla new ambient light feature is available on the new Model 3 (2024+), and will be available on the Cybertruck in a similar manner. With a refresh ongoing for the Model Y, known as Juniper, it will likely also have ambient lights. That just leaves out the most luxurious flagship vehicles, the Model S and X, for now.
The Model S and Model X could be due for a minor refresh that would not only add ambient lighting, but also include a front-bumper camera that the Cybertruck has and the new Model 3 is expected to have in the near future.
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
The ambient light settings allow you to light up the interior in a color that reflects your mood or preference. Under Controls > Lights > Accent Lights, you are handed the freedom to choose virtually any color to adorn the interior of your Tesla.
You have control over whether the ambient lights are on, off, or set to an "Auto" setting, though not fully clarified, seems to promise intelligent lighting adjustments akin to our control over dome lights, offering a reduction in reflections during drives.
While the ability to control the brightness level seems missing, Tesla did include color presets, letting you curate a series of your favorite colors.
It should be noted that the changes are confined to the light strips on the doors and dash, steering clear of the footwell lights and other interior lighting.
With Tesla, we can be assured there will be enhancements to this feature in a future update. In fact, the Tesla community is already busy coming up with useful suggestions. Some owners thought Tesla should take advantage of the lighting to provide driver feedback, such as automatically changing the ambient lighting to a red hue when there's a vehicle in your blind spot. Tesla could also glow the light strip on a door if it's not closed properly, or use the lighting to provide feedback when Sentry Mode is enabled.
Other uses could be more fun, such as cycling the light through various colors when the 'Rainbow Road' easter egg is activated.
Ambient Lighting in Action
While the possibilities are endless and Tesla engineers will surely have fun coming up with creative uses for the feature, the biggest improvement we can hope for in the near future is the ability to adjust the light intensity.
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades
Tesla outdid itself with the refreshed Model 3, known as the Highland. Despite all the fantastic upgrades, something is missing - the Performance version or perhaps the Plaid. The letter "T" has shown up on vehicle certificates in Europe, and despite Elon Musk's sense of humor, it is unlikely this is a Mr. T reference.
Deciphering the 'T'
A new document shows the new Model 3 Performance will have a dual motor
eivissacopter / X
Diligent scrutiny of the European Type Certificate, issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW and shared on the TFF Forum, revealed a subtle yet pivotal alteration — including the letter 'T' in the eighth digit of the Model 3 Performance's VIN.
This seemingly minor detail, indicative of the vehicle's motor/drive unit type, sparked curiosity and speculation on the forum. Could it be a tri-motor setup to usher in a new Plaid version of the Model 3? This vehicle has already got endless amounts of zip, but three motors? May The Schwartz Be With You!
This could also explain the Model 3+ badging that was spotted during the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China inspection of the refresh. However, the regulatory filings highlighted just two distinct variants of the car: a rear-wheel drive (RWD) with a 194 kW motor and an all-wheel drive (AWD) dual-motor setup that combines to deliver a formidable 331 kW of maximum power.
Initial conjectures leaned towards the possibility of a tri-motor setup, drawing parallels with the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X. However, a deeper dive into the certification document clarified that the Model 3 Performance retained its Dual Motor setup, dispelling the possibility of a tri-motor upgrade.
Strategic Enhancements: A Glimpse into Potential Upgrades
Given the documented specifications, it becomes plausible that Tesla has strategically enhanced one of the dual motors, potentially aligning it with the advanced motor found in the Model S/X Plaid. This modification is poised to augment the top-end speed and acceleration of the Model 3 Performance, addressing its comparative limitations in extended races against traditional gas-powered supercars.
Meanwhile, the Model 3 refresh has become the new Bigfoot of the roads of North America, with rare sightings posted on social media. However, it appears the continent is excluded from the initial launch of the Model 3 Highland. Internal communications within Tesla suggest North American enthusiasts might have to exercise patience until 2024.
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