Apple's iOS 17 Will Add Real-Time EV Charger Availability in Apple Maps

By Kevin Armstrong
Apple Maps will offer real-time EV charger availability
Apple Maps will offer real-time EV charger availability
Not a Tesla App

With iOS 17's upcoming release, Apple continues its forward-thinking approach to improving the user experience for electric vehicle owners. The upcoming update to Apple Maps offers real-time charging availability information, an inclusion that promises to streamline the charging process and heighten convenience for Tesla and other EV drivers.

Apple Maps: Integrating Real-Time EV Charging Details in iOS 17

In 2020, Apple first ventured into offering support for EV routing via Apple Maps. Initially launched for Ford Mustang Mach-E and Porsche Taycan drivers, Apple has now evolved the feature to incorporate real-time charging information in iOS 17. The updated interface will display the total number of stalls at a specific charging station and will also indicate how many of these are currently in use.

Real-Time Charging Information

Given the burgeoning popularity of electric vehicles, charging stations will likely see increasing demand. The real-time charging information offered by Apple Maps in iOS 17 aims to optimize the user experience by providing up-to-the-minute data on charging station availability, thereby minimizing potential wait times. This function is bound to be a boon for Tesla drivers, who can better plan their charging stops, knowing the availability status ahead of time.

Apple Maps goes beyond merely presenting users with real-time charging availability. It further enables drivers to set up their preferred charging networks, including Tesla's Supercharger network, Electrify America, Chargepoint, and more. Once a driver selects their preferred networks, Apple Maps tailors the information presented to align with this preference. Such personalization paves the way for an even more seamless charging experience for EV drivers.

Apple Maps and iOS 17: Embracing the Future of Sustainable Travel

While currently only available to cars supporting Apple Maps EV routing, the expanded functionality holds promise for broadening its reach in the future. Considering the rising trend of electric vehicles, features like real-time charging availability and preferred charging networks are set to transform the user experience of EV drivers substantially.

The updates provided by Apple in iOS 17 indicate the tech giant's commitment to promoting and adapting to the future of sustainable travel. Given the rate of EV adoption and the growing demand for smart, seamless solutions, Apple Maps' enhanced features, including real-time charging details, align with the evolving needs of modern EV drivers, especially Tesla owners.

The recent updates by Apple are indeed game-changers. By offering Tesla and other EV owners real-time charging information, preferred charging network selection, and intelligent routing, Apple Maps on iOS 17 is ushering in a new era of convenient and efficient EV travel.

Unfortunately, Tesla owners will likely not see support for Apple's EV routing feature, but they'll still be able to benefit from the real-time availability information of EV chargers.

Apple's iOS 17 was released to developers at their WWDC conference earlier this month and is expected to be released this fall.

Tesla Vehicles Spotted With LiDAR: What Do They Use It For?

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla recently hit the news for purchasing approximately $2M in LiDAR sensors from Luminar, one of Tesla’s long-term suppliers. You’ve probably seen photos of Tesla’s Semi and various Tesla models, including the Model 3 and Model Y sporting LIDAR equipment on the roof. These cars drive around with manufacturer plates scanning streets and highways.

However, many people confuse Tesla’s purpose in purchasing LiDAR equipment with using it for FSD versus testing. So, let’s look at what LiDAR is, and why Tesla uses it on its Fleet Validation Vehicles.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR stands for Light Detecting and Ranging – essentially using lasers to measure distances. A laser pulse is sent out, and the time it takes to return is measured – providing extremely accurate distance measurements.

Some companies working on self-driving vehicles, including Waymo and BYD, use LiDAR as part of their self-driving suites, but Tesla is one of the few stand-outs that does not. Even Rimac’s “Verne” Robotaxi – which uses self-driving technology from Mobileye, also uses LiDAR.

While LiDAR can produce extremely accurate and high-quality 3D environments, it comes with its downsides as well. Not only is LiDAR costly and requires large gear strapped to a vehicle, but it also can not be used in bad weather and can have interference issues if there are other strong light sources present.

Why Does Tesla Use LiDAR?

A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
Not a Tesla App

At Autonomy Day in 2019, Elon Musk mentioned that LiDAR isn’t the solution for self-driving cars – it's just a crutch. Thus, Tesla hasn’t used LiDAR for any production self-driving software.

Instead, Tesla uses it exactly how it's described – they use it to gather ground-truth data. This data is then used to feed Tesla’s Full Self Driving system – which helps validate its vision-only system's accuracy. LiDAR provides very accurate measurements to help ensure that FSD’s perception of space is accurate – and is only used by Tesla to ensure that its AI technology which is the brains of FSD is capable of accurately interpreting depth from just visual data.

Tesla’s vision-only system has been seen to be extremely accurate, with Vision-only Autopark being able to park in even narrower and tighter spaces faster than the previous version that relied on ultrasonic sensors.

We’ll likely continue to see Tesla purchase LiDAR systems, as well as use them for validation well into the future.

Tesla's Upcoming Robotaxi Event in August Delayed, According to Bloomberg

By Karan Singh
Sugar Design

In a report from Bloomberg, it is claimed that Tesla will be delaying its much-anticipated 8/8 Robotaxi event by two months to October 2024.

While sources other than Bloomberg haven't confirmed this report, Bloomberg has a positive track record of reporting on financial decisions. We’ll be sure to update the article if there is confirmation on X from Elon Musk or another Tesla senior official.

Tesla’s stock has dropped nearly 8.5% over the day, ending back-to-back gains over the last two weeks. It closed yesterday at $ 241 after hitting a peak of $270 earlier in the day before the news broke.

Why the Delay?

The delay – of approximately two months – has been communicated internally, but not publicly announced just yet. Bloomberg goes on to mention that the design team was told to rework certain elements of the Cybercab, necessitating the delay.

If Bloomberg’s report is correct, it sounds like Tesla’s unveil event will be largely focused on showing off the vehicle, instead of demoing how it will work. Of course, it could still be both, but given past events, Tesla has always shown off the vehicle years before it hits production.

Rimac recently showed off their version of robotaxi vehicle named Verne, and surprisingly, it could almost pass for Tesla’s own robotaxi. A lot of design cues in Rimac’s version are elements we have already seen or expect to see in Tesla’s autonomous taxi.

A recent Tesla patent revealed that Tesla is incorporating a sanitation system into their robotaxi that will be responsible for analyzing and cleaning the vehicle’s interior, although the delay itself is likely tied more to a physical feature rather than software.

Another element we know almost nothing about is how Tesla plans to charge these robotic taxis. Will they rely on the existing charge port and adapt a solution like the robotic charging arm (video below) we saw almost eight years ago, or will wireless charging or a dock finally become realized?

While the delay for Tesla’s event appears to be related to the vehicle’s design itself and not further development of FSD, Tesla is wasting no time in getting FSD working for the upcoming vehicle. Model 3 vehicles have already been spotted with camera locations that resemble a robotaxi.

Is the Delay Accurate?

We expect that this delay might actually be true – Elon Musk usually takes to X within hours of such news breaking if it's false to refute it and hasn’t done so yet.

Tesla has delayed several of their events in the past, and a delay of a couple of months seems plausible. We should hear from Musk himself soon on whether this report is accurate.

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