Tesla Model S and X to Gain Ambient Lighting and Front Bumper Camera

By Kevin Armstrong
This will have a minor refresh for the Model S and Model X
This will have a minor refresh for the Model S and Model X

Tesla has found itself in a bit of a pickle. Its flagship vehicles, the Model S and Model X now have a similar feature set as the recently released new Model 3. While the new Model 3 does have an improved suspension, the Model S, Model X, and soon the Cybertruck are still the only Tesla vehicles with an air suspension. However, the new Model 3 now includes many features that were previously exclusive to the Model S/X, such as ventilated seats, a quieter cabin, and a rear screen, reducing the feature set gap between Tesla's economy and luxury lines.

Ambient Lighting for Model S & X

However, it looks like the Model S and X will be catching up in some regards. Greentheonly was able to find references to the Model S/X receiving the same RGB ambient lighting treatment as the new Model 3. The references were discovered in one of Tesla's recent firmware updates. As Green points out, Tesla is much more careful nowadays to include any code that may reveal upcoming features. Given the discovery, he believes that Tesla is already implementing or will soon start implementing the feature on its assembly lines.

Upcoming Minor Refresh

One of our sources has confirmed that the S/X will not only receive Tesla's latest interior lighting feature in an upcoming refresh, but that it will also be outfitted with a front bumper camera. It's unknown whether Tesla will introduce both these features simultaneously or in a phased manner. Considering Tesla's known strategy of incorporating upgrades as they deplete available parts, it wouldn't be surprising if they took the latter route.

Model Y Envy

After Tesla China's surprising reveal of an upgraded Model Y with some modifications like adding ambient lighting to the dashboard, the spotlight is now turning to what's in store for the Model S and Model X. The Model Y's changes, touted as its "evolutionary debut" by Tesla China on its official Weibo account came out of nowhere.

Ambient Lighting is a Must

Ambient lighting has always been a staple in luxury car interiors, enhancing the ambiance and offering a more sophisticated driving experience. For years, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Jaguar, Porsche, Volvo, and others have used ambient lighting, also known as mood lighting. That didn't seem to matter all that much to the Model S and Model X, which have worked their way up the luxury brand market.

But now that ambient lighting is in the Model Y, Model 3, and the upcoming Cybertruck, the omission of the features from the luxury models is noticeable.

With the Model Y's recent update featuring ambient lighting on its dash and front doors, there is speculation about the extent to which this feature will be introduced in the S and X. Will Tesla stick to the approach seen in the Model Y, or will they amplify the luxury feel with an almost 360-degree wraparound, similar to the new Model 3?

Front Camera

In addition to ambient lighting, the Model S and Model X will get a front bumper camera. We expected to see it in the Model 3 refresh. Still, it mysteriously didn't make the long list of changes when the car was revealed, even though the camera was spotted in various Tesla photos. However, the Cybertruck does have a front bumper camera.

It's not known if the front bumper will be used to improve Autopilot and Full Self Driving or if it could be more about enhancing parking assist capabilities. The front camera is not available in the existing fleet, which would put those vehicles at a disadvantage if FSD utilizes the camera in future updates.

With the last quarter of the year unfolding, Tesla enthusiasts and potential buyers have much to look forward to. A new Model 3, slightly refreshed Model Y, the Cybertruck, and maybe even an enhanced Model S and X are yet to arrive before Santa.

Sweet Move: Tesla Shifts from Creating EVs to Making Candy

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has filed four new trademarks recently, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office. These trademarks aren’t exactly what you’d expect from Tesla – they’re not for cars, not for batteries, and not for any cool new software features.

They’re for sweet, sweet, candy!

Candy Trademarks

Tesla has filed 4 distinct trademarks in its filings with the USPTO, for the following four names.

  • Supercharged Gummy

  • Cyberberry

  • Mango Bolt

  • Dog Mode Chill

The trademarks don’t come with any particular logos, art, or renderings, or it doesn’t reveal anything besides the names of the candy or candy-like items. Tesla filed these trademarks last month on June 25th.

While we’re not quite sure exactly what type of candies these will be, there is one thing we can knock off the bat – given how premium Tesla’s food products have been, these will likely include high-quality ingredients with a matching price point.

Elon Musk previously hinted that he wanted to start a candy company, and claimed he was super serious. Given his usual 2-week timeline, starting it 7-years later under Tesla seems fairly fitting. Jokes aside, we hope that the candies will launch sometime before the Tesla van, otherwise you can expect some more jokes on that front.

Tesla is well known for designing and selling non-vehicle merchandise. In the past, they’ve sold a glass decal that makes your window look like it was shattered with a metal bearing, Tesla Tequila, the Cybertruck whistle and many others.

Maybe we’ll hear more about Elon’s candy ambitions during Tesla’s upcoming earnings call, which will be taking place this coming Tuesday, July 23rd.

Tesla Looking to Hire 800 New Employees After Recent Layoffs, Large Focus on Energy

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Just three months after Elon Musk fired the entire Supercharger team, and laid off many employees at Tesla, the company is now looking to hire 800 new employees.

This comes after many members of the Supercharger team were hired back after their initial layoffs.

New Hirings

Tesla’s careers page now has more than 800 open positions today, and positions go from anywhere between engineers for artificial intelligence or batteries, ADAS testers in local communities, or service and desk employees for service centers.

Most of the new jobs focus on engineering positions, and many positions in Legal Affairs, Business Support, and vehicle software positions have not been posted or renewed. Those sections remain empty, at least in North America.

Tesla Energy Focus

Interestingly, quite a few of the new positions focus on Telsa Energy and its role in the company. There are several positions for supporting the deployments of Powerwall and Megapack, as well as doing further engineering work on these types of stationary battery systems.

Just recently, Tesla secured a $375 million Megapack contract in Australia – to build one of the biggest 4-hour battery banks in the world. This comes just days after the announcement of a $256 million Megapack contract to expand a different Australian facility.

We’re expecting Tesla to bank more towards its energy business – which has really just started getting off the ground with recent factory expansions and new business. Tesla Powerwall also recently hit some spectacular milestones – 100MW in California delivered to the grid, and 200,000 hours of backup power after Hurricane Beryl in Texas.

Powerwall and Megapack are going to be defining features of Tesla’s business – and we hope to see Tesla Solar – both Solar Panels and Tesla’s Solar Roof, also become more available to the mass market, just like Powerwall is today.

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