Tesla Update 2023.38 Shows Predicted Supercharger Wait Time and Number of Cars En Route

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla will now predict Supercharger availability
Tesla will now predict Supercharger availability

Tesla has now released update 2023.38 to roughly half of its fleet. Now that the update is in the wild, a couple additional enhancements have been spotted that are only available in certain regions.

Predictive Charger Availability

Tesla has continually improved Supercharger information in the vehicle. In the past couple years they've added the ability to view the number of chargers available at site Supercharger location, as well the number of stalls that are out of order. They also show how busy the Supercharger is at various points throughout the day.

If you thought live data was the best Tesla could do, they have a surprise in store in update 2023.38. If you're navigating to a Supercharger, Tesla will now predict how many Supercharger stalls will be available at your arrival, and display the predicted wait time, if any.

Tesla says they will factor in your travel time to the Supercharger, as well as other Tesla vehicles' travel times, to predict the charger's availability when you arrive.

Tesla continues to open up Supercharger to other electric vehicles, and while the number of non-Teslas charging at Superchargers may be a small percentage right now, that number is expected to increase as more manufacturers adopt Tesla's charging port. It'll be interesting to see how well Tesla can predict Supercharger availability when they may not be aware of all vehicles routing to each charger.

This feature is currently limited to the U.S., but is likely to expand to other regions as Tesla gathers more data and determines its accuracy.

Updated Hazard Lights Pattern

We recently talked about Tesla's upcoming update to hazard lights. It looks like Tesla will use the updated light pattern, which flashes up to about three times quicker, if the vehicle is involved in an accident.

When Tesla officially announced the feature on X, it wasn't clear which update the feature would feature the updated feature, but it has now been spotted in update 2023.38. The updated light pattern is currently only be available in select countries, including the U.S. It appears to not be available in most of Europe at this time, but that may change in a future update.

Vampire Survivors: Multiplayer Gaming

Update 2023.38 also brings other features, such as an update to Vampure Survivors. Just in time for Halloween, Tesla owners and their passengers can team up in a co-op mode, mowing down hordes of the undead. The gameplay allows up to four passengers to participate, turning your vehicle into a virtual battleground against zombies. This feature, however, has its prerequisites.

It requires MCU 3, making it exclusive to the recent Model S/X and 3/Y models. For those ready to dive into this electrifying experience, shift the Tesla into Park (P), navigate to the Tesla Arcade, and then choose Vampire Survivors. Remember, each player needs their own controller, which can now be wired or Bluetooth.

Location Sharing: Enhanced Transparency

Update 2023.38 also notifies drivers if they are being crept on, known as location sharing. A new icon now appears at the top of the touchscreen when any app — including the official Tesla app — requests live location data from your vehicle.

This icon will also show up if future third-party services have access to your vehicle's location.

Windows Adjustment

Tesla also introduces a practical modification that could prevent window or door damage during a vehicle update. We know that the window goes down just a little bit when the door opens and closes because of the distinct frameless door design. However, the windows can not adjust during software updates, increasing the chances of window damage. This update brings down the windows just a little bit to facilitate door opening and closing. Once the update concludes, the windows revert to their former position.

With every update, Tesla gets just a little bit better. We are just a few months away from the epic Christmas update. The countdown is on!

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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