Tesla Opens New Modern Lobby at Giga Berlin With Robotic 'Bartender'

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla built a new lobby for its Giga Berlin factory
Tesla built a new lobby for its Giga Berlin factory
@sina39184138 / @justpaulinelol

Tesla's Gigafactory Berlin adds a new dimension to its innovative landscape with the debut of its strikingly modern lobby. As visitors enter, they are immediately transported into what appears to be the future of corporate interiors. The recently opened space is a testament to the company's commitment to blending design with functionality, featuring the Tesla Model Y charging amidst a visually engaging environment illuminated by undulating neon lights and adorned with chic metallic touches.

A New Public Space with Robotic Charm

This lobby isn't merely a space to cross; it's an experience. Public access began last Sunday, and it already boasts an array of engaging features, such as a merchandise vending machine that offers Tesla-branded items at the touch of a button. Visitors watch as the lobby's robot, capable of pouring beer and preparing coffee, adds a playful yet sophisticated element to the visitor experience.

The lobby is thoughtfully laid over two floors, providing comfortable seating for guests on both levels. The design centerpiece is the reception area, which features a large, geometric desk operated by welcoming Tesla staff. The early visuals shared by the company showcase these elements, highlighting the meticulous attention to detail that has gone into creating this space.

Tesla's Expanding Footprint

Nestled in Grünheide, just outside the urban buzz of Berlin, the Gigafactory stands as a beacon of Tesla's manufacturing might. The factory's focus on the Model Y SUV has led to a remarkable production cadence of 5,000 weekly vehicles. In a recent visit, Musk hinted at an exciting future for the factory, with plans to produce an affordable $25,000 Tesla, making sustainable transportation options more available to the masses.

Adding Giga Berlin as a manufacturing site for Tesla's ambitious Model 2 represents a pragmatic pivot in the company's global strategy. With its roots stretching from the initial plans in Mexico to the assembly lines in Texas and now extending to Germany, Tesla's path reflects a responsive and adaptive approach to the ever-changing landscape of global manufacturing.

By situating production within the European market, Tesla appears to align its operational logistics with regional market dynamics, potentially streamlining the delivery process and enhancing its competitive edge in a critical EV market.

Tesla's vision for its Berlin Gigafactory doesn't stop at vehicle production. The company is looking to broaden its horizons with a significant expansion set to commence in early 2024. These plans include constructing a water recycling system and adding a second production facility to its existing infrastructure. Moreover, a future-focused battery recycling plant is also on the cards, underscoring Tesla's dedication to sustainability and innovation.

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 Launches; Adds EV Charger Ratings Using Rivian Data

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 launched yesterday, and there are some pretty awesome features coming to all EV owners courtesy of Rivian. Rivian purchased ABRP last year and has made good on its promises to continue its improvement and ensure it remains open to all EV owners.

Charger Scoring

Rivian recently added a feature that would rate any chargers compatible with Rivian vehicles. The list of chargers includes Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) chargers, Tesla Superchargers and any other compatible third-party chargers. The charger score is automatically calculated based on the station's average top speed and reliability.

With the launch of ABRP 5.0, Rivian is integrating its charger scores directly into the free tier of ABRP so that all EV owners can benefit. ABRP users will now be able to see charger scores, and ABRP will automatically route users to chargers with higher scores if they are available on your route.

Google Automotive

Another cool feature for ABRP is that it will now be available as an app to install and use directly in vehicles that support Google Automotive. Any EV that uses Google Automotive, including Volvo,  Polestar, Ford, and GM will support the in-system experience, which will also provide data for charger scoring and routing.

This will be an excellent way to hold third-party networks accountable, which have commonly suffered from uptime or speed issues.

Tesla’s Implementation

Tesla previously implemented a “Qualified Third-Party Charger” program, that would allow highly-rated third-party chargers that meet a strict set of requirements to be displayed directly in the vehicle. However, this is currently limited to Europe and parts of the Middle East. Within North America, Tesla only displays third-party Tesla destination chargers in addition to Superchargers.

While Tesla doesn’t directly show charger scores, they clearly are tracking charge data, and are providing the cream of the crop of third-party chargers for navigation where the program is available. We’d hope that this implementation of qualified third-party chargers also comes to North America, as NACS is becoming the de facto standard for charging.

If Tesla does expand the display of third-party chargers to other regions, it’ll likely be similar to what we see in Europe today, and won’t be as open as Rivian’s implementation in ABRP.

Tesla Begins Testing FSD in China

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla was recently granted permission to test FSD on Chinese streets – specifically in Shanghai. Just recently, Elon Musk visited China and discussed the potential for FSD to come to China.

Gearing Up for FSD China

This is just the first step for Tesla to begin its customer deployments of FSD – Tesla conducts similar ADAS testing in North America, where special testing vehicles and testing employees run the latest FSD (Supervised) versions against a gamut of real-world, real-life tests.

Tesla has recently been working on translating FSD release notes into multiple languages, alongside building a data center in Shanghai and establishing an FSD Operations and Labelling team at the same center. These are the first, key steps to bringing FSD to a new market that has unique and different traffic rules when compared North America.

China doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles or challenges that Tesla faces in Europe to bring FSD and has been working with Chinese corporations as well as the government, which has now provided its official approval for FSD testing in-country.

We might even see FSD deployed to early testing customers in China by the end of 2025.

ADAS Competitors

There are quite a few competitors in the Chinese market already- with challengers like Xpeng and Xiaomi working on building their own homegrown systems, mostly driven by a mixture of cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, and LIDAR. However, many of these systems face similar challenges to other non-Chinese competitors and don’t have the mileage under their belts to tackle Tesla’s dominating lead in data and data processing.

European Union

Tesla is poising itself for an FSD rollout internationally, with increased testing also taking place in the UK, France, and Spain – some of the key locations with unique infrastructure in the European Union. However, some EU-specific regulations restrict how FSD can perform – each and every action must be manually approved by the driver. Until that regulation is changed to adapt to systems like FSD, it won’t be making its way there just yet.

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